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Trail Pump Shootout

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Welcome to our very first shootout. A few years back, Sven put together a Fat-Bike 101 series and one of the articles dealt with pumps. Here’s a link – fat-bike-101-pumps. So here we are 2 years later and the Lezyne and Topeak, that were featured in the 101 article, are the two pumps that most of us carry. I’ve been carrying a Topeak Mountain Morph for the last 3 years and Sven swears by his Lezyne. One of the great things about fat-bikes is that they really don’t get that many flats, especially if you run tubeless. We all know, eventually – when you do get a flat on a fat-bike, it could happen at 8 below, in the dark, on the day you forgot your puffy jacket. But don’t worry, because pumping up a full size fat-bike tire will require hundreds of cycles on any of the 3 pumps that we’re featuring in the test. (that should keep you nice and warm). Last week another pump entered the fat-bike market from SKS Germany called the Spaero Double Action. We thought we’d do a little 3 way shootout to see how the old veteran pumps stack up to the new pump from SKS.

What shootout would be complete without some sort of charts? We pumped our brains out to find out how many cycles it takes  for each of our three pumps to inflate a fully deflated fat-bike tube inside of a Vee Tire Bulldozer (26×4.7) mounted to a 90mm Fatback Umma Rim –  All the way up to 7 psi.  We figured 7 psi would get us home on just about any sort of ride. We graded each pump’s Ergonomics, broken down into 4 categories. We even went as far as measuring each pump’s hose length! The proof is in the pumping, so lets start with the inflation test.

Our inflation test was conducted with a fat-bike presta tube with a removable core, so we could inflate and deflate the tube over and over. We used a Fatback Umma 90mm rim and a Vee Bulldozer 26 x 4.7 tire. Every 50 cycles were logged with pen and paper. The inflation test was the perfect opportunity to experience how each pump performed and how the ergonomics stacked up.

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SKS – Spaero Double Action  – This is the new challenger and the smallest and the lightest of the 3 pumps tested. SKS told us that they developed this pump for the adventure/enduro market, but thought that it would also work well for fat-bikes. The Spaero has a short hose and does not have a foot peg. Both the pull and push cycles move air (thus the double action – name). The air chuck is threaded and is made with plastic and metal. The knurled knob that allows you to thread the chuck onto the valve is a little small and was difficult to turn. Once the chuck was threaded onto the valve there was a solid (leak-free) hook up. The handle on the Spaero was the best out of all 3 pumps. It’s a good thing that the handle was comfortable, because it took a whopping 830 cycles to reach 7 psi.

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Topeak Mountain Morph – This is the pump that I’ve been using for the last few years. We bought a brand new mountain morph to make sure that all 3 pumps started off the test, in the same condition. The MM is the longest and the heaviest of the 3 pumps. The MM has a hose long enough to use the foot-peg for easier pumping action. The air chuck is a clamp on style that is not as easy to use or as leak proof as the threaded style of chuck. The MM has a fairly nice T-handle, but the pump does sporadically pinch a finger slightly when fully cycled. The Mountain Morph took 255 cycles to achieve 7 psi.

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Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HV- (le-zign) – Once you figure out how to pronounce the name of this pump and you realize that is rhymes with design – one starts to appreciate this as a fine fat-bike accessory. We again started with a brand new pump to keep the playing field even. The Lezyne has the longest hose and the best air chuck out of the group. The long hose works really well on wide rims and allows the user to employ the foot-peg and use the pump as a small floor pump. The threaded chuck was easy to use and created a solid (leak-proof) seal with the Presta valve of the tube. The handle of the Lezyne was the least comfortable of the 3 pumps tested, but you’ll have less time using that handle, because the Lezyne won the inflation test with 216 cycles to get to 7 psi.

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The veteran pumps won the inflation test

ergonomics

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For the folks that weigh all of their gear.

At the end of the test, I put the Lezyne Micro Floor HV in the frame pack on my fat-bike and retired my Mountain Morph to my Krampus frame bag. That’s a pretty telling summary of this trail pump shoot-out. We declare the Lezyne the winner, with the Topeak coming in a close second and the Spaero a somewhat distant third. The Spaero would probably be better suited for smaller volume tires.

Tell us which pump is in your pack in the comments below!

 

 

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14 Responses to Trail Pump Shootout

  1. Nick May 14, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    My favorite fat-bike pump is the Serfas MP-03G. I think it has a larger volume than my Lezyne MFDHV but I’ve never tested it. I don’t see the Serfas come up much in fat-bike pump debate. Though it should, it’s works very well.

  2. Chase May 14, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    The Topeak Mountain Morph is where it’s at. It’s heavy because it is a tank, a totally serviceable tank. Every piece is replaceable, and easyily taken apart by hand. The Road Morph has a pressure gauge if you need one pump to pump them all.

  3. Zachary Brown May 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I like the road morph better than mountain. It is a little smaller pushes more air somehow. The hose also extends somewhat.

    • Michael Brown May 20, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Ditto on road morph

      It just works

  4. JoeDell May 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Great post. keep ’em coming!

  5. Damian May 14, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    My favourite Fat Bike frame pump is the Lyzene Alloy Drive CFH ( CO2 Flex Hose). It’s a short 7″ light pump with a 3/4″ bore that also accepts CO2 cartridges. In the case of a flat I have used the CO2 to do the bulk of the inflation ( especially in a group ride) and then topped-up the pressure with the pump. I use the pump alone to adjust the pressure.

    • Gabrielle October 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

      Hey Damian. Do you have a presta valve?

  6. Wendy May 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HV! I love this pump. Because it was so impressive on the trail, two of my riding buddies ran out and bought one!

  7. joboo May 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Leyzne Micro HV…… Hands down the best BIKE pump one can carry in your frame bag.
    Anyone can change/pump up a tube in 20° or above……. anything below that 20° mark, and I’ll keep my money on the Leyzne HV!!!!
    Peace

  8. kaleidopete May 14, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    Lezyne Micro Floor HV for me. I love this pump.

  9. Wade May 15, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    Lezyne Micro Floor.
    Pros:
    Hose length, ease of use, no fuss chuck.
    Cons:
    Fat flats are no picnic…

    The Lezyne has a superior chuck to my Mtn. Morph, as I don’t have to loosen the cap to remove it from a presta valve. It is very cleanly made. The hose is long enough for ease of use as well.

  10. bob May 16, 2015 at 6:11 am #

    Nice article, however perhaps the most important purchasing decision was not included—-the price! Since one doesn’t use the pump often, I’d gladly perform 50 more pumps to save ten bucks….perhaps a figure of #pumps/dollar! 🙂

  11. Janet May 19, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Just saw the Kickstarter for PDW’s Fat Stevens fat bike pump. Any thoughts? It’s pretty light on specs…

    • Gomez May 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      The cat is out of the bag. We hope to have a proto/sample soon. PDW lives the bike life, so they should have a good bead on what needs to be where, etc.