Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Topeak RaceRocket Pump + Topeak Mini 9 Pro Review

I would not call this a full review as I have not used these accessories extensively. However, I find that these are small yet useful accessories that will come in very handy when required. Not only do they look good, they are ingeniously designed with interesting features that may appeal to some people. Especially people with an engineering mind (like me) who likes quirky gadgets and innovative features.

These accessories were bought for my Flamingo London NX7, together with some other accessories such as saddle bag, lights and etc. You can see the other accessories at my earlier post.

Let us take a closer look at the Topeak RaceRocket Pump. This is a nifty little pump that looks cool, but is also powerful at the same time. Of course, being gold coloured adds to the bling factor!

Overall view of the pump and the holder. This one can reach a maximum pressure of 120 PSI. More than sufficient for my Flamingo tires which has a recommended tire pressure of 35 to 55 PSI.

The bracket/holder for the pump, for mounting to the bottle cage bosses. Comes with a rubber strap for secure attachment. Not using this since I just put the pump inside my roomy Topeak MondoPack Hydro saddle bag.

Rubber cover on top of the pump to protect the pump head from the elements

The pump head can be extended out from the top of the pump. Flexible hose makes it easy to attach the pump head to the valve during pumping. Screw-on type attachment.

Pump when fully extended. Quite a good extension and grip on the pump.

Here is the ingenious pump head. In its default position, it is for Schrader valves.

To use on a Presta valve, just pull the pump head further out. Such a simple yet effective design!

Although this pump will never be as powerful as the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive that I have, it should be more than sufficient for its intended usage. What I like about this pump is that it has a small profile, yet it has a pull-out hose and a relatively large pump cylinder for quick and easy pumping. Even when not in use, it looks good too!

Another accessory that I want to introduce is the Topeak Mini 9 Pro. These days, multi-tools are available everywhere. From cheap multi-tools found at Changi Village that costs only a few dollars, to exquisite designer multi-tools that incorporate carbon fibre into the tool, you can find it all. Despite the difference in price, the function mostly remains the same. What is different is probably just the design, surface finishing and material used.

I came across this Topeak Mini 9 Pro and I found it to be quite interesting, unlike the usual multi-tool you see elsewhere. Besides having the mandatory Allen wrenches of various sizes, and the Phillips screwdriver head, it also has tire levers!

The tool and its packaging. Comes with a nice pouch to protect the tool and also prevent the tool from scratching other objects in your saddle bag.

Displaying its full array of tools, with a gold coloured body!

This tool has Allen wrenches sized between 2mm to 6mm and a Phillips screw head. Also, there are two tire levers: One metal lever fixed onto the main body, and a second plastic lever that can be removed from the body and unfolded for use.

The plastic tire lever looks pretty flimsy, and probably cannot do the job on tight road bike tires. Might be sufficient for MTB tires that are usually less tight on the rims. A possible way to use this would be to first use the black plastic lever, and hook the end onto the spoke. Then, use the metal lever to leverage out the tire. In any case, I do have a set of dedicated tire levers in my tool kit.

The black tire lever nests snugly within the body of the multi-tool.

I am quite impressed with the recent range of Topeak products. It is quite obvious to me that they have done a lot of improvements in their products, by adding features and making subtle little changes that make their products a little better than their competitiors'.

An example would be their saddle bags. There is usually a loop at the rear of the saddle bag that you can clip your rear light onto. They have included a little wedge behind the loop that helps to tilt your rear light upwards, such that it shines horizontally instead of sagging downwards.

Another example is their adjustable bottle cage. In the updated version, they have added rubber grips to help improve the grip on the bottle, and also simplified some of the construction.

These are the little things that most people will not notice, but for those who do notice them and understand the reasons behind the changes, these improvements are greatly appreciated.

2 comments:

  1. used to have a mini-9 but i found it lacking so i replaced it with a mini-20... still in gold of course haha. :) i like that minipump too. do you think it'll be hard to pump all the way to 90psi compared to the lezyne? thinking of getting a smaller pump for travel, that's why

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  2. usually for hand pumps it is quite difficult to go over 80 PSI unless you are very strong. for this pump, I just need to hit 50 PSI for my Flamingo tire. If you need to get 90 PSI you will need the Lezyne micro floor drive or something similar, where you can push against the floor.

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