Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Xiaomi Portable Air Pump

I recently came across this motorized Xiaomi Portable Air Pump, which can be used to pump up anything from soccer balls to car tires. It is apparently quite popular, as there are some features that are pretty useful.

Since it was not too expensive, I decided to get one to try it out myself, to see what the fuss is all about. Let's take a look!

One of the many advertisements that can be found online

Here is the actual size, when next to a road bike wheel.

Default pump head is shown on the right, for Schrader valves. A Presta valve adapter is included as shown on the left.

Parts of the pump and the purpose. There is a nice digital display, with easy to use controls.

Charging port is located at the bottom, with an indicator light.

Preset modes for setting air pressure, although it can also be adjusted manually as desired.

The air pressure range is between 3 to 150 PSI, which is a huge range! I think the motor would have to work very hard to achieve a pressure of 150 PSI. Otherwise, the pressure range is definitely enough for high pressure road bike tires. As for the rate of pumping, I have to try it out to see how long it takes. The concern is that the air volume of the pump may be small, and take a long time to pump up large volume tires.

Once the hose is plugged out, the unit is turned on automatically. There is a white LED light on top which can be activated, useful for low light conditions.

Testing it out on my gravel wheelset, with 45 PSI. Press the + or - buttons to adjust the preset air pressure, and the right side button to change the measurement unit. The centre button starts the pumping!

Unit weighs 434 grams, which is pretty OK considering how useful it can be. But not so portable to carry as a spare while riding a bike.

Being a digital pump, the desired air pressure can be preset, so that the pump will turn off automatically once the pressure is reached. This is the most useful feature, along with the automatic pumping. There is no need to use arm power to work the floor pump, while also ensuring an accurate tire pressure. Basically just connect the pump head, set the pressure, and press start!

However, once I turned it on, I knew that I would not be using this to pump bicycle tires at home. It is far too loud! Although the unit is quite small, the internal pump makes a lot of noise, which is very loud when used in an enclosed area. It would have been a nice automatic pump, but I find the noise unbearable. I would rather use my quiet old-school manual floor pump for my bicycle tires.

I find that it is much more useful when used to pump up the car tires. Being outdoors at the car park, the noise is more bearable. Previously, I used a 12 volt air pump to pump up the car tires at the car park, but I had to start the car, so that I can run the air pump off the car's electricity. This is not ideal as I am using the large car engine to power the small air pump for the car tires.

This portable Xiaomi pump does the job well, as I don't need to start the car engine in order to pump the car tires. It is able to pump up the large volume car tires, which are relatively low pressure. The battery power is also sufficient to pump up all 4 of the car tires with no issue. After that, I just bring home the portable pump for a quick charge, and leave it in the car for the next time.

In summary, the Xiaomi Portable Air Pump looks good and works well, at a reasonable price too. The deal breaker for me is the loud noise it generates, which makes it unsuitable for use indoors. Works great as a car tire pump though.

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