German manufacturer SKS – the Karl Scheffer-Klute Group – are the number one pump manufacturer in Europe and produce all their products in Germany. This week we were hands-on with some of their key 2012 products.
The plastic injection company also make fenders, tools and bags. Outside of the bicycle industry SKS do contract work, making plastic parts for BMW. The brand averages a 50,000 daily pump production capacity in Germany and sold 7.8 million mini pumps in 2011.
SKS showed three new pumps at their latest event – two mini and one shop pump, as well as highlights from their fender line.
New pumps: Aeron, Spaero and Airkompressor 12.0
The SKS Airkompressor
SKS Aeron (US$24.99) sports an aluminum housing, piston and handle. The 157g pump has a conventional lever lock for valve stems and fits both Schrader and Presta by way of a flip-flop of the internal components.
The new Spaero is available in both aluminum (US$39.99) and plastic (US$34.99) versions, which weigh 160g/134g respectively. The unique design feature with this pump is its hidden, extendable hose, which gives less chance of bending or breaking a valve stem and allows you to pump against the ground as you would with a mini floor pump.
Both of the above pumps are ‘high volume’ mini pumps for mountain bike use and are rated to 73psi. Each comes with a frame mount as well.
The Airkompressor 12.0 (US$44.99) builds off the success of the Rennkompressor (US$59.99), SKS’ oldest and most popular floor pump. The new Airkompressor 12.0 features a 730mm steel barrel and extra large guage. SKS rate it to a maximum pumping pressure of 174psi.
SKS fender highlights: Raceblade Long, Longboard
The new 35mm-wide model also sports a rubber flap that extends to almost touch the ground
In addition to pumps, SKS are known for their injection-molded plastic fenders. One of their unique designs is the Raceblade, which mounts to a racing frame without fender bosses.
Starting with the Raceblade concept, SKS have developed the Raceblade Long (US$59.99), which are, as the name states, longer to provide more coverage. Because longer fenders need more support, SKS have devised a unique quick-release system. The fender mounts with clips that fit behind the brake caliper, using its fixing bolt, and at the dropouts, using the quick-release skewer. SKS will offer the Raceblade Long in 35mm and 45mm widths.
New last year, SKS’ Longboard (US$49.99) is one of the brand’s pinnacle fenders for bike commuters. New for 2012, the fenders become available in their original 45mm width and a new 35mm width for tires ranging from 20mm to 28mm.
The Longboard fenders sport almost ground-touching coverage that promises to keep feet free from tire spray. It’s meant for commuters in wet regions and was developed as an answer for riders adding plastic water bottles to their existing fenders to gain coverage. Grant Petersen, of Rivendell Bicycles, helped design them.