Track pumps aren't the sexiest bike product around – not surprising given that they perform the mundane but ultimately vital task of transferring air from the atmosphere into your tyre or tube – so it takes something different to pique our interest.
Specialized has managed that with its Air Tool Compak. When we first saw it we didn’t really get the point of a track pump with a snooker cue-like carry pack, but with foreign flights and small cars, it quickly starts to make some sense. The easily foldable track pump fits snugly into a carry case that can be slung into a bike bag without having to worry that your pump is going to arrive at your destination looking like it’s just done 12 rounds with a hammer and chisel.
On to functionality – the pump does as pumps should do; it inflates tyres with ease. 65 light pumps got our 29x2.2in tyre up to 30psi. The removable handle keys into the main barrel in storage, and holds tyre levers and patches in its ends. The long hose has a built-in pressure gauge, which extends as pressure is added. The pressure gauge goes up to 200psi, so the scale is a bit too long for accurate mountain bike tyre pumping but it’ll give you an idea.
Fold out feet add stability, but unsurprisingly solid feet do a better job. The pump head is a screw on affair, which we have a love-hate relationship with. It’s secure but can take out loose valve cores if you’re not careful. Then there’s the price – not cheap for a track pump.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.