Trailside Review: Topeak RaceRocket Mini Pump
Topeak’s RaceRocket mini pump has been in my pack for about seven months now and has come in handy on several occasions. The main feature that sets it apart from similarly sized pocket inflators is the extending flexible hose. If you’ve ever broken a Presta valve nozzle off thanks to some vigorous mid-race inflation, the benefits are obvious. If not, I’ll tell you right now that having a bit o wiggle room to move your arms and hand while pumping up your tire on the trail not only saves energy, it may save your valve stem and keep you riding for the day. But does it work? Make the jump or the rest of the review…
UPDATE: I originally called this one the HP model, which is incorrect. The HP model goes to 160psi, this is the normal RaceRocket and goes to 120psi…still more than enough, but the HP is more suited for road bikes. There’s also a 90psi max MT with a fatter barrel. Otherwise, all pumps share the same features except the MT and HP have a textured rubber grip and this one has a smooth rubber grip.
The RaceRocket is small enough to fit in a normal jersey pocket for road riding and easily fits in most lower front pockets on any hydration pack. Actual length us 7.1″ or 18cm. Claimed weight is 85g.
The grip end is rubberized so your hand won’t slip, and even with some fast pumping the alloy body and shaft didn’t get too hot. It claims to handle up to
160psi 120psi, but I’ve only tested it on mountain bike pressures. On those, it fills up the tire reasonably quickly and easily and still pumps without too much resistance near the end (but that’s only at about 35psi).
It comes with a water bottle boss mounted side clip to hold it near your bottle, too.
I’ll update this post with pricing when I get back in the office because, as the title suggests, I’ve written this during a quick break to pump up my tire on the trail. Seriously, MSRP is nowhere to be found but street price is around $36.
The only issue I’ve had with it is a bit of air escaping around the valve when pumping, which Topeak’s rep Eddie O’Dea said has been fixed in the latest version. Other than that, it’s been a great little pump that hasn’t developed any play in the shaft during testing. UPDATE: The amount of air that leaks out around the edge is no more than what tends to leak from the valve on fully rigid mini-pumps as you’re manhandling them to inflate the tire, so I consider it a non-issue. No air leakage would be ideal, but in this case the loss is minimal and doesn’t seem to noticeably affect the rate of inflation.