EB14: Birzman Reinvents the Pump Head (Again) with the new Snap-It Apogee
Birzman first gained a lot of attention when they introduced their Snap-It pump head at a time when many screw on heads were causing presta valves to blow their tops. While the Snap-It was certainly good, it wasn’t perfect as we found with certain valve styles. Looking to remedy that situation, Birzman has introduced the latest version of the Snap-It, the Apogee. Not only does the new head make it even easier to inflate presta valves, it also requires less work to inflate schrader valves in what looks like a winning combination for pumps.
Snap into the details next…
Much like the original, the Snap-It Apogee is all about quick connection to the valve. Simply press onto the presta valve pushing the gold collar down, and give it a quarter turn or so. Since the pump head’s jaws are now above the sealing o-ring, the connection to the valve is more firm allowing for the Apogee to connect to many of the vavle styles we found the original to struggle with.
Also, for schrader vavles, there is no need to change anything out on the pump head. Just press onto the vavle and twist into place. Available in either straight or 90 degree pump heads, each Apogee includes a pressure bleed valve as well.
All of Birzman’s pumps including the Tiny Tanker we just reviewed have been updated with the new valve.
New pumps like the Mahaa-Apogee V and Mahaa-Apogee V MTB will include the new head as well. At just $45 and $50 respectively, the new Mahaa-Apogee V pumps represent Birzman’s most affordable pumps to date which should be a boon to shops carrying their products. Like other pumps in the line, the MTB version uses a drastically oversized barrel which pushes an incredible amount of air. Birzman keeps the price down on the Mahaa Vs with a plastic base and handle, but the pumps still function as well as the higher end offerings.
There are a few new hand pumps as well with the Mini-Apogee and the Swift. Just as it sounds the Mini is a tiny pump at only 80g and works with presta and schader valves up to 120 psi. The Swift is a new budget oriented pump with an extendable hose though it is one of the only pumps that doesn’t have the Apogee head. Instead it uses a thread on chuck that is reversible for presta/schrader. The Switf retails for $28.
On the Co2 inflator side, the Roar and Roar canister offer simple push on inflation in either presta or schrader. Available in 16 or 25g cartridge versions, the Roar includes neoprene sleeves for the cartridges while the Canister uses a CNC aluminum shell to keep your hands from freezing.
For tools, Birzman has a new line of beautifully machined three-way multi-tools in standard allen wrench sizes as well as torx fittings. Sold for $15.59 each, the tools feel good in the hand and should provide another option for fans of the 3-way.
We love clever tools, and the Birzman BB tool certainly qualifies. If you weren’t aware, there are now 3 BB tool standards from Shimano alone. Each requires a different tool – or one Birzman BB tool with adapter ring. The reversible ring simply sits inside the BB tool with clearly marked sides which should make installing bottom brackets a breeze.