EB14: Birzman Reinvents the Pump Head (Again) with the new Snap-It Apogee

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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…

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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.

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All of Birzman’s pumps including the Tiny Tanker we just reviewed have been updated with the new valve.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

birzman.com

 

Comments

Slow Joe Crow - 09/02/14 - 1:47pm

That BB tool looks like a slick solution for home use or travel where you want as few tools as possible. That said, the proliferation of “standards” and tools is a real PITA compared to 3 or 4 years ago when it was either external BB or cartridge BB and you only needed two tools for almost anything.

Ajax - 09/02/14 - 2:06pm

Lezyne doesn’t own the patent to shiny aluminum pumps. Birzman is no Lezyne. Their pump heads are distinctly different from Lezyne. The problem with the Lezyne, and to some extent, the Topeak mini pump heads are that they screw on the valve. That design creates problems with the valve core coming off of the tube itself. The Birzman pump head acts more like a quick release. I’ve actually had a chance to try these out myself and they work very well.

parkcyc - 09/02/14 - 2:50pm

Not sure why my comments were deleted(eh hmm CENSORSHIP!!!) But i never said Lezyne owned the patents on shiny stuff. But if you look at the Alloy Drive CO2 I own, and compare it to the ones above, they look pretty similar. I would almost say IDENTICAL!

As for the valve core issue, never had one happen. Thats the whole point of the button on the side of the threaded chuck! I use mine on road and mountain bikes and I run tubeless and tubulars. So they have removeable valve cores. Never had one come out. And my pump is used by all my buddies before rides. Never had one of theirs come out either.

I would usually call that “operator error”.

Personally, never tried the Birzman stuff. I have bought many a LEzyne item over the last 3 yrs and have had no issues. So don’t need to switch.

groghunter - 09/02/14 - 3:12pm

Been using a Specialized pump since 2002 or so. switch hitter chuck works great, lifetime warranty has saved me from buying a new pump at least once. Can’t imagine buying anything else, especially something with a screw on chuck(which this isn’t, but the last lezyne I used was.)

ObligatedToSay - 09/02/14 - 3:25pm

I’ve owned a birzman floor pump with the first gen Snap-It for around a year now. I’ve had issues getting a good seal, especially on short stems (35 mm on Stans Alpha 340 rims). It’s not been something you can adjust while the Snap-It head is on the valve stem – had to remove and re-seat entirely. I didn’t know anything about twisting the nozzle – nothing was mentioned in the documentation that came with the pump.

I’m happy with it. It’s less work than a threaded setup, and the apogee setup might make it even easier to get a better seal (both for positioning and hands).

ez - 09/02/14 - 4:07pm

I’d echo the problems with Lezyne. I’ve had it pull out a few cores (I put 12000 miles in for training/racing alone last year: which is just to say that I use a floor pump at least once a day). My alloy drive also started to leak pretty badly and the screw on chuck head quit rotating (now the tube turns with it). I made several attempts to reach Lezyne about it to the tune of crickets. I have a Spec MTB pump that’s flawless (except the gauge stops at 70). I’d like these Birzman units to have the looks of Lezyne with better quality. (FWIW, I’ve had some other Lezyne products go belly up: a light, a multi tool that broke, etc. I like their design, not the logo, but am disappointed in the quality/engineering).

groghunter - 09/02/14 - 4:54pm

FWIW, not every Spec pump is that low on the gauge: I don’t remember where mine stops, but I know I’ve at least used it to 110PSI in road tires.

David - 09/02/14 - 6:40pm

I like that the Mahaa-Apogee pushes a lot of air. [And since everyone else is comparing it to Lezyne] It may just replace a Lezyne pump that has been problematic since day one, in particular the gauge and the hose-to-head coupling [Tuesday Tech Tip: putting a drop of oil inside the Lezyne screw on head once every few months should prevent it from unscrewing Presta valve cores]. Most of the Lezyne product I’ve purchased have been stellar [mini pumps and tools], but the floor pump is relegated to third string behind a Joe Blow Pro and a rusty Blackburn Double-something from the 90s.

Sam - 09/02/14 - 8:16pm

“should provide another option for fans of the 3-way”
Oh, I am definitely a fan of the 3-way

emily - 09/02/14 - 11:30pm

Hmm, thinking that the plastic $25 dollar trek floor pump with quick clamp on head that I bought ten years ago and haven’t had an issue with yet is seeming more and more irreplaceable. Well, I do have to say that I broke it down to clean and lube for the first time last week…

bikeman - 09/03/14 - 12:36am

I have been using a Lezyne floor pump for a couple of years now on three road bikes and never had the cores come off. I always press the pressure release button the threaded chuck before unscrewing. I also tightened the cores gently with pliers to make sure they won’t come unscrewed easily. If you don’t like the screw on chuck, the Lezynes also come with a press-on adapter that screws into the threaded chuck. But, I prefer the screw on chuck because it is such a joy to use compared to press on designs.

RodyRider - 09/03/14 - 10:55am

I’ve check out both products and chose the Lezyne because of the feel of the materials and the thread on chuck. Birzman pumps feel flimsy and unstable All the whiners about valve cores are people not properly checking all the parts of the bike. Check your valve cores just as you would check all your other bolts on the bike. All the parts on the Lezyne are replaceable I was able to call them and get a new thread on chuck and connector free. I’m sticking with the original shiny pumps.

parkcyc - 09/04/14 - 11:28am

I personally love the threaded chuck. I don’t have to worry about ripping valves off the tubes, bending valve cores or if I have a buddy who has short valves sticking out of deep rims, he can actually get a chuck on the tube and pump up his tires. I like my Lezyne CNC Floor pump. Like the looks, like the action, have had no issues with warranty as I’ve never had one. I have a floor pump, co2 inflators, bags, cages, bunch of stuff. No issues with any of them.

PalmerCycling-RacerX - 09/19/14 - 12:43am

I’m wondering if the Snap-it head will screw into the Lezyne head? Are these 2 parts compatible? If so, that would be a win-win! All my wheels are deep and I use valve extenders and long stem tubes… whatever is available. Having this green Snap-it on my pink (I swear I ordered a red one) Lezyne pump with the gold screw-on head will make this both the most expensive pump I’ve ever owned and one that I would be proud to walk around with during Mardi Gras. Thanks for your response and Who Dat!

Jay - 10/01/14 - 4:34pm

Can I be get the apgoee head for my maha III?

alan - 12/04/14 - 8:22pm

Can you use the Apogee pump as a bong?
Good times…

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