There are two things that stand out about the Birzman Grand Maha Push & Twist III floor pump – its height, and their ingenious valve head that literally takes seconds to attach and remove. Quick background: First, I’m 6’2″, so most floor pumps have me hunching over to use them. Second, Birzman’s preceding Snap-It and Apogee pump heads were brilliant, too, but they recently introduced the Push & Twist version that is, mostly, an upgrade.
Here’s how Apogee worked: You simply push the valve head on, give it one single quick twist, and it’s locked into place. This in itself was an upgrade from their original Snap-It valve, which was also really good, which goes to show they’re not afraid to keep improving something that by most counts was already better than anything else out there.
The downsides to Snap-It were that it wouldn’t grab some Presta valves tight enough, and it didn’t really work with Schrader at all. Apogee fixed that by introducing the twist-to-tighten solution for Presta, which made it work with most any valve stem, and adding the ability for it to simply thread onto Schrader valves. Now, with Push & Twist, it simply snaps onto both Presta and Schrader valves with zero adjustments. Snap it on, give it a single twist, and it’s locked on and ready to inflate. It literally takes 1-2 seconds…usually. Keep reading. But mostly. And I love it.
I found that the new Push & Twist design has a little more wiggle room inside, probably necessary to make it work on both types of valves. This means it takes a little more practice to get it on Presta valves without mashing down the top and losing a good bit of air. Which sometimes adds an extra second or two. Not such a big deal on floor pumps, but could be very frustrating on a hand pump because that’s a lot more work.
The only other issue is that, compared to Apogee heads, the new Push & Twist seems to need a few extra millimeters of valve stem length to create a secure attachment. On a couple of bikes with minimal (say, 3/4″ or about 19mm) valve stem protruding, I couldn’t get the Push & Twist head to connect. But, on longer stems (one inch or more)
The good news? They still offer most every pump with the Apogee head, too, so if you’re really only inflating through Presta, or you keep your valve stem length under an inch, that one might make more sense. Either one will change your life for the better.
There’s also a bleed button to make adjustments quick and easy should you over-inflate your tire.
ABOUT THE PUMP
Now, about the Grand Maha. The Maha family of floor pumps has both road and mountain bike versions, with air volume being the main differentiators. For Road, there are five versions, plus two “Grand” versions that are taller. Naming hierarchy uses Roman numerals in descending order as quality gets higher…So the Maha V is the base level road pump with a composite handle and base. Move on up to Maha II on the road side and you get full CNC’d aluminum construction. In the middle, skewing higher end, is the Maha III, which has a CNC’d base and shaft complemented by this hardwood handle. Having broken several plastic handles (from other brands, I haven’t tested a Birzman with plastic handle) over the years, I generally try to avoid them on floor pumps.
The Maha III and better also get a 5º angle, making the pumping motion a little more natural and ergonomic.
The Grand Maha carries the same features but gets taller, stretching the cylinder to 744mm (29.3″). For me, this means almost no hunching over. And a longer stroke means more air per pump, so things get done quickly. The hose is equally long. Or, doubly long, I should say, measuring a healthy 1,194mm (47″).
Their Road floor pumps max out at 220psi (15bar). The MTB versions at 120psi (8.3bar), and the Fatty version for fat bikes at 25psi (1.7bar). Personally, I’d like to see one that maxes out at 60psi for MTB and cyclocross, making that 20-40psi sweet spot more accurate. And for the same reasons maybe a road version that capped out at 150psi, which admittedly would ignore the track bike market, but get a highly accurate reading from 80-100psi.
I’ve had the Grand Maha Push & Twist III for only about a month, so I can’t speak to this particular unit’s long term durability. But I’ve been using two other Birzman floor pumps for years with zero issues, so I’m confident in recommending them. Come for the snap-on valve heads, stay for everything else.
NUTSHELL: HERE’S WHY YOU WANT THIS:
- Ultra fast, secure connection and even quicker release
- Air bleed valve lets you fine tune tire pressure
- Ergonomic 5º bend and extra tall design means less hunching over
- Extra long hose reaches tires even when the bike is in the workstand
- Quality construction and good looks
And it all comes in for a street price of $85, which is very competitive for a fully CNC’d pump with real wood handle. Available in the U.S. through bike shops via QBP.