Bicycle and Gear Reviews

Review: Crank Brothers Power Pump Ultra

2 Comments 20 August 2010

The Crank Brothers Power Pump Ultra is only 175mm long and weighs a 120 grams

The pump is one of the tools for your bicycle that is like salt, when a food is seasoned well, you like the food, but if it is missing salt – you notice it very clearly. There are several types of pumps, but they all pretty much have the same functionality: A handle that pumps the piston that pressurizes the air within and pushes it through the valve into the tyre or a tube inside the tyre.

The best usually available mechanical pump is the floor pump, but those are large enough to keep at home or at the office – but when you have a flat, you very rarely are at home. That’s why it there have been portable pumps available right after they introduced air-filled tyres in bicycles.

Most of you have experience with those pumps and most of you would say that they are not very good. You work your derriere off and you’re still halfway through your goal. Luckily, science is here to help us and today there are many good and very small pumps available that pack a lot more punch that they would let you believe.

Pump like a butterfly, fill like a bee.

The new scientific breakthrough in these small pumps is the number of pistons. In the traditional pump you have a long cylinder and a single piston, which means if you decrease the size of the cylinder, you lose the power at the same ratio. What some smart engineer did was adding a second air cylinder and another piston, making it a beast in filling your tyres.

Crank Brothers (they also built my multitool we looked at earlier) has four models of pumps in their product portfolio, and the Power Pump Ultra is the second-highest option available. The pump comes with a lifetime warranty and has a beautiful alloy body (in black or silver) that feels sturdy, but is very light at the same time weighing down only at 120 grams. It is also tiny in size being 175mm long and about an inch wide. The highest model, the Power Pump Pro is very similar to the Ultra, but it has a pressure gauge added to it.

While it should be quite obvious that the pump is tiny, but you can pump your tyres up to 115 PSI or 8 bar, which is more than enough to get you riding full or riding your air-powered spaceship to a floor pump or a compressor. Because of the dual pistons, the pump is also very quick to use.

Our verdict: ★★★★★

The Power Pump Ultra from Crank Brothers might cost 25 euros, which is expensive for a pump – but it comes with a lifetime warranty, a sturdy body and amazing performance. I’d pay more (and I did, to support my LBS).

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Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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