Like spare tubes and patch kits, bicycle hand pumps are tools most often reserved for emergency use (i.e., you got a flat tire and now you need to fix it). Although you may only need to use such a tool a handful of times out of the year (or more, if you ride with friends who habitually forget to bring their own) a quality pump is a worthy investment. What constitutes a quality bike pump, and does the SKS Supershort measure up?
The pump was evaluated against three factors (size/weight, design, and effectiveness), and in all categories this German-made product meets or beats its competitors.
SKS Supershort Mini Pump Review
The compact nature of the Supershort is above all the best feature of this product. Coming in at just over six inches in length, it easily fits in any jersey pocket. While descending on the mountain bike, at no point did it feel like the pump might fall out. Additionally, the included bottle cage mount allows easy attachment to most frames. Another benefit of the Supershort is its weight. At 106 grams, it’s easy to forget you are carrying it, until you need it.
Hand Held Bike Pump Design
Like many German-engineered products, the Supershort has a sleek and streamlined look to it. The absence of air hoses and awkward valve heads, means the pump does not snag on clothing. Additionally, the telescope design helps to increase the max pressure capacity. However, one of the few flaws is the detachable T-grip handle, which comes unattached too easily while inflating. While this isn’t a critical issue, it was a slight annoyance.
Despite its size, the Supershort is fully capable of inflating road and mountain bike tires to a high PSI. While the advertised maximum output is 87 PSI, I found the pump could reach 65 PSI on road tires before it became a struggle. Inflating to this level of PSI took around four to five minutes, but this may vary depending on how many breaks you take.
On mountain bike tires, the pump was not capable of inflating tubeless setups (although not many handheld pumps are able to do this). The valve head can adjust to Presta or Schrader tubes, and it was easy to achieve a good seal for both (even when reaching max pressure).
The SKS Supershort Mini Pump ($24.95) is not intended to replace your floor pump; however, the size and weight make it an attractive option when you hit the road or trails.