Hi guys, I know everyone is long waiting for this (including myself), see the real numbers and facts concerning the Ipump
micro. Recently talking to some of the cyclists in my area I heard one of the guys just got an Ipump
so I was immediately after this guy to see if he could do some quick tests or even better, lend me his Ipump
even for few hours so I could do a short review for all of us.
Finally I met the guy and he was very kind to lend me his Ipump
today and for a week! so I can do all tests I want without damaging of course otherwise I have to pay him a new one.
Apart from the jokes and trash talks around here I really wanted to do some real life tests and write my transparent opinion, a simple but unbiased review.
For the test and comparison purposes I have used 3 other pumps:
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS (Quoted in some of my previous posts)
2. Barbieri Nana
3. Lezyne Road Drive
For the tests I had: one tire 700x23c Schwalbe Lugano, 4 pumps, one Zefal pressure gauge and one digital scale. (room temperature 27 Celcius, at sea level and 53% humidity)
The tire tested was a clincher type and was dead flat for the pumping test same as if you replace a new tube and fill it from zero…
I will not comment on filling time because this may vary according to your pumping speed and effort needed, but rather strokes = PSI reached and even more importantly I found after doing the tests was not only the number of strokes but the effort taken to reach the given PSI so I will classify the PSI reached followed by the effort in bracket such as (EASY= little or no effort to pump; MEDIUM= Some effort but still a kid can do it; HARD= A kid would give up and an adult would sweat trying it; VERY HARD= almost reaching the physical limit of the pump, extreme effort for each stroke) here we go...:
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 25USD
2. Barbieri Nana = 35USD
3. Lezyne Road Drive = 40USD
Micro = 96USD (according to the owner)
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 127mm
2. Barbieri Nana = 140mm
3. Lezyne Road Drive = 239mm
Micro = 138mm
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 52.5g
2. Barbieri Nana = 29.9g
3. Lezyne Road Drive = 113.6g
Micro = 23.5g
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 34 PSI (EASY)
2. Barbieri Nana = 42 PSI (EASY)
3. Lezyne Road Drive = 103 PSI (EASY 0 to 100; MEDIUM 100 to 150 and HARD 150 to 200 strokes)
Micro = 62 (MEDIUM 0 to 60; HARD 60 to 100; VERY HARD from 150 to 200 strokes)
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 46 PSI (EASY)
2. Barbieri Nana = 60 PSI (MEDIUM)
3. Lezyne Road Drive = N/A
Micro = 86 PSI (VERY HARD 250 to 300) Extremely difficult to hold and nearly impossible to exceed 86 PSI by hand
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 59 PSI (EASY)
2. Barbieri Nana = 75 PSI (HARD)
3. Lezyne Road Drive = N/A
Micro = Impossible
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 72 PSI (MEDIUM)
2. Barbieri Nana = 89 (VERY HARD) Very difficult to hold the pump and probably few strokes more
3. Lezyne Road Drive = N/A
Micro = Impossible
In terms of construction the Lezyne Road drive is far the best but it is not really a micro pump so I decided to use it for reference but not really as a contender here, followed by the Taiwan made which is double of the weight of an Ipump
but looks very solid alloy made. The Barbieri Nana looks well finished and is more solid than the Ipump
with almost same weight but was the only one tested without the hose.
Firstly as I expected the Ipump
is heavier than advertised, 23.4g on this unit. It looks nice but feels like a disposable pump not being picky here seriously (not saying it is disposable but looks very fragile), as the Ipump
was not mine I was really afraid of pumping fast, feels like it will break. The Ipump
white print on the carbon body is very cheap made, you can remove with you finger, just rubbing not even need a nail. I know because I managed to get some ink peeling off just when I was pumping.
The hose on the Ipump
is convenient and makes life easier compared to the Barbieri NANA (Nana is hard to hold properly when you are reaching high pressures, although it does not leak air due to the good design of the valve connection) but you must be very careful with the yellow polyurethane pipe on the Ipump
because it is easy to fold when pumping and then… not sure if you can replace that, it is a very fragile pipe and I assume you can break it if folding more than once in the same spot (like a thin tecalon pipe) but it does make the micro Ipump
easier to use (only in the first strokes..... continue to read). Can’t compare with the Taiwan pump though which uses a very strong and high quality rubber hose which you don’t need to worry about twisting or folding it.
In fact I must say the Ipump
pumps a nice amount of air given its small size but one thing I could not bear was the extreme amount of effort you do to reach anything above 60 PSI, really unbelievable, the 2-o-ring conical tip design is not enough to hold the pump when you need to pump hard, so you have to grasp the tip really hard (not for kids or women) if you have your hands sweat believe me you will barely push 70 PSI into your tire and trying to pump this hard and not folding the hose at the same time is a real challenge. The ipump
was the only pump I found really impossible to go over 300 strokes, from 270 to 300 strokes I had to concentrate, put a lot of energy and do it very slowly to be able to finish, totally impractical for a street/emergency situation (I got a strong headache afterward not kidding...)
Looking from a different perspective I have also noted the following data below taking all my notes into consideration so for reaching a pressure of 80PSI (minimum enough to move safely), the pumps would be as follows (PUMP - PSI - STROKES - EFFORT):
1. Taiwan pump Max DNA Cyclone RBS = 80 PSI = 570 strokes (MEDIUM)
2. Barbieri Nana = 80 PSI = 428 Strokes (HARD)
3. Lezyne Road Drive = 80 PSI = 162 Strokes (MEDIUM)
Micro = 80 PSI = 275 Strokes (VERY HARD)
Finally I was initially impressed with the low number of strokes on the Ipump
but very disappointed that it is extremely hard to fill a tire with that minimum acceptable pressure so I rather pump 428 easier strokes on the NANA than 275 on the Ipump
(Very very hard)... in terms of time they can easily end up taking same time due to the effort and difficulty to hold the Ipump
. Maybe you are thinking ok ok 153 more strokes are way too much but you must seriously consider the final 100 strokes to reach 80 PSI on the Ipump
which are incredibly hard (I asked my wife to help me with the effort test and the only pumps she was not able to move one stroke further were the Barbieri NANA after 450 Strokes (82 PSI) and the Ipump
after 220 Strokes (69 PSI) so she could do with a NANA for emergency but not with the Ipump
just for reference. Funny enough the only pumps I could reach 100+ PSI were the Lezyne and the Taiwan made as the other ones are practically impossible using bear hands (I mean bare hands) unless you are a real monster.
If the design of the holding tip was different on the Ipump
it would be much better but not only that would be enough because the effort needed is still huge to push the air into the tire. Having this is mind the flexible hose is not an advantage as advertised but a must since you can barely hold the pump itself when pumping hard, even with the hose already attached to the valve.
And IMHO the Barbieri NANA is still the best choice due to price/size/weight/functionality combination although some may disagree.
I still have the pump with me for few days so feel free to ask and request some specific test so I can try my best to compare those pumps but I hope to have clarified some doubts