Cost: $34.99 MSRP
How obtained: Review sample from company
RBR Sponsor: no
A Great Little Pump
At 110g claimed weight, the SKS Spaero Sport Pump is incredibly lightweight. Compare it to a CO2 inflator adaptor plus a single cartridge, and it’s probably only 30 grams heavier. If you add in another CO2 cartridge — after all, we’ve all been on rides
where we have flatted more than once — this pump weighs less.
In terms of design, the Spaero is very sleek. It’s only around eight inches (20cm) long and has a narrow barrel so it effectively disappears when attached to the bike. The handle locks securely to the barrel, which will keep road grime out and keeps it
from opening even if attached upside down.
One of my favorite features turned out to be the hose, which is cleverly stashed inside the pump. To use, open the dust cover to reveal the neatly hidden hose. Pull the hose, which extends by about five inches, and then screw the inflator head on to the
By using a hose instead of a direct pump connection, you are far less likely to accidentally break off the valve head when inflating — something I’ve done before (leaving me cursing by the side of the road!).
The mounting mechanism to attach the pump to your bike is very secure. The supplied bracket attaches to the bottle cage mounts. The bracket has a stretchy rubber band that wraps around the pump and easily locks into place. Taking the pump off and putting
back on is trivial and takes only a couple of seconds. In short, the overall design is well thought-out and elegant. The build quality seems high and gives the impression that this pump will be with you for a long time to come.
How well does it work?
SKS claims the pump can inflate tires to 115 psi. I tested this claim a few times, deflating my tires and then using the pump to re-inflate them as high as I could before arm fatigue forced me to quit. I then attached my floor pump (with a pressure gauge)
to the tires to test how much air pressure I’d been able to muster.
I consistently measured to 80 psi. Perhaps a stronger rider would be able to get more pressure. (But I cannot imagine what it takes to get to the claimed 115 psi maximum. Time to hit the weights, I guess!) That said, 80 psi is enough to be able to get
back home, to be sure. And also, to be fair, my previous pump (a different brand) was heavier and larger — and yielded less pressure overall.
I personally find using a mini pump to be a lot less fraught than relying on CO2 to inflate a tire. For me, there’s always the worry with C02 that I will fail to attach it correctly and the gas will uselessly leak out, stranding me with a flat tire. Using
the screw-on hose connector inspired confidence that the effort exerted was being used to move air into the tube.
The Bottom Line
This is a great little pump. It has an outstanding design, is very light and looks good on the bike in an understated way. It is definitely a mini-pump in terms of size, weight and pressure capability. However, it will certainly do the job and get you
home. SKS seems to have a winner here.
Paul Smith regularly reviews products for RBR. He’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in thePiedmont area of North Carolina. He commutes often, and his car is worth less than any of his bikes. Click to read Paul’s full bio.
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