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Birzman's Maha Push and Twist II Floor pump is a really high quality unit, and the new head is simple to use and effective for both Presta and Schrader valves. It's expensive, but a very nice thing and definitely worth a look if you're after a good-looking pump with performance to match.
We've reviewed some of Birzman's track pumps in the past, with the Zacoo Maha II the most recent. Those pumps had Birzman's Snap-It head, which allowed you to simply push the head onto a Presta valve for a good connection. The downside was that you had to unscrew the Snap-It bit to do Schrader valves, and then it fell off the garden bench and ended up in that hole in the patio. Okay, that was just me. But it was a bit of a pain.
The new head is called Push and Twist. You'll never guess how it works. Go on, guess. No? Here's a handy video to explain...
Most of the rest of the pump construction is similar to the previous incarnations. It's a tall pump and made entirely of alloy, and it's very nicely designed and feels extremely solid in use with very little wobble at the handle even when fully extended. The barrel is slightly angled towards you when you're pumping, which you don't notice is a nicer position until you go back to a pump that's vertical.
The long hose (it's well over a metre long) means you seldom have to move a wheel to make it reach the valve, and fitting the head to the valve is simple and effective. A push and a twist is generally all it takes, although for some valves (for example the one on top of my Airshot tyre booster) you need to screw it on a bit more than that. It's a very simple head to use and it gives an airtight connection first time nearly every time. There's certainly a knack to it, but it's probably one of the best I've tried once you get the hang of it.
In terms of capacity the Maha put 100psi into a 23mm tyre in 26 strokes, which is pretty good. It's designed for high pressures; up to 220psi is allegedly possible but the most I needed was 160psi for the aforementioned Airshot, and that was no bother at all, with the aluminium handle staying comfortable even at higher pressures and the tripod base remaining stable.
If you go over the pressure you want there's a release valve on the head, and the gauge is easy to read even though it's not the biggest. The barrel is fairly narrow to enable those high pressures, so filling up a big chamber mountain bike tyre takes a while, but it's not any bother.
If you want a pump that'll pump up your tyres easily and last for a long time then there are lots of track pumps on the market that'll fulfil those criteria and cost you a lot less than the £74.99 Birzman is asking for this one. The Lezyne Sport Floor Drive will pump your tyres up without any fuss for £45, as will the Blackburn Piston 3, now £49.99.
Most of them aren't as well made as this one, though, and hardly any of them look as nice. If longevity and good looks are important to you in your track pump then this should be on your list. Performance is excellent too.
Very nicely made track pump that has the performance to match its looks
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Birzman Maha Push and Twist II Floor pump
Size tested: Silver
Tell us what the product is for
- Insert, PUSH the collar down and TWIST it by one turn to secure engagement.
- Simply pull back the collar to disengage.
- Ergonomically designed 5° tilted barrel.
- Pressure bleed button ( CAD ) for ultimate accuracy.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Push & Twist (Presta / Schrader)
CNC machined aluminium
CNC machined aluminium
CNC machined aluminium
220 psi / 15 bar
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very good performance, the new head is an improvement.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
New head is good, construction is high quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I think I'd struggle to justify the price tag.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they liked shiny things.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a very good pump. It's expensive, but if you like well-made things that look good and perform too, you'd enjoy this one.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.