The new SKS Spaero Sport Alu is a solid mini pump that works efficiently to get a decent amount of pressure into your tyres.
I've had it with lightweight plastic mini pumps that mount directly onto the valve. Yes, they weigh nothing and they take up very little space in your pocket but most of them don't actually work very well.
This pump from SKS is 21cm long and it weighs 111g, which is a little heavier than some, but the crucial thing is that it does the job.
Flip the plastic end cap up and a flexible hose comes out of the handle – yes, a hose, like out of the olden days, that reaches 13cm. The valve connector screws into place on Presta and Dunlop valves but not onto Schrader (car-type). It's a long thread and a firm seal so no air leaks out – none at all – so all of your effort goes into inflating the tube rather than getting wasted.
The pump is a solid piece of work, the handle, barrel and piston all being made from aluminium. In use, nothing flexes; you don't have to pump gingerly in order to avoid snapping anything.
Each stroke is 14cm which isn't massive, but I got a useable 80psi into a 700 x 23 tyre in 250 strokes. SKS reckon the maximum pressure the Spaero can deliver is 115psi. I actually measured it at 120psi but that did take an age. I'd lost enthusiasm long before that.
The handle locks down when it's not in use and you get a quick and easy-to-use holder that attaches to your water bottle mounts if you want to store the pump on your bike rather than carrying it in a rear pocket.
Solid performance from a mini-pump with a hose that screws on to Presta valves.
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Make and model: SKS Spaero Sport Alu Pump
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
SKS say, "Classy design combined with sophisticated technology and high pressure power distinguish the SPAERO SPORT minipump. Under the dust cap there is an extendable hose with a screw-on head that guarantees a tight fit to [Presta and Dunlop] valves."
I really like the fact that it uses a hose that screws onto the valve. Yes, it adds a few grams, but it works.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
This pump doesn't work with Schrader valves.
It's a little heavier than some mini pumps, but it's certainly not heavy. Anyway, it's worth it for the performance.
It's reasonably comfortable to use. The hose comes out of the handle so you actually pump the body of the pump.
You might be able to buy a mini pump for about a tenner but my issue with many is that they don't work very well and don't tend to last. This one works well and it's sturdy. I can see it lasting for ages.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does its job very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fact that it has an extendable hose that screws on to the valve for zero loss of air.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pumping would be more comfortable if they rounded the ends of the pump body. You apply the force at this end rather than at the handle.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.