Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Flextail Tiny Bike Pump

8
£81.44

VERDICT:

8
10
Simple, effective and very easy to use – for the short time the battery lasts, anyway
Small, light and easy to stow
Simple and effective
Fast recharging
Short runtime
No charge level indication
Weight: 
132g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the road.cc scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump is a very handy little gadget if you're officially too posh to push, but you do need to be aware of its limitations.

​> Buy now: Flextail Tiny Bike Pump for £81.44 from Flextail

Being only a little taller than a Zippo lighter and not much more than twice as thick, this is very easy to stash in a jersey or bag. It's too bulky for trouser pockets though, if you're riding casually. I measured it at 7.5 x 4.5 x 3.2cm, including its silicone cover but ignoring the nozzle.

2024 Flextail Tiny Bike Pump - with case on 1.jpg

It's also pretty light at 132g. The upside is that it's small and light enough that you won't really notice it's there until you need it; the downside is there's no room inside for either a gauge or a particularly big battery.

2024 Flextail Tiny Bike Pump - boxed.jpg

The gauge you can get around to a degree with a bit of experimentation and a stopwatch; in fact, given that you can do nothing about the runtime of the 350mAh battery, timing each use is a good idea anyway. I found it would only get two pretty average-sized road bike tyres to rideable pressures before dying.

2023 Flextail Tiny Bike Pump - 1

With a full charge it can take a 28mm tyre (on a 21mm internal-width rim) to 70psi in 90 seconds, which accords pretty well with Flextail's claims. The company says it will reach 80psi in that time, but that's with a 25mm tyre (and an unspecified rim width, a detail which also affects air volume).

2024 Flextail Tiny Bike Pump - with case on 3 - USB port.jpg

It's a fairly loud pump, and slows gradually but noticeably until the 30 second mark, when it seems to settle down to a pretty steady churn.

Moving to a second tyre with just a couple of minutes cooling time – this gets warm but, with the silicone sleeve, never close to excessively hot – you'll notice it's already lost a little oomph. Second time around it takes more like 45 seconds to halt the RPM decline and settle into a steady rhythm, and after 90 seconds it's 3-4psi short of its first effort.

Putting the pump back on the same tyre only got me another 40 seconds before it died completely, and a final pressure of 75psi. That's a total of 220 seconds of pumping; half a minute short of the claimed total, leaving you with a maximum of 1m 50s of air per tyre. If you're using this on bigger tyres with lower pressures, though, you may get more.

Still, it's an emergency pump, and it'll take two tyres to a very rideable pressure in short order and with zero effort. That seems perfectly reasonable, especially as it only takes a claimed 25 minutes (actually 27 by my watch) to recharge. It's not catastrophically heavier than a typical manual pump either; the Topeak Roadie 2Stage, for instance, is 102g.

Flextail says this can go to 100psi, but if you're trying that it's going to take some time, and that'll be the only tyre you'll do before it gives out.

How to choose the best bike tyre pressure – balancing speed, comfort and grip

Switching this on requires a long press, and results in a musical chime, so it's unlikely to activate accidentally in a bag or without you noticing. There's an LED in the button for information, but it's not that useful; it turns green when it reaches 100% charged, but outside of charging it's always red. Even if you turn it on when it's fully charged. There's no battery level indication of any kind. Then again, with such a brief life perhaps it doesn't matter.

2024 Flextail Tiny Bike Pump - with case on 2 - button.jpg

Obviously there's no gauge either, but that's understandable – this would surely be heavier and more expensive if there was.

> Buy now: Flextail Tiny Bike Pump for £81.44 from Flextail

Value

At £81.44 this isn't the cheapest way to blow air into a couple of tyres, but it's close to the Cycplus Cube Mini Pump that we reviewed recently. That's £70.64 and has a smaller-still 300mAh battery, as does the nanoFumpa bike pump at £89.

Alternatively, that Topeak Roadie 2Stage mentioned above is £36.99 and will only stop pumping air if you do, while inflators like the £11.99 Zefal EZ Control CO2 Pump are light, simple, and don't need a plug to 'recharge' – so long as you always carry enough cartridges, of course. And cartridges are an ongoing cost.

You may well prefer the hand-warming effect of the Flextail to the flash-freeze of rushing CO2, mind you...

… or you could check our best bike pumps buyer's guide, which covers pumps and inflators of all sorts.

Overall

This is a good alternative to the very similar tiny pumps mentioned above, and competitively priced. It's really for emergencies only, and has limitations a hand-powered pump just doesn't, but it does just what it's supposed to do really well.

Verdict

Simple, effective and very easy to use – for the short time the battery lasts, anyway

road.cc test report

Make and model: Flextail Tiny Bike 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?

Flextail says: "Weighing just 3.9 oz and measuring 2.7x1.6x1.1 inches, this air pump is incredibly portable. Attach it to your backpack or slide it into your pocket for easy access. With a simple one-button operation, it's ideal for bicycle inflation and quick air refills."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Flextail lists:

Size: 2.7 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches

Weight: 3.9 oz

Battery Capacity: 350mAh

Charging Mode: USB Type-C

Housing Material: Aluminum Alloy

Air Pressure: 100PSI (689 kPa)

Inflation time: 80 Seconds

Running Time: 250 Seconds

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well; it's small and light and will inflate a couple of road tyres without fuss.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It's simple and effective.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Short runtime.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's priced reasonably against similar devices.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is simple, effective and compact, and lasts well enough to pack for short rides instead of a regular pump – short enough where you'd be unlucky to get three punctures, anyway. It's not exactly necessary (or quiet), but recharging is suitably quick and there's no question it takes all the effort out of inflating a tyre. It's very good at the limited job it's designed to do.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

Add new comment

9 comments

Avatar
bluezurich | 1 month ago
1 like

I'd like to add one thing. If you use TPU tubes with a plastic valve stem cover, do not use this style of pump. They will overheat and melt your stem. Some folx have had luck with either slowly adding the air but theat depends on model and pump size. Other companies sell an addon for reducing the heat. I personally won't risk it and use a mini pump or frame pump.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to bluezurich | 1 month ago
0 likes

bluezurich wrote:

I'd like to add one thing. If you use TPU tubes with a plastic valve stem cover, do not use this style of pump. They will overheat and melt your stem. Some folx have had luck with either slowly adding the air but theat depends on model and pump size. Other companies sell an addon for reducing the heat. I personally won't risk it and use a mini pump or frame pump.

An easy workaround is to use a flexy valve hose which would put some distance between the pump and the valve (I much prefer using hand pumps with a little hose as it prevents damage to the valve with enthusiastic pumping).

Something like this:

Avatar
Steve K replied to bluezurich | 1 month ago
0 likes

bluezurich wrote:

I'd like to add one thing. If you use TPU tubes with a plastic valve stem cover, do not use this style of pump. They will overheat and melt your stem. Some folx have had luck with either slowly adding the air but theat depends on model and pump size. Other companies sell an addon for reducing the heat. I personally won't risk it and use a mini pump or frame pump.

Oh - thanks for the warning.  I'm tubeless, but carry a TPU tube as my emergency spare.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
1 like

I'm waiting for my Nitecore EBP10 mini - it's got a guage, but adds a whole 9g:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nitecore/ebp10mini/description

Avatar
super_davo replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I'm waiting for my Nitecore EBP10 mini - it's got a guage, but adds a whole 9g:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nitecore/ebp10mini/description

I am not sure it's a good idea going for a Kickstarter model when AliExpress has loads of existing models you can get in a couple of weeks... Just checked and there is a newer model than this that's a bit smaller/ lighter and comes in at under £20. No pressure guage admittedly, but not sure a pressure guage is worth £40 and an indeterminately long wait....

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to super_davo | 1 month ago
1 like

super_davo wrote:

I am not sure it's a good idea going for a Kickstarter model when AliExpress has loads of existing models you can get in a couple of weeks... Just checked and there is a newer model than this that's a bit smaller/ lighter and comes in at under £20. No pressure guage admittedly, but not sure a pressure guage is worth £40 and an indeterminately long wait....

I've bought a couple of tiny Nitecore torches in the past and they seem to be very good at packaging tiny electronics and well specified batteries together. They are apparently already shipping the EBP10 with the EBP10 mini due to ship on April 20th. I paid just under £50 for the Nitecore, but I consider them to be a premium brand.

Avatar
super_davo | 1 month ago
0 likes

I have this same pump in a different brand name (Cyclami) bought from AliExpress. Way cheaper than the price quoted here - around £30 I think. The same pump is available under many different brand names including on Amazon.

I like mine as a cheap purchase but it has drawbacks. I definitely wouldn't trust it as my only pump out on a long ride. You do get two tyres out of it when charged, but it does discharge slightly when not in use (as most battery items do) and leaving in a saddlebag/ pockets it would be very easy for it to discharge too much to be useful. However very useful when flying - pumps your tyres up with zero effort and nothing bulky to pack, no hassle with how many CO2 cartridges airlines will let you take etc.

I'm glad with mine for £30 but if I had to pay £80 I would definitely be going for a Cycplus cube.

Avatar
Paul J replied to super_davo | 1 month ago
0 likes

That is very very useful info about the Cyclami. Thanks.  3

Avatar
ljm_ofarrell replied to super_davo | 1 month ago
0 likes

Spot on - I also bought the Cyclami equivalent for about £22 (currently £20) on AliExpress. Looks identical to this so think you'd be a fool to pay £80. Agree on the drawbacks too, does make life a bit easier though!

Latest Comments