We’ve all had a puncture at some point. The worst time however is when you're bang in a middle of a race. It’s happened to us and it’s a pain to say the least.
So it was with a big smile then that the Cyclaire landed on our desk, because its promise is that it pumps more air per stroke than any mini pump.
A bold statement and one that needed to be put to the test. Before we give you the results however it’s probably a good idea to let you know how the Cyclaire can get away with this claim. For starters the device looks nothing like your regular pump.
No long tube that sees you shuffling backwards and forwards crouched by the side of the roadside and no up and down action as you would get with a trackside pump.
No, this little beauty works in a similar way to an outboard motor. You pull the air into the device rather than push it. In turn this means you can get more air in for your effort, but does mean that you have to be standing to get a decent amount for your time.
According to the blurb on the box what is actually happening is that when you pull on the handle to inflate your tyre this drives a mini compressor inside the pump. The double ended piston moves so fast you can pump a lot of air quickly and easily, even at high pressures.
Its mention of high pressures isn’t wrong. The pump supports tyres up to 120psi making it an ideal accessory for racing bikes (the nozzle does support mountain bike tyres as well - in fact any tyre value by Presta, Schrader and Dunlop).
So what’s the catch then? Well those who like to crouch beside their bike when they pump up the tire will have difficulty as you really need to be standing to get the full effort to output ratio working in your favour. The second is that although the Cyclaire is mini, it's not that mini and stored in the accompanying bag (you can get it with the bag) means that it’s a noticeable edition to your bike.
While the promise of more air per stroke is true, the Cyclaire does have its drawbacks; mainly that you have to be standing to use it and secondly that unless you are prepared for this unit to take up valuable space in your rucksack it's likely to find itself replacing the track pump rather than your ultra small bike pump for race day.