Birzman Apogee MTB mini pump review

Sleek and small tire inflator with quick connect valve head

Gear
Small but mighty.

Small but mighty (click to enlarge).

Lowdown: Birzman Apogee MTB mini pump

The latest in the Apogee line from Birzman is a compact mini pump with sleek looks that’s stacked with features, like an easy to use quick connect valve and in-line pressure gauge. It excels in situations that require a high pressure pump, but a few quirks like a short hose prevent it from being perfect.

Stat Box
Color: Silver, Green, Black, and Red Dimensions: 22×3 cm
Max pressure: 90 psi/ 6.2 bar MSRP: $45.95
Valve type: Presta, Schrader Rating: 3.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 3.5 out of 5
Material: CNC Machined Aluminum

Pluses
Minuses
  • Built in air pressure gauge
  • Longer hose would be ideal
  • Quick connect head works well
  • Built in air pressure gauge is nice, but can leak
  • Can be used as a shock pump in a pinch

Review: Birzman Apogee MTB mini pump

It doesn’t matter if you have a mini pump, two co2 cartridges, the best tire levers in the world, and a pro tour mechanic at your side, fixing flats on the trail sucks. As a cyclist however, it’s a reality you have to live with, which is why I always carry a pump and tube.

Most recently, I’ve been toting around the MTB version of Birzman’s Velocity Apogee mini pump. It’s been my goto because it’s compact, yet stacked with features, like a quick connect valve and in-line pressure gauge.

Birzman recently received a patent for the Snap - It Apogee valve adapter, to see how it works, check out their video here.

Birzman recently received a patent for the Snap – It Apogee valve adapter, to see how it works, check out their video here (click to enlarge).

I’ve tried Birzman pumps multiple times over the years and quickly grew to loathe the old quick connect heads, but the new version used on this pump works flawlessly. To attach the pump to a Presta valve you just push the head on, slide the collar forward, and give the head a quick spin. The process for Schrader valves is similar. It’s a fast and easy process that seats much better than those designs with quick release style heads.

The rubber sleeve that holds the see through plastic air sleeve in place can slip when extending the hose from the pump, which allows air to leak.

The rubber sleeve that holds the see through plastic air sleeve in place can slip when extending the hose from the pump, which allows air to leak (click to enlarge).

In line with the hose is a handy air pressure gauge which displays PSI on one side and Bar on the other. Normally using your hand as a gauge would be fine, but with this new generation of plus tires and wide rims, having the right air pressure is critical for optimal performance. The built in gauge isn’t the most accurate, but it helps ensure you’re in the right ballpark. My only complaint is that the rubber sleeve that holds the plastic gauge in place can slip when extending the hose, which causes air to leak out. You just need to slide the everything back into place to fix the issue, but it can be inconvenient, especially if you’re just trying to toss a little air in after burping a tire.

Due to the compact nature of the Apogee and the inclusion of a pressure gauge, this mini pump has a relatively short hose.

Due to the compact nature of the Apogee and the inclusion of a pressure gauge, this mini pump has a relatively short hose (click to enlarge).

For it’s size, the Apogee pushes a good amount of air. It’s been called into action multiple times to inflate (or top off) mountain bike tires of all sizes, including plus, and has gotten the job done quickly. If your other bike has 700c wheels however, you might be better off with a high pressure pump.

Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the design and ergonomics of the Apogee. Birzman has done a tremendous job stacking easy to use features that proved handy on the trail, but the leaking air pressure gauge, and a hose that felt too short for vigorous pumping prevented it from earning a coveted five chili review.

For info visit www.birzman.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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