SKS Aircon 6.0 and Airbase Pro Floor Pump

Gear Pro Reviews

 

Airbase Pro
The Airbase Pro is a professional track floor pump which uses an aluminum barrel with an elliptic profile, with a 728mm stroke, and can inflate to 232 psi/16 bar. It features a top-mounted precision pressure gauge, an ergonomic handle, a heavy cast iron base with non-skid rubber inserts, their valve sensing E.V.A. (Easy Valve Access) head, and retails for $80.

The Airbase Pro is one tough hombre, and is truly built like a tank. The first thing you notice when using the pump is the prodigious weight (2850 grams), which is a combination of its overbuild and the heavy cast iron base. This sucker is rated at 232 psi, although I don’t remotely have anything that needs those sorts of pressures, but it can certainly pump tires up to immense levels if required. It is well suited for any sort of tire, from mountain to road bikes, but it is certainly more orientated towards the road side of things.

The Airbase Pro was predominately my shop pump, and I used to fill everything from my fat high-volume mountain bike tires to my higher pressure commuter tires, and an occasional road tire. The aluminum barrel has an elliptical profile, which made it easier to grab the pump and move it around. The stroke was very smooth and precise, something that is unusual in most floor pumps, as most have a sort of clunky movement through their travel. The top-mounted gauge was easy to read due to its proximity, and it was well protected, although the large range and small gradations made it more difficult to use with mountain bike tires. The fancy E.V.A head worked nicely, and did its job detecting if the valve was Schrader or Presta, although if the Schrader threading wasn’t long enough it wouldn’t clamp down to pop open the valve itself for proper inflation. The locking lever for the head was somewhat difficult to clamp down, and tended to snap back on your fingers when releasing it, so it took some practice for usage.

The pump handle had a nice feel in the hands, and the indented finger grooves gave better grip, which helped when cranking out the higher pressures. The heavy base and sticky feet kept the pump stable and secure, and prevented it from any unwanted fall over’s. It was extremely easy to use the pump due to the precise and smooth stroke, and excellent support and stability provided by the cast iron base. The integrated hook on the head could hang from its latch point on either side of the gauge, but seemed to work better on the left.

Bottom Line
The Airbase Pro is a great floor pump, with exceptional build quality, and the sweet smooth stroke and heavy sticky base work in synergy to provide a maximum usage factor. The top-mounted gauge is easy to read, although the pressure range and the pump’s rating seemed like overkill? The E.V.A. worked nicely and easily sensed the valve type, although the clamp snapped back during release. It is somewhat pricey at $80, but you’ll get a long-lived pump, that will be used for many years.

The Airbase Pro is extremely well-built and durable, and the precise and smooth stroke, heavy sticky base and large pressure range make for a superb multi usage floor pump, that is built like a tank and will last for a very long time.

Pros

  • Easy to read top mounted pressure gauge
  • Heavy, sticky and stable base
  • Precise and smooth stroke
  • Well built and durable
  • Long lived pump

Cons

  • Expensive
  • E.V.A. head – hard to clamp and snaps back on release
  • Gauge number range and rating is a bit extreme

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

 

Air Base Pro Specs:

  • Visit the SKS Airbase Pro website
  • extra long aluminum barrel with elliptic profile allows comfortable handling
  • heavy ironcast foot-rest with non-skidrubber inserts
  • high pressure flexible connection with EVA-Head
  • precision pressure gauge (bar/PSI)
  • optional floor mounting for workshop use
  • valve: all kinds of valves
  • length: 728mm
  • ouput max: 16 bar / 232 PSI
  • weight: 2850g

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.



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  • Mark Lewis says:

    Much appreciated for the information and share!
    Mark

  • Andy says:

    I bought the Aircon 6.0 a few months ago. It works fine when it worked, but didn’t work for long. Crapped out after 4 months of light use. Disassembled and found that the rubber seal that creates pressure slipped off. Put it back on but it slipped off again. Seems like a design flaw. I definitely will not buy another SKS pump.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Andy,
      Please contact SKS on this issue (PH: 618-395-2400). I have been using mine for several years (3 times a week) and haven’t had this issue. Their US team is great, and should be able to sort things out.

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