The Topeak Sport 11 Floor pump could just save my sanity, be the answer to blissful family bike rides as well as be the answer to all of my long term and multiple tyre pumping needs. Tyres and tyre pressures have long been a source of stress and consternation in our household (unbelievable I know!) and, after years of ongoing issues, I can’t actually really believe that one simple product could possibly be the answer to all my woes! I will get onto the Topeak Sport 11 Floor Pump review in a moment but first let me explain my tyre pumping hell!
My household owns (quick count up here) seven bikes. Imagine the scene as the family decides to go on a nice relaxing bike ride only to find, on getting the bikes out of the garage, all some or most of the bikes, mainly due to their owner’s neglect, needs air in it’s tyres. Unbelievably, all of the bikes have different configurations of tyre valves (one bike even has different valves front and back) and we just have a selection of old leaky and creaky hand pumps scattered around the garage. The attachment hoses are in different places, usually somewhere on the floor, and not all of the attachment hoses fit all of the pumps and, when the attachment hoses do fit the pump you still need to add a tiny little, oh so easily lost in my tool box, valve adapter to pump up some of the tyres but not others.
Seriously it could make you weep!
What was needed was one godsend pump that was not only efficient and did away with all that tedious and ineffective hand pumping but would fit all of the bike valves and give an accurate readout of the pressures as well.
Enter……drum roll……the Topeak Sport 11 Floor Pump.
Having one of these floor pump things in my life has been a complete revelation. Now it’s possible of course that all floor pumps do most of the things that the Topeak Sport 11 does but bear with me in my excitement as I describe with glee how much this thing has improved my life when compared with the array of rubbish hands pumps and attachments used previously!
Firstly it’s very difficult to lose, even among the mass of mess in our garage! It’s bright yellow and black for a start and significantly bigger than a hand pump. Secondly and most brilliantly it has a dual head on it which fits both shraeder and presta valves – no more scrabbling around looking for attachments and adapters and, most brilliantly you only have to do a few pumps to get the pressure you need and you can even read the pressure on the pressure guage! Simple stuff but coming from the hand pump scenario it’s absolutely revolutionary!
The Topeak Sport 11 Floor Pump is one of a wide range of quality pumps made by Topeak. Apparently there are 20 pumps in the range (how on earth is it possible to make 20 versions of something so simple!) and the Sport 11 sits somewhere towards the bottom of the range although it’s difficult to see many areas in which it could be improved or why you would want to spend any more money on such a basic item.
Despite this the Sport 11 feels like a good quality item as it’s mainly made of steel and is pretty weighty at around 2kg. This is important when pumping as the pump needs to feel stable and there needs to be plenty of base to get your feet onto for stability. The pressure gauge is situated about a third of the way up the stem and is reasonably clear and easy to read although it is rather on the small side. The pump hose itself, despite being a bit on the short side, also comes out about a third of the way up. This is fine for most bikes but if your bike was on a stand or in an awkward position you might find that you would want a slightly longer hose. It also rotates on it’s fixing for a bit more versatility. One Amazon reviewer referred to the hose as being too easy to crack but this does seem to be an isolated comment.
Of course, especially for me, the dual shraeda and presta head, is fantastic. All you need to do is connect the correct side and lock it on and you are in business. The locking mechanism feels secure and strong but, as with many things like this there is a bit of a knack to getting a good seal first time. The locking lever is made of alloy rather than flimsy plastic which gives you much more confidence in its’ strength and durability. Some reviewers on Amazon have commented on the presta side being harder to fix on than the shraeda side but the presta valve is a bit more fiddly anyway. You do need to unscrew it out the correct distance for any pump and most pumps will leak some air with one.
The valve head is chunky and again, in normal circumstances this isn’t a problem but if you were working in a very tight spot you could find it tricky to get the right angle to get the head locked on.
Pumping wise the Topeak Sport 11 Floor Pump works brilliantly with only 29 strokes to go from no pressure to 100psi on a rad bike wheel. There is considerably less effort required that when using a hand pump as you can basically use your body weight to push down and pump the air in. The action is reassuringly smooth and easy and only gets more difficult as the pressure really increases but this would be the same with any pump. The handle is well formed, comfortable and feels solidly reassuring with it’s rubber grip.
Rather helpfully the pump comes with valves for pumping up balls as well, and they are kept safely in their own holder so even I wouldn’t lose them on the garage floor somewhere!
Altogether the Topeak Sport 11 Floor Pump is a good quality, good value tool that basically does exactly what is says on the tin. It’s hard to see why you would want to spend any more on a relatively functional item!
It has a really useful strong double valve head, is sturdy and easy to use and has a clear gauge. The head could be a little smaller and the hose longer and possibly of better quality but it would be hard to beat at this price.
Find out the best price here.