FlexTail Tiny bike pumps are robust pumps in half the time

Social media algorithms know that I cycle almost every day. In addition to city, mountain and gravel bikes, an e-bike or two is always in consideration. I’m also the mechanic of the family and responsible for 16-18+ tires that need to be inflated. So when a series of ads for the Flextail Tiny Bike Bump appeared on Instagram you better believe it caught my attention.

This mini rechargeable pump is compatible with Presta (the thin one) or Schrader (the old thick one) valves and promises super-fast inflation up to 100 psi (about 7 bar).

The price of the Flextail pumps is unclear because they are sold under brands like Cyclami, Toptoper, Rrskit and Epoom that look exactly like the same product for as little as $25. Flextail sells them for $85 and the manufacturer is Huzhou Jingwei on the box and body. The first pump Flextail sent me died because it couldn’t pump the tires above 19 psi; the other pump Flextail sent me was (almost) as claimed.

What’s not mentioned in the ads I’ve seen is how noisy this little pump is: in my tests, 76 dB at arm’s length, which is akin to bending over to inspect a vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal to operate it. Using this while standing at the edge of a forest trail is no more welcome than seeing a mountain biker in lycra.

Still, the FlexTail Tiny Bike Pump works. It’s much faster and smaller than the mini hand pumps riders carry with them in case of trouble. At 3.9 oz (111 g), it’s a bit heavier than the 3.4 oz (96 g) Unitch pump I always carry with me. However, the FlexTail pump does not require long, erratic pumping and does not strain the air valve seat.

The biggest disadvantage of flex-tail pumps is that they can only be inflated a few times before they need to be refilled, but this depends on the tire size and the desired inflation pressure. If you just want to inflate the tire, it will last much longer; the small 2.59Wh battery takes just 25 minutes to charge.

In my tests, I was able to pump a tire to 700 psi in 45 seconds on a City Cycle with wide 40 x 45c tires and Schrader valves. Then, when I switched to a gravel bike with wider 700 x 42c tires and Presta valves, I was able to reach 50 psi in 90 seconds before the pump needed to be recharged, meaning I inflated it twice on a single charge.

The FlexTail Tiny bike pump is so small and lightweight that I initially thought it would be ideal for bike trips and long day rides. However, since I could only inflate it twice, I wanted to carry a hand pump, a patch kit and a spare inner tube as a backup. However, my gram-crunching brain would never allow me to carry two pumps.

With an e-bike with a built-in USB charging port, I’ll already be traveling with a massive power bank on wheels, so you can easily charge your Flextail pump even when a flat repair on the road doesn’t go according to plan and you wear it out (happens all the time!). Don’t forget your USB-C cable… And a carb bar to snack on while you wait.

If you’re still interested, one of the two Flextail Tiny Bike Pumps I tested worked as advertised and I’ve had similar success with other brands that sell battery-powered pumps for cheaper, supposedly the same Huzhou Jingwei Outdoor Products no doubt they will have the same success.

For the rest of us we can buy cheaper mini hand pumps. They don’t need to be charged and they’re not big enough to lose.

What do you think?

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Written by Sean Anderson

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