What ever happened to the pump peg? Whenever we look at mini-pumps, and the Blackburn AirStik SL is no different, we find ourselves longing for a way to mount a full-size frame pump under the top tube of our bike. They were so easy. Even the plastic Silca pumps were better than most of the mini-pumps of today. Mini-pumps have a problem; the ones that are small enough and light enough to qualify as ""mini"" don't pump well, and the ones that pump well are too big and cumbersome to qualify as ""mini.""
Despite all our whining, this AirStik SL is the first mini-pump to catch our attention in a long time. It's light, but still made of aluminum, rather than plastic. It has a solid-feeling head that we don't think we'll break the first time we pump a tire up. And it is small enough to fit in a pocket and gives us little reason to fear it will flop out over bumps.
When we looked more closely, we liked it even more. It is only 157mm long when closed. The pump stroke is 93mm, delivering 1.8 cubic inches of air per stroke. It's not exactly frame pump volume, but it does outshine the SKS Sub 40 (1.6) and Topeak Micro Rocket (1.2). Yes, it's going to take a long time to get the tire up to 110psi, but it will be rideable long before that. And, with the small volume, there will never be that much resistance per stroke.
We wonder if one of the things we like about this pump is that Blackburn hired a suspension fork engineer to work on their pump line. The result is mini-pumps that use the shaft space as an air chamber, which makes the pump action more stable and delivers more air per stroke.
The Blackburn AirStik SL comes with a mount that fits under a bottle cage. The head is designed for Presta valves only. Maximum pressure possible with the pump is 160psi. While this may not be important to you, Blackburn has made the pump so it can be rebuilt rather than tossed when a part breaks. There is a lifetime warranty on the pump. The pump comes in three colors: Black, Carbon, and White. Claimed weight for the AirStik SL is 58g.
- Solid aluminum construction wont break after being run over by your buddys SUV
- Can be rebuilt so you have something to do in the offseason
- Bottle-cage mount included