The Birzman designers have been busy adding loads of new products to the range. Here are the highlights that we saw at Taipei Cycle last week…
First up, this is the Red Dot design award winning Zacoo Tiny-Tanker that’s in the 2013 range at £59.99.
It’s made from aluminium and highly polished, of course – that’s the Birzman way. It can reach pressures of up to 220psi, according to the manufacturer. It differs from most other floor pumps is that it’s just 51cm tall and it can sit flat, so it takes up little space in the boot of your car, for example, or even in your hand luggage when you fly.
Birzman’s Snap-It head, which features on a lot of their pumps, is a really neat design. You pull back the collar, push the head in place, then let go of the collar. Two threaded bits inside clamp onto a Presta inner tube valve to hold it in place even when you get up to high pressure. The pump is also compatible with Schrader. You unscrew the Snap-It to allow access to the Schrader valve.
The Zacoo Maha pumps are new for 2013 too, and they’re also award winners, having picked up an iF gong.
There are actually four Zacoo Maha pumps in the range, although one of them is mountain bike specific. They all tilt towards you at a slight angle – 5°, if you want to be specific – the idea being that the slant improves the ergonomics. The barrels are CNCed aluminium and you get the Snap It design (see above) across the lot. A button allows you to bleed air out of the tube easily to get the exact pressure you’re after.
The gauges are fully calibrated (so they’re accurate) and the pumps are fully rebuildable. So, for example, if you bust the gauge by dropping something heavy on it in the garage, it can be replaced without you needing to buy a whole new pump.
The most affordable version is the Zacoo Maha IV at £36.99. This one comes with a wooden handle and a polymer base. As with the other models, the base is large for plenty of stability. You get up to 160psi here.
The Zacoo Maha III (£49.99) again comes with a varnished wooden handle but this time with a shiny aluminium base. It gets a rating of 220psi.
The top level Zacoo Maha II, which is also rated at 220psi, gets an extruded and CNCed handle and an aluminium base… so, essentially, the more you spend the more aluminium you get. This one is £69.99. These are the 2014 versions, by the way, with longer hoses than before.
The Infinite pump is available in standard (£26.99) and CO2 (£34.99) versions. With the CO2 model, a chuck allows you to use the hose with a cartridge for faster inflation. Each is made with a CNCed aluminium body and you get that Snap-It head again that’s suitable for both Presta and Schrader. The max pressure is 160psi.
Rather than having a hose that you remove from the handle and screw into place, the new Velocity pump – which got an honourable mention in the Red Dot design awards – has a built in hose. Pump the handle once and it shoots into place. You’ll be able to get models with inline pressure gauges.
The overlapping handle means you get a lot of stroke volume for the compact size (19cm long, 2.7cm diameter for road models, so pretty small). The road versions will be rated 160psi and mountain bike versions 90psi, and they’ll come in various different colours. You’re looking at prices about 20% higher than those of the Infinite pumps.
If you’re after a really small pump, the Zacoo Mini comes in 9.9cm (£17.99), 12cm (£18.99) and 15cm (£19.99) lengths and is rated at 140psi. Now, I know you love interesting little facts so here’s one for you: the design is inspired by the kandelia candel, a species of mangrove found in Asia (thank you, Wikipedia). You have to unscrew the end and flip a rubber bung over to switch between Presta and Schrader.
And if you want something just for CO2, the Zacoo CO2 (£19.99 with three cartridges) accepts threaded cartridges. The PU insulation grip is supposed to be positioned over the back of the head, by the way, to provide more insulation when you press it.
Onto bags… This is the New M-Snug that should arrive in the UK within a couple of months. The cleverest bit is that it snaps onto your saddle rails while O-rings on the mount should prevent any rattling.
The material on the back is black reflective, so you’ll get extra visibility at night. The price has yet to be confirmed but you’re probably looking at £25-£30.
The Roadster saddle packs are similarly slim and unobtrusive, and come with plenty of that black reflective fabric too, along with an LED loop. They’ll come in two sizes and will be a little cheaper.
The new Belly top tube bags are mainly aimed at mountain bikers but there’s no reason you can’t fix one to your road bike. The sides are rigid so they won’t flop over, and the top just flips up and down for easy access, with a Velcro fastening to keep it closed. This might be a good place for energy bars and gels if your pockets are full. The Belly bags even come with removable rain covers. The price is likely to be £10-£15.
The Zyklop Navigator III is a new extension to the range. It sits on your top tube and the transparent cover is large enough to show the screen of a large smartphone. It's touch compatible, splash resistant, and measures 17cm x 9cm x 8cm. The price will be £15-£20.
Finally, tools… The new Light-Er Chain Rivet Extractor gets its name for an obvious reason. It’s 9, 10 and 11-speed compatible and there’s a little retention spring in the mechanism that holds the chain. This is £11.99.
The Cicada C10 (£39.99) comes with unidirectional carbon fibre side plates and the larger Allen keys are hollow to save weight. You get plenty of leverage on the chain breaker too.
If you don’t want to spend that much, the Freezman 12 function alloy mini tool is £29.99. It’s another iF design award winner.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.