The B'Twin MNP 500 is a well made alloy-bodied mini-pump that's easily pocketed or hidden on the bike but our test model struggled to get bike tyres up to a rideable pressure.
At 22.5cm long the MNP 500 is discreet enough to slip into a jersey pocket but if that's not your thing it comes with a bottle-cage mounting bracket which keeps hold of the pump tenaciously, even when attached to a bumpity bouncity cyclo-cross bike.
As mini-pumps go it's well made with the aluminium body feeling solid in the hand, and the majority of the pump is covered with a soft plastic which keeps it both secure in the frame clamp and easy to grip when thrusting away trying to get air in. The pump is kept locked together in its collapsed state with a simple rubber o-ring on the shaft.
This B'Twin mini-pump is designed to only inflate Presta valves, which keeps both size and weight down thanks to the lack of different rubber internals or extra heads, but that valve hole doesn't come with any locking device so a certain amount of firm dexterity is involved keeping the pump snug tight on the valve. The old thumb-over-the-tyre clamp technique works best here.
The pump only has 13cm of stroke with which to get air in, which isn't a lot. This means you have to get pretty busy when inflating a tube, and as the handle doesn't fold out into a T shape like some other mini-pumps it's not the most comfortable experience despite the rubberized sleeve, especially when it gets to the struggling strokes, which are quick in arriving.
B'Twin claim the pump can reach 8 Bar, which is 116 PSI in old money. That, to be fair, is rather deep into the realms of wishful thinking if our experience is anything to go by.
It doesn't take long before pumping the MNP 500 became a chore. At 100 strokes your bicep might start to twinge and the tyre will still be worryingly squishy. At double that amount of pumpage a standard 700x23 tyre is still going to be what only the very polite would call firm and it took at least 300 exhausting strokes with our test model to get the tyre anywhere near some sort of just-about-get-you-home pressure of 60PSI.
It's possible that the 500 in the name refers to the number of strokes you have to wrestle through to get a tyre up to a reasonable pressure. You might need to neck a gel at about 400 but push on through to the magic 500 and the tyre gets up to a more confident 80PSI.
You might need a recovery lie down in the gutter after all that though. Even by mini-pump standards this B'Twin requires a real effort. And in my opinion it's not worth the effort because there are better pumps out there.
You could get enough air into a tube with the B'Twin pump until your arm got bored and then top it up to a decent pressure with a burst from a C02 canister as some people like to do, but that means taking two pumps on a ride, which kind of negates the point of taking a petite pump that doesn't take up much room.
The MNP 500 is hard work and not something you'd want to use by the roadside, either in the misery of the rain or the sweat of the sun.
Small, solid feeling mini-pump but very hard to get a decent pressure
road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin MNP 500 Hand Pump
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BTwin say their pump can get road tyres up to 8 bars (on Presta valves only) and is a light and efficient pump for road bikes.
It's not that light, in fact it's reassuringly weighty, it's not efficient and will struggle to get a tyre up to 8 bar. Unless you've got a couple of days, and big arms.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Small section aluminium body allows the bicycle to be guaranteed very light weight.
This pump is fitted with a system that bosts the air to over pressure as soon as you pull the handle. When you push, you send already preasurised air, making the pump extremely efficient.
Handle is coated with soft touch paint, which is very pleasant to touch.
The head of the pump is intended only for inner tubes with small road bike valves.
With its alloy body and grippy cover it feels a lot sturdier than most mini-pumps
It's hard work.
The alloy body should ensure the MNP 500 lasts a while, as will leaving it at home because it's too tedious to use if you get a puncture on a ride.
The aluminium body means it's heavier than your standard plastic mini-pump.
The plasticky rubbery sleeve makes the pump more comfy to use, the non fold out handle and numerous pumpings doesn't.
There are plenty of other mini-pumps around at this price, some of them are likely to work better.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's certainly mini, but it flounders as a pump.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Small, sound construction, grippy covering.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's a mini-pump, and it likes to take its own sweet laborious time.
Did you enjoy using the product? No, lots of muttering effort.
Would you consider buying the product? No. There is no room for a mini-pump in my life, despite their handy pocketable size. I'm the man with the proper pump that always has to hand it over to a mini-pumpee after their five minutes of frantic thwapping. And this one is a poor example of the breed.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No. Not I'd be reluctant to recommend a mini-pump anyway, but even less so here.
About the tester
Age: 47 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.