The Fabric Stratosphere Sport Track Pump is perfectly capable, but its poor quality of construction leaves you a little frustrated and questioning the stratospheric name. There are plenty of other pumps on the market doing a better job, and it's hard to recommend the Fabric over them.
- Pros: It pumps up your tyres
- Cons: Rattles, poor quality build
Let's look at the positives first. Quite simply, most people want a quick and easy pump to use for a top-up of air pre-ride, and the Stratosphere Sport will do that.
The 'smart' head can adapt to both Presta and Schrader valves, so no fiddling with pesky valve adaptors.
The large gauge makes it clear to see the pressure you're at, despite it being positioned on the floor. Having said that, the dial only reaches 140psi despite the specification claiming a maximum of 160psi. Then again, it was a struggle to get anywhere beyond 130psi, so it's academic.
The 'extra-long' hose – comparable with those of other pumps – means you can use it on a bike in a stand. However, the hose is secured to the base, shortening the reach compared with those that have the gauge higher up the pump shaft.
The price, at a little over £30, is okay for a low budget option, but there are others, such as the Topeak Joe Blow Sport or Zefal Profil Max FP60, that'll give you a lot more for a little more money. I still swear by my simple Bikehut Performance Track Pump, still going strong five years on, and even capable of getting me through a tubeless set-up.
On the subject of tubeless set-up, the Stratosphere Sport's capacity of 327cc meant it wasn't much help for the initial effort where you need a high volume of air quickly. But that isn't necessarily what this pump is designed for.
As far as quality goes, or lack of it in some areas, a few things jumped out at me.
First, the valve lock lever rattles when not engaged and isn't easy to lock when trying to do it one-handed.
Then there's the large gauge – it's covered by a thin clear plastic, but that slides around in place.
The clip on the hose to secure it during storage is stiff, and almost seems too small for the diameter of the hose; most of the time I'd just give up and let it hang.
Lastly, the sandpaper-like footpads on the 'heavy duty base' seem unnecessary and painful if you catch a hand on them when transporting the pump; they proved more useful when I was lacking sandpaper and needed to file down my brake pads that were squeaking.
Overall, the Stratosphere Sport is a low budget option, and so some of these negatives shouldn't be taken too heavily. That said, while it does the job of pumping up your tyres, there are other products on the market at a similar price of better quality, and I'm a bit surprised the Fabric doesn't at least match them.
There are better alternatives for the price, but it'll do what you need it to do
road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Stratosphere Sport Track Pump
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for
Fabric says: "One speedy, precise track pump
"Get pumped up for the ride ahead with the Stratosphere Sport. Setting the standard for performance, the track pump automatically adapts to Presta and Schrader valves, while the large gauge gives precise inflation at a glance."
It's not the best quality, but it is only £32 and it does the job for your pre-ride checks and top-ups.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Nylon base and handle
Extra-long rubber hose
Heavy duty base
Fits Presta or Schrader valves
Large gauge for easy reading
Pressure: 160psi – 11bar Length: 635mm
Base: Heavy duty nylon
It's average quality. Minor things like the valve lever rattles when not engaged, the clips to secure the hose when not in use are incredibly stiff making it hard to store neatly, and the gauge face is cheap looking, covered with a thin clear plastic that isn't secured well. They might be petty points, but it doesn't shout quality.
Although the quality may be lacking, it performs well enough. Good for your standard tyre top up, though the capacity won't allow for much more like an initial tubeless set up where you need high volume quickly.
I couldn't tell if rattles were getting worse during the test or if I was just noticing them more, but there were no issues in performance.
It was never going to be top of the range at this price, but there are cheaper and in my opinion better pumps out there for your money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performance for its designed purpose is absolutely fine.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
That it pumped my tyres up.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The poor quality with rattly parts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not especially.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It performs well enough, but there are some niggly issues that detract from the good. There are too many other pumps in the market at this price that perform just as well and are nicer to use to make me score this any higher than average.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCX My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives