BBB Oval Intregrate Mini Pump   £23.95

7/10

Unusual design solves some dilemmas if you're looking for a balance between weight, style and efficiency

Weight 108g   Contact  www.windwave.co.uk

by David Else   July 21, 2011  

BBB Oval Integrate pump.jpg

There's no two ways about it: I've never seen a pump like BBB's Oval Integrate Mini Pump before. With its slender concave shape, the design is simply unique, and undeniably intriguing.

So let's have a closer look.

The concave shape of the barrel allows the pump to be attached direct to the frame without the need for separate pump clips or a bottle-cage-mounted holder. A good idea in principle, but this assumes your frame tubes are cylindrical or ovoid - at least in the area where you want to fix the pump. In most cases, assuming you've got two bottle cages, this means putting the pump on the underside of the top- tube, but that's only possible if your back brake cable runs along the upper side.

Once you've got over that hurdle, the pump is secured by two nylon straps with Velcro tabs. Fitting the pump before a test-ride, I couldn't get the Velcro straps tight enough, and the pump rattled very slightly. There are small rubber studs on the pump to prevent damage to the frame, but these seemed not totally effective at stopping movement. Actually, they're not rubber, but something called Kraton, which is also used on things like knife handles and golf clubs. All good stuff; perhaps if these studs were bigger, the rattling wouldn't occur.

Having said that, the BBB website indicates that the pump comes with a rubber strap, rather than the nylon straps that came with our test model. This should help keep the pump tight against the frame. I got round the problem by fixing the pump onto my frame with insulation tape. Employing the same technique, you could also possibly attach the pump to a seat-tube or down-tube, thereby avoiding the need for a top-tube with cable on the upper side.

The Oval Integrate pump comes in three sizes. A true mini version (230mm), a large version (430mm) and a medium (330mm) which we're testing here. The medium version seems to be a good compromise and avoids the issues common to all minipumps (low weight but takes all day to get a tyre up to pressure) and full-sized pumps (get the tyre up quickly, but weigh a lot and don't fit many modern frames). The slim-line design of the Oval Integrate also compares well against some other medium-sized pumps which are bulky and spoil the lines of a nice bike.

Medium or not, the concave shape of the barrel inevitably means it has a smaller capacity than a cylinder the same diameter, so it still takes a while to get a road tyre up to pressure. In the road.cc lab, it took 220 thrusts on the medium sized pump to get a 700x23 tyre up to 100psi. And the last 10psi were a bit of an effort to get in - maybe not surprising, as the pump's maximum psi is given as 115psi. If you're using it for get-you-home emergency situations, then 70psi will be fine and much easier to attain. And if you're touring or commuting and normally run your tyres at around 70psi anyway, then all this high pressure talk is academic.

Whatever pressure you go for, pumping is made more comfortable by the shape of the handle, which swivels out to form a broad pad in the palm of your hand (and also has a covering of Kraton), although if you don't hold it firmly it rocks on its pivot, which is annoying and actually makes pumping harder. The piston also rocks a little in the barrel when you pump hard, but the seals seem good, and there's no sign of air escaping. The pump has a direct push-on fit with a small lock/unlock lever, so no hose to screw separately onto the valve.

The Oval Integrate's unusual design and attachment technique takes a while to get your head around, and you need to make sure you've got the pump tightly and safely fixed to your frame, but if you don't like genuine mini pumps (because they're too slow) or some other medium-sized pumps (because they're too bulky and look ugly on your bike), or full-size pumps (because they're too heavy or don't fit your frame), then the medium-sized Oval Integrate might be a good option to consider.

All the Oval Integrate pumps are available in black or silver, with the medium retailing at around £25 in bike shops, and around £20 at the usual on-line stores. I was going to say 'this is a fair price compared to other similar products'. But as there's nothing else like it, I'll just have to say it's a fair price, period.

Verdict

Unusual design solves some dilemmas if you're looking for a balance between weight, style and efficiency.

road.cc test report

Make and model: BBB Oval Intregrate Mini Pump

Size tested: Silver

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?

The BBB website summarises the pump's attributes in some handy bullet points, including:

Provides for easy attachment in various positions.

Included clip-on bracket with rubber strap, ideal for direct attachment on your bicycle.

Lightweight 6061 T6 aluminum barrel.

Fits both Presta and Schrader valves.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
6/10

The construction feels OK, but not bomproof compared to some other pumps we've tested.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

The shape of the barrel is neat, but it inevitably impares capacity, so it takes a while to get a tyre up to high pressure (around 100psi). If you're aiming for medium pressure (around 70psi) then the pump is totally fine.

Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10

Because the construction doesn't appear totally top-notch, I'd guess this pump would not survive daily use in your workshop. But as a tool for emergency use when you're out on the road, it'll be fine.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

At a meagre 112g, this is a very good weight for a pump of this size.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Personally, no. I use co2 cannisters with a minipump for backup on my sportive bike, and a full-length pump on my training bike.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they were looking for a pump that reached a happy compromise between weight, style and efficiency

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp   My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

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