Zefal’s HPX light is a scaled down version of their legendary HPX and bridges the gap perfectly between frame-fit power and mini pump convenience. The polished alloy barrel not only looks great alongside a classic road/touring bike but also enjoys an edge in terms of rigidity over composite models and so long as you slipped a redundant inner tube “boot” over the exposed valve head it seems equally at home on the trail.
Common to the breed, a quoted 130psi maximum is optimistic unless you’ve arms like Popeye but we’ve consistently managed 115 within five minutes and £25 is pretty good going for this standard of performance.
Made with large quantities of aluminium, the HPX light bucks the trend for making pumps out of composites and seems none the worse for it, sure aluminium can be more dent prone but I’ve had some very similar composite designs fail at the valve end after several seasons exposure to the elements. The barrel diameter measures a surprisingly narrow 20mm, which has seemingly little impact in terms of power but means it’s not so easily swapped between bikes as it slips out of most mini-pump holsters. However Zyro, their UK importers confirm ready spares availability. With the Velcro strapping fastened tight, pump retention is excellent-even passing my bridle path test with flying colours so rougher roads shouldn’t present any problems.
In terms of performance, the action is reassuringly smooth with widespread use of metals a contributing factor-especially when going for gold at the higher pressures and even then, the composite handle feels more comfortable than most-especially coming from the T- handle type and the thumb lock gives excellent purchase on both Presta and Schrader valves. We’ve managed to coax a 26x1.75 from flat to the recommended 65psi in a matter of two minutes and 142 strokes whereas a 700x23 demanded 225 strokes and consumed five minutes before locking out. Impressive but unlikely to entice racers from their CO2 cartridges.
Great pump for general riding, nice price and its retro good looks looks are a bonus
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Make and model: Zefal HPX Light mini 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?
As its name suggests, the HPX light is a scaled down version of the long-lived HPX frame-fit pump. Primarily a road design, it bridges the gap nicely between mini pump convenience and frame fit efficiency.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Aluminium barrel and chamber, composite handle and ends, claimed 9 bar (130psi maximum)20mm diameter, reversible presta/schrader ends.
A genuine 115 psi is pretty good from a hand pump.
Nice to use- even at the higher pressures.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I have been very impressed by the build quality and performance-especially at the higher pressures where composite models can feel slightly whippy. 130psi is a little optimistic but 115 into a 700x23 is realistic.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Classic, timeless styling, low weight, comfortable and just the right size- slipping unobtrusively into a pannier or messenger bag as, when and if required.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although the model specific bracket mean it doesn't swap so readily between bikes. However, this is a very minor point and spare brackets are available at £4.99 each.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)