The Fabric Z250 classic hi-volume pump is a thing of beauty, and I've not said that about a pump since Lezyne first revamped the category some 10 years ago. This is a British company's ode to the classic hand pump, with a smooth hardwood handle, aluminium barrel and braided steel hose. It does have its limitations though.
The pump comes with a bracket to fit it to a bicycle, but at 410mm long it's far from compact for taking on any bike ride, and at 308g neither is it very light. You definitely won't be sticking this pump in your jersey pocket. It's also too short to use as a frame pump, and the diameter of the barrel would dwarf most top tubes.
No, it's best suited as an alternative to a trackpump, if you neither have the funds nor space for one at home, or for travelling; it fits in a suitcase or kit bag with ease.
It's a high volume pump with a 162cc capacity and it's really designed for mountain bikes or wide road bike and gravel tyres, as the max pressure is just 60psi. That was adequate for inflating a 38mm gravel tyre to 40psi (the pressure I used on my bike for the recent Dirty Reiver 200km gravel race) without too much effort or breaking a sweat.
Located inside the wooden handle is a braided steel hose. Remove it and screw it into the end of the aluminium barrel and connect it to the inner tube valve, using the convertible head to easily switch between Presta and Schrader types.
Using the pump is a delight. The feel of the wood and sandblasted aluminium body reminds you are using a premium product. The large barrel gives you plenty of purchase and the smooth, rounded wooden handle is reasonably ergonomic.
However, it falls into an odd place. It's not really portable enough to use on the bike, and it's not as capable or easy to use as a proper track pump. The only time I found it useful was travelling with the bike where space was at a premium and I couldn't take a track pump. It is, though, gloriously well made and a lovely pump to use.
Beautifully made pump that is ideal for travelling or home use, but too big to take on the bike
road.cc test report
Make and model: Fabric Z250 classic hi-volume pump
Size tested: Length: 410mm Capacity: 162cc
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?
Fabric says: "The Z250 is our salute to the classic, wooden-handled pumps of yore, but loaded with modern features. An attractive addition to any workshop, or a more portable alternative to a track pump for trips away, the Z250 serves a raft of purposes with effortless style.
"A premium pump and a ride essential, the Fabric Z250 Hi Volume Classic Mini Pump SV is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valve heads, is constructed from a high-quality mixture of sandblasted aluminium and wood. The hose is steel braided and comes with a Fabric designed 'smart' head which attaches securely to the valve head."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Turned wooden handle
Large volume chamber
Sandblasted aluminium body
Max pressure 60psi / 6.2bar
High-quality steel braided hose
Fabric designed 'smart' head
Compatible with Presta and Schrader valve heads
It is beautifully made.
Fine with mountain bike or very wide road and gravel tyres.
It's solidly built, though the aluminium barrel can scratch rather easily.
You won't be sticking it in your jersey pocket...
The smooth wooden handle makes it comfortable to inflate a flat tyre.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works well for inflating a wide volume gravel or road tyre, and inflation to about 40psi isn't too onerous a task.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Looks beautiful, almost too nice to use...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not portable enough to use on the bike, limited to 60psi, and a track pump is a better investment for home use.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
It's a very nicely made pump but with limited use potential.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.