Never leave home without a pump, and make sure it's a pump that won't let you down when you need it most: one of my few cycling rules. The BBB Samurai Telescopic Mini Pump does a good job of inflating a punctured tyre, it's nice to use and it looks good with a smart design.
Pros: Lightweight, easy to use, hose makes life easier
Cons: Inflation speed limited by the simple fact that it's a small pump
It's not a cheap and flimsy feeling pump this one, the 6061-T6 aluminium construction gives it a reassuringly solid feel. Every detail is nicely designed, making it a joy to use. Well, as joyous as a pump can be to use.
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Concealed inside the pump is a bendy hose (technical term) with a screw-on valve head called the TwistHead, which is compatible with Presta and Schrader valves. I much prefer this approach as it means you can securely fix the hose to the valve and then clasp the pump in both hands. It just makes inflating the tyre much easier, and you're far less likely to damage the delicate valve.
The telescopic design of the pump gives you more output for your input, and the stroke action is smooth and satisfying, with no flex at full extension. The company claims it'll go all the way to 130psi, but in real-world testing I got to 75/80psi, my typical tyre pressures, with no real trouble.
It's a dual function pump and can be switched between high volume (for big tyres and mountain bikes) or high pressure (skinny road tyres). That's ideal if you want a pump that you can use for both road and mountain bikes, and gravel bikes in the middle.
When you're not using the pump, the extractable hose slides into the pump's cavity and a thick plastic lid keeps it tucked away and protected from the elements. A lock system prevents the handle of the pop from sliding down so it maintains its small size all the time. That's a bonus, especially if you make use of the mounting bracket and attach it to the frame.
Measuring 210mm, it's not the shortest pump but it does sit in a jersey pocket well; there's no risk of it ejecting. It's also pretty light at 123g.
I've been testing this pump for several months now, and it has become my go-to. It's been in my jersey pocket, strapped to the underside of a saddle bag, and fitted to the down tube, and used for road rides in the rain, adventure rides where it's got a pasting from muddy trails, and even bounced around inside my backpack on mountain bike rides. Through it all it's been durable and reliable and hasn't let me down, whether I've punctured or just wanted to add a bit of pressure mid-ride.
It retails for £30 but I've seen it for closer to £25 and that's a bit more than the cheapest pumps you can buy, but the quality of the construction, smart details and ease of use do go a fair way to justifying the price tag in my view. It's worth spending an extra tenner on a pump like this if you've budgeted about £15 for a pump – the extra quality is worth it.
> Buyer's Guide: 15 of the best pumps and CO2 inflators
It's a similar price to the equally nicely made Birzman Scope Apogee, but the flexible hose of the BBB gives the Samurai a clear advantage.
Nicely designed, high-quality pump that gets tyres inflated with ease
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Make and model: BBB Samurai Telescopic Mini Pump
Size tested: 210mm, 130psi max
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 Samurai BMP-50 is a lightweight, telescopic mini pump made of 6061 T6 aluminum with extractable hose. It generates both a high volume and a high pressure in the tires.
It features a lock system, that provides the hands more grip, a TwistHead pumphead, with unique screw-on valve system that fits Presta, Schrader and Dunlop valves, and a valve cover to keep the valves clean. The pump inflates the tires up to 130 psi (9 bar) and comes with a mounting bracket."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Telescopic, lightweight 6061 T6 aluminum mini pump with extractable hose.
Dual function, high volume and high pressure.
Lock system prevents the handle from sliding down.
Unique screw-on valve system.
Valve cover helps to keep your valves clean.
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Gets you out of bother with no bother.
Rate the product for durability:
I've dropped it and thrown it and used it on muddy adventure rides and ridden in the rain, and it's coped with it all just fine.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
The flexible hose makes it easier to inflate a flat tyre.
Rate the product for value:
It is towards the upper end of the mini-pump market but it does a lot to justify the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Inflates a flat tyre relatively easily, can be adjusted for mountain bike and road bike tyres, and has some nice details.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Flexible hose makes it easier to inflate a tyre, the telescopic design gives you more bang for you buck, and it's durable and well made.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'm struggling to find anything to dislike really.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A high-quality pump with some great attention to detail that gets the job done as easily as can be expected of a pump this small. It's nice to use as well, and very durable.
Age: 31 Height: 180cm Weight: 67kg
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
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