The Topeak Roadie DA hand pump is designed primarily for narrow section road tyres. It's reckoned capable of delivering 120psi/8 bar, and I've been pleasantly surprised by its relative efficiency and the inbuilt gauge's accuracy, though it requires a consistent momentum and the barrel becomes uncomfortably hot towards the highest pressures.
- Pros: Accurate gauge, relatively efficient, solid build
- Cons: Barrel gets very hot at the highest pressures; push-on Presta head won't suit everyone
It's a well-configured mix of metal and composite, keeping strength up and grams down. The barrel and thumb lock are aluminium, the handle plastic. It's a dual action design, meaning it inflates on the in/out stroke, thus doubling the output (31.6cc all told). Size-wise, it's passable for jersey/jacket pockets but small enough for sneaking inside bigger wedge packs, should circumstances or preferences dictate.
Integrated gauges are nothing new, but some are markedly better than others. Topeak has gone for an analogue watch type, with both bar and PSI. It's clear and easy to read at a glance, although you'll need some LED assistance should you flat along a dark country lane.
There's a snug-fitting, plug-in rubberised cap to keep the elements out of its Presta head.
On that subject... Trailer aside, all my wheels run Presta valves, but I doubt I'm alone in liking a pump that will tend all the fleet, or get a riding companion out of a jam. Even if you top up with a CO2 cartridge in most instances, there are occasions where we need to rely on pump alone.
Brackets can be a bit hit and miss, but the Roadie DA's bottle boss mount is proportionate and sturdy, with a rubberised strap to rule out jettisoning along washboard tarmac or gravel roads.
I'm pleased to report that, unlike some of the miniature track pump types, there have been no 'woodpecker' tendencies (where the pump rattles against the frame tubes), nor has it slipped (a good thing given its proximity to the chainring).
Manufacturer quoted figures seem refreshingly accurate these days. Not so many years back, some 'high pressure' frame fit pumps struggled to hit, let alone crack, 110psi. The Roadie DA has rammed the full 120psi into a 700x26 tyre in a matter of 280 strokes, in just over three minutes.
Despite the double action, a consistent tempo is required, and resistance becomes increasingly apparent towards the higher pressures. I'm the first to acknowledge how misleading thumb tests (as a judge of pressure) are, but after the first minute I was convinced the gauge was out or had been damaged in transit.
However, cross referenced with a standalone digital unit confirmed it was correct: 37psi was all I'd delivered. Traditionally, some fixed head designs (rather than those using a threaded flexi hose) can rip out the valve stem. However, even with very long valve stems, and with the piston verging on lockout, this has been a moot point.
Gravel, touring and adventure aside, there's been a move toward wider tyres – 30mm isn't uncommon on road bikes these days – and I wasn't surprised to discover it couldn't deliver 95psi into some 38mm Soma Shikoro tyres. It locked out at 65psi, at 425 strokes (halfway between its operating pressure range). Although 75psi is my optimum, 65 was fine for finishing the remaining 30 mixed terrain miles.
When it came to some 32mm Tioga City Slickers, the Roadie DA delivered the full 70psi in 390 strokes, and five minutes. It has also raised a flaccid 26x1.5in to 53psi in five minutes and 400 strokes before locking out.
Head to head, these figures are equal to – and in some instances better than – the £29.99 Zefal Air Profile FC03. That said, it's worth noting that the Zefal comes complete with a 'Z Turn' flexible hose, which might be the decider – especially if you're prone to damaging threaded valve stems.
Price-wise it's competitive for pumps of this genre if you want a gauge. Birzman's Velocity Apogee has a gauge and a flexi hose, but it's another £9 at rrp.
If you're not set on a mini-pump and need higher pressures, something like Topeak's Road Master Blaster Hand Pump might be a better choice; that will deliver 100psi into a 700x23 tyre in around 100 strokes and has an rrp of £22.99.
To some extent, pumps have become a second line of defence, but nonetheless a reliable pump remains a must. Ultimately, the Topeak Roadie DA performs well, relative to its size and represents decent value for money.
Competent mini pump with credible performance but the push-on head might alienate some
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Roadie DA With Gauge
Size tested: 18.3x3.2x2.8cm
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?
Topeak says, "The most compact and lightweight version in the DA pump series easily fits in your jersey pocket. Dual-Action (DA) doubles volume with each stroke and inflates tires to 120 psi / 8 bar. Integrated dust cap keeps pump head clean and thumb lock lever insures air-tight seal."
Fast is a relative term and there's some definite resistance felt, especially towards the highest pressures. Nonetheless, it will genuinely achieve those claimed. Its also been surprisingly effective on bigger section tyres too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Presta with integrated dust cap
Barrel / Thumb lock
120 psi / 8 bar
Volume per stroke
36.1 cc (pull + push)
Dual-action pumping head
Side mount bracket
18.3 x 3.2 x 2.8 cm / 7.2' x 1.3' x 1.1'
95 g / 3.35 oz
Mix of aluminium alloy and composites feels solid.
Reliably achieves the pressures cited, and the gauge is refreshingly accurate too.
Time will tell but the construction feels solid and testing hasn't revealed any obvious vulnerabilities.
Reassuring, relative to the size and construction.
Comfort is a relative thing, especially when talking mini pumps. However, while it achieves the pressures cited, the barrel becomes very hot, which is a consideration if you're not pairing it with a CO2 cartridge.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Topeak Roadie DA. Despite its bijoux stature, it has consistently achieved the cited pressures. Though relatively slow and requiring a consistent rhythm, it will also deliver very serviceable pressures in wider section road/mountain bike tyres – helpful if you're swapping between bikes or helping another rider.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid build, genuinely copes with higher pressures and medium volumes. Gauge was another very pleasant surprise.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Push-on Presta head may alienate some, barrel becomes very hot at the higher pressures.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Competitive for pumps of this genre.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I'd probably go for its bigger, DAX sibling.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth a look.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Capable and solidly made mini pump with a sensible price tag, but the push-on Presta-only valve head may alienate some.
About the tester
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, mountain biking
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)