Topeak Pocket Rocket

9
£19.99

VERDICT:

9
10
One of the best mini-pumps I have used – and great value too
Light
Ergonomic, well thought out design
Easy to carry
Great value for money
Achieving advertised 160psi might take some time, but do you really need your tyres that hard?
Pump head dust cap can pop open if you leave it in Schrader mode
Weight: 
109g

"Optimized For Road", as per the tagline on the pump – the Topeak Pocket Rocket weighs in at a measly 109g and is a smidge over 22cm long, meaning it can easily nestle down in a jersey pocket without falling out. Despite its small size it works really well, pumping up a 28mm tyre in around 150 strokes. It's well made too, and looks a much more expensive pump than it is.

When I first saw the Pocket Rocket's rrp, and had a quick hunt on Google, I was genuinely surprised to see it costs less than £20, and can also be had for considerably less. It seems far more premium than its price would suggest – I was expecting it to be more in the £30 to £40 range.

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The quality of construction and premium feel are excellent. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into the details, such as the forefinger and thumb-shaped handle ends, the secure turn-and-click locking mechanism to stop it accidentally coming open when mounted on the bracket, and the fact that there are no sharp edges anywhere on the pump.

Topeak Pocket Rocket - head.jpg

Although it fits easily in a jersey pocket, the pump comes with a bracket and rubber strap that can be tucked under a bottle cage mount for fixing securely to a bike frame.

Topeak Pocket Rocket - on bike.jpg

Like other Topeak pumps, it works with Presta and Schrader valves. To swap between them you just unscrew the end cap, tap out the adaptor, and reverse the fit, which takes about 20 seconds to do.

Head of pump  - swapping from Presta to Schrader.jpg

To use the pump, simply push the head of the pump over your valve, then lift the locking mechanism which creates a secure grip on the valve, and get pumping. The pump has a one-way action, so only adds air when you push it in. You can tuck your forefinger into the shaped end of the pump head for a steady and smooth pumping action.

Topeak Pocket Rocket - head 2.jpg

I found it took approximately 150 strokes (about 3 minutes' worth) to get a 28mm tyre to the 70psi needed to get me home. It starts getting harder to pump after this point, so you will probably need a breather and a few more minutes if you want to get to 100psi or more. Once at the required hardness, it's then a simple matter of flipping the locking mechanism down and pulling the head of the pump off to release it.

Topeak Pocket Rocket - extended.jpg

When mounting the pump back on the bike, there is a rubber end cap to stop water and dirt getting in.

Topeak has made sure the Pocket Rocket will not rattle around while mounted on the bike, by enabling the handle to be turned and securely clicked closed, so that it won't create any annoying noises or accidentally extend itself if you hit any bumps in the road.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best pumps and CO2 inflators

The only negative thing I noticed was that if I left the head of the pump in the Schrader mode, the dust cap could pop open when not in use. If set it to the Presta mode then the locking mechanism was able to grip on the dust cap and keep it securely in place. This is a really minor downside, though.

Value

The Pocket Rocket is great value for money. I was genuinely surprised at the cost as, judging by the feel and performance, I thought it was going to be significantly more.

Looking at recently tested products in the same price range, it's £3 less than the excellent Birzman Mini Apogee, which is even lighter and smaller than the Topeak if absolute miniaturisation is required.

> All you need to know about mini-pumps + 6 of the best

And it's close to a fiver less than the Pro Bike Tool Mini Pump, another good pump in the same price and weight range, although some issues were found with it getting hot, and with getting up to higher pressures.

Overall, I really liked this pump. It is light, ergonomic, and performs brilliantly with a quality construction, and in use it feels more premium than its price would suggest.

Verdict

One of the best mini-pumps I have used – and great value too

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak Pocket Rocket

Size tested: 22.2x4.2x2.5cm

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, "Lightweight mini pump with alloy barrel for roadies. Soft dual density polymer head and plastic handle for increased grip and comfort while pumping. Efficient design pumps to 160 psi."

My initial reaction to the Pocket Rocket was that it must be one of Topeak's higher end pumps as it looks and feels premium; you can see from the design details that quite a lot of thought has gone into creating it. So I was surprised to see that it costs less than 20 quid, and can be picked up for a lot less if you shop around.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Features include an integrated seal and dust cap, rubberised pump head with internal bayonet handle lock for easy gripping and handling, aluminium thumb-lock for durable usage, a machine-cut slimline barrel. The mounting bracket can be placed underneath a bottle cage, and includes a rubber strap to keep it secured.

Topeak lists:

ADDED FEATURES Dual density polymer head

Includes side mount bracket (Art No. TPMB-2C-1)

BARREL Butted aluminum

CAPACITY 160 psi / 11 bar

HANDLE Plastic

HEAD Fits Presta / Schrader / Dunlop valves w/ integrated dust cap

SIZE 22.2 x 4.2 x 2.5 cm 8.7' x 1.7' x 1.0'

THUMB LOCK Aluminum

WEIGHT 115 g / 4.05 oz

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It took 150 strokes to get a 28mm tyre up to 70psi, which is plenty enough to get you home. The pump is slim enough to fit easily into a jersey pocket and only weighs 109g, which is great for this price point. The locking mechanism grips onto the valve really well. I have used other, slightly bigger pumps than this in the past that did not perform nearly as well. I have quite big hands, and at 22cm long, the pump is just the right length to use.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

So far, so good. It feels like a product that will last for a long time. The inside of the pump head reveals a brass fitting which will not corrode. All the materials feel durable.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

109g for less than 20 quid is great.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10

Topeak has really thought about comfort when designing the pump, and it shows. The thumb and forefinger shaped ends are ergonomic to use, and the rubberised grip at the head of the pump makes it comfortable to hold with a forefinger to steady the pump on the valve. There are no sharp edges around the handle or locking lever, which could make it uncomfortable to use.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Great value for money. I was surprised at the rrp, and a quick hunt online shows it can be found for a lot less than that.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performs really well: you simply push the end over the Presta or Schrader valve, lift the locking mechanism, which has an excellent grip on the valves, and get pumping. I found it took approximately 150 pumps (about 3 minutes' worth) to get a 28mm tyre to 70psi to get me home.

It starts getting pretty hard to pump after this point, so you will probably need a breather and a few more minutes if you want to get to 100psi or more. It's then a simple matter of flipping the locking mechanism down and pulling the head of the pump off to release it.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The quality of construction and premium feel. It is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the small details, such as the thumb-shaped handle ends, the turn and click locking mechanism to stop it rattling around when mounted on the bracket, and the fact that there are no sharp edges anywhere on the pump.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I'm really clutching at straws here, but I noticed the rubber bung, to seal the end of the pump when not in use, doesn't stay in place very well if you have it in Schrader valve mode. If you have it in Presta mode it's very secure, as the locking mechanism can get a grip on it, to keep it in place.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Looking at recently tested products in the same price range, it's £3 less than the excellent Birzman Mini Apogee, which is even lighter and smaller than the Topeak if absolute miniaturisation is required.

And it's a fiver less than the Pro Bike Tool Mini Pump, another good pump in the same price and weight range, although some issues were found with the pump getting hot, and with getting up to higher pressures.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, one of the best mini-pumps I have used.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Having used several Topeak and other brand mini-pumps over the years, the Pocket Rocket is one of the easiest to use, with all the features I could need. The thought and attention to ergonomics is excellent, and to have such a competitive price is outstanding. A definite 9 out of 10.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 181  Weight: 92 Kilos

I usually ride: GT Grade  My best bike is: Boardman ASR 8.9

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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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