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SKS make the bike-shop-stalwart Rennkompressor pump and a bunch of other high quality units, and they've trickled down some of that engineering into the new Airkompressor 12.0 - enough of it for the pump to be a very good buy for the £30 list price, and you can have it for less if you shop around.
Specifically, a couple of the things they've trickled down are the extra-long steel barrel and the Multivalve head unit. The barrel's volume and shape means it's a simple job to get road tyres up to pressure; 100psi into a 23mm tyre takes just 21 strokes. The extra height of the pump means that it might not be the best if you're very short, but no-one in the office had any issues.
The Multivalve head is, in my opinion, the best of the three options SKS have for attaching the pump to the valve. There's a hole for Presta and one for Schraeder, simply push the head unit on and flip the lever down and you're ready to go. The smart head might be cleverer and the traditional two-piece thumblock chuck might suit the pro mechanic and last for ever, but the Multivalve is by far the nicest to use. It's attached to the giant floor-level pressure dial by means of a hose that's long enough, though not over generous; if you're pumping up tyres on a workstand you might struggle but other than that it's fine.
The pump is rated to 12 bar, hence the 12.0 in the name. We didn't need to pump up any silk tubulars down the track so we haven't pushed it to its limits but 120psi in a road tyre is no bother at all, and that's the limit of most people's requirements. The plastic handle is basic but comfortable enough; the composite base section can flex a bit when you're going after it but the Airkompressor never felt like it was in any danger of breaking.
For thirty quid there's a goodly number of track pumps you can choose from, but this should certainly be on your list. It's well made and capable of delivering high pressures with ease.
Good quality track pump that makes light work of high pressures.
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Make and model: SKS Airkompressor 12.0 track 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?
The new high-performance pump for every occasion. Alongside its outstanding value for money, the AIRKOMPRESSOR 12.0 captivates by its extra-long steel tube that ensures great volume per stroke, its extra large manometer as well as the multivalve head for all types of valves. With the greatest of ease, you will inflate the tyre up to a pressure of 12 bar with this all-rounder.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
measurements: 730 mm
valve: AV, SV, DV
ouput max: 12 bar/174 PSI
Nicely made for a budget pump.
Does the job with minimum fuss and bother.
Not going to last as long as a Rennkompressor but fine for home use.
Easy to get to high pressures.
Good quality pump at a keen price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to use, good multivalve head.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing much, the hose could be a little longer.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.