The Zacoo Maha II is a well-made pump that backs up its cool appearance with a strong performance.
Jez reviewed the Zacoo Maha III earlier in the year and was really impressed, although he has since had to replace the Snap-It head (£15).
The difference between the Maha III and the Maha II that we have here comes down to the handle – the Maha III has a varnished wooden handle while this one is extruded and then CNC machined aluminium. The other features are the same... The three-legged base is aluminium – those legs spaced wide enough to provide a load of stability – and so is the pump barrel.
All the aluminium is highly polished so the pump looks neat. It's good to have some cool looking stuff in your life. If you're anything like me, you'll scratch the finish sooner or later, despite your best efforts. It's a floor pump – you're bound to. I've done that a couple of times but it still looks great. Oh, and before anyone brings it up, yes, it does resemble a Lezyne pump.
The hose reaches from the bottom of the barrel, over the handle, and back down to the base again. How long is that? [Reaches for tape measure]. It's 115cm, which can be useful at times.
One of the most interesting features is Birzman's Snap-It head that works with Presta valves. You pull back the collar on the Snap-It head, push it onto the valve, then push the collar forward and give it a tiny twist. That locks the metal threads inside the head onto the threads at the top of the valve.
It's really clever and really secure. As I said above, Jez had some trouble with a Snap-It head after trying to get some tubeless tyres to seal, but I've had no worries at all so far.
To remove the Snap-It head from the valve, you just draw back the collar and pull it away, so there's no danger of accidentally removing a valve core. Here's a video of it in action.
I pumped up a 700 x 23C tyre to 110psi in 28 strokes with very little effort, and I got the maximum recommended 160psi into a pair of tubs equally easily. Birzman reckon you can get up to 220psi here. They might be right but I've got no tyres that require anything like that. The handle is comfortable and everything feels perfectly solid. Birzman point out that the pump actually tilts towards you slightly (by 5°) to improve the ergonomics, although I hardly noticed that in use. Sorry! The gauge is pretty easy to read despite being on the base rather than positioned at the top of the barrel.
If you want to use the Maha II on Schrader valves, you just remove the Snap-It head (you can store it on a little rubber holder that's attached to the hose so that you don't lose it) and screw it in place, again getting a very secure, leak-free connection. One other neat feature is that the head has an air release button that allows you to get the pressure spot on.
Very well made floor pump with a strong performance to justify the price.
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Make and model: Birzman Zacoo Maha II
Size tested: Chrome
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?
"Design evolved from Birzman's premier 5 Degree floor pump design.
1.Pump tilts towards the user providing unparalleled ergonomic comfort.
2.Stable Aluminium Alloy base with High polished premium finish.
3.Extruded and CNC'd twin handle optimises grip
4.CNC'd and super stiff pump barrel for durability/performance.
5.220 psi max with Presta/Schrader compatibility"
Everyone needs a good floor pump!
Yeah, £70 is a lot of cash for a floor pump but you're not going to buy many in your life. Get a good one and it could last you years and years. Even if the head eventually goes, it's replaceable
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Got the air into the tyres really quickly and easily and I never felt like the pump would fold in half with a bit of ill-applied pressure, unlike some.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Does its job well and looks cool. The Snap-It head is a clever design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's not cheap, but it is virtually all polished aluminium.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I would, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 42 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.