At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Specialized Air Tool Switch Comp Pump is intended to satisfy road and trail audiences. It's a user-friendly design, smooth in action and has a sensibly proportioned gauge. It's keenly priced, too.
Specialized has gone for a plastic barrel and aluminium shaft, which feel very solid and remind me of a much-treasured midi sized model – lost to a London bus 20 years back.
At 25cm long, it should fit nicely on most frames, and Specialized says the 48cc stroke can get tyres up to 80psi, though I only managed 75.
On a 25mm tyre, 60 strokes and 90 seconds brought it to 65psi, but then – to my surprise – lockout. I thought this might be a valve issue, but subsequent investigation ruled this out.
By contrast, a steady rhythm raised a 32mm Kenda Kwick Journey to 75psi in about 2 1/2 minutes. It was virtually – but not actually – locking out again, but this was the highest I got.
Turning to a 26x1.75, it was a similar, albeit more pedestrian, story but I managed a very plausible 50psi in 5 minutes. I've even managed 40psi into a 16x1.75 trailer tyre in 7 minutes.
The gauge seems accurate: integral gauges have got a lot better over the years, and this one read within 4psi of my trusty SKS Airchecker.
The bracket is very secure, so ejection along rough roads or trails is unlikely, especially with the vice-like grip offered by the rubberised O-ring strap. A gentle twist locks the handle in position too, so the barrel won't slowly slide out.
The body and gauge are designed to rotate, so it's easy to keep an eye on the pressure, regardless of angle. The SwitchHitter head is a smart design that automatically morphs to fit Presta/Schrader valves, and its spring and other components look and feel solid.
At the other end, the handle isn't quite so good – it can dig into your palm a little.
The Air Tool Switch Comp feels reassuringly solid throughout, but despite the snug closure it can let in water and grit when living on the down tube – this one is already wearing some superficial scratches on the aluminium shaft.
Its rrp of £21 is competitive. The Topeak Mini Dual mini pump is £17, for instance, yet lacks the gauge or a smart-type head.
You can pay more and still not get either of those features, too, such as with the £29.95 Velochampion Professional Bike Pump.
The Specialized Air Tool Switch Comp is an efficient, solid pump with a decent gauge for tackling mid-section road and mountain bike rubber. It's decent value too.
Decent pump for mid-section road and mountain bike tyres
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Air Tool Switch Comp Pump
Size tested: Max 80psi
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?
Specialized says: "This durable frame pump with SwitchHitter head automatically adjusts for Schrader or Presta valve tubes, plus it shows pressure on a rotatable gauge."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
SwitchHitter head automatically switches between Schrader and Presta valves.
Gauge body rotates for easy viewing.
Durable plastic barrel with aluminum shaft to reduce flex and improve efficiency.
Plunger locks to body chamber with a simple twist for secure storage.
Water bottle boss frame mounting bracket included.
Max pressure: 80 PSI (5.5bar)
Feels reassuringly solid, and the gauge seems reliable and accurate.
Very efficient with mid-section 700C and 26in tyres.
Composites feel very solid. In my experience 'intelligent' heads can be a weak spot, but this one contains a strong spring and components.
Competitively priced, although there are cheaper options if you forgo a gauge.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's reliable and pleasant to use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid build, user friendliness, and efficiency with high-volume tyres.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really; its 80psi max (or 75, in my testing) limits its use with higher pressure narrow road tyres, but that's not what it's designed for.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£21 is competitive. The Topeak Mini Dual is £17, for instance, yet lacks the gauge or a smart-type head. You can pay more and still not get either of those features, too, such as with the £29.95 Velochampion Professional Bike Pump.
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
The strong build and usefully accurate gauge impress – it's a competent and user-friendly pump at a decent price.
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, mtb,
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)