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Topeak RaceRocket Mini

7
£32.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Delivers rideable pressure without much fuss in a good-looking and light package, but check your valve cores first
Compact and light
Decent pressure output
Comfortable ergonomics and grip
Screw-on head creates super secure link
Screw-on head can unscrew valves
Claimed psi impossible for this reviewer
Weight: 
105g

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The Topeak RaceRocket Mini is small and light and will get your tyres back up to usable pressures surprisingly quickly. With comfortable ergonomics and a nice-to-hold gripper, it's a good choice, screwing onto valves to create a super secure link. I wasn't able to reach the claimed psi, and it does sometimes take a few goes to form a perfect bond, but overall it performed well.

For more options, check out our guide to the best cycling mini pumps.

The RaceRocket Mini's 16cm length fits easily in the hand, while its 90g weight (without mount; 105g with) won't have any back pockets sagging. And if you don't want it in your pocket, it comes with a side-mount bracket which is very easy to add to your bike.

2024 Topeak RaceRocket Mini - with holder.jpg

The pump feels sturdy and reliable, and the combination of aluminium and rubber feels quite high end. Every part is strongly constructed, and it folds away neatly without any rattling or unwelcome moving parts. As well as coming in this fetching gold shade, there's an all-black version.

The RaceRocket can inflate both Schrader and Presta valves. After popping off the attached rubber dustcap, you unscrew a metal nut from the end of the pump which reveals a flexible hose that arrives set up to work on a Schrader valve. In order to make it Presta compatible, you unscrew the same end point, and eventually this reveals a longer inner chamber where a Presta valve can slot inside.

2024 Topeak RaceRocket Mini - valve head 2.jpg

This whole process feels well designed and cleverly thought out. Most of all, it's simple and intuitive – I didn't need to look at the instructions once.

The pump has a grippy handle that makes it easy to get a good purchase while you're giving it some welly by the side of the road. The ergonomics are good for a small pump, and you can get to a high enough pressure to ride on before it gets uncomfortable.

There is just one setting, which Topeak claims gives out 32.6cc per stroke, and you're meant to be able to achieve 120psi in a road tyre, but this simply was not possible for me: 150 strokes got my 28mm tyre to 38psi, by which point it was getting pretty stiff, and that was enough pressure to have me rolling again. If I put my biceps and hands into the red, I could just about get the tyre to 56psi, but that was pretty uncomfortable – think: everything quivering and a real angry scowl on your face. My arms are too weak to attempt to get to 120psi.

> How to choose the best bike tyre pressure

The head screws onto the tyre's valve, creating a very secure connection. A few times I did struggle slightly to connect it to the valve thread properly, so false starts are possible. Also, the extension section that switches between Presta and Schrader has some flex in it, meaning it's possible for the hose to close slightly and push down on the valve. Air will escape when this happens, so you need to focus on keeping everything in place.

2024 Topeak RaceRocket Mini in action.jpg

A screw-on head is all well and good, but if you have removable valve cores it pays to take care. I've been in a few scenarios where, having pumped up the tyre, unscrewing the pump removes the valve end and the tyre totally deflates. That wasn't an issue for me as I had permanent valve cores, but it's something to bear in mind.

Helpfully, at the opposite end of the pump to the dust cap there is a removable 'PCT' cap (Presta valve core tool) which is a tool for removing or tightening two-piece Presta valve cores, so you can make sure your valves are as secure as possible. Note, it's extremely difficult to remove the cap from the pump without the help of a tool.

2024 Topeak RaceRocket Mini PCT cap.jpg

The pump also works with smooth-sided inner tube valves. As long as there is a thread on the valve core, the RaceRocket Mini attaches okay.

After you've pumped your tyre, everything fits back together courtesy of a rubber grommet on the outer chamber. The movable pump end fits snugly into this grommet so that the pump remains closed while out of use.

2024 Topeak RaceRocket Mini - handle.jpg

Value

Though cheaper pumps are available, I've been through a lot of mini-pumps that don't deliver the desired pressure, don't have a solid lock onto tyre valves, or are cumbersome and hard to use. The RaceRocket Mini doesn't fall into any of these traps, and is also very small and light.

Its Roadie 2Stage sibling is a very similar size but costs a few quid more (£36.99). It locks in place with a lever, and comes with a frame mount, but Stu wasn't that impressed with the effort required to get tyres up to a decent pressure, plus it was slightly uncomfortable to use.

VecchioJo reluctantly approved the usefulness of the Schwalbe SOS Mini Pump, which costs £35.99, and is even smaller and lighter than the Topeak at just 96g. He was disappointed with the speed of inflation, though, and it seems pretty fiddly to use.

The Muc-Off AirMach Mini Pump is slightly cheaper at £30, and weighs just 78g without the mount. It has a volume per stroke of 32.21cc but won't work on smooth valves. Stu rated it as good, and managed to get the desired psi after a fair bit of work.

Conclusion

There are always some drawbacks with small pumps, but for its low weight and size the RaceRocket Mini does a really good job and I felt safe out riding with it in my pocket. The attachment is secure (so long as your valve cores are locked, and threaded) and I didn't have to ruin my hands and arms to get a rideable pressure. The ergonomics and grip are well thought out and I think it looks good too – especially for what is a competitive price.

Verdict

Delivers rideable pressure without much fuss in a good-looking and light package, but check your valve cores first

road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak RaceRocket Mini

Size tested: 16 x 3.1 x 2.7cm / 6.3

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?

From Topeak:

"The Race Rocket Mini version is only 16cm in length, making it more suitable for easy portability. The newly designed handle features an upgraded texture, enhancing its overall quality and feel."

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

Topeak lists:

HEAD SmartHead® ThreadLock w/ integrated dust cap

Fits Presta / Schrader valves

MATERIAL CNC aluminum / Rubber

CAPACITY 120 psi / 8 bar

ADDED FEATURES Dust cap

Core Tightening Tool

Includes side mount bracket (TRK-PC02)

SIZE 16 x 3.1 x 2.7 cm / 6.3" x 1.2" x 1.1"

WEIGHT 85 g / 3 oz

VOLUME PER STROKE 32.6 cc

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Really well made and every element is both simple to use, durable and good-looking. The mount is also a useful touch.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Better than expected, though the claimed 120psi is way beyond me. It achieves passable pressure and I love how light and easily packable it is. The valve-tightening tool is a sort of useful extra but it was very hard to remove.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Early days, but I can't see why any elements should fail. Good performance during testing.

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

At 105g it's pretty light. It feels really small and light in the hand. I couldn't even notice it when riding with it in my jersey pocket. Without the mount Topeak claims it weighs 85g and it came in just under 90g on my scales.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

The grip is comfy for the most part – but as with most small pumps, things get less comfortable once you're trying to put those last bits of psi into the tyre.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Not the cheapest pump out there but on a par with others, and I think you get a good product for the money.

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

As the name suggests, this pump is meant to achieve quick results with a minimum weight penalty. I was impressed with how quickly it inflated a tyre to a usable psi with the minimum of fuss. It could cause issues depending on your valve selection, which is something to be wary of.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It looks great, the grip section is handy, and the solid connection is reassuring.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The screw-on element is both useful and a potential pitfall.

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

It'ss comparable to similarly specced pumps and I'd say the RaceRocket Mini is certainly fairly priced.

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

It's good – not perfect, but a lightweight and well-designed pump. The pressure it delivers will get you home, and you will barely notice it in your pocket.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 34  Height: 187cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Pearson Hammerandtongs  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Ultra endurance

Add new comment

5 comments

Avatar
The_Ewan | 4 weeks ago
1 like
Quote:

you're meant to be able to achieve 120psi in a road tyre, but this simply was not possible

Quote:

I've been through a lot of mini-pumps that don't deliver the desired pressure [...] The RaceRocket Mini doesn't fall into any of these traps

Erm, what? You just described it falling in to exactly that trap. And a bunch of others.

Avatar
Backladder replied to The_Ewan | 4 weeks ago
3 likes
The_Ewan wrote:
Quote:

you're meant to be able to achieve 120psi in a road tyre, but this simply was not possible

Quote:

I've been through a lot of mini-pumps that don't deliver the desired pressure [...] The RaceRocket Mini doesn't fall into any of these traps

Erm, what? You just described it falling in to exactly that trap. And a bunch of others.

You misunderstand, the pump is constructed strongly enough to achieve 200psi without breaking, they tested this with the worlds strongest man before making the claim. Your weedy arms are your own problem  3

Avatar
Surreyrider replied to Backladder | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Who needs 120psi anyway these days?!

Avatar
The_Ewan replied to Surreyrider | 4 weeks ago
1 like

We might not need 120psi, but I'm pretty sure there's a fair few of us running at a bit more than 38psi, which is where this pump 'was getting pretty stiff'.

My regular does-everything hybrid is usually at 60psi and I think the minimum I'd hope for from a pump is to be able to get there without 'everything quivering and a real angry scowl '.

 

Avatar
Laurence Kilpatrick replied to The_Ewan | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Apologies, Ewan, and thanks for flagging.

For 'desired' read, 'rideable' - and 'that trap'.

I'll get this changed over.

I don't ever need 120psi, but it was worth flagging that this very much was not possible.

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