Airace iVelocity Road Mini Pump - review - Road Cycling UK

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Airace iVelocity Road Mini Pump – review

Innovative pump displays pressure via Bluetooth app - but let down by the pump itself

The Airace iVelocity Road Mini Pump is an interesting idea, with Bluetooth integration to provide a digital pressure gauge on your smartphone, but tech aside it falls short on some of the key elements we look for with a mini pump. A few tweaks and it could be great, but at the moment there are others mini pumps on the market that perform better, even if you don’t know the exact pressure.

One of the things about mini-pumps that means they’re best used for only mid-ride top-ups or emergency inflation, is that most (but not all) have no kind of pressure gauge. As a result, when you get a puncture midway through a ride and need to put enough air in to get back home, you’re essentially guessing by feeling the tyre, rather than anything more accurate.

A detachable hose makes it easier to access the inner tube valve

Airace have attempted to solve this issue with the iVelocity mini pump, which is able to communicate with the iGauge smartphone app via Bluetooth to give you a digital pressure readout. It’s a clever idea and, as far as usability goes, it’s easy to establish a Bluetooth connection and the app itself is simple to use, so you have a much better idea of what you’re putting in your tyres.

That said, this is undoubtedly a product which will divide opinion about whether it’s really necessary to get your phone out to pump up a tyre to a specific pressure in the pouring rain while – and admittedly we’re looking at the worst case scenario here – your club mates wait for you. It won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure, and does add another layer of faff to the already unwelcome process of changing an inner tube.

The iVelocity is fairly large for a modern mini pump, containing the Bluetooth element at one end and the pump gubbins at the other. The pump has an extendable hose and a thumb lever for attachment to the inner tube valve. This is covered by a dust cap on the end can be switched from Presta to Schrader by unscrewing the head and turning it around – a simple process.

The pump is comfortable in hand when pumping thanks to the non-slip surface used, however the grip between the pump and the valve itself isn’t so good. Although the pump is meant to be able to reach 120 PSI, once we got to around 80 the valve wouldn’t have enough grip and would detach, making for a frustrating experience. We tried the pump across two bikes and numerous inner tubes and, while it may be possible to get the pressure above 80 PSI, we certainly couldn’t get there.

The Bluetooth gubbins are located in the opposite end of the pump

It’s quite slow going, too, with every individual pumping action seeing an approximate increase of 0.5 PSI in pressure, so you’re looking at around 160 pumps to get to 80 PSI – both time consuming and tiring on the arms.

Airace say that the dust cap is integrated, but in reality it’s attached by a rubber band which can come off relatively easily, including when pulling the pump out of a jersey pocket. That means, without vigilance, it would be fairly easy to lose and sometimes only when checking a jersey pocket after a ride would we find it.

The iGauge app itself is simple to use

Conclusion

The Airace iVelocity is an interesting idea which solves a potential problem most cyclists will come across at some point – though that depends how highly you value being able to know exactly what pressure your tyres are at in the event of a flat. Regardless of this, the pump falls down in a number of basic elements: inflation is relatively slow, the grip on the tyre valve should be better and the dust cap isn’t strong enough.

Pros

  • Innovative idea
  • App and Bluetooth connection work well

Cons

  • Laborious inflation process
  • Dust cap be easily lost
  • Valve grip isn’t strong enough
  • Bluetooth gauge adds another layer of faff to fixing a puncture

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