With the Transformer RX, Topeak haven’t simply produced yet another track pump that can easily get a tyre up to 100 psi in less than a minute. No, what they’ve designed is a track pump that does double duty as a basic bike stand. While not workshop quality it is good enough to raise the rear of the bike for basic gear adjustment or to simply hold the bike steady rather than leaning it against a wall or your car ahead of a sportive or race. The Transformer RX is also compact enough to drop into a bike bag when travelling.
When it comes to track pumps there are always certain features that make a good design stand out from a bad one. Features that make them easy to use, including a footrest to hold it steady while pumping, a T-shaped handle for comfort and a pump head that can easily be swapped from Presta to Schrader as required, and Topeak have managed to fit all of these and more into the Transformer RX.
Starting from the bottom, there’s a simple fold out, U-shaped metal foot to keep the pump steady during use and if you want more stability there are two additional legs that slide out, much like a camera tripod, and once deployed allow the adjustable height hooks on the pump’s body to be used to lift a bike off the ground; one hook under one of the chainstays, the other under one of the seatstays.
The hose on the Transformer RX is telescopic. The upper flexible section slides in and out of the lower rigid part and it’s topped by a lockable valve head that can easily be swapped between valve types. Topeak even include ball and bladder attachments to allow the pump to be used to blow up other inflatables besides bike tyres.
At the very top of the pump is the fold out T-shaped handle that has a diameter similar to that of a bike’s handlebar, which makes it comfortable in use. It’s not as ergonomic as a big handle you’d find on a normal track pump but then the Transformer RX’s compact nature is key to its design. Also at the top of the pump body is the pressure gauge, which goes up to 150psi. However, the figures on it are very small and not especially easy to read. Fortunately, the bezel around the gauge is moveable and has a bright yellow arrow on it which can be set to indicate the desired pressure and is much easier to see than the small figures on the gauge.
Finishing the package off is a fabric carrying bag for the Transformer RX that includes a small inner bag to carry the additional fittings for the pump’s head.
Topeak’s Transformer RX is a very capable and versatile track pump only slightly let down by the hard to read gauge, but the additional feature of a being a portable bike stand makes up for that and makes this a smart pump for both home use and when travelling with your bike.
Lightweight and compact
Built-in bike stand
Hard to read pressure gauge