Birzman is one of those brands that seems to be an enigma in South Africa, yet the Taiwanese-based company produces a surprisingly large range of mountain bike products and accessories. Given that Birzman has partnered to a number of top athletes and has earned a number of international design awards, there’s a reasonably high level of credibility in the brand. Birzman’s Eurobike Red Dot Award winner, the ‘Tiny Tanker’ is a mid-range floor pump that, at 51cm tall, is about two-thirds the length of a regular workshop or home floor pump. Birzman claims is can inflate to 220psi (approximately 15 bar). Which is impressive, if you ride a road bike. We experimented and inflated a 27.5 x 2.35 tyre and a 29 x 2.2 tyre both to 4.5 bar with ease.
So getting to normal running pressures around 2 bars was a cinch, taking about 20 seconds of focussed effort from very soft. What we did find clever, was the “snap-it” valve head, which, as the name suggests, snaps on over the valve and seats with a single turn. To use on the lesser seen Schrader (car) valve, you just screw off the top of the connector cap and screw it onto the valve. We also like the fact that there is an integrated bleed valve to release air, which we found very accurate, although with full finger gloves we sometimes pressed this accidentally.
The gauge we felt could have an easier reading layout, especially for bar measurements. The importers, International Trade, assure us that they do have a model with this included, albeit higher priced.
At R790, the Tiny Tanker is competitively priced in relative terms. In summary, we found the Tiny Tanker to be powerful and accurate enough to compete with most regular size, big-brand floor pumps. The firm valve connection and release option were impressive and the reduced size made it easy to pack into a kit bag or leave in the car boot without becoming obtrusive. Ideal for the stage-racer and frequent traveller.
Contact: www.intltrade.co.za; 011 781 5324
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Originally published in TREAD Issue 27, 2014 – All rights reserved