The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump is a solid pump half the time

Social media’s algorithms know that I ride a bike almost every day. My quiver includes a city bike, mountain bike, and gravel bike, in addition to one or two e-bikes I’m always in the process of reviewing. I’m also the family mechanic, which makes me responsible for no less than 16 to 18 tires that I must keep inflated. So, you’d better believe I took notice when Instagram served me several ads for the Flextail Tiny Bike Bump.

The mini rechargeable pump works with Presta (the thin one) or Schrader (the old fatty) valves and promises ultra-fast inflation that maxes out at 100psi (about 7 bars) — enough for any bike that doesn’t require a stretchy wardrobe coordinated with your shoes and helmet.

The origins of the pump are suspect, as I see what looks to be the exact same product sold with branding like Cyclami, Toptoper, Rrskit, and Epoom at a variety of price points, some as low as $25. Flextail sells its version for $85 and lists the manufacturer as Huzhou Jingwei Outdoor Products on the box and device itself. The first pump Flextail sent me couldn’t pump a tire beyond 19psi before dying. Flextail sent me another that (mostly) lives up to the claims.

The thing that’s not mentioned in the ads I’ve seen is how loud the tiny pump is: 76dB at arm’s length, in my testing, which is akin to bending over to inspect a running vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal. Using it while stopped alongside forest trails generates more scowls than seeing a mountain biker in Lycra.

The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump does work, though. It’s much faster and smaller than the mini hand pumps riders usually carry in case of trouble. At 3.9 ounces (111 grams), it’s also just a bit heavier than the trusty 3.4-ounce (96 grams) Unich pump I regularly carry. But the Flextail pump also doesn’t strain your air valve mounts as much because it doesn’t require long periods of vigorously erratic pumping.

The Flextail pump’s biggest disadvantage is that it’s only good for a few zero-to-full inflations before needing a recharge, but that will vary by tire size and desired pressure. It’ll last much longer if you’re just topping up tires. Its tiny 2.59Wh battery recharges in as little as 25 minutes.


The Flextail compared to two mini pumps, my trusty Unich pump (top) and a mini standing pump from Pro Bike Tool (bottom).

In my testing, on a city bike fitted with wide 700 x 40c tires and Schrader valve, I was able to pump one tire up to 45psi in 45 seconds. Then, moving to a gravel bike fitted with wider 700 x 42c tires and Presta valves, I was able to hit 50psi in 90 seconds before the pump quit in need of a recharge. That’s two real-world inflations per charge, for those keeping score.

The Flextail Tiny Bike Pump is so small and lightweight that I initially thought it would be ideal for bikepacking trips or even long day rides. But with only two inflations in the tank, I’d still want to carry a hand pump as backup alongside my patch kit and spare inner tube(s). But there’s no way my gram-obsessed brain would allow me to carry two pumps.

If your rig is an e-bike with a built-in USB charging port, then you’re already traveling with a giant power bank on wheels. That makes it easy to recharge the Flextail pump after depleting it because your side-of-the-road flat tire repair didn’t go as planned (it happens!). Just don’t forget your USB-C cable… and maybe a carbohydrate bar to snack on while you wait.

If you’re still interested, all I can say is that one of the two Flextail Tiny Bike Pumps I tested worked as advertised, and I bet you’ll have similar success from other brands that sell what looks to be the same Huzhou Jingwei Outdoor Products battery-powered pump for much less.

For everyone else, just buy a mini hand pump for much less money. They never need charging, are too big to lose, and will likely last a human lifetime — or two.

All photography by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

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