ZEFAL PROFIL MAX FP60 Z TURN PUMP
1070g €54.95 (c.£50.93 at time of writing
The Zefal Profil Max FP60 is a track pump capable of reaching high pressures. Whilst it has many of features you’d associate with track pumps in general, it has some very thoughtful touches. I’ve come across more neatly finished pumps, but it meets the design brief very well and has become a bit of a favourite. If nothing else, it is taller than track pumps I have come across before.
Pros: powerful and quick on both higher pressure and high-volume tyres.
Cons: bleed valve would be a nice addition.
Spec and materials 4/5
67 centimetres tall, and weighing in at just over a kilo, the Profil F60 floor pump may not be the smartest model on the block, but is well-made with some nice touches. We’ll talk about its effectiveness later.
The base is a reinforced resin, providing a sound base, and featuring a three-inch diameter pressure gauge. Actually, the gauge is a really useful size for those with eye-sight that’s less than perfect or just like things to be obvious. Even better, there’s a bulbous protrusion that magnifies your chosen pressure when the red indicating arrow is in position.
Anodised aluminium barrel, with a beech wood handle – not ergo, but comfortable enough – are not uncommon. The handle and piston are adorned by a bracket for draping the hose over. It also prevents un-planned extension.
The hose is 110cm long. That’s plenty for any circumstance I can think of. The chuck for the adaptor fits both Presta and Schraeder valves. Screw it onto the valve, and your away. Some might prefer twin-headed adaptors with a lever to hold things tight. What’s best is a moot point, but the latter can be problematic on small, densely-spoked wheels. In that scenario the F60 adaptor is a definite plus. This is Zefal’s Z Turn system, and it is, as they say, “intuitive.” The FP60 previously used the Z Switch – lever type – system. Apart from the extra care needed for removable valve cores, I’d say the Z Turn – screw-on type – is a plus.
With a top pressure of 174psi (12 bars), the combined barrel height and circumference allow a lot of air to be shoved in with each stroke. There are not too may folk who’ll need to go higher.
Although the handle isn’t one of those lovely ergonomic polished affairs, it is perfectly comfortable. The action is smooth, although not as silky as some more expensive models. Hardly a deal-breaker, if one is focussed most on effectiveness.
Screw on heads can be a bit fiddly I find. The F60 is no exception, but, again, this is common to most and not really a problem.
For those with either large fleets or want to get going quickly, inflation prowess is key. Well, the F60 has no problems in that department. Flaccid to fully-pumped in fewer strokes than many others I have used. OK, it is not quite as ferocious as the Blackburn Piston 4. Even so, its stats are impressive.
700x32C zero to 90psi in 36 strokes (up and down equalling one stroke) – and pretty effortless.
Road 23-622 (700x23C) went to 110 in an impressive 21 strokes, and beyond to 160 in 39, although bluff Anglo-Saxon idioms accompanied pressures over 110.
Likewise, 110 psi was reached on my Surly Ted trailer’s Maxxis Hookworm tyres (16x1.95) with moderate effort and 46 strokes.
Bulkier 26x2.00 (47-559) tyres on the old MTB tractor that now tugs the trailer (amongst other duties) went to 65 psi in 46 strokes and on to 80psi in 59.
Independent checking with a standalone gauge suggests these pressures are accurate, or very close.
On the whole, getting to pressure did not require too much exertion – except at the very top-end. The good news, too is that it does equally well on high-pressure tyres and high-volume ones.
There are plenty of track pumps to pick through, with a price range to match. The FP60, sits in the middle, but, in my opinion, offers more than some more expensive models. Moreover, I have seen significant discounts on-line, too. Keep an eye out for whether it is the older Z Switch version or the new Z Turn, if you have strong feelings on the matter.
The Blackburn Piston 4 performs very well, even a little better in some contexts. Even when discounted on line, it comes in considerably more expensive. Some may rate its aesthetics more highly than the F60 – utilitarians will beg to differ.
My old Joe Blow III can be found at a similar price, too, and has a three-inch gauge, and has a more robust feel. Both go to 160psi, however, in my opinion, the F60 wins on inflation with less effort.
Ease of inflation is matched by high quality foot-pumps, such as the SKS Airstep. Whilst these can have distinct advantages for anyone with a bad back – or a preference for using their legs (cyclists generally have pretty good ones) – they won’t go to the higher pressures. The SKS is a top-notch foot-pump. It is pricier, although cheaper models are available.
This is a really well thought out bit of gear for the workshop or the car boot, ideal for those wanting high pressures and/or having fleet duties. Ease of use makes it perfect for getting the family bikes ready. It may not look as swanky as some, but certainly cuts the mustard.