ZEFAL PROFIL RG01 MINI PUMP
225g (260g including bracket) (as tested) €39.95 (£35.66 at time of writing)
The Profil Mini RG01 Pump is a mini floor/track pump aimed at the road and hybrid market. I’ve got a number of pumps along the same lines, but it must be said that, as is often the case, Zefal have come up with some nice touches: thoughtful additions, rather than earth shattering, but, overall, I have come to appreciate its strong-points, and manage a limitation or two.
Pros: decent pump for road/hybrid bikes.
Cons: check the mount suits your bike: the new rubber one should.
Zefal’s Profil Mini RG01 shares many fundamentals with the ever-increasing number of rival mini track/floor pumps – the main exception being that it is larger in every dimension than any of the others in my collection. This should allow more air to be pumped with each stroke, but it does create a few issues worth considering before purchase. For me, none would put me off, but much will depend on how you roll.
So, RG01 is 34.5cm (13.6inches) long. A steel base, aluminium barrel and thumb-lock, with plastic and rubber combining in other parts. The hose is 60cm (23.6inches) long and has an in-line pressure gauge. The merit of the latter has caused debate: the more precisely-minded (aka pedants) extolling the importance of getting as close as is manageable to the correct pressure: the more easy-going (aka shambolic) insisting that it is not really necessary, going so far as to suggest that such gauges weaken the hose. Move the red hoop allowing the aperture to reveal your target pressure.
A single-head serves Shrader and Presta valves, via the inevitable fiddling around with the familiar internal workings. This keeps the size of the head down. Tighten things up, flick the thumb-lock out, and pump away.
The plastic handle flicks out to make for a comfortable grip. When in closed position, the grooved top allows the hose to sit securely. The head is secured to the pump foot by a small hook, when not in use.
6.5 centimetres of useable foot should allow even the largest of shoe sizes to hold the base and pump reasonably secure when in action. At the very base is a ribbed plastic base, which may offer some additional grip compared to smoother models.
Max inflation is stated as 10bar/145psi. That should suit almost all roadies, certainly tourers and leisure riders.
Ours initially arrived with the familiar bracket to fit to bottle-cage braze-ons – or, using the slots, to zip tie to the frame – and Velcro band. It fitted oversized tubing, nicely. On slimmer road and touring tubing, there was insufficient clearance between seat tube and cranks for comfort in the real world of bumps and minor in-ride shifts. Investigation showed that Zefal had replaced it with a new “Universal” ( tempting fate) rubber bracket with a Velcro strap to secure bracket to bike and pump to bracket. Mind you, I tend to carry pumps of this kind in a pannier or larger seat/rack pack, except when paring down for a quick burst.
The ”Universal” mount has slits in it, but these are not large enough to fit over bottle cage braze-ons. Even on larger frames, I’ve found insufficient space to make the pump sit neatly at the front of the seat tube. Sufficient clearance between crank and pump, when mounted on the side of the seat tube, fine on triple and twin chain rings, disappear on my single speed.
Fortunately, my ancient single-speed has no bottle bosses, so the RG01 fits nicely on the front of the down tube. Although, the aesthetics of such a modern bit of gear on a very retro machine are highly debateable.
Then again, however many bottle cage bosses you have, or however short your seat tube, the pump can actually be fixed to the top tube, or the down tube, and, potentially elsewhere. At the time of writing, it sits atop the top tube of my Hase Pino, although it won’t stay there. Having said that, I might just use the rubber mount to clamp a high-volume pump in its place.
Rather on the long side for a jersey pocket, it will slip into a seat pack, such as the Carradice Carradura Maxi Seat Pack, or into any pannier. You may find that a narrower bottle cage bracket from the spares bin creates sufficient clearance to the crank.
A bit of care when mounting, ensuring the strap holds both mount and pump tightly, gives excellent security. Things work best when the strap is fixed roughly half-way along the pump barrel. I’ve bumped it around on rough stuff trips without ejecting it. Just as reassuringly, there’s been no fulcrum-effect to chip away at the paint-job.
Matching Zefal’s designation as a road/hybrid pump, inflation is best on narrower tyres at higher pressures. Let’s start with Schwalbe Durano 700x25C tyres; 128 strokes to reach 110psi. Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x32 158 to 85psi. On the other hand, 16x1.95 Maxxis Hookworms went to 75psi in 90, and some 26x2.00 MTB tyres to 65psi in 200.
Gauges of this type are not a precise science. Checking them out, all were close enough. However, I was under the general impression that the RG01’s gauge tended to underestimate things a little.
All the pressures were achieved without too much grunting and groaning. With one of my feet on the pump’s foot and the other steadying the barrel, the action was pretty smooth, although heading above 120psi brought sweat to the brow and – as with other micro-floor pumps – made keeping the barrel stable pretty tricky.
Overall Performance 3.5/5
Performance may be summarised as follows; inflation, good, rather than great, and most definitely for its target audience; handle more supportive than some smaller versions; new bracket offers a solid mount, with lots of options; old plastic bracket, potentially problematic on bikes with smaller clearances between down tube and crank.
Frankly, Lezyne’s HPG Micro Floor Pump, inflates more rapidly, is lighter, has a bleed valve; true, mounting is not so adaptable, but I’ve had no issues with crank clearance (a place in the pannier suits both, of course), and the RG01 is around a tenner cheaper: more if you find it discounted, and you may without too much trouble. Some may find Lezyne’s HPG’s screw on adaptor frustrating with loosely fitted removable valve cores.
More expensive, again by around a tenner (un-discounted) is VEL’s Airflow Pump. Again, some may prefer the RG01’s thumb-lock lever, as opposed to a screw-on adaptor. Speed of inflation, again, favours the Airflow. The Airflow’s hose is shorter, foot smaller – no clearance issues on the bottle cage braze-ons. On the other hand, it has no gauge and the handle is, in my opinion less comfortable.
So, the RG01 is, in this company, the budget version and has more plastic than the other two. On the other hand, aesthetics might not be your bag. Equally, mixed fleets may prefer the traditional Zefal’s HPX Frame Pump, which, despite its road designation deals with high volume tyres more speedily
Benefitting from a range of mounting options – with the “Universal” mount, the RG01 may suit those with road/hybrid bikes, and is potentially very attractive to those with unusual frame geometries or mounting preferences.