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When I first saw the SKS Airmenius pump, I knew that we were going to have to get our hands on one for a review. As the neighborhood “bike guy”, I’m frequently asked to fix, adjust, or service bikes for friends, neighbors, and coworkers. And you may or may not be surprised at how many casual cyclists don’t even own a decent pump. So we jumped at the chance to not only put it through its paces, but get some feedback from other cyclists.
Right off, let me state that the Airmenius is a pretty substantial pump. The base is a wide casting, with a huge gauge – one friend commented that it reminded him of a bathroom scale. Attached to the base is a tall pump body with an aero shape. Atop this is a handle flanked by cork grips. A black hose is long enough to fill tires with a bike on a repair stand. The only bits besides the grips that are not low-gloss black are the chrome bezel on the gauge, and the aluminum face on the valve. It’s a good mix of art and industrial, but pure function too.
At just a bit under 29 inches tall, the Airmenius is a perfect fit for me. I’m 5’10”, and don’t need to stoop at all to use it. That’s an important feature, but the height also translates into more volume and leverage, for filling tires faster, and with less effort. If you’re really short, this may not be such a great benefit. What I did find is that in use, not only was the Airmenius easy to use, but probably more comfortable than most pumps too. The extra height and the cork grips really make a difference. I’ve got two other pumps, and the Airmenius is the one that seems to get loaned out the most often now.
There is one detail that should be mentioned, although I don’t think they would be a deal-breaker for most cyclists. The gauge has an orange dial that points to white numbers reading up to 180 PSI, and gray numbers to 12 BAR. It has enough contrast (and it’s huge), which makes up for the fact that the bezel does not have a dial that rotates. I’ve gotten used to setting the desired pressure, and having to pump until the dial and arrow match up. Not a big deal, but every other pump I’ve used in the last 15 years or so had that feature.
Overall, the Airmenius delivered excellent results, which is to be expected from an SKS product. Unlike so many other companies, they build these pumps in Germany, and it shows. Besides the initial high quality, it looks like it’s very rebuildable, and should last pretty much forever, with a bit of proper care. That’s good, because it will set you back somewhere around $100, depending on where you buy it. But if you don’t want to buy another pump ever, or don’t like stooping to fill your tires, it’s worth every penny. SKS-Germany.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the SKS Airmenius for free from SKS Germany in consideration for review publication.