Hose-Equipped Mini Bike Pump Put to Test


It’s just a few inches long and weighs 3 ounces. But the Air Smith ALX pump from Planet Bike can inflate a tire to 80psi or greater in a couple minutes.

I’ve long looked for a portable bike pump that fits in a jersey pocket and can fix a road-bike flat without too much hassle.

The Air Smith ALX, new this year for $24.99, is close to perfect.

The killer app is its flexible hose. A length of rubber hose extends out of one end, and it connects to a tire valve.


ALX extended (bottom) for pumping and telescoped to its smallest size for transport (above)

As you pump to inflate, the hose gives a bit of space from the tire. It also allows some literal “wiggle room” as you’re pumping.

I’ve counted on solid (non-hose equipped) mini pumps for years. They are adequate but harder to use because you need to be careful not to damage the valve while pumping.

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The ALX all but eliminates this concern. An included valve adapter hides inside one end of the pump.

You screw this adapter onto a common Presta road bike tire valve. The solid, screwed-on connection, plus the give of the flexible hose, lets you pump without concern of valve damage.

Made of aluminum, the Planet Bike pump is built to last. It comes with a bracket that bolts under a water bottle cage and holds the pump stored out of the way.

I keep my ALX in a backpack or stashed in my jersey pocket. It’s there ready to help — its hose and adapter hidden inside — when I hit a crack or other unfortunate bump in the road.

—Stephen Regenold

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Diagram from Planet Bike shows ALX’s parts