Serfas MP-04G Pump Review
Serfas MP-04G Pump Review
Review of the Serfas MP-04G mini folding pump
Recently I’ve been on a mission to minimize the stuff attached to the bike and lighten things up. The pump I carry seemed like such low hanging fruit that it was one of the first things I looked at. Could the Serfas MP-04G mini folding pump be the answer..?
For years, I rode with a Topeak Masterblaster pump that wedged its way between the frame tubes along the top tube. I picked it up at some point because it seemed like it would make pumping quicker and easier than the mini pumps. In practice, though, it’s actually not much difference. I also seem to have good luck with flats, and I’ve actually changed more tires, by a large margin, sitting in my house than by the side of the road. The MP-04G is smaller, lighter, better looking, and more useful than the Topeak unit, so I was eager to give it a try.
After riding with it for a while, it largely has held up to my expectations. When you see pictures of it, you might actually think it can be used as a replacement for a floor pump. Let me dissuade you from that. It’s efficient when compared to other options on the trail, but despite assuming the form of a floor pump, it’s still very much a mini pump. That’s not a bad thing, though. It does a good job as long as you have realistic expectations.
It still takes a lot of pumps to fill up a tire, but because it expands so much, it’s actually not much smaller than a full size frame pump like the Topeak unit. Plus, because of the integrated gauge, you know you are actually getting the correct pressure instead of just relying on feel and more likely ending up 20-50 psi underinflated.
Now as far as the integrated gauge, you might be thinking something like, “But I just need to get enough pressure to get home”. It’s something I thought as well, but a friend reminded me that while it’s true there will be times you just need enough pressure to get home, there are also times when you need enough pressure to go the distance. Perhaps you are 20 miles into a century ride, and you get a flat. The integrated gauge will allow you to finish your century without worrying about the pressure in your tire and will get you home. This is the kind of peace of mind that makes it worth carrying a slightly larger pump unit.
The build quality and day to day use of the pump has also held up to expectations. This isn’t a completely unique product on the market, but it still manages to hold its own by being well made and thoroughly thought out. The mounting bracket holds it completely still, and it won’t rattle while you ride, no matter how rough the pavement, or lack of pavement, might be. You do have to be careful that you don’t unscrew the body of the pump when you are trying to get it arranged correctly on the frame. This is something I did and then was annoyed it was rattling until I figured out what I’d done. But other than that, I’ve been able to mount it and forget it which is exactly what I look for in something like this.
I didn’t count the number of pumps it takes to fill a tire, because I don’t think it matters much in terms of real world use. It takes quite a few, but it’s not overly difficult, and the design allows a good amount of leverage.
The way the pump attaches to the valve is a particular point of joy. The flexible hose means you don’t have to worry about tweaking the valve stem, and the ability to rotate the end of the hose without moving anything else means you can just put the pump on the ground and easily attach it to the stem.
The bottom line is that this is a well made product that competes well with larger frame pumps. It’s too large to comfortably keep in your jersey pocket, but it’s lighter and more useful than the larger frame pumps. If you are doing any kind of touring, or longer riding, then this is an item I’d recommend. For training rides that keep you closer to home, I think you could go more minimal. To that end, keep an eye for out for a future review of the st-13i, an integrated co2 inflator & mini tool from Serfas…
Serfas MP-04G MINI FOLDING PUMP $38.00
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