A high quality, compact floor pump but with a high price tag attached.
You probably can’t tell from the picture, but the Tiny Tanker is about half the height (and weight) of a regular track pump, and boasts many of the same features. Birman’s thinking was to make a more portable version of The Pump – its flagship product – for those with limited space. That’s me then, someone who crams my bike or bikes into the back of a family estate.
Like every other track pump from Birzman, the Tiny Tanker is made from CNC machined aluminium, and as such it looks sleek and minimalist. There are a few scrapes in the barrel where it’s teetered over, but otherwise it still looks good after a few months’ use. The handle is very comfortable in action, and its single foot is capable of keeping the Tanker firmly on the floor when you’re bobbing up and down at pace.
Birman has gone for its Helix threaded valve head, also found on The Pump, which fits onto presta, schrader and Dunlop by changing out the head. Personally I find this approach overly complicated when compared to a simple lever attachment, but it works fine and you’ll never again have the head slip off a valve. You do need to be mindful that unthreading it could also unscrew your tubeless valve cores too, so make sure they’re nipped up tight.
There’s also a short hose – enough to reach most of the way up a 29er wheel – that fits neatly into a groove on the underside of the handle when not in use. It’s a great design, securing both handle and hose from flailing around.
Being just half a metre high, the Tiny Tanker isn’t the quickest at tyre inflation… but it’s not bad either. Fifty strokes takes you to 30psi on a 29×2.4in tyre, which really is all you need, and you have to go a lot higher than this to start feeling much resistance. Birzman says it’ll go up to 220psi but I doubt many of us would have the strength to get there. The barrel is unbelievably smooth, and silent too. Finally there’s a gauge, which is good enough for ballpark figures but it’s too small to be super accurate – you’ll want to get a pressure gauge onto your valves for fine tuning.
The Tiny Tanker is ideal for those pushed for space. The action is incredibly light, it's comfy to use and the attention to detail and build quality is first rate. I'd be happier if Birzman ditched the fancy Helix head though, and shaved some money off the price too.