Small in stature but powerful in action, the Crankbrothers Gem Short is the best compact mini-pump we've tested.
Gem pumps have been part of the Crankbrothers line for quite a while, and there are two lengths – long and short. It’s also one of the best mini-pumps on the market. We’re testing the latter because it’s obviously more compact and lighter weight, but it also features a dual-piston and also the company’s Air Switch feature, that allows you to toggle between high volume or high pressure using a dial on the end of the barrel. When inflating our test tyre, we got to around 15psi before we had to flick it to the high pressure setting – this actually pushes less air into the tyre, so it took longer, but with less muscle.
The Gem Short has a thumb lock to hold the pump on the valve, and you definitely want this engaged because the small head can only be gripped with fingertips. As such, when we were pushing hard for those last few PSI it did stress the valve stem. The head does contain all the components to switch between Schrader and Presta valves and this tweak is quick and simple to do.
It’s a small volume pump, so the Gem Short doesn’t have the speed of the Topeak Mountain TT-G, but it’s a great pump for just stuffing in a pocket or bum bag for a short ride. It’s also excellent value and is also covered by a five-year warranty.