Sleek pump has some clever features, but is more midi than mini and lacks puff
Crankbrothers latest inflator is longer than most of the best mini-pumps, but comes with a fold out stirrup and magnetic hose attachment that makes it a breeze to use. However, the small volume also gives it more of a breeze than a hurricane when it comes to shifting air.
Design and specifications
With a glossy polished finish, the Crankbrothers Klic HV Mini Floor Pump is designed to appeal to the magpie in all of us. It has a smooth, cold shaft that doesn’t offer a lot of grip, but fortunately the Klic HV has a built-in foot stirrup that makes it easy to keep the pump stable when inflating a tyre. This sprung-loaded foot stand folds out from the base and locks into place, making the Klic HV a cross between a mini-pump and a foot pump. And it’s also somewhere between the two in terms of size.
At 325mm it’s much longer than most mini-pumps, so not particularly suited to mounting on a frame alongside the down tube, or fitting in one of our top hip packs. Particularly as the frame mount is only available separately. If you run a full-size hydration pack, then the Klic HV will be fine, although there are better pumps to carry with you – we’ll get to that shortly.
The hose is housed within the piston shaft of the pump and pulls out from the handle. At 270mm it’s a good length, which makes it easier to reach your valve given that the pump needs to be on the ground to work as designed. It also attaches magnetically to the main body of the pump. Yep, no need to screw the two together – just click the hose to the nipple at the bottom of the pump. It’s the first attachment of its kind that we’ve come across, and it’s very easy to use. We couldn’t detect any air leaking out of the connection, but it’s too early to say how the seal will last longterm. Hopefully the twist cover – that hides the magnetic attachment when not in use – will keep dirt and grit away and help maintain a good connection.
At the other end of the hose is a valve chuck with a thumblock to create a secure connection. Like many pumps, you need to flip the internals to swap between Schrader and presta valves. This is simple to do, but the adaptor is a tight fit and trickier than most to revolve. We also found that the thumblock needed quite a bit of force to engage.
With the hose removed and the pump extended you can flip out the T-handle, a little like a cartoon TNT detonator. This works well with the up and down stroke of the vertical pump, but there’s not enough knuckle clearance when fully engaged, so we had to be careful not to skin our fingers with every pump. With multiple assembly steps to go through, it’s not particularly quick to use if you’re stranded by the side of a trail in the rain with a flat.
I have two favourite mini-pumps. One I leave in the car as a space-saving floor pump (a Blackburn Mammoth), as it’s oversize and packs a healthy punch that makes light work of topping up tyres before the weekly ride. In my hip pack I have a much smaller mini-pump that’s light and high volume (a OneUp EDC), so you can actually inflate a tyre from scratch by the trailside without needing an arm transplant.
Of these two pumps, the Crankbrothers is really a competitor for the Blackburn, as it’s a similar length and weight, better suited to bike-packing epics than shredding your local trails on a Sunday.
When benchmarked against my two favourite mini-pumps the Crankbrothers Klic HV Mini Floor pump performed poorly. 100 strokes into a 29×2.4in Maxxis Dissector Wide Trail, with the Blackburn Mammoth from fully flat got me to 19.3psi. 100 strokes with the OneUp EDC achieved 12.8psi. And the Crankbrothers Klic HV? A paltry 6.1psi. So we tried again with a different wheel. This time we used a standard tubeless valve rather than a Reserve tubeless valve, and 100 strokes got to 11.3psi and 11.4psi. Which was much more respectable, but still shy of the smaller, lighter, and more portable OneUp pump. Yes, pumping is arguably a touch easier with the Crankbrothers Klic HV because you don’t have to hold it with both hands, and you can use your bodyweight to push down. On the other hand, you have to bend over, which can put additional strain on your lower back.
The build quality, floor pump functionality, and smart magnetic hose connection makes the Crankbrothers Klic HV Mini Floor Pump an attractive option and helps it stand out from its competitors. But the air delivery is below average considering the size, which makes it difficult to recommend, considering there are many more potent pumps on the market.