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Cannondale Dirt Mini Pump Quality trail tire inflator

The big tube brand wants to blow up your tires too now, is Guy Kesteven pumped about that or a bit let down?

Cannondale Dirt mini pump
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Cannondale’s Dirt Mini Pump is tough, feels good to use, stores neatly, and gets the job done fast. The longer length and higher price might not work for everyone though and it can bite carelessly placed hands.

Pros

  • +

    Fast, smooth, mid-volume action

  • +

    Neat locking Presta or Schraeder head

  • +

    Flexible pull-out hose

  • +

    Tough machined construction and quality feel

  • +

    Secure travel lock and frame clip

Cons

  • -

    More ‘Midi’ than ‘Mini’ in length and weight

  • -

    Quality costs

  • -

    Can trap your hand

  • -

    Hard top and bottom out

Cannondale makes all sorts of bike componentry and accessories to compliment their range of mountain, gravel, and road bikes. They might be new to the best mountain bike pump market but this Dirt Mini has proved an excellent inflator for the higher volume and lower pressure needs of mountain bike and gravel bike tires.

Design and build

Cannondale has clearly made a decision to go high-quality throughout the Dirt Mini Pump. Both upper and lower sections are crisply CNC machined alloy with raised micro rib detailing for grip. The stout shaft is attached to the shorter top section and gives a stroke of up to 66cc (Cannondale’s figures). The shaft also hides the thin, flexible 24cm (9.4in) hose with a neat CNC machined head sitting securely in the top section. The head has a screw-on/off reversible chuck to set it up for Presta or Schraeder valves. A neat pop-up lever tightens the head onto the valve to reduce leaking too.

The head is covered by a silicon cover and a stepped silicon washer on the lower section keeps the shaft clean too. It also acts as the travel lock so the pump doesn’t extend when not in use. It’s supplied with a silicon strap secured asymmetric mount that fits onto bottle cage spaced bolts.

Cannondale Dirt mini pump

The full metal head with inline locking lever is great to use and the whole pump is really well sealed. (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Performance

The mount is offset so that it can either stay high above larger tubes or sit in close on narrow diameter tubes. The silicon hook strap and lock washer on the pump means the whole setup is rattle free and secure too. The length and weight of the pump make it more valuable too as otherwise the Dirt can feel precarious/heavy in back pockets and might not fit in all hip packs.

That weight translates into a really high-quality feel that’s enhanced by the smooth action of the clean shaft. In fact, the close-fitting O ring sealed head is almost too snug in terms of tolerances as it can be hard to pull out when the pump is new. The all-metal head gives a clean fit on whichever valve you set it up for and the pop-up lever locks it down securely. The hose is long enough to stop any conflict with spokes or other bike parts when pumping too. The only thing you need to be careful of is hand overlap on the short top section. This can leave the fleshy part of your palm overhanging the end where it can get trapped and bitten painfully by the lower section of the pump. The abrupt metal on metal clunk at full compression and extension literally clashes with the otherwise luxury feel too.

Presuming you don’t eat your own hand, the smooth mid-volume stroke gets you up to pressure relatively quickly. It’s not the fastest pump we’ve used but then it doesn’t ramp up resistance so much that your arms will explode beyond 30 psi. It avoids the stiction issues we often have with larger diameter shaft pumps too. The solid construction makes it accidental stomp proof and it still feels totally smooth after a summer of kicking around in backpacks, kit bags, and getting dirty/dusty on the frame clip. That and the ability to get up to 50psi and beyond comfortably makes it a great choice for bikepacking adventures too.

Cannondale Dirt mini pump

The supplied frame clip is simple, secure and works either way up for different tube diameters (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Verdict

Cannondale’s new Dirt pump is more midi than mini and the price and weight might be an issue for some. You need to be careful not to trap your hand in it too. 

The tough, top-quality machined construction, excellent sealing, and neat locking head make it a real pleasure to use on mountain and gravel bike tires. Lack of ramp-up means it’ll even work on low-pressure road tires too, although Cannondale does a dedicated road pump ($42 / £38) as well.

Tech Specs: Cannondale Dirt Mini Pump

  • Price: $48 / £40 / €49 
  • Size: 240 x 26mm
  • Weight: 148g 

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg