Merida may not be the first brand that comes to mind when shopping for a mountain bike pump but its pocketable Telescopic mini pump has a sturdy-yet-simple design that makes it worthy of consideration.
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Merida's Telescopic MTB mini-pump has an almost complete aluminum construction with just the head of the pump, which the Schrader, Presta and Dunlop compatible chuck screws into, being made from plastic. This gives the pump a durable feel in the hand while still managing to weigh in at a respectable 112g (despite Merida quoting 162g). As the pump is only 18cm long, it can be easily stashed away in a jersey pocket, handlebar bag or using the included frame mount for under a bottle cage. A small rubber cap covers the pump hole and a rubber seal keeps the pump securely shut and reducing water ingress.
High-volume mountain bike pumps prioritize pushing a larger quantity of air rather than achieving high pressures. The claimed max pressure of 80psi is very high for a mountain bike pump considering mountain bikes generally don't need more than 30psi. We haven't tried to reach max pressure but found it capable of inflating gravel tires, which require more pressure than mountain bike tires do, without issue.
Pumps that use push-on heads can be a mixed bag however the Merida pump slides over the valve with ease and the silver locking lever securely clicks into place, sealing the pump in place and stopping any air leaking out when in use. Despite a fair bit of service, the rubber seal doesn't appear to show any signs of wear which can be a weak point on other pumps.
The pump isn't the fastest performer as it doesn't have a dual-action stroke, however the telescopic design does give a long stroke which pushes a decent amount of air into the tire. The slower performance is less noticeable when pumping up gravel tires which don't need as much air to achieve the desired riding pressures. The pump is quite noisy as the telescopic sections make a very audible clicking noise in use, although it's more likely to annoy your riding friends as they wait for you to fix your puncture.
Merida's Telescopic MTB pump is small and light making it easily stashable on mountain and gravel bike rides. It might not be the fastest tire inflator but the aluminium construction feels well made and the price is very fair.
Merida Telescope MTB mini-pump specs
- Price: £22.99
- Weight: 112g
- Length: 18cm
- Max pressure: 80 psi