Sometimes it’s not so much necessity, but annoyance that is the mother of invention. When a team of product engineers and avid cyclists decided most portable hand pumps were irritatingly awkward to use, they set out to make an easy-as-pie pump that didn’t require any arm strength, and didn’t force you to crouch uncomfortably or sit down to use.
The team is now crowdfunding their creation on Kickstarter – The Pro Stepster is a compact foot activated pump that achieves 95psi, folds up to roughly the size of a soda can and comes with a carrying case that doubles as a bicycle seat bag…
The Pro Stepster’s body has four legs that pop out to create a stable base while you stomp away. With the legs folded in and the pump locked down, the compact unit measures just 2.5” x 2.5” x 5”. Its air hose is 12” long, and the complete assembly weighs in at 12oz (340g). One big plus for cyclists is that standing upright while pumping allows you to keep an eye on your surroundings, which is highly beneficial for roadside repairs.
The maximum pressure the Pro Stepster can pump out is 95psi, which is more than adequate for most bikes. While it does fall a bit short of fully inflating road bike tires, it should do enough to get you home. With such a compact pump, it’s going to take more than a few strokes to get rolling after a flat. The creators estimate it takes about 150 pumps to inflate a 700x23c road bike tire to 85-90psi, and keep in mind that higher volume tires (like MTB’s, especially 29ers) will take more.
The pump’s head is designed for easy one-handed operation, and simply pushes onto the valve. It is only compatible with schrader valves, but the creators say screw-on presta adapters have been tested and work well with the Pro Stepster. Of course, beyond bikes the pump is useful on any tube or tire with schrader valves, from cars to child strollers.
Early bird buyers can snag a Pro Stepster for $55 USD, and the first units are expected to ship in July. The campaign ends March 2nd and currently needs more funding to reach its goal, so if you’d rather step than squeeze check out the Kickstarter page here.