The AerGun X-1000 isn't the flashiest pump out there, in fact, it's quite simple and straightforward, and that is its greatest strength. There is nothing mind-blowing about the design of the base, gauge, barrel, or handle, they are all pretty standard (in fact several components seem to be exactly the same as those used by the Vibrelli and BV Ergo), but they work well. The foolproof head, which automatically adjusts to either Presta or Schrader valves, is where this pump shines brightest.
The AerGun X-1000
The pump's base is all plastic and takes a minimalistic approach. It has a wide curved rectangle shape with a triangular protrusion in front to prevent it from tipping forward. When free-standing, the shape of the base does an adequate job of keeping the pump upright. A moderate bump will probably send it toppling over, but it's most likely to tip backward, away from the gauge, which would be the easiest component to damage in a fall. When standing on the base to operate the pump, traction is helped by two little rubbery bits that stick up on the sides, although they do make it slightly less pleasant to operate the pump in bare feet. Vigorous pumping while standing on the base does reveal some wobbling and a somewhat flimsy feel to the overall construction, but not to the point that it feels like anything is going to break or fall apart.
The base isn't winning any awards, but it'll do.
Ease of Attachment/Detachment
With an excellent head design that automatically adapts to either Presta or Schrader valves, the AerGun scored a perfect 10/10 in our tests in this area. For any inexperienced pump user, this is the pump head that dreams are made of. One does not need to know whether their bike tires have Presta or Schrader valves, or even be familiar with those terms or valve designs, to easily use this pump. Simply push the head onto either type of valve, pull up the lever to lock it in place, and start pumping. It's really that easy, and it worked flawlessly in our tests with both valve types. The pump ships with two sets of detailed instructions for connecting it to either type of valve to make the process absolutely foolproof, and aside from explaining how to loosen the nut on a Presta valve they both basically break down to:
-Push the head onto the valve
-Pump up the tire
-Pull it off
The simple pump head, one of the greatest features of the AerGun X-1000.
The locking lever is easy to move, very little air escapes from the valve when connecting and disconnecting. There's a handy air bleed button built into the head to make minor pressure adjustments. The air hose is 34 inches long, right in the middle of the pack in this regard…perhaps if the AerGun were going to be even easier to use, they could make the hose a few inches longer, but we feel like we're really nitpicking at this point.
A gauge with a lot of room for improvement.
The gauge on the AerGun is adequate, and does its job, but is entirely underwhelming. Cased in grey plastic, with a face only 2 inches in diameter, and black numbers on a white background in what appears to be roughly 8-point Arial font, it looks like the template one would start with when beginning to design a pressure gauge…but the design part never happened. Reading the pressure while standing up above this pump can be challenging in anything less than full bright lighting. In fairness to the simple-if-unexciting design, the gauge is plenty easy to read up close, and the outside casing spins around to adjust a handy little red guide arrow. Setting the desired pressure up-close, then standing up to pump until needle meets arrow, makes the gauge easier to use and scores it a couple of extra points. The plastic casing also feels relatively sturdy and secure relative to the materials used
The inflation speed for this pump fell right in the middle of the pack in our tests. It's a relatively compact floor pump, so the trade-off is a couple of extra pushes of the handle compared to taller pumps like the JoeBlow Sport III, Lezyne Steel Floor Drive, or Blackburn Piston 4. Testers were able to pump up to high pressures with ease. Pumping speed may also be slightly negatively affected by a bit of a wobble during the downward thrust of the handle, due to a less sturdy base than other models.
Though the design of the gauge is not one of our favorites, it performed quite well in tests of its accuracy, which is arguably the only truly important thing about a gauge. Tests had the AerGun's gauge within 3 PSI of our independent gauge at low pressures, and at higher pressures, it was right on the money. This puts it alongside the most accurate pumps we've tested. The design of the gauge itself doesn't necessarily do it any favors in this area, but its precision measurement combines with the adjustable guide on the side of the gauge for a good result.
Soak in the green
An affordable and high-performing all-purpose pump, the AerGun X-1000 is a great choice for anyone who needs a decent pump at a very fair price. It is especially highly recommended for anyone new to cycling, due to the extreme user-friendliness of the pump head making it virtually impossible to get wrong.
It might not last forever (some of this plastic is bound to give out eventually), and you'll squint at the gauge while you're pumping until you get in the habit of setting the guide in advance. It'll get the job done though, it's super accurate, the pump head is fantastic…at this price point, that's enough pros for most users to overlook the cons.
At just $35, AerGun offers a very affordable all-purpose bike pump. It was our previous Best Buy Award winner before the Crankbrothers Gem was added to the rankings, but there's still a strong argument to be made for the value of this pump. With a great head design, excellent accuracy, and solid overall construction and performance, this pump does the job well at a reasonable price. With less expensive pumps we've reviewed, and there aren't many of them, there is a noticeable drop in quality. The AerGun offers a great mix of quality and value.
Although it is not a perfect pump, for our money there are no drawbacks so great that they overwhelm the combination of low price and ease of use offered by the AerGun X-1000. Just toss the head on whatever valve you're working with, flip the lever up, and pump away. When you're done, pull it off and go ride. Everything works as well as it needs to, and you only had to pay $35 for it. Pat yourself on the back for finding such a steal.