Topeak Peakini II Review
Cons: Outdated head type, lacks gauge, on larger side
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Peakini 2 has a bayonet-style locking handle so that the pump will stay closed until it is ready to use. Once unlocked, the handle folds ninety degrees into a T that is easier to grip and pump. This pump is a bit on the larger side, but the larger cylinder gives it more pumping power than models with skinnier pistons. The standard locking lever is not the most innovative pump head, but it is tried and true.
When it comes to pumping performance, the Peakini 2 is one of the best. It was no easy task, but after 300 strokes, we were able to get a road tire to 88 psi. The Peakini 2, however, is made for higher volume mountain bike tires. During out pumping test it was on par with every pump we've tested after 100 and 200 strokes, but after 300 strokes it rose to the top by pumping a 27.5" x 2.3" tire to an impressive 55 psi.
If your application will be road, and your goal is to achieve a higher psi with fewer strokes and less effort, we recommend checking out the Topeak Road Morph G. If you'd like to fill a road bike with basically zero energy, you should consider a frame pump/CO2 inflation hybrid like the Portland Design Works Ninja or the Blackburn Mammoth CO2'Fer Mini.
Ease of Use
The standard style locking lever head on the Peakini 2 isn't anything new to the world of bike pumps, but it does the job. With no hoses to attach or threaded females to twist on, the Peakini 2 can be off the frame mount or out of your hydration pack and attached to the valve stem in a few seconds. The handle twists to unlock and then easily folds into a T so you'll be back on the trail in no time.
With the ease of use does come a bit of a trade-off for more technical features. For one, the Peakini 2 lacks a gauge. The disadvantage of the standard style locking lever head is that it has to be held carefully in line with the valve stem or the leverage from pumping at the wrong angle can damage or snap the stem. This risk is alleviated with the use of a thread-on style hose. Some mini pumps have both a gauge and a hose like the Lezyne Gauge Drive HV and the Pro Bike Tools High Pressure Pump with Gauge.
The Peakini 2 is not the most portable mini pump that we've tested. At 27.5" long, and weighing 134 grams, it is definitely on the bigger side of the spectrum. The mount is designed to be installed in between the frame and a water bottle cage, but it is a bit bulky for this application. The diameter of the barrel is pretty large so that it might brush against your shoe or leg in certain riding positions. It also would be a bit awkward in a jersey pocket. The best home for the Peakini 2 is most likely in a hydration pack.
Portability is an important factor for many road cyclists and mountain bikers. If you're a fan of the standard locking lever head type, the Bontrager Air Support is 7 cm shorter and has a smaller diameter barrel. If you want to go extra light and portable the Portland Design Works Ninja is only 14.7 cm long and weighs only 73 grams.
Looks and Design
The look of the Peakini 2 isn't anything spectacular, it does just look like a generic frame pump. It does, however, get a few extra points for design. The bayonet style locking handle is a great way to keep the pump closed when on a frame or in a hydration pack. It is also the only standard locking-lever head style pump in our review that has a T handle.
If looks and design are a deal breaker for you, the Lezyne Gauge Drive HV is a more sleek looking mountain bike pump. The Topeak Road Morph G is one of our favorite designs because it is a frame pump that performs as well as many floor pumps, and the Portland Design Works Ninja has some very innovative features for a frame pump/CO2 inflation hybrid.
Being made mostly out of plastic, the Peakini 2 is not the most durable pump on the market. Also, the slide-on heads are infamous for wearing out over time when compared to metal threads. The main flaw with the design in regards to durability is that to change from Presta to Schrader valve mode, you have to partially disassemble the head. There are small pieces that could easily get lost or damaged, in which case the pump is useless. One feature that does help a bit with durability is the dust cover on the head. If you're going to have this pump mounted on your frame, especially on a mountain bike, the cover should help add some longevity to your purchase.
Frame pumps with aluminum barrels and rubber end caps are a bit more durable. The Lezyne Road Drive, the Lezyne Gauge Drive HV, and the Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge all possess these features.
The Topeak Peakini 2 is a great all around pump. When it comes to road bike applications, it is not the easiest to get a tire up to a high psi, but it does eventually get it done. As far as mountain bike tires go, it performed as well as the best of them and even outperformed the competition at high psi. If you care more about performance over style, and you want a reliable pump that does it all, the Peakini 2 is the one.
The Peakini 2 is the winner of our Best Buy Award, meaning that it has tremendous value. On road tires, it performs as well or better than frame pumps that cost many times its price. As far as mountain bike tire pumping performance, it was one of the best. For $15.99, it is a bargain that is hard to beat.
If the goal was to design an affordable frame pump that performs like the best of them, then Topeak hit the nail on the head when they made the Peakini 2. With a standard locking lever style head and the folding T handle, this pump is incredibly easy to use. What sets the Peakini 2 apart from the competition is the pumping power it has on mountain bike tires. Combine the performance with the price, and you have the recipe for a great frame pump.
— Ross Patton