Hands-on Gear Review

Topeak RaceRocket HP Review

Topeak RaceRocket HP
Price:  $40 List | $38.09 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, portable, flex fill hose
Cons:  No air bleed, not versatile
Bottom line:  A diminutive mini pump with excellent high pressure pumping performance.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Weight:  87g
Length:  18.5cm
25C Road Tire Pressure following 200 Pumps:  46psi
Manufacturer:   Topeak

Our Verdict

The Topeak RaceRocket HP is a pint-sized mini pump that performs much better than we expected based on its size. Designed for high-pressure applications, it excels for road cycling use. It has a unique flexible hose that is both Presta and Schrader compatible. The pumping performance is not quite equal to the high scoring Lezyne Road Drive, but it is a capable pump at high pressure. Read on to find out how the RaceRocket HP stacks up against our other high scoring road bike mini pumps.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Curtis Smith

Last Updated:
Saturday
December 17, 2016

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The RaceRocket HP packs some impressive pumping performance considering its diminutive size. It narrowly missed out on our Editors' Choice Award, beaten out by the Lezyne Road Drive due to its better pumping performance. The highlight of the RaceRocket is undoubtedly the incredibly small size. It disappears in a jersey pocket, but rest assured when it is time to go to work this tiny pump can move some air. Read on to find out how it compares to the other top performing pumps we tested.

Performance Comparison


The Topeak RaceRocket HP threaded on a Presta valve.
The Topeak RaceRocket HP threaded on a Presta valve.

Ease of Use


We love the flexible fill hose pump head design, and find it particularly critical as pump size decreases. With a pump as small as this contender, it would be very difficult to effectively pump if the user was tethered to the valve stem, as is the case with a traditional integrated pump head. The flexible fill hose unthreads from the pump head, slides out of the pump shaft, and is ready to use. The Lezyne pumps we tested and the Pro Bike Tool Mini all have a hose that completely detaches from the pump and must be threaded into the pump head.

With the RaceRocket, the extra step of threading the fill hose into the pump head is eliminated; the downside is that the flex hose is slightly shorter. The hose does have a built-in swivel, making valve attachment easier as the pump does not have to be rotated to thread the air chuck onto the valve. Another nice feature is the SmartHead, which can be used on both Schrader and Presta valves. The Lezyne Road Drive only has a Presta connection. Overall, the Road Drive scores higher here due to its ABS button that allows air to be bled from the hose, making removal of the hose from the valve easier. We also prefer the ergonomics of the Lezyne Road Drive, as its slightly larger size offers better pumping ergonomics.

Pumping Performance


This contender is a great pump for high-pressure low volume road tires. Pumping effort is low due to the small piston diameter, but as a result it takes more pump strokes to fill a tire, and more time. It hit 46psi in a 25c road tire at 200 pump strokes and we were able to bring the tire up to 90psi with a minimal increase in pumping effort - at around 400 pump strokes. For comparison, the Lezyne Road Drive hit 70 psi at 200 pump strokes, but it takes slightly more effort per stroke. The Pro Bike Mini achieved 66psi in the same test. When it came to the mountain bike tire test, the RaceRocket only hit 12 psi, but filling high volume tires is not what this pump was designed for; it is a capable pump in a small package.

The Topeak RaceRocket HP is an efficient mini pump for high pressure applications.
The Topeak RaceRocket HP is an efficient mini pump for high pressure applications.

Looks/Design


This is a sharp-looking pump with all-aluminum construction. The pump handle is small but the textured rubber grip helps to keep your hand in position. The flexible fill hose design is fast and slightly more convenient than the Lezyne hose design, and you don't have to worry about losing the hose as it is permanently attached to the pump. The SmartHead valve is an innovative way to provide Presta and Schrader compatibility without the need for a reversible hose. We wish that the RaceRocket had a slip fit valve connection like the Lezyne Road Drive to make adding a few psi a bit easier, and the addition of some sort of air bleed valve would also be nice. Overall, the design of the RaceRocket is top notch, but it scores slightly lower than the Lezyne Road Drive.

Close up of the Topeak RaceRocket HP Smarthead valve that is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves.
Close up of the Topeak RaceRocket HP Smarthead valve that is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves.

Portability


This contender receives our highest accolades for portability. The pump is tiny, at 18.5cm and only weighs 87g. You won't even notice it in a jersey pocket and it will even fit in some seat bags. It also comes with a frame mount if storing in a jersey pocket is not your thing. This contender is the most portable pump we have tested.

Durability


The RaceRocket proved to be a durable tool throughout testing. Despite frequent use in sometimes questionable weather, we never experienced any issues. A rubber cap prevents contamination of the pump head and we anticipate that the RaceRocket will provide many years of reliable service. Other contenders, such as the Lezyne Road Drive, Lezyne Pressure Drive, and Silca Impero Ultimate, all score similarly in this metric, earning an 8 out of 10.

Best Applications


This pump is best suited to road bike use. Its small size and inefficiency for volume applications make it a questionable choice for cyclocross tires, and it is not suited to mountain bike use. If you're on the hunt for a contender that will work well with your mountain bike tires, check out the Lezyne Gauge Drive, the Editors' Choice for Best Overall Mountain Bike Mini Pump.

Value


The RaceRocket is a great value at 39.95. With quality construction and great pumping performance, we would strongly recommend this pump.

Conclusion


The Topeak RaceRocket HP has a flex hose with a unique Smarthead valve attachment that works on both Presta and Schrader valves.  The design limits the length of the flex fill hose  but provides dual valve compatibility.
The Topeak RaceRocket HP has a flex hose with a unique Smarthead valve attachment that works on both Presta and Schrader valves. The design limits the length of the flex fill hose, but provides dual valve compatibility.

This contender is a great mini pump in a tiny package. It surprised us during testing with excellent pumping performance to size ratio. High quality and innovative design and great portability make this a go-to pump for our gram counting testers.

Curtis Smith

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Most recent review: December 17, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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