Hands-on Gear Review

Zefal HPX Review

Zefal HPX
Price:  $40 List | $36.26 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to use, durable
Cons:  Hard plastic frame bumpers, heavy
Bottom line:  A durable frame pump at a competitive price.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight:  247g
Length:  52cm Max, Min 46cm
25C Road Tire Pressure following 200 Pumps:  95psi
Manufacturer:   Zefal

Our Verdict

The Zefal HPX is a solid high quality frame pump. It offers great pumping performance and a reasonable price compared to competitors. It operates on the same spring-loaded handle concept as other frame pumps we have tested. It is not as aesthetically pleasing as the Silca Impero Ultimate, but it is a reliable workhorse of a pump.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Curtis Smith

Last Updated:
Saturday
December 17, 2016

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Performance Comparison


The Zefal HPX out for testing  attached under the top tube.
The Zefal HPX out for testing, attached under the top tube.

Zefal pumps have been around since the 1970s and are known for their reliability and secure mounting. Looking at the current HPX model compared to photos of the old HP model from the 70s, it appears that not much has changed. The HPX is a direct competitor to the Silca Impero and the Topeak Road Master Blaster. While the HPX does not look as polished as the Impero, it pumps well and has some nice features, such as a spring lockout on the handle.

Ease of Use


The HPX is relatively easy to use. The pump is stored on a bicycle frame by outward pressure from a spring-loaded handle. Mounting the pump to a frame is essentially the same process for all the frame pumps we tested. The Zefal has hard plastic bumpers on each end, making it slightly more difficult to mount than the Impero, which has flexible silicone bumpers. If you have a curvy or odd shaped frame or tubing, the Impero provides a more secure mount and is less likely to damage paint.

The HPX has a standard integrated pump head with locking lever. The lever is easy to use but it is one more step as compared to the Impero with its press-on dual seal system. Pumping effort is comparable to the Silca Impero and the Topeak Road Master Blaster.

The pump discharge end of the Zefal HPX has a nylon grip for better pump control during inflation.
The pump discharge end of the Zefal HPX has a nylon grip for better pump control during inflation.

Pumping Performance


The HPX is a solid performer when it comes to pumping. It achieved 95psi at 200 pump strokes in our road tire test, compared to 65psi by the Master Blaster. But the Impero blows it out of the water, reaching 103 psi at only 112 strokes. The Impero is the clear winner when it comes to efficiency at high pressure, but the HPX will get the job done. The HPX also did well on the higher volume application mountain bike tire test, reaching 34psi at 300 strokes, compared to 37psi with the Impero Ultimate.

Looks/Design


We would be lying through our teeth if we told you that the HPX is a great looking pump. It does not have the clean lines and level of craftsmanship seen on the Impero. It has a much more working class feel with a nylon handgrip near the pumping head. The pump head and bumpers are far less elegant than what you will find on the Impero.

The HPX is rebuildable, but sourcing parts may be an issue. We had a hard time finding a retailer that stocks them. We like the option to lock out the spring so that you are not pushing against it at the end of the pump stroke, a feature you will not find on the Impero. We also appreciate the all-metal construction.

The end of the pump handle turns on the Zefal HPX.  In the X position the spring is engaged for mounting to the frame.  In the HP position the spring is locked out so that you are not pushing against it while pumping.
The end of the pump handle turns on the Zefal HPX. In the X position the spring is engaged for mounting to the frame. In the HP position the spring is locked out so that you are not pushing against it while pumping.

Portability


This is a very portable pump - when used on the right bike. It works on carbon frames but the points of contact are not nearly as reassuring as those found on the Impero. We also experienced some rattling from the pump on rough roads that we did not have with the Impero or the Master Blaster. If you have a steel, aluminum or Titanium frame with traditional round tubing, then the HPX will work great. If you have a carbon frame, you will be better off with the Topeak Master Blaster, the Impero Ultimate, or Impero Pocket.

The Zefal HPX mounted under the top tube of a Trek Emonda.
The Zefal HPX mounted under the top tube of a Trek Emonda.

Durability


The HPX proved to be very durable during testing. The pump head did not develop any slop or play following pump testing, and we did not detect any noticeable loss of efficiency following testing. The pump is made almost entirely of aluminum with some steel internal components. The black finish showed no signs of corrosion chipping or wear. The Impero scores higher due to its high-end internal components and readily available replacement parts, while the Lezyne Road Drive, Topeak RaceRocket, Lezyne Pressure Drive also score similarly to the Impero, scoring 8 out of 10 in terms of durability.

Best Applications


The HPX is best suited for use on road or cyclocross bikes, particularly those with alloy frames and traditional round tubing shapes. It may fit your carbon frame, but we would recommend you try before you buy.

Value


This pump is a bargain with a retail price of $39.99, as it's a solid pump. Comparably priced (or cheaper) pumps are the Topeak RaceRocket, Topeak Road Master Blaster and the Pro Bike Tool Mini.

Conclusion


The Zefal HPX is the working man's answer to the pricy Silca Impero. It does not pump as well as the Impero, nor look as nice, but it will get the job done.

The plastic bumpers on the Zefal HPX are designed with the top tube/down tube junction in mind.
The plastic bumpers on the Zefal HPX are designed with the top tube/down tube junction in mind.
Curtis Smith

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 19, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Road Biker

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   Oct 19, 2017 - 03:57pm
Mike9012 · Road Biker · Alabama
I currently own eight bicycles from mountain bikes to road burners with a variety of different pumps and have been road biking for over 45 years. Over the years, I have owned at least six Silca Imperos all of which have broken either at the head or along the compression tube compared to just one Zefal HP which I bought in 1975. While the author gushes about the Silca's "aesthetics", I would much rather have a pump that works reliably when I need it to. Another problem with the Silca is the amount of force required to dislodge it from the valve. I have had to resort to banging it with my fist to dislodge it, a very poor design. The Zefal has a positive locking lever which provides for solid engagement and easy dismounting of the tire valve, a much better design. As for the mounting characteristics; I have had the Silca's become dislodged and actually fall off the bike when traversing rough roads, I have never had that happen to the Zefal. While the Silca has a leather seal that deforms easily, the Zefal has a natural rubber one that keeps its shape. The Slica if lighter because of its cheap plastic construction while the Zefal is all aluminum alloy. Finally, the Zefal is easy to convert from presta to shrader valves and back if needed. Having ridden well over 100,000 miles over the years, I can't imagine any serious biker picking the Silca over the Zefal.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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