Recently got my hands on a Wrench Force Moskito pump and thought you might like to hear some details. For the purposes of the review I’ll compare it to the Crank Brothers Minpump which is my current trail pump.
Before we start - we are talking trail pumps here. They are very small and light but can never get near the performance of a full size track pump or a car foot pump. However they slip neatly in your pocket and along with some patches and a small toolkit should be part of anyones daypack if you intend to range for any distance.
So the specs
Crank Brother Minipump
Shaft 140mm retracted, 210mm extended
Barrel 27mm OD
Head Width 60mm
Wrench Force Moskito Pump
Shaft 148mm retracted, 220 extended
Barrel 28mm OD
Head Width 50mm
Both pumps are very small, the barrels not being much longer than my palm. Looking at their sizes they would appear to be able to pump the same amount of air. But when looking at the internals you find that the Wrench Force Pump is single action but the Crank Brother pumps is double action meaning it can pump 50% to 75% more air per stroke than the other. Both pumps are interchangeable between presta and schreader valves but the Crank Brother Pump can do this at a twist of the head while the Wrench Force Pump requires that you dismantle and reverse the valve fittings. This combined with the lower weight might make you wonder why I bothered buying the Wrench Force Pump at all.
The secret is what happens once you start to get to higher pressures.
The Crank Brothers pump has a small dial at the base of the barrel which effectively gears the pump between large volume low pressure strokes and small volume high pressure strokes. This helps to reduce the effort when you get past the easy strokes, a feature that is very useful on a pump this small.
The Wrench Force Moskito also has a dial, this time at the top of the barrel close to the valve fitting. But instead of changing the gear it instead releases the Moskito’s secret weapon - a 60g CO2 cartridge hidden inside the barrel of the pump. This is the reason for the extra weight and the single action.
The premise is this, you use the manual mode to pump for the first 20 or 30 strokes then when it gets tough or you just can’t be bothered anymore, you screw down the cap to break the seal and then unscrew to release the CO2.
Does it work in practice? Ultimate test - a full deflated Coker. The Crank Brothers pump I put to the side, I know it works but it takes time, lots and lots of time. It gets there in the end but you forearm really knows about it. So how does the Wrench Force Moskito perform? I put in 200 stokes on manual to take it to the point where I’d normally have to switch over to high gear on the Crank Brothers pump. It sounds a lot but remember it’s a very small pump. Then I released the CO2. I waited for a short while then stopped to check I hadn’t overshot. Then emptied the rest of the cartridge into the tyre. The dregs of CO2 finished, it measured 30psi on one bottle.
One thing to watch though - like all CO2 pumps the gas cools the valve. Use the cartridge too fast and the valve can block up, Either wait for a few minutes with the pump in place or stick your finger over the valve end until the valve has a chance to warm backup and reseat itself.
So do I recommend it for trail use - what a pump no bigger than my palm which can pump a Coker to a reasonable pressure in less than five minutes without my arm cramping up? A CO2 pump which doesn’t require losts of spare cartridges or having to carry an emergency manual pump? Of course I do.
Cost in UK - £14.99 including two CO2 cartridges.
I’m sure if you talk nicely to Unicycle.com or Unicycle.UK.com they’d find one for you. Or you could try the Innovations Second Wind pump which Unicycle.com already stock. It uses the same principle but looks slightly longer in the barrel.