Xiaomi, the Chinese tech giant synonymous with smartphones and consumer electronics has surprised the cycling world with its all-new Mi Portable Electric Air Compressor.
Portable air pumps have been an essential commodity for cyclists for years. They help fill up a flat tire or a new tube while on your rides, regardless of where you are.
They typically take the shape of a hand-powered pump which can easily be carried in your backpack or mounted directly on to the frame of your bike. This convenience has always come at a price, namely the difficultly and effort required to hand pump your tire back up to pressure, which can leave you winded and exhausted once you have to get back on your bike.
Electric pumps have always been inaccessible to cyclists, as they are bulky and require a 12v outlet to function which simply isn’t feasible, until now.
MI PORTABLE ELECTRIC AIR COMPRESSOR OVERVIEW
As the name suggests, the device is a battery-operated air pump capable of filling up bicycle tires as well as motorcycles and cars!
The Air Compressor comes packed in a sleek and compact box orange box, with a signature smartphone-like feel. In the box, you get the unit itself, an instruction manual, a cloth carry pouch to keep the device in and accessories.
The accessories include a micro USB charging cable, an adapter for use with smaller valves and another bladder pin for use with footballs, basketballs, etc.
The build quality of the pump is high, made with premium plastics and a solid feel, with no loose or rattling parts. The pump comes in a matte black finish which is soft to the touch and is easy to grip. The finish also offers some protection against scratches which would have been much worse had the finish been smooth.
The carrying pouch provided is made out of a soft cloth material which will keep the pump safe from scratches but has the fortunate tendency of accumulating dust and dirt rather easily. A plastic carry pouch might have been a better alternative to protect against the elements when out riding in tough terrain.
The LED display is nice and large, reminiscent of your local gas station air pump. It is backlit so you can see the pressure even when riding at night. The pump also features a small led flashlight near the valve to help you connect to your tube at night when light is limited.
The Mi Portable Electric Air Compressor is designed similar to a padlock, with the valve tube connecting into itself. This creates a loop that can double as a fastener allowing you to hook the pump to any loop, say on the outside of your bag.
The device is switched on by removing the valve end from the device, as it does not have a typical ON/OFF switch, and will switch off after 3 minutes of inactivity should the valve release unintentionally.
The pump comes with a 2000mAh battery, which is small, but enough to do the job, and has a pressure limit of 150psi which is more than enough to fill all types of bicycle tires. The pump is capable of refilling motorcycle, as well as car tyres with ease.
Xiaomi claims that the pump has enough power to fill 8 bicycle tires per charge, with an average speed of 3 minutes to fill one tyre. Which might seem long, but is definitely better than hand pumping in the scorching heat for 10 minutes.
The pump comes with four preset modes. Interestingly, these modes use different units of pressure. Our guess here is that Mi has gone in for units that are most popular in that category to make it more relevant.
First, there’s the bicycle mode with the pressure preset at 45psi. Then there’s the scooter option that’s set at 2.4 bar pressure. A car option with the preset reading at 2.5 bar. And finally, there’s one for balls that are set at 8psi. Then there’s the general option with 0psi reading that can be set to any number of your liking.
- Product Dimensions – 124mm x 71mm 45.3mm
- Gross Weight – 547g
- Net Weight – 450g
- Materials – ABS
- Colours – Matte Black only
- Inflation Pressure Range – 0.2-10 bar/ 3-145 PSI/ 20-995 kPa
- Battery Capacity – 2000 mAh
- Noise Level – Less than 80dB at a distance of 1 metre
- Charging Parameter – 5V=2A
- Charging Time – Less than 3 Hrs
- Sensor Accuracy – ±2%
The Mi Portable Electric Air Compressor is a welcome addition to a cyclist’s armory. Made by a brand that is not synonymous with sports and cycling, it has definitely given us a new taste for convenience which was previously only matched by Compressed Air Cannisters.
Given its reasonable price point, effortless convenience, and compact size make it a do-it tool that is sure to change the air pump landscape in the years to come.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING:
I love the freedom which comes with riding a bike. On my Hardtail MTB , nothing is an obstacle, I seamlessly flow down trails and through traffic like water in a river. And that flow gives me immense satisfaction and the continued drive to get back on my bike the next day.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain Biking & Commuting
CURRENT BIKE: Marin Bolinas Ridge Disc
DREAM BIKE: Cannondale TOPSTONE Carbon Lefty 3