In your typical cyclist’s quest to simplify my setup and reduce the things that I carry on rides, I went out to look for a compact, pocketable pump with an integrated pressure gauge. There are a number of options, but none of them have had particularly good reviews – at least not judging by what I was able to find. Most annoyingly, very few reviews even consider the accuracy of the integrated gauge, stating that it’s good enough for (off-)road side repairs.
The Topeak ROADIE DA G is a fairly recent release and being happy with a few other of their products, I decided to give it a go.
The pump pushes air into the tyre when pushing and pulling on the barrel, which, theortically should help fill the tyre more quickly. The barrel is made out of aluminium, other parts of the pump are made from shock-resistant plastic. Being a road bike pump, it’s equipped with a Presta valve head.
I’ve used this pump fairly extensively at this point and all things considered, it’s a good pump. It’s compact, doesn’t stick out of a jersey pocket too far and even fits into some saddle bags. The included bottlge cage mount is solid and has held up across a number of hard gravel rides already.
I was very happy to find that the pressure gauge is quite accurate. Comparing it with a dedicated digital gauge and the gauge in my floor pump, it yielded almost identical results when I aimed to hit 𝑥.0 Bar or 𝑥.𝑥 Bar on the gauge. This allowes me to much more accurately and quickly get my tyres up to the desired pressure than doing the “pump, pump, pump, detach pump, attach gauge, check pressure, detach gauge, pump some more, check again” spiel.
One thing I consider a downside is the pump’s barrel getting very hot when reaching pressures of 3.2 Bar and up. I’m guessing it’s fine when you’re wearing gloves but more than a couple of times when nearing 4 Bar, I had to stop pumping to let the barrel cool down a bit.
Suitability for 700×40c tyres
The bigger issue from my perspective is the suitability for tyres typically used on gravel bikes. Both my bikes use 700×40c and I tend to vary the pressure depending on the terrain I ride on. Getting this kind of pneu to a pressure beyond 3.5 Bar is hard work and both the pump and I struggle with it.
This issue isn’t limited to the ROADIE DA G, however. Right now, most manufacturers of pumps distinguish between high-volume pumps for mountain bike tyres, and high-pressure pumps for road bikes. Tyres for gravel bikes/adventure bikes/bicycle touring fall somewhere in between and I haven’t yet seen any pump that delivers good results for 700×36c–700×50c tyres.