Electric air compressors have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional manual pumps for inflating bike tires. While there are a lot of electric pumps on the market, most of them are designed for home use and aren’t portable enough to bring on a ride. CYCPLUS is looking to change that with their latest Cube portable bike pump which is an ultra-portable pump that easily fits in a jersey pocket. What we have here in this review is an early look at the CYCPLUS Cube. It’s recently been released as a part of a INDIEGOGO crowdfunding campaign with an early bird price of $69 and an estimated retail price of $79. The Cube is an extremely compact electric pump that’s capable of inflating both Presta and Schrader valves up to 100 psi. With an integrated 300 mAh battery, the Cube can also be fully charged in 20 minutes using USB-C.
The CYCPLUS Cube is an ultra-portable electric pump that easily fits in a jersey pocket and can inflate tires up to 100psi.
|Retail Price||$79 ($69 early bird pricing)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||100|
|Likes||+ Ultra portable design easily fits in jersey pockets|
+ Multi-level battery status indicator
+ Fast charging with USB-C
|Dislikes||– Lacks a pressure gauge|
– Runtime is limited at higher pressures
|Where to Buy (US)||INDIEGOGO|
The CYCPLUS Cube comes in a compact cardboard box which in our pre-production version lacked branding and specs on it. Inside the box you should expect to find:
- Cube inflator
- Silicone cover
- USB-C charging cable
- Metal insert (for Schrader valves) + spare rubber insert
- Instruction manual
Switching between Presta to Schrader nozzles requires removing the nozzle cover, flipping the rubber insert and adding the metal insert. Unfortunately, you’ll need to keep the conversion parts somewhere safe as they can’t be stored on the pump itself.
FIT & FINISH
The CYCPLUS Cube is not only smaller than any mini-pump on the market, it’s also even smaller than most CO2 canisters. Even though the Cube isn’t quite a cube at approximately 2.5” tall x 2” wide and 1” thickness it easily fits in your palm or jersey pocket. The housing of the Cube has an aluminum construction that feels premium with a few exposed screws holding it together. At least with the early version we received, there is an aluminum body with an attractive silver metallic finish and CYCPLUS logos on each side. The nozzle is located on the side of the Cube with a twist-on cap that can easily be unscrewed to switch between Presta and Schrader valve styles. The USB-C port on the top of the Cube serves dual functions – for charging the pump as well as an air inlet for the pump.
The Cube has a single button interface with a slightly recessed rubber button. A single press of the button illuminates the button to indicate the battery status. It’s a similar design to the Magicshine Allty lights and illuminates in three colors: green (80-100% battery), yellow (50-80%) and red (under 50%). It’s a convenient way to check the status of the battery and allows you to check the status before riding. A second press turns the pump on while a third press shuts it off. It’s fairly loud and almost hums as it inflates tires. There is no pressure gauge on the Cube so you’ll have to estimate the pressure by touch or using a secondary pressure checker (i.e. something like the Topeak Smartguage D2x). You don’t have to worry about overfilling the tire as the Cube is only capable of a maximum of 100 psi. CYCPLUS claims inflating from 0-60 in a 700x25c takes about 60 seconds while 0-80 is about 80 seconds. While it’s not as fast as larger floor pumps such as the Topeak Joe Blow it’s far more compact and doesn’t require any physical exertion.
One of the main limiting factors with the Cube is the small 300 mAh battery. CYCPLUS has focused on portability with the Cube which means runtimes are quite limited. According to CYCPLUS on a full charge the Cube can inflate four 700x25c tires from 0-60 psi. For 0-80 psi you can only inflate two tires while only one 0-100psi inflation can be achieved on a single charge. That means you’ll need to treat the Cube like a CO2 inflator on the road and only use it when necessary. Compared to larger inflators like the CYCPLUS A8 which have digital displays, LEDs and multi-button interfaces, the Cube is far simpler and quite light at only 100 grams. While we’d still recommend bringing CO2 or a pump as backup, the Cube’s small enough to justify bringing along for topping off tires or re-inflating a tire after a flat.
ON THE ROAD
Having used the CYCPLUS A8 and CYCPLUS A2 electric inflators we knew that CYCPLUS could make a reliable electric inflator. What we didn’t expect was just how small the Cube was in person as it’s even smaller than our mini-tools and bike lights. Despite the compact size, we found that the Cube could inflate tires fairly quickly. Compared to hand pumps which can require nearly 100 pumps to reach 60-80 psi and can be exhausting, the Cube simply slides over the nozzle and buzzes away. Without a built in pressure gauge you’ll have to guesstimate your tire pressure but don’t have to worry about overfilling as it is limited to 100 psi. On most modern tire setups 60-80psi is a pretty common inflation pressure which means the Cube can be used on two wheels to inflate from empty. The limited battery life of the Cube means it doesn’t replace a high quality floor pump for home use, instead it’s much better suited for roadside repairs or topping off tires while commuting or on the road.
Overall, we found the CYCPLUS Cube to be an impressively compact and easy to use electric tire inflator. Even though it’s not quite a cube dimensionally, it’s smaller than most mini-tools and quite light at only 100 grams. Compared to CYCPLUS’s larger inflators which can be used on cars or around the house, the Cube is much better suited for road cycling or commuting thanks to the compact size. We appreciated the simple interface which has a recessed button, this avoids the need for a lockout mode as it cannot accidentally be turned on, and a three-level battery status indicated by a backlit button. The main negatives with the Cube is the lack of a pressure gauge and the fact that the runtime is limited. That said, the CYCPLUS Cube is the smallest inflator we’ve seen and a fast way to re-inflate or top off tires on the road.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by CYCPLUS. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.