If there is one product every cyclist owns it is an air pump to keep bicycle tires at the proper inflation. One interesting alternative to the standard track or floor pump are foot operated pumps. Not only is using your feet more ergonomic than using your upper body, it can be much easier and faster to use. With the $99.99 SKS Airstep even road cyclists can take advantage of the floor pump design as it is capable of upto 102psi or 7bar pressures. It’s a compact design that uses a hinged aluminium foot pedal that’s easy to use while folding away flat. The long hose is compatible with Dunlap, Shrader and Presta valves with a dual sided chuck. When not in use the SKS Airstep can store the hose in an integrated storage space around the wide analog pressure gauge. Note, SKS also offers a $124.99 Airstep Digi with an illuminated digital pressure gauge.
The SKS Airstep is a compact floor pump that allows you to fill tires up to 102 psi ergonomically and efficiently.
|Retail Price||$99.99 / $124.99 (digital version)|
|Rating||8.8 / 10|
|Likes||+ Ergonomic design|
+ Compact form factor makes it easy to store or travel with
+ Clever integrated hose storage around the gauge
|Dislikes||– Dual headed nozzle instead of a smart head|
– Lock button ;requires using your hand instead of foot
|Where to Buy (US)||SKS US|
The SKS Airstep comes in a trapezoidal cardboard box with a large center opening that allows you to see and interact with the floor pump. Inside the box you’ll find:
- Airstep floor pump
- Plastic bracket for wall mounting nozzle
SKS doesn’t include any instructions or details on the plastic bracket itself, but based on its size and design it appears to be for mounting the nozzle against a wall. There is also no hardware for mounting it, so you’ll need to source your own if you plan to use it.
What sets the SKS Airstep apart from your standard bicycle tire pump is the foot pump design. Rather than bending over and using your upper body, the Airstep lets you take advantage of your legs for a more ergonomic design. That also means the Airstep doesn’t look like your standard floor pump and gets away with a more compact rectangular profile. The SKS Airstep uses a single barrel design that is mounted under the aluminium foot pedal. When in storage mode the pedal sits flush against the main body of the SKS for a compact form factor that is easy to store. An orange plastic toggle allows you to unlock the pedal and allow it to extend upwards.
The pedal is attached by a long rod to the barrel which allows you to pump air each time the pedal is pushed down to the base. It’s a simple motion that takes advantage of your leg muscles instead of your upper body. Raised diamond-like texture on the front of the foot pedal prevents your feet from sliding on the pedal. Aside from the pedal and barrel, most of the Airstep is constructed of plastic with a semi-matte finish. Additional rubber pads on the base of the pump prevent it from sliding around on the floor.
With the standard Airstep, there is a large analog gauge with bright white and orange coloring that is easy to read. The gauge reads up to the maximum 102 psi which should be sufficient for cyclists running 700×25 or wider tires. Surprisingly there is no movable marker on the gauge that most pumps like the Topeak JoeBlow series offer for a quick visual reference to a pressure value. SKS has done a clever job by integrating the hose storage directly around the gauge itself and a plastic exterior piece. Combined with a little tab that holds the nozzle, that allows the Airstep to be efficiently stored. SKS also includes a plastic tab with the Airstep that can be drilled into a wall to hold the nozzle head for quicker access.
With its 102psi maximum inflation value, the SKS Airstep means foot pumps aren’t just for mountain bikers anymore. Even when pumping our tires upto 95 psi on our road bike, the Airstep worked quickly and efficiently. The pivoting foot pedal is easy to depress and can be operating as quickly as a floor pump but without the hassle. Note that SKS didn’t design the lock button to be accessible using your foot, so you do need to lean down lock or unlock it. Otherwise the two-headed nozzle is easy to use and locks against nozzle heads quickly. Also the foot pedal design doesn’t work that well with cycling shoes so you may need to remove your shoes or use it carefully with cycling shoes on.
Overall we found the SKS Airstep to be an easy and efficient foot pump. Unlike floor pumps which can take up a lot of space and require leaning over to use, the Airstep has a compact and ergonomic design. The aluminium foot pedal and single barrel design works well to inflate tires quickly. SKS doesn’t provide the volume per stroke for the pump but it feels close to our Topeak JoeBlow pumps. The dual headed nozzle also accommodates Presta and Schrader valves with simple illustrations to help you determine which is which. We appreciated the clever details such as the integrated hose storage around the gauge and the lock toggle to easily store or travel with the pump. If you’re looking for a better alternative to a floor pump and inflate your tires to 102 or lower psi value than the SKS Airstep is one to consider.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by SKS US. 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.