Specialized Air Tool Road review - a sleek, high-volume mini-pump

A fast and effective pump when you have your hands in the right places

Image shows the Specialized Air Tool Road mini pump
(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Specialized Air Tool Road is a smart and sleek pump that delivers a high volume for quick inflation. Its design means you need some precise hand positioning which won't suit everyone.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    High volume per stroke

  • +

    Firm valve fit

  • +

    Sleek looks

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Needs precise hand position

  • -

    Presta valve only

  • -

    Too long to carry in pocket

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The Specialized Air Tool Road is a minimal frame pump, delivering 60cc air per stroke up to a claimed 100 psi. 

We got our pressure gauges out to see how it performed and compared to our other best bike pumps

Image shows the Specialized Air Tool Road mini pump

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Specialized Air Tool Road: construction

The Air Tool is manufactured from aluminium so it’s lightweight and durable with a plastic head. The outer barrel of the pump has been lightly machined with ribs to increase grip whilst you pump.

To get as much volume as possible for the size, the pump has a small direct -clamp head which is Presta fit only.

There’s a plastic clamp for mounting the pump onto the water-bottle bosses of your frame. As the pump is 10.5" / 27cm long it’s not really one for carrying in your pocket, making the clamp a must-use. This throws in a few limitations if you have several bikes (spare mounts aren't available) or are riding in mucky conditions which subject your pump to grime.

The Road is one of a few iterations of the Air Tool. Other options include the Road Mini (a shorter but lower volume version), as well as MTB and MTB Mini versions for higher volume / lower pressure tires. On our scales the Air Tool road weighed 99g and another 12g for the frame clamp.

Image shows a rider using the Specialized Air Tool Road mini pump

Tiny pump head needs a precise hold

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

The ride

The head fits really firmly over the valve and was firmer than many I’ve used which have a lock (as it’s so tight you do need to be careful removing it so not to bend your valve).  

Because the pump is so slim and head so small I found you have to be quite precise with your hold and used my fingers on the head rather than my whole hand. The body of pump is quite smooth despite the machining, so to get a better grip and more oomph behind my pumping I tended to move the end of the pump so it pushed into the palm of my hand. As the pump is pretty narrow this became a bit uncomfortable as the pressure got higher as all the force was concentrated on a small area. Generally it was much easier to get the right hold on the pump with the wheel out the bike.

With the technique dialled pumping was really easy and smooth, it took 120 pumps to get a tubeless 28 x 700cc tire to from flat to 65 psi (pressure measured with a digital pressure gauge). I could get the tire to about 75 psi but after this I didn’t have enough strength to get much more air in, I’m sure those with better pecs and biceps could manage better.

Image shows the Specialized Air Tool Road mini pump mounted to a bike

Specialized Air Tool Road carried via frame mount

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Value and conclusion

Specialized Air Tool Road is a sleek but high-volume mini-pump. It delivers air quickly into your tire but it’s not necessarily the easiest pump to handle and it’s too long to stash in a pocket.

The Air Tool Road sits at the mid-point of prices for mini-pumps ($35 / £28). Other similarly priced pumps are the Topeak Microrocket  ($32 / £27) and Lezyne’s Lite Drive Mini Pump ($40 / £33). If you want to go cheaper, there's the Specialized Air Tool Switch Sport and others in our best budget mini pump guide

Image shows the Specialized Air Tool Road mini pump on a weighing scale

99g for the pump and 12g for frame mount

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)

Specs

  • Material: All-aluminum inner and outer chamber 
  • Mount: Water bottle boss frame mounting bracket included.
  • Max pressure: 100 PSI (6.9 bar)
  • Volume-per-stroke: 60cc
  • Colour: Black
  • Valve: Presta
  • Weight: 99g and 12g frame mount

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Rachel has been writing about and reviewing bike tech for the last 10 years. Cynical by nature, Rachel never really trusts the marketing hype and prefers to give products a mighty good testing before deciding whether they're worth buying or not. 


Rachel's first riding love is mountain biking where she's been European and UK 24hr Champion on more than one occasion. She's not just confined to the trails though and regularly rides - and occasionally races - on gravel and road too.