Bryan Bosch on ThumperTalk did this informative review on our portable Micro-Start Tire Inflator/ Air Pump.
Most will agree that a dual sport bike is all about compromise. Some are better on the street, others in the dirt, but none ideal everywhere. And, that’s how I’ve been treating tire pressure. I’ve been running the same compromise pressure on/off-road, but the reality is, it was costing me tire life and fuel mileage on-road and traction off-road. After considering both manual and electric pumps, I decided to give the 12v Micro-Start Tire Inflator & Pump by Antigravity Batteries a try.
The Micro-Start Tire Inflator & Pump is pretty easy to haul with its light weight (9oz.) and compact size (3.5″ X 4.5″ X 1.5″). In terms of powering the unit, it comes with two detachable power cables, one for use with a 12v cigarette lighter (9′ long) and another (18″ long) that allows it to be powered by Antigravity’s Micro-Start mini jump-starter product. However, you can power the Tire Inflator with any SAE cable end. Many dual sporters (including me) power accessories off USB and/or have the typical quick-connect battery charger lead (SAE 2-pole flat type). I have an SAE connection under my quick-release seat for battery maintenance, so I picked up a cord with SAE connectors on both ends to power the pump. This has worked out great, so I passed the info along to the Antigravity folks. They liked the idea, so don’t be surprised to see an SAE cord with the kit in the future. I bought a 12 footer that I thought might be too long when I received it, but on my last ride, I ended up inflating tires on my riding buddy’s bikes, so the extra length meant that we didn’t have to get the bikes tight together to do the job. The cord is a little bulky and you really only need 4, maybe 5′ for a single bike.
I was paying attention to the draw on my bike’s battery when I was filling six motorcycle tires pretty much back-to-back, but no issues when I went to hit the magic button. The starter seemed to crank at the same speed as normal. I just need to tell my buddies to get their own pumps!
Connected to power, filling a tube is stupid-simple. Thread the schrader valve filler fitting onto the tube and flick the rocker power switch on. From dirt to street, I’m increasing tire pressure by approx. 10-12 psi and doing so takes less than a minute per tire. The pump has a built-in pressure gauge that reads out in both bar and psi and the Antigravity folks were honest that its accuracy is +/- 2lbs. I tested this using my Rhino USA digital tire gauge and that’s about right. You’re going to get a small amount of bleed off when you unscrew the schrader fitting anyway, so I over pressurize the tube a bit and make fine pressure adjustments with my fingernail.
The Micro-Start Tire Inflator & Pump has an LED light on the top that automatically comes on when the unit is turned on. I’ve not needed to fill in low light conditions yet, but I can see how this would come in handy, especially with my 48 year old eyes. The pump also comes with a needle for filling sports balls, a fitting for pumping up things like an air mattress or pool floaties, and a presta to schrader valve adapter for cyclists.
In terms of durability, I’ve not used the pump enough to say how it will hold up over time. But, I did pull the case back off and verified that it does use metal gears. So, I think it’s reasonable to say that getting my $24.95 (MSRP) out of the pump won’t be much of an issue.
Bottom-line, the Micro-Start Tire Inflator & Pump by Antigravity Batteries is a slick little unit that is easy to transport, easy-to-use, and does its intended job well. Most importantly, having the right tire pressure for the conditions matters, especially off-road. On my last ride, one of my buddies mentioned that my pace was noticeably up and that I was laying the bike over more than normal in flat turns. I felt “on” that day and I’m sure that the lower tire pressures played a part.