Nana is getting a big sister!

Nana is getting a big sister!

The Nana carbon minipump has been one of our best-sellers. It’s small, it’s light, it’s cute, and it works well. I carry one on every ride as a backup in case my ‘big’ pump fails. (That has happened only once in all my riding, but at 25 g and the size of a large pen, the Nana is so easy to carry.)

I have a confession to make: It was a mishap that brought the Nana into the Rene Herse program. You see, Natsuko had a carbon pump that I really liked – so much that I borrowed it whenever I rode a racing bike with no bags. Then, one day, I lost it. On a ride with a friend, I heard a noise and assumed one of us had ridden over some debris. Everything seemed fine, and I didn’t think about it again until I got home, and noticed that Natsuko’s favorite pump was gone. Not a huge problem, I thought, I’ll buy a new one. Except Natsuko’s pump was a Nuda, and that model was discontinued years ago. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find one. Only the tiny Nana was still available, but not the slightly larger Nuda.

I contacted the maker in Italy, Barbieri. They also didn’t have any Nudas. And they weren’t interested in reintroducing the larger pump. They discontinued the Nuda because everybody wanted the lightest pump, the tiny Nana. The Nuda weighs 14 g more, because it’s 60 mm longer. Thanks to the larger barrel, it pushes out twice as much air per stroke.

That got me thinking: At Rene Herse Cycles, we aren’t into ‘the lightest’ at all costs. All our parts could be lighter, but we’re looking for light weight without compromising function and performance. To me, the Nuda offered the perfect combination of light weight and easy tire inflation. When I carry a bag on the bike, the (slightly) larger Nuda won’t take up noticeably more space than the tiny Nana. And the Nuda can inflate a 55 mm tire without my arms getting tired or my friends getting impatient as they wait. (It’s a surprisingly effective pump, as I found out when I ran over a big nail, before I lost Natsuko’s pump.)

So we asked Barbieri to make an exclusive run of Nudas for us. Now the Rene Herse × Barbieri Nuda pumps are on the way to Seattle. We should have them in a few weeks. The Nana will remain in our program, since it’s a great pump, too. If I carry a pump in my jersey pocket, I prefer the smaller Nana, since it won’t fall out!

Both Nuda and Nana are made from carbon fiber (barrel and plunger) and titanium (cover). Both are rated to 140 psi (10 bar), but they work best for wide tires and lower pressures. On both, the small-diameter barrel lets you pump with almost no resistance. This allows for quick strokes, so your tire is inflated much faster than you’d think. When I pinch-flatted a 32 mm tire last winter – shouldn’t ride those on gravel at night! – it took the tiny Nana just five minutes to inflate the tire, despite cold fingers and darkness. The larger Nuda would have made it even quicker. Soon we’ll be able to choose which of the two we want to take on a ride.

Most of all, I’ll be relieved to finally give Natsuko her favorite pump back.

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