Nana, the ultralight carbon pump (25 g)

Nana, the ultralight carbon pump (25 g)

Most of my bikes carry a full-sized frame pump, but on BQ test bikes, I often need to bring a minipump. When I had to air up a tire during a ride, Natsuko saw me struggle with the hose and multiple screw-on connectors. “Use my pump,” she said and pulled a tiny stick of carbon fiber out of her handlebar bag. I’d noticed her pump’s modern and clean design, but I’d never seen it in use. With wide tires, we have so few flats these days…

Natsuko twisted the titanium cover, exposing the hole for the valve. When she handed the little Nuda pump to me, it weighed next to nothing. I pushed the pump onto my valve and started pumping. The little pump had a very light action, allowing for quick strokes, and it didn’t take long to fill the tire. Much faster than it would have with my own pump.

Now I wanted one of these carbon pumps, too. We quickly found out that Natsuko’s Nuda isn’t available any longer, but the even smaller, but otherwise similar, Nana is still in production.

Inflating a tire takes a little longer with the little Nana, but not by much. I inflated a 650B x 42 mm tire to 30 psi in 2.5 minutes, start to stop, including opening the valve, attaching the pump, etc.

Counterintuitively, the tiny pump – it’s barely larger than a big pen – works best with wide tires, because you don’t need high pressures. The Nana is rated to 142 psi (10 bar), but above 60 psi, I find it harder to push the barrel and head together. At lower pressures, the pump offers almost no resistance – one advantage of the small diameter – and pumping is easy and fast.

I like the Nana so much that I’ll put one in my handlebar bag even when I carry a frame pump. It’s good insurance if my big pump fails (which has happened only once, but still…)

Despite being so small and light, Natsuko’s Nuda has served her well for quite a few years now. With exactly the same construction, the Nana should last just as well. A full test will appear in the Winter 2021 Bicycle Quarterly.

In the mean time, rather than just ordering one pump for me, we decided to offer the Nana to our customers as well. The simple design makes them lighter and easier to use than most other pumps, and as an added benefit, it also makes them less expensive, too. They retail for $ 38, and we’ve got them in stock now.

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