The Topeak Pocket Rocket promises a small pump with big performance, sleek grey looks, and a lightweight package that won’t slow down your ride.  It’s in the ‘mini’ range, and pumps (hypothetically) up to 160 psi.  I needed something for my Litespeed on Nevada’s rough roads, so this Topeak seemed just the ticket.

Topeak Pocket Rocket Features:

  • Light weight mini pump with alloy barrel for roadies
  • Integrated dust cap keeps Kraton head clean and ready to use
  • High efficiency Single Action pump with thumblock lever
  • Head: Presta/Schrader
  • Barrel: Butted Aluminum
  • Handle: Plastic
  • Capacity: 160 PSI / 11 bar
  • Includes a mounting bracket

Topeak Pocket Rocket Pump Review

The Pocket Rocket features an aluminum barrel and thumb-lock coupled with a Kraton handle and head for grippiness.  All in all, it’s quite a sturdy pump that seems more than up to the rigors of road biking.  I am very pleased with the holder – the pump doesn’t rattle and it definitely doesn’t slip out.  The elastic band did an awesome job keeping the pump on my frame for what chatter comes up through my bike.  Naturally, the locking pump handle works well and doesn’t slip out to annoy me.

In practice, the Pocket Rocket did everything I hoped for.  I believe the maximum listed pressure of 160 psi is probably a little too ambitious, but I could get my 700x23C tires up to 100 psi and only lose a little sweat.  The aluminum gets slippery between the heat from the pump and sweat on my hands, but the Kraton plastic on the head and handle go a long way towards maintaining grip. I have to say; I really like how the aluminum Pocket Rocket looks on my bike’s bare titanium finish.

One of the pump’s features is being able to switch between Presta and Schrader valves.  Topeak’s solution is very elegant – simply unscrew the cap and use the thumb-lock lever to push out the pump’s components.  Next, reverse the direction of both internal parts, put it back together, and the pump is ready to go.  This feature is a little unnecessary for me since both of my tubes are Presta, but doubtless there are many cyclists who will appreciate it.

Weight is the watchword of road biking, and the Pocket Rocket is in the middle of the pack.  A carbon pump can easily cut the Pocket Rocket’s 115 grams in half or more, but of course they’re considerably more expensive.  It should be noted, too, that the Pocket Rocket isn’t a dual action pump and is therefore more laborious to get up to pressure.  As with anything, you get what you pay for.

 Good Pocket Rocket:

  • Stylish
  • Well-constructed
  • Grippy handle and head
  • Inexpensive
  • No-worries bracket mount
  • Tucks in next to the frame nicely

Bad Pocket Rocket:

  • Heavy compared to carbon pumps
  • Not a dual action pump

Bottom Line: Topeak Pocket Rocket Pump

In reality this is a good budget pump for those who aren’t too scared of weight.  Frankly I just needed something for when flats happen on my normal commutes and rides.   If I did anything more than local races I’d come up with a different and more expensive solution, but I’m pretty content with it.  As a 200-pound rider, I would have to lose weight on my own body before I worry too much about a 60-gram difference.  (Keep in mind that I don’t recommend it for gram counters.)  For me, though, with a cost of about $20, it’s well built, it looks good, and it works.

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About Author

Kevin Glover is an outdoorsman living, climbing and biking in Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW for its mild winters and allergen-free summers. He has guided throughout the Cascades and Enchantments for Peak 7 Adventures.

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