REVIEW – I ride my motorcycle almost every weekend. I always do a safety check on my bike before I ride and make sure the tire pressures are set where they need to be. Unlike a car, a flat tire on the road can result in a very long wait for a tow, or even worse, a serious accident. Checking the tire pressure means multiple steps of work. First, I fire up my very loud air compressor, get my awesome tire pressure gauge and check the pressure in the front tire. If it is low, I add air, check the pressure again with the gauge and add more air. It is a back and forth process that often ends up with me letting out air to meet my required pressure in the tire. I then repeat that process for the rear tire. It really is not that bad, but the compressor is really loud, and firing it up at 7 am on a Saturday morning worries me that I may be waking up neighbors. So when the Cycplus A8 air inflator came up for review I jumped at the chance to see if I can keep the neighborhood quiet, and maybe eliminate some steps in my riding ritual.
What is it?
The Cycplus A8 air inflator (to be referred to as the A8 going forward) is a battery powered portable air inflator. It comes with adapters to handle an American valve, a french valve (I call it a Presta valve), a balloon converter, and a ball inflator.
What’s in the box?
- Cycplus A8 pump
- Air tube and instruction manual
- carry bag
- USB-C charging cable – no power adapter included
- Presta/French valve adapter
- balloon adapter
- ball adapter
- Product Dimension: 36 x 65 x 172.9mm
- Net Product Weight: 461g
- Inflatable Pressure: 150PSI (MAX)
- Battery Capacity: 2600mAh Built-in Lithium Battery
- Charging: Type-C, 2h
- Display Unit: PSI, BAR
Design and features
The picture above shows the top of the Cycplus A8. There is an LED light that you can turn on to the left, and the place where you screw in the air tube. The fact that the air tube does not have to stay on the pump is awesome. It allows the pump to be so much more portable. I have found having to keep an air tube constantly bent in storage can cause some premature wear on it. That won’t happen with this pump.
This next picture shows the bottom of the pump. This is where the air comes in. On the bottom left is a small LED light that will glow red when charging and green when complete. There is also the USB-C charging port.
Here is a close-up of the buttons on the pump. In the middle is the power button. You do one long press to turn the unit off or on. A single quick press will start the unit. At the top and bottom are the plus for increasing the desired air pressure and minus for decreasing the desired air pressure. You set the air pressure you want before starting it to pump. On the right-hand side is the button that activates the LED light up top, and on the left is the button for changing the units and mode.
Here is a close-up shot of the end of the air tube that screws into the unit. It is well built and sturdy.
Here is a shot of the LED light turned on. This could come in nice and handy at night trying to attach the end of the air tube to the valve stem.
A long press of the Cycplus A8’s recycle-looking button on the left changes the mode from PSI to BAR. Here is where the reading looks like with the PSI setting.
Here is what the display looks like with the BAR setting.
Quick presses of the recycle-looking button will change the mode. Each mode has a starting tire pressure. This is often handy as for a bicycle you often need higher tire pressures, while a car or a ball requires lower air pressures. The top left picture shows you the bicycle mode, and the top left picture shows you the motorcycle/scooter mode.
These next two pictures show you the car and ball mode.
The setup of the Cycplus A8 air pump was very simple. I plugged in the USB-C adapter and charged the device until the LED glowed green. Here is a picture of the LED showing red as it was charging. Once charged, I screwed in the air tube and it was ready to go with a standard American valve like on a car or motorcycle.
The performance of the Cycplus A8 pump was just awesome. It removed multiple steps from my motorcycle ritual. The first thing I did was long-press the power button to turn the unit on. I then used the plus sign to set the PSI to 36 for my front motorcycle tire.
I was greatly concerned about the accuracy of the readings of this pump so I checked the tire pressure before and after the pump was done to validate. The initial pressure of my front tire was right around 33.5 psi.
Here is a video of the Cycplus A8 pump pumping up the tire to 36 PSI. Please ignore the multiple presses. The pump had turned off as I was taking pictures and getting ready for the video. I forgot it needed a long press to turn on.
The pump accurately shows the starting tire pressure. I am sure I lost a little air screwing on the air tube to the valve stem, so the initial reading of 33.5 could have easily dropped to 33.
After the Cycplus A8 pump was finished, I unscrewed the air tube from the valve stem and took another air pressure reading. 36 PSI on the nose (maybe ever so slightly above, but nice accuracy for me).
Next, I wanted to do my rear tire which required 42 PSI.
The initial reading was just under 40 PSI. I screwed on the air tube and let it go to work. Here is a video of it pumping up the rear tire.
Once again I validated the air pressure by using my own air gauge after the pump was done. It was right on the 42 again or just slightly above.
Finally my big test. I do love to ride my gravel bike. However, getting a flat is a huge pain because trying to get that tube back up to 80 PSI requires either a CO2 air cartridge (which I hate to use because I can’t recycle them) or a small hand pump I have on my bike where I only have enough leverage to muscle it up to around 50 PSI. My bike had been sitting for a while on the rack so the tire pressure was really low (under 5 PSI). It is also a Presta valve so I had to screw on the adapter.
Here is a video of the Cycplus A8 pump pumping up the tire from less than 5 PSI up to 80 PSI. It took just about 2 minutes which was awesome.
What I like
- It is very accurate
- I love setting the PSI I want and the pump gets it there. No back and forth measuring and adding/taking away air to make sure I have it correct.
- I love that I screw the air tube onto the valve stem. I lose a lot of air sometimes trying to get my compressor air tip on the valve stem correctly.
- Huge battery. I was able to fill two tires from below 5 PSI to 80 PSI, 2 tires from around 10 PSI to 60 PSI, and two motorcycle tires a few pounds each 3 times and still had battery power left
- No loud air compressor needs to be charged up
What needs to be improved
- The air tube can get quite hot when filling up things like bicycle tires. You need to let it cool off a bit before storing it away.
- It would be great if they could get the same performance in a smaller package. This will fit in the back of my bicycling jersey, but it is rather large.
I have a new go to device each weekend now when I get ready for my motorcycle rides. The Cycplus A8 pump has enough battery that I don’t have to worry about recharging it for over a month. The manual says it can maintain the battery for about two months in storage before you should think about recharging it. When I ride my bicycle, this now comes with me. I always manage to get a flat at the furthest point on my ride. Riding back at half the normal tire pressure is no fun and this will be a lifesaver. If you are looking for a portable air pump that is accurate and has lots of battery power, look no further.