Crankbrothers Klic HV Pump Review
There are just a few tried and true mini-pumps that make the usual “must have” short lists for bicycle travel and bikepacking. Now there’s one more. After a year of use, here is our review of the Crankbrothers Klic HV Pump…
Crankbrothers is known for its rather unorthodox approach to creating bike components and tools. And while this has spawned some good designs, its next-level inventiveness hasn’t resulted in success for every product by the California based company. It appears, however, that Crankbrothers’ engineers have turned the corner. They’ve recently brought a string of creative, functional, and reliable products to the market. Included in this roster are the nearly bombproof Stamp pedals and the Highline dropper post, both of which have gotten rave reviews (the former by us). In addition to the pedals and post, the Klic HV hand pump stands out as a very well designed piece of equipment.
If you do some digging around to find the best bikepacking pump or best pump for touring, you’ll usually turn up a list that includes Topeak’s Mountain Morph and/or the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HP. I’ve put many miles on both and have little to complain about. I bent my Mountain Morph while touring in Africa and have relied on the Lezyne since. Overall I’ve been pretty happy with it, especially for high volume 29+ tires. It even made our recently published top 50 list for most used ‘long-term’ products. Despite having filled the need, I thought I’d give the new Crankbrothers Klic HV a whirl after fiddling with it at Interbike in 2016. Now with over a year of use in the books, including an 850+ mile trip across Cuba, countless trail rides, and several other bikepacking excursions, I’m glad I did.
The Klic HV is certainly different from other mini-pumps. Its most notable feature is the removable hose attachment. The hose/gauge assembly neatly stows in the pump’s hollow shaft. To access it, the hard plastic handgrip pivots to almost 90 degrees, creating a T-handle. This aligns the pump’s hollow handle tube with a circular hole in the grip to allow the 7 1/4″ (18.4cm) hose to slide into or out of the cylinder.
It’s all magnets these days
The hose itself features a machined aluminum reversible end cap — one side for Presta and the other for Schrader. It also has a 3″ flexible rubber hose in between the gauge and fitting that connects to the pump body. This is where things get interesting. This end is composed of a machined aluminum cylinder with a steel collar that ‘clicks’ into the pump head via a rather powerful magnet. Other thread adaptor mini pumps, such as the Lezyne MFD, can be finicky when attaching to the tire valve, especially once dust impregnates the swivel adapter and makes it a little testy. Unscrewing the hose often results in losing a bit of air. But the Klic’s detachable hose can be easily threaded independent of the pump itself. Then you simply click the hose fitting into the pump body. And vice versa when you are finished. No air lost. And the tight tolerance press-fitting in combination with the magnet keeps it securely in place while inflating… super user-friendly.
Most mini pumps of a similar size and weight simply have a straight handle. The Klic’s T-handle and flexible hose puts it in a category of its own, one that’s far more pleasant to use. The T-handle provides better grip, more support, and additional leverage. In addition, the flexible hose allows more leeway versus a straight handled mini pump which requires perfect alignment while pumping.
There are six versions in the Klic series — three variations of the Klic HP (high pressure) for tires 45c and narrower, and three of the Klic HV (high volume), which is recommended for tires 1.8” wide and larger. At 220 millimeters in length, the base model of each variation is the shortest option. The Klic pump models that come with a built-in gauge and those that include a concealed CO2 inflator in the handle both measure 260mm in length. We tested the version with all the bells and whistles, the Klic HV Gauge + CO2. As with all of the Klic pumps, it includes a water bottle mount and velcro strap. After bounding across the rugged dirt roads and rocky tracks of Cuba for a month, I’ll add that this attachment does a fine job at keeping the pump secure.
Crankbrothers Klic HV vs Lezyne’s Micro Floor Drive
The Lezyne Micro Floor Drive is somewhat of a staple amongst bikepackers, especially those using plus tires, but it’s not perfect and might be slightly overkill for 700c tires, Road Plus, or just standard 2.3″ rubber. First things first, I was impressed with the overall air volume of the Kilc HV. I expected it to be one of those pumps that requires an upper body workout and thousands of strokes to inflate a flattened tire. Much to my surprise, it is more powerful than it looks. To see just how powerful, I pitted it against the Micro Floor Drive by inflating a pair of 650b 47mm WTB Byways. From complete deflation to 25psi, the Klic HV took a total of 90 strokes while the Micro Floor Drive took 60. So, in terms of pure efficiency, the MFD definitely outshines the Klic. However, it weighs about 90 grams more than the full-featured Klic HV Gauge + CO2 (and even more than the regular Klic HV). Plus, the MFD is substantially larger and more cumbersome to carry with its external hose.
In addition, by design the Klic HV keeps all of the threaded and working parts sealed from the elements. As mentioned, the hose tucks away into the handle. Plus, the top sleeve rotates to cover up the air nozzle where the hose attaches. These are especially nice perks when you use the included water bottle mounted clip to stow the pump on your frame or fork, where it’s exposed to all of the elements.
As far as the bells and whistles, I never used the threaded CO2 attachment, because I just don’t use CO2. However, the gauge works pretty well. It provides a solid approximation of air pressure. It’s difficult to say exactly how accurate it is, because the specificity of PSI is in 10 pound increments. It’s also a little hard to read in bright sunlight, but, given that the Klic HV Gauge is a little longer than the non-gauge version, it has the benefit of a higher stroke air volume, and therefore requires less work to inflate a tire.
- Removable and flexible hose and T-handle make it easy to use.
- Interior hose storage and rotating collar keeps important bits out of the dust and mud.
- Relatively good air volume.
- Lightweight yet well built and dependable, so far.
- Not quite enough air volume for a on the trail tubeless setup, but most mini-pumps aren’t.
- Those running fat tires or 29+ might prefer the higher volume Lezyne Micro Floor Drive.
- The handle is a tad loose and rattly. Not bad, or a deal breaker, but noticeable.
- Model tested Klic HV Guage + CO2
- Size 260 x 25.4mm (10.25 x 1″)
- Weight 148 grams (5.2 oz)
- Place of Manufacture China
- Max pressure 110psi (7.6bar)
- Warranty 5 years
- Price $55.99 ($40 w/o CO2)
- Manufacturer’s Details Link
All in all, I am quite impressed with the Crankbrothers Klic HV. It’s become one of those possessions to which I’ve grown rather attached. Right now, the only circumstance that would make me ditch it in favor of another pump is if Crankbrothers released something like a Klic XHV… the same pump, just a hair larger with a bit more air volume. Otherwise, as it is, the Klic HV is a nearly flawless mini pump that has some neat features in a lightweight, small, and useable package. And given how much this one’s been used (it was the sole pump between three of us on our 860 mile trip across Cuba — a trip where one of our compatriots, who will remain nameless, decided to use innertubes instead of going tubeless, and as a result had countless flat tires), it seems to be quite durable as well.