The Millibar mini-pump from Fabric is designed to inflate high volume mountain bike tyres quickly and with ease. It’s well built and has the best auto-select head I’ve tried – about the only thing it lacks is a pressure gauge.
Apart from its valve head and hose, the Millibar is entirely aluminum, keeping weight low and creating a premium, durable feel. The hose is retractable, and there's a metal lock on the back of the head to keep it clamped firmly.
Usually, I would advise people to steer clear from auto-select heads, as they’re often faffy and don’t always lock onto the valves properly. However, the auto-select head on the Millibar works incredibly well. It confidently locks on without ever refusing.
The retractable hose is a nice touch. It’s held in place with a notch so it’s secure when not in use, yet it's easy enough to whip out. Although short, the hose does exactly what it’s meant to by absorbing the jarring motions and stopping you accidentally damaging a valve.
The Millibar is 235mm long and its barrel holds 104cc of air.
Even with the hose retracted, the Fabric Millibar is really pleasant to use. It doesn’t take too long before your tyre is back to usable pressure and I’ve not suffered any arm fatigue, even though the smooth action is a little stiff.
If dirt finds its way underneath the seals, however, that lovely smooth action is compromised and you quickly scratch the stanchion. So the Millibar is one to keep clean.
The only thing really holding the pump back is its lack of a pressure gauge, as you can find them – such as with the £36 Topeak Mountain TT_G – with good gauges built in. Then again, the majority of mini pumps don't have them either.
The Fabric Millibar is a great pump that justifies its high price with a premium build, reliable auto-select head and useful efficiency. Keep it clean and it'll see you right for years.
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