The SKS Rennkompressor track pump is an undisputed and very long-standing classic first released back in 1966. With a generous hose, multiple head options and a capability of 230psi, there are many good things going for this pump.
The 3 head options available are multi-valve, EVA head and brass push-on nipple connector. We have the EVA head for testing, which is universal between Presta and Schrader and locks by activating the lever. The EVA head is at the end of a 125cm hose, plenty long enough to get to a wheel in a bike stand, and tucks away neatly when not in use. The gauge at the base of the pump is functional but small. However, it would have been better to have a larger dial or have it at the top of the pump to make it easier to see during operation.
The fold-up feet are a story of two halves. While they make this pump very easy to store in the van/car and provide good stability left to right, they provide next to no stability back and forth. This means if you slightly knock the pump or are on uneven ground, it will not stay upright. By no means a deal-breaker but a little annoying nonetheless.
The build quality seems sturdy but somewhat industrial. The cast-iron bottom does improve stability by keeping the weight low; however, it also adds to the pump's overall weight, making it on the heavy side. The spring, which is contacted at the bottom of each stroke, does help to smoothen out the pumping action but would have been much slicker if it was internal. During use, the spring rattles and generally makes the pump feel lower budget than it should do.
The pump cannot be faulted for its wind moving capabilities. Each pump stroke feels like progress and is a great balance between firm but not too hard. The handle is ergonomically shaped, which provides excellent purchase for all the pumping duties.
Value and verdict
Retailing at £72, the SKS Rennkompressor track pump is by no means cheap, and it has some hot competition. For the same money, the Lezyne Overdrive floor pump is a high-quality piece proving to be efficient and easy to use. For £55, the Topeak Joe Blow Mountain X track pump was highly rated by Liam, delivering high volume quickly with little effort.
The SKS Rennkompressor is a sturdy pump with the capability for high pressures, easy storage and various head options. However, the pump falls short with a gauge that's hard to read and has stability issues. Other pumps on the market have overtaken the classic, but it's still a solid option with a touch of nostalgia.