I like shopping on Ali Express. Not so much because it’s cheap, but because I find things no one else sells. Truth be told, I ran across the Cycplus Cube on Youtube first. Cycplus introduced this electric bicycle pump on Indiegogo in February this year. The project was fully funded within 12 hours. Cycplus was established in Chengdu, China, in 2014. They make other pumps and also offer various cycling computers. Like many other such companies, they didn’t go to Indiegogo for the funding but to gauge the interest for such a tiny pump. Had I not seen videos of how well this small pump inflates a bicycle tire, I wouldn’t have ordered one from the company’s storefront on Ali Express. But that tiny thing actually works. Like everything else I’ve purchased on Ali Express, the Cycplus Cube arrived at my doorstep in Grenchen, Switzerland in no time. A small package takes an 8'000 kilometer journey and arrives a little over a week later. What a small world! The air intake was the first thing I was confused about when I held it in my hands. The air from the pump’s nozzle must come from somewhere, and I didn’t know from where. I grabbed the small manual to find out that the USB-C charging port is also the pump’s air intake. How cool is that? I charged and then tested the pump by inflating a 29er bike tire. The pump did that in about a minute and a half. I didn’t test how many tires I could inflate on a single battery charge, but based on how quickly it was fully recharged, I think I could have easily inflated another two tires.
I know cyclists who don’t carry any tools with them. They have a cell phone and a wife at home who will drop everything to pick them up whenever their bike breaks down. My wife would be mildly annoyed if I would call her each time I needed help. I rather carry a small toolkit with me to help myself. This toolkit used to be heavier. It has gotten smaller as I reduced it to the bare minimum. The Cube has now freed one jersey pocket in which I used to carry a small dual-stage hand pump. I can bring along my DJI Action 2 camera with a small tripod in that free pocket instead.