Love Mud is the bike component brand of outdoor equipment company Alpkit, which is also behind the Sonder range of bikes that have been gracing our pages frequently of late. Alpkit stuff has always tended to be good value for money, and the Love Mud range exemplifies that, offering wheelsets, finishing kit and tools at very competitive prices. All Love Mud products also ship free within the UK.
The Detonator comes in at just £15, which is practically rock bottom for a track pump, and makes it a very tempting choice for the shorter-armed folks amongst us. But, and there’s no way to be nice about this, it definitely feels like a low price bit of kit. This is thanks to a construction that goes big on plastic, including a polymer body, pump handle, foot and shaft. It’s all solidly assembled, but there’s still an odd feeling when you pick it up and realise it weighs barely anything compared to a regular metal-bodied floor pump.
The pump head, affixed to an adequate but not generous length of hose, does both main valve types, but you need to unscrew a lock ring, then flip a rubber seal and a plastic widget to change between them. We’re mostly a one-valve household, but even so I found it that the occasional flip was still required, for example if I was using it to fill a tubeless inflation device. The head isn’t the easiest to attach either, as it locks in place with a fairly stiff lever.
The handle is big enough to be used by even the most ape-handed. However the foot plate is small and rectangular rather than triangular, and means the pump is a bit wobbly in use.
Thankfully, the Detonator can pump with the best of them. It shifts a very respectable quantity of air, with just a dozen or so pumps being enough to fill up a mountain bike tyre. It’ll also do pressures above 100 psi without too much effort, although I get the impression that it is designed to be used primarily with low pressure, high volume tyres.
The gauge is big, easy to read, and seems accurate enough from comparing it against the other pumps I own. Users of plus size or fatbike tyres, where a couple of psi makes a big difference, might prefer a separate gauge, but for people like me who tend to check with a squeeze, it’s not an issue.
Given the plasticky build, I would not expect the Detonator to become a family heirloom. However it is backed up by a three-year warranty, which puts it well ahead of the other pumps in its price bracket. As you go up the price ladder you find that pumps tend to be rebuildable if they fail, instead of having to be chucked away, and I don’t see any spares listed on the Alpkit website. The lack of rebuild potential and the fiddly head mean I wouldn’t get a Detonator for my own use.
As a basic track pump though, it’s head and shoulders above the ones sold by discount supermarkets. If I was running a cycling event, club or hire business, and wanted a pump that worked well, but wouldn’t sting too much if it went walkabout, the Detonator would fit the bill perfectly.
|Tested:||by Antony for 3 months|