Birzman Maha Apogee MTB Pump - Review

May 7, 2015
by Paul Aston  
Birzman Maha Apogee MTB


Birzman are entering their eighth year and have established themselves by creating well thought out and functional tools for road and mountain bikers, and they say that their aim is "to make maintenance easy, fun and enjoyable, provide the right tool for the job, and share our passion for biking with all riders." The Maha Apogee is Birzman's MTB specific pump. Why is it MTB specific? It uses a large volume barrel to inflate big tires faster, with less of an emphasis on the high-pressures needed for road bike tires. It features the L-Shaped 'Snap-It Apogee' head for either valve types, a tapered and varnished wooden handle, and a CNC'd barrel. There's also a large gauge for simple readings, and a three-point base for stability. The Maha retails for $85 USD. Birzman / @Birzman


Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
The tapered and varnished handle feels quality.

Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
Large pressure gauge for ease of reading, although it is at the bottom of the pump rather than up top where it'd be easier to see.

Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
Slide the brass barrel to select presta or schrader.

Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
Presta selected. Note the black end poking out with 'presta' on it.
Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
The L-shaped head is easier to mount onto the valve than a straight version.

Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
Just push it onto the valve, then slide the barrel towards the rim, easy as that.

Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
The pump can even be used to inflate forks, although it will be less accurate than a high-pressure shock pump.

Birzman Maha Apogee MTB
Birzman's Controlled Air Discharge button is accurate for deflating to the correct pressure, although it's not a speedy way to drop air quickly.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesTo inflate a 27.5" x 2.35" tire up to 25 PSI took a mere seventeen pumps, although forcing such a large volume of air with each rep makes for harder work than a smaller volume pump would, thereby giving you a good tricep workout. Regardless, it makes the job extremely quick. The Maha's barrel is angled slightly towards the user, a design feature that makes it a little more comfortable to use than a vertical pump, albeit barely noticeable without thinking about it. The Snap-It Apogee head is really easy to use: simply slide the brass barrel in or out to convert it between the presta or schrader attachments. For presta, push the head on to the valve and slide the barrel towards the rim, and you do the opposite for removal. For schrader valves, screw the barrel on a few turns, and to release without loss of pressure, slide the barrel away from the rim and then unscrew. This can also be used for pumping up air forks efficiently, taking just two pumps to inflate a Rockshox Pike up to 70 PSI.

I had no issues with air loss with the Apogee, and it was solid and secure at all times. When removing from a schrader valve, sliding back the barrel initiates the 'Air Lock' function that prevents a loss of air before unscrewing the valve head. The Controlled Air Discharge button is useful for adjusting the air pressure, although it's quite slow to release large volumes of air. For example, if you need to pump up a tubeless tire to 40 PSI to seat the bead correctly, using the CAD button will take some time to get back down to the low twenties, and it's easier to remove the pump and release air pressure directly from the valve. We double checked the gauge for accuracy - my pump's gauge was -1 PSI compared against two different digital gauges.

Solid performance all round from the Maha Apogee MTB pump. The quality of finish outweighs the price tag, although I did feel guilty when such a pristine product was flailing around in the back of my van. Birzman have also hit a home run it with the Apogee head, which really does make life easier. My single proper complaint is that I lost one of the three small rubber feet from the base after a few month's of use, so Maha owners might want to double check theirs.
- Paul Aston



28 Comments

  • + 63
 I'm pumped up to get me one of these. And 17 pumps is like being a teenager again.
  • + 6
 This review seems a little inflated.
  • + 1
 It's so inflated because Joe Budden pump' pump' pumped it up!
  • + 44
 I never understood why MTB specific pumps that go to 100PSI+?

After all I rock 30PSI in my minions, and I don't care about your opinions.
  • + 9
 You can use it for your fork .. that's the reason.
  • + 3
 But then you would need a lot higher of a gauge. My fork is supposed to be at 120 for my weight I think.
  • + 2
 They do it for in case you are Have a BMX bike aswell. Some tires go to 100 psi.
  • + 3
 bmx, or a commuter bike as well. I keep mine at +/- 90 psi. This pump looks nice. I like the accuracy of the gauge. I recently discovered that my current floor pump (Bontrager) is about +6 psi compared to a digital gauge. So when I thought I was running 30 psi, I was actually running 36. which would explain why I wasn't flatting, but I was loosing a lot of the traction benefit I think.
  • + 3
 There are a few pumps coming out these days with lower pressure, higher accuracy gauges, & it's certainly what I'm looking for in a new pump. That said, there's some fairly compelling arguments that you can't get an accurate reading off a gauge on a pump anyway, so all it really needs to do is show that you're higher than your desired pressure, so that you can attach a dedicated higher accuracy gauge to get to your desired pressure.
  • + 3
 Don't you have more than one bike?
  • + 1
 I think the main reason for the gauge types on lots of pumps is that a factory can produce said pump for a better price utilizing a gauge type that is already in use. Compared to purchasing a different tier gauge for one product. It's all about price.
  • + 17
 I am still waiting for enduro-specific pump....
  • + 2
 Its actually about the exact same price as the Lezyne dirt drive pump and its pretty similar to the one I have. The wooden handle looks nicer on my Lezyne, the L-shaped head is a good idea on this though. Looks a good pump...
  • + 5
 If only we can install a 35mm carbon bar on it.
  • + 5
 ...at 800mm for extra leverage, control, and stability!
  • + 5
 Check the bontrager one which can pump tubeless, which is just $30 more
  • + 4
 C'mon! do we really need a review of a pump?
  • + 1
 I've got one of these, without the same head (the other type where you have to unscrew the head to get to schrader) but pretty much the same pump, does the job well, esp considering i bought it for $40 or so.
  • + 1
 Glad they fixed the gauge accuracy and the valve connection because both of these sucked on the birzman pump I bought a few years ago. Twas useless.
  • + 3
 It's a pump.
  • + 1
 Waaaay to expensive, I'll stick to my Honda air compressor thankyou very much
  • + 1
 What I think would be cool is a double-barrelled pump that so you can pump up both of your tires at the same time
  • + 3
 Looks like a Lezyne
  • - 3
 The angled barrel isn't all that wonderful. It's barely noticeable when you have it right. However, it's really awkward when you have it backwards. Yea, it's not hard to turn a pump around or take one step to the other side, but it's just annoying. It sounds great in marketing literature ("5 degree ergonomic tilt for comfort"), but it is not so great in real life.
  • + 2
 Wow that's boring
  • + 1
 I hope Birzman is paying royalties to Lezyne for all their stuff.
  • + 2
 I hope Lezyne is paying customers for all of the valve cores they've ripped out.
  • + 0
 Can wait for the mods to come out on this!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.041103
Mobile Version of Website