Topeak has set out to create a bicycle pump that hides away, inside your seat tube, until it's needed. It does that bit very well, but the Ninja P is too skinny to deliver a good shot of air and is a bore to use.
Part of the range that includes the Ninja C Chain tool and the CO2 Plus bottle cage/CO2 inflator, the Ninja P (for 'pump') is another result of Topeak's attempts to find solutions to rather minor problems: 'this super-light Ninja pump hides inside your seatpost to keep the clean lines of your bike, while still easily accessed when needed', it says.
You may well agree that your bike frame is no place to keep your pump, especially those little mounts behind the bottle cage, in which case you probably keep yours in a jersey pocket.
Now, if you were to keep your pump inside the seatpost, it means you'd probably need to have a multitool on hand, because not many road bikes come with a quick-release seatpost. And if you're reaching into your pocket for an Allen key, well, you might as well produce a pump, mightn't you?
The means by which the Ninja P is secured in the seatpost is simple and secure. A rubber ring at the top makes a snug fit, while a second at the other end is compressed by turning the plastic knob to expand it to fit. The instruction sheet warned me to check the pump is installed in the seatpost properly 'before every ride' (yeah, right). This worried me that it might be a bit prone to ending up down by the bottom bracket, but I had no problems with that and nor did it rattle in use. On the other hand, should you push the pump too far up the seatpost, you might have trouble getting it out again. Topeak has thought of that and included a hex tool socket in the end of the knob to allow you to loosen it.
So, if you want a pump that's kept out of sight, and especially if your bike has a QR seapost clamp, you might find some value in an out-of-sight, out-of-mind tool such as the Ninja P. However, you won't thank its minimalist form when it comes to actually shifting some air into your tyres.
'Ooh, this is easy!' I thought, as I rapidly ran up a hundred strokes of the pump. By 250 pumps I was beginning to understand why: I still only had less than 40psi in the 25mm tyre. By 350 I was beginning to tire, and the hard plastic knob was becoming uncomfortable on the palm of the hand. By 450, I had managed to get it up to a rideable 70psi but that was about my limit. Also, it was getting quite difficult to prevent the head from blowing off the valve. Compare that with the GT Attack's 100psi in around 190 strokes, or the Birzman Velocity Apogee's 80psi in "220-ish easy strokes".
Topeak claims 160psi is possible, but if you're aiming for that, you'd better have a clear diary.
A pump that's skinny enough to fit inside your seatpost, but too skinny to deliver a decent shot of air into your tyres
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Ninja P Pump
Size tested: 20.3x2.1x2.1cm 62g
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Says Topeak: "At only 62 grams (2.2 oz), this super-light Ninja pump hides inside your seatpost to keep the clean lines of your bike, while still easily accessed when needed. Its rubber mounting ring secures the pump and the included position indicators keep track of your seat height. Compatible with round seatposts only."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Topeak lists these features:
BARREL CNC aluminum
CAPACITY160 psi / 11 bar
HANDLE CNC Aluminum / Plastic
HEAD Presta valve with integrated dust ring
MOUNT Inserts into ø27.2, ø30.9 or ø31.6 mm round seatposts
SIZE 20.3 x 2.1 x 2.1 cm / 8' x 0.8' x 0.8'
WEIGHT 62 g / 2.19 oz
Well made, though the plastic knob is maybe not the best choice of material as it is hard on the palm of the hand.
The pump fits securely into a seatpost as it is meant to; but the pumping performance is just too feeble.
It's all good quality so should last, especially as it's only likely to come out in an emergency.
Yes it's very light. That's not always the most important issue.
Reasonably comfortable to use until the tyre pressure increases, after which the hard plastic knob starts to press into the palm of the hand. Also, the sheer amount of effort needed to get the tyre up to pressure is exhausting.
Decent price for the build quality.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Topeak has done well with the brief to produce a pump that fits inside a seatpost. Its value as a pump is rather compromised though.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Small, light and well made.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too low-volume to comfortably inflate a road tyre.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
Any pump that fits inside a 27.2mm seat tube is going to be hobbled by its skinny barrel. It's well made and it works, but you won't relish using it to blow up a tyre.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking