Topeak's Transformer RX pump is a useful thing to have in the back of the car: it's a pump, so you can top up your tyres, but it's also a stand, so you can tinker with your gears or give your bike a post-race rub-down. It's not the most sturdy thing in the world and the pump is decent rather than good, but for occasional use at races or sportives it's certainly handy to have.
Essentially this is a compact workstand where the main body of the stand is also a pump. It has two adjustable cradles for your chainstay and seatstay and two folding legs that extend under the rear wheel, and it all folds up into a neat carry case you can sling in the back of the car for sportives or races.
Once your bike is jacked up you can tinker with the gears, give it a quick clean or pump the tyres up: the hose is long enough to reach both wheels. Just. In an ideal world it'd be about six inches longer.
The legs are the other thing that could do with being just a touch longer, to make the stand a bit more stable. There's a third sort-of-leg at the back, but that's to brace the pump against the floor while you're filling your tyres. It's stable enough on a decent surface but struggles on grass or rough ground, two things you're fairly likely to encounter near your car at an event. A full tripod base would be preferable for a bit of extra support.
The pump itself works fine; Topeak claims a maximum pressure of 160psi but realistically 120psi is about its limit in the metaphorical or literal field. The small handle isn't the most comfortable and that's the limiting factor rather than the capacity of the barrel.
It has a gauge, which was fairly accurate (within 5psi) compared to a standalone pressure gauge, but it's small and pretty hard to read in anything other than ideal conditions. It's also hinged to make the pump more compact for storage; it's hard to know whether adding an extra joint negates the benefit of keeping the gauge flush to the barrel in storage. It kind of feels like a weak point, but I haven't had any issues with it.
I've used the Transformer RX for a couple of cyclo-cross races and also at home for general tinkering. For working on your bike's gears, or pumping up the tyres, it's stable enough, but when it comes to washing or anything vigorous it benefits from a foot on the leg to keep it upright. You wouldn't want to be wrestling with your bottom bracket while your bike is wedged in it, let's put it that way. But for tweaks and easy work it's fine.
If you intend to race or ride a full schedule over the summer then you'll probably be better served by a separate stand like Topeak's Prepstand Max and a pump, but for pre-ride fettling, the Transformer RX is definitely preferable to the usual sportive alternative, which is your mini pump and no stand at all.
A good compromise pumping and tinkering solution for the back of the car
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Topeak Transformer RX pump
Size tested: 25kg/55lbs weight limit
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?
Topeak says: "The innovative, highly portable dual function bike stand / floor pump is designed for cyclists who travel to races, enjoy cycling vacations or just want the most compact floor pump to store in their race bag or car trunk."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Head Presta / Schrader / Dunlop valves
Barrel Butted aluminum
Gauge Flip-out analog
Thumb Lock Plastic
Handle T-type plastic / Kraton
Capacity 160 psi / 11 bar
Max. Weight Capacity 20 kg / 44 lb
Added Features Dunlop valve adapter
Fold-out foot pad
Flexible / extendable hose
Ball / bladder heads
Size (L x W x H) 8.6 x 9.2 x 68.7 cm /
3.4' x 3.6' x 27' (Folded)
37.5 x 35.5 x 68.7 cm /
14.8' x 14' x 27' (Open)
Weight 1kg / 2.21 lb
Generally good. Legs get a bit sticky after a while.
It's not the best track pump or the best stand out there, but it is the best combination of both thus far, probably.
Wearing well, although the hinged gauge feels like a weak point.
Doesn't weigh much and is sturdy for its weight.
Handle needs to be longer, gauge can be hard to read.
Not bad for a thing with two uses.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well. It isn't the most stable thing ever and the pump isn't the best, but it's good for tinkering pre-ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pump and gauge aren't the best, legs could be longer.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, mostly.
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your score
It's a decent option for back-of-the-car tinkering. It's not a top performer at either of the things it does, though, nor is it cheap.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.