Fanttik X8 Apex Battery Powered Air Compressor: At The Finish – by Grannygear
It is not often that something comes along, cycling wise, that is so useful that it takes you by surprise. It would be like the first time I rode 29” wheels or even Plus tires. You just go “Huh!. Never saw that coming!”.
And in some ways, the Fanttik Apex X8 Battery Powered Air Compressor being sold by Aventon is like that. Because I have used this thing to maintain my tire’s air pressures ever since I received it. I am spoiled, I think, and now a floor pump seems like a hand crank telephone in comparison. Check out my introduction to this little air pump here if you missed that, by the way.
I wanted to see how this unit performed across the array of uses they state it will handle. I have to say that I never used any of the pre-programmed modes they include with the compressor. Each time I used it, I simply turned it on, attached it to the valve of whatever I was inflating, and set a number into the digital readout. Then I pressed the big ‘GO’ button and off it went till it hit the number I asked for. Then it stopped and awaited my next command. “Good tire genie thingy…good boy!”.
It has 4 modes: Car, Motorcycle, Bike, and Ball. All of them can be customized for the pressure you prefer. It also has a built in flashlight that actually makes a lot of sense, not so much for seeing where you need to walk, etc, but for lighting up the area you are working in, like the car tire valve on a dark night. Great idea. I did not use this as a power bank (like to charge a phone) but it can do this as well. It does take a while to charge up when it’s low, but I imagine that is a pretty good sized array of batteries in there.
For bike tires, I found the accuracy of the unit was quite good, at least when ‘fact checked’ by a hand held digital gauge. That dial-a-pressure is very cool and I enjoyed being able to get that granular with psi levels. I also found that the screw-on hose connection to the Presta valve was easy and smooth to use. I never felt like I was going to unscrew the valve core when removing it, possibly because it does not really have a pressurized, large chamber of air behind it that is keeping the hose and valve under tension, so to speak.
You want 36psi? No problem. 38? Sure. That is cool. It’s pretty fast too, taking very little time to get a gravel bike tire from dead to 40 psi. It is also not that noisy…sort of. I mean, a floor pump is quieter.
I have yet to really dent the battery during use, even when I used it on a truck tire. I had a low tire on a pickup truck and I was curious to see how the Fanttik Apex X8 Battery Powered Air Compressor would handle a long run time with a low load. Would it heat up? There can be quite a bit of heat build up in an air compressor and even the hose can get very hot.
I attached the compressor to the Schrader Valve of the truck tire (the unit comes with a standard Schrader Valve on the hose end and a Presta adapter screws into that). I turned the unit on and set the desired psi for 35. I hit the GO button and the readout of the actual pressure of the tire showed 12psi. Eight minutes later it hit 35 psi and shut off. The body of the compressor did get warm, but not hot. The hose section that was closest to the unit did get very warm, but not enough to be too hot to touch. It never changed the sound it was making and never sounded like it was struggling. I have to say that this would be very handy to have in a car for dealing with a slow tire leak and a long, lonely, road. It took approx 1 bar of battery life to get to the 35psi.
I also wanted to see how it would do at higher pressures so I grabbed an older, non-tubeless road bike (still with a pretty big 28mm tire) and set the unit for 80 psi. No biggy. No sweat. Fast too.
- The Fanttik is still a mechanical, electrical, electronic device. And that means lots of points of potential failure. This is not a Silca floor pump with rebuildable seals and no need to EVER charge it. I would own this, but I would always have a back-up floor pump of some kind.
- I did not try it, but I seriously doubt you could set the bead on a new tubeless tire install where you need a high volume blast of air from an air tank or even from a very good floor pump.
- The hose works really well but I do wish I could leave it attached instead of removing it each time for storage. Now I could leave it on there, but I would worry about breaking the aluminum fitting or stressing the hose. If I could change something, I would love to see a 90 degree connection for the hose to the unit and if I am dreaming, maybe even a quick connect of some kind.
- The hose is also not super long so you kind of need to have the valve down towards the ground if you are going to set the compressor down and let it do it’s work. Some of the cheaper devices like this I have seen for sale have very short hoses, so pay attention to that.
- If the Presta valve is clogged with sealant, what will happen is the pressure to overcome the clog will make the Aventon Fanttik Apex X8 Battery Powered Air Compressor think it has met it’s asked for psi setting and it will just stop running. There is no good way around that other than just raising the asked for psi level and hitting the GO button, hoping for the best (not a great idea), or cleaning out the valve and starting over.
- I dropped it. It did not die.
- I took it to my son’s house to help him repair a tire on a cruiser bike and I found that one of the Schrader valves on the inner tube would not release and let the pump add air. It seemed that the mechanical interface of the hose fitting and that particular valve stem was not making good enough contact to push the Schrader valve open. That was a non-starter. However, it worked fine on the other tube I added to the back wheel and the compressor inflated that one just fine.
- The cost of the unit through Aventon is $149.99. The cost of the same unit at Fanttik via Amazon is $119.97. Just sayin’.
- As well, these type of devices are all Chinese made (or I would wager so) and they are all over Amazon and other direct to China markets for half that cost. Are they as good? No idea. At least with Aventon you have a person behind the store counter, so to speak.
- Here is a cool thing I saw when surfing around on Amazon…a hard case for the unit. Very smart. The bag is fine and all, but it will get dirty and I already dropped it once as it does weigh a bit and has no carry handle or strap, etc..
So I am very pleased with the function of this noisy little bundle of battery powered goodness. It does not do anything that a simple floor pump could not do. But it does do some of those things better.
Note: Riding Gravel received the Aventon X8 Apex Inflation device at no charge from Aventon for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.