Best Bike Pumps: Reliable and Quick Air Pressure for the Ride
Air up your tires with these high-quality bike pumps
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Every cyclist needs a good bike pump to make sure they ride comfortably, safely, and efficiently. It puts air into your tires so you can get back on the road or trail. Pumps are compact and lightweight. You can take many of them with you, or they can be stored almost anywhere. Here are a few of the best bike pumps for your consideration.
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Benefits of Bike Pumps
- Convenience: It’s nice to have the ability to quickly pump up your tires at home without starting a large air compressor or driving to a gas station. You can fill your tires and get out on the road.
- Accuracy: Factors like different weather conditions or terrains may call for different tire pressures. Having a quality pump will make those adjustments easier and more accurate. You can also adjust your tires to your particular liking any time you’d like.
- Utility: Bike pumps are versatile and nice to have around the house. They can often be used to pump up sports balls, air mattresses, yard cart tires, and other household items. Many pumps come with the attachments you’ll need to pump these items up.
Types of Bike Pumps
These are the industry standard for bike pumps. Floor pumps are typically tubular with long, sliding, T-shaped handles, as well as foot pedals for the user to stand on. Floor pumps provide a good amount of volume, allowing the user to quickly pump up a bicycle tire. Most floor pumps have gauges attached for accurate pressure readings.
Mini pumps, also known as hand pumps, operate similarly to floor pumps in that they’re often tubular and are operated with a handle. However, they are smaller, lighter, and pumped in your hands. They are easy to throw in a backpack or strap to a bike frame in the event of an emergency.
Electric air compressors are a nice option for a home bike shop. A flip of the switch provides all the pressure needed. Most have a built-in regulator that takes the guesswork out of filling your tires. Some are quieter than others, but in general, this is the loudest option. If noise is an issue, a compressor might not be the best choice.
For convenience in a pinch, a CO2 pump can’t be beaten. Using compressed cartridges of CO2, these pumps can provide a quick fill on the side of a trail after a tire repair. However, they won’t work if you don’t have a cartridge available, so it may not be efficient to fill your tires with this style of pump.
Topeak bike products have been around since 1991. Starting with only a survival tool kit, the brand quickly expanded to include pumps, bags, and other accessories for bikers. Headquartered in Taiwan, they are well-known in the bike community for providing reliable tools such as the Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump.
Crankbrothers was founded in Laguna Beach in 1997. Since then, they have been providing quality accessories and tools to the biking industry. The company prides itself on reinvention. Check out its Crankbrothers Floor Pump.
Founded over 50 years ago, Park Tool started with a revolutionary bike stand and has expanded to provide a wide range of tools and products specifically for the biking world. Their factory in St. Paul, Minnesota produces tools that most bike mechanics are proud to own, like this Park Tool PFP-8 Home Mechanic Floor Pump.
Bike Pump Pricing
- $25 and under: Pumps under $25 will get the job done, but won’t have many bells and whistles. Durability may be an issue too, as construction and materials will be of lesser quality.
- $25 to $50: This range will include some of the best bike pumps with quality construction, easy-to-read gauges, more volume, and easier to attach. CO2 pumps can easily be had for under $50.
- $50 and up: You have all the same options as above but you’ll find the quality, volume, and ease of use to be of professional standards.
Having the ability to change between a Schrader, Presta, or Dunlop valve can save a lot of frustration and minimize owning unnecessary equipment to clutter the garage. All the pumps on our list have this feature. It’s worth your time and money to make sure your new pump has it.
An unreadable gauge face or a gauge placed in an awkward position will frustrate you to no end. We recommend making sure the pump you choose has a gauge that is highly visible and easy to read. While a digital readout may appeal to some, some prefer their gauges to be old-school and analog.
- Uses: Consider your personal application. Do you need a pump you can throw in a backpack or strap to your frame? Get a mini or CO2 pump. Do you need a lot of volume to blow up several tires? Spend the money on an electric air compressor. For most other uses, a floor style pump will serve you just fine.
- Build Material: While a mini pump in your backpack might benefit from plastic construction, a plastic floor pump probably won’t last you very long. A metal pump will operate for longer and if you’re concerned about weight, an aluminum pump would be the best choice. Most floor pumps have plastic footholds, but not all plastic is created equally so choose carefully.
Best Bike Pump Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Either place your feet on the footpad or hold it down with something heavy when pumping air into your bicycle’s tire.
- Take it slow when pumping air into the tires, and wait for the gauge to fall back to zero before pumping more. You don’t want to put too much air into the tires and cause them to blow.
- If you aren’t able to attach the nozzle to your bike valve, it may be because you are using the wrong nozzle. Bike pumps typically come with two modes: one for Presta and one for Schrader valves. You want to make sure which valve is on your bike.
Q: What is the difference between a Presta and Schrader valve?
A: A Schrader valve is typically the kind that is found on a vehicle’s tire. It is more robust and has a core that is easier to remove. A Presta valve is usually easier to pump because it does not have a valve spring to overcome. It looks like a tiny button that you can press down.
Q: What types of bicycle tires will a pump work on?
A: They work on all types of tires, including road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, kid bikes, tricycles, and unicycles. The main difference is how much psi you pump into the specific tires. Be sure to research how much psi is recommended for your particular bike.
Q: How much psi should I put into my tires?
A: This depends on the type of bike you have. If it is a mountain bike, you also have to take into account the type of terrain you are dealing with. It is recommended to ride on tires between 26 and 28 psi. Road bikes need between 80 to 130 psi. It also depends on the size of your tires. When in doubt, search the internet for the recommended amount of psi.
The BV Bicycle Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump reaches 160 psi and pumps quickly and efficiently, making it our top pick.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Vibrelli Bike Floor Pump.