A bike mini-pump is one of those items that you probably won’t use often – but when you do require its use, it has to work.
There’s one thing worse than getting a puncture mid-ride, and that’s suffering a flat and only having a crappy pump to re-inflate your rubber. The result is a ruined ride on squishy tires, or a half-hour long arm workout as you desperately try to reach an acceptable psi.
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When selecting a good mini pump, you’ll want to consider how much air it moves with each pump, the pump head, how easy it is to store or mount to the bike, and its weight.
Our pick of the best mini bike pumps
We tested a range of mini bike pumps by taking them to the workshop and seeing what pressure we could achieve with each, and how much effort it took. We also examined their robustness, shape and size – and we field-tested them to see how they would deal with real-world puncture scenarios at the side of the road.
With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.
LifeLine Performance Road Bike Pump
This pump from Wiggle represents excellent value, and has a retractable hose with Presta and Schrader valve adapters. We found it light and robust enough, but thought the length could make it easier to lose from your pocket.
Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite Mini pump
This pump features Presta and Schrader valve adapters and comes with a hose extension stored in the body. We found that with 200 strokes, we got to 100psi – which was better than most. Should you over-pump, there’s a pressure relief button that allows you to let some air out. This tiny pump is small enough to slot into a pocket, but also comes with a mount that can be attached to a bottle cage.
Topeak Microrocket AL mini pump
Read more: Topeak Microrocket AL mini bike pump review
A light aluminum construction, this pump is connected directly to the valve, without the need for any assembly or an extra hose. It’s just 160mm long, and weighs 65g – making it an easy fit in a jersey pocket. Our 20 strokes test only got us to 60psi on a 23mm tire though, which is a bit lower than others on test.
iPump Twist mini pump
Read more: iPump Twist mini pump review
This inflator from iPump tips the scales at just 25g – probably its biggest selling point. A thin, Presta-only hose is pulled out of the handle when it comes time to put it to use. Both the pump and piston are made from carbon fiber, keeping the weight low. We found 200 strokes got us to 60psi, but this alone took quite a lot of effort, and the body of the pump became quite hot.
Lezyne Digital Road Drive mini pump
A digital gauge on this mini pump from Lezyne will give you accurate tyre pressure measurements to a maximum inflation capacity of 160psi, out in the middle of nowhere.
It is made from a hard-wearing aluminium and, at 180mm long and weighing 117g, it can be easily fit in a jersey pocket, but it is a bit larger and heavier than some other options.
Blackburn Airstik Anyvalve mini pump
Weighing 140g the Black Burn Airstik has a valve that works with both Presta, Schrader and Dunlop valves and utilizes the brand’s high volume design to which inflates on the push and pull. What we really love about this pump is the fold-out handle that offers that little bit of extra leverage.
Crank Brothers Klic Hp gauge and co2 mini pump
Crankbrothers’ pump has lots of hidden features that collapse into a tidy and small design. As well as its T-handle to help make inflating tyres effortless, this portable pump has a flexible magnetic hose, a concealed pressure gauge and co2 inflator.
With all these extra parts it weighs in at a heavier 170g, but at 260mm long it will fit neatly into a jersey pocket. However it does also come with a mounting bracket if you prefer to attach a pump to the bike.
Coming with five years warranty, this is a useful and reliable companion for taking on your two-wheeled travels.
LifeLine Motion Floor Mount mini pump
This mini pump from LifeLine is a little long (295mm) to fit in your jersey without poking out but this is because it features a much easier pumping system – a fold-out foot platform and a T-handle provides a track pump style of operation for use while out on adventures. In practice this means it is much easier and quicker to get your tyres up to a decent pressure, with a maximum of 140psi possible.
It has a switchable head to accommodate presta and Schrader valves, and mounts to the bike. Weighing in at 183g it is a heavy choice of mini pump but this is worth it for the ease of use it brings.
Topeak Mini Morph G mini pump
Read more: Topeak Mini Morph G pump review
Topeak also have a mini pump that easily converts into a roadside track pump with a folding foot support and padded T-handle. At 194g it is heavier than the LifeLine option but it has a higher maximum psi of 160.
Cube Race Dual mini pump
Cube’s mini pump has a useful 2-stage system which makes it easier to inflate both road and mountain bike tyres. In the Hi-Volume setting, a greater volume of air is pumped with each stroke, meaning that it’ll take less time to get a larger tyre up to pressure. Switch it to Hi-Pressure and, although less air will be moved with each stroke, you will be able to inflate your tyres to an appropriate pressure for road riding.
With a maximum psi of 120, this 220mm long mini pump is a great choice for reaching exact and high pressures.
What is a mini bike pump?
A minipump is a bicycle pump that is small enough to fit in your back pocket so you can always take it with you on a ride. As a minimum, it needs to pack enough punch that when you get a flat you can get home comfortably without bottoming out your rim on the road if the going gets bumpy – around 50psi minimum.
Ideally, it should allow you to get enough air into your tyre that you can continue your ride in comfort and so your tyre doesn’t feel overly squishy – which for a 23mm clincher means reaching near 100psi, or 90psi on a 25mm tire.
Ideally pumping up a tyre with a mini pump won’t leave you so exhausted you need to go lay down before you hit the road again.
Some minipumps are like shorter traditional pumps with a hose which is screwed into the barrel and onto the valve before use. Others have an integrated adaptor that pushes directly onto the valve and is secured by a locking lever.
Many now have a hose integrated into the pump itself, typically stored in the barrel. This design means that the pump needs to be ‘the wrong way around’ with the hose extending from the handle, which is held steady in use, while the pump is operated by pushing and pulling on the barrel. In practice, this arrangement has no real disadvantages.
With any minipump there is a compromise between compact dimensions and usability, with a longer pump being easier to stroke than a shorter one, as it takes less effort to reach higher pressures.
Getting up to 100psi with a short or inefficient pump can become very hard work and you may need to take a rest in the middle before completing the task. Some smaller pumps can also get quite hot with the air compression required.
Loads of punctures? It might be time for new tires
Do you need a mini bike pump if you have CO2 cartridges?
Everyone needs a pump. A minipump will still be a lighter and much cheaper option than CO2 cartridges. And even if you take a CO2 inflator to speed up getting back on the road, you may still need a fall-back option to get you home if you get multiple flats.
A minipump should be pocketable or attachable unobtrusively beside your bottle cage — that way it’s always attached to your bike and ready for action when the inevitable happens.
The pump usually clicks into the mount and is secured with a Velcro and/or a rubber strap. It is likely to get mucky if you keep it here though, particularly in the wet or if you’re headed towards off-paved roads.
Some are so mini that they will fit into a saddle pack, although pump stroke and efficiency are likely to suffer in such a short pump.
Protection of the valve connector and sealing between barrel and handle are important considerations if you plan to use the frame mount. For pre-ride inflation, we would always recommend a good track pump with a gauge.
Could this be the way to avoid punctures altogether?