Best bike pumps: a buyer's guide to the perfect mini pumps and floor pumps

best mini bike pump

A bike pump is an indispensable piece of any bike tool kit.  Weather it's getting your tyre pressures right at home, critical to having a good ride, or the ability to inflate a flat tyre mid ride owning the best bike pump will be one of the best investments you make as a cyclist. 

Achieving just the right level of air pressure pre-ride will be easy to achieve with a good, quality floor pump (also known as a track pump), while getting you home safely post puncture will be the responsibility of a mini pump. 

Both have important roles to play in a cyclists life, with the best bike pump forming the very foundation of every safe and enjoyable bike ride. If you are getting lots of punctures, you might find it's also time to invest in a pair of the best road bike tyres, or if your more of an adventure cyclist, a pair of the best gravel tyres

An ideal floor pump will enable you to get tyre pressure just right for each ride, adjusting for conditions, in winter, you should run lower pressures to improve grip on wet roads, whereas in summer slightly higher pressure means less rolling resistance and helps you cover longer distances more easily.

A mini pump is hopefully more of a insurance purchase, and one of those items that you won’t use often. When you do require its use, it'll be worth it's weight in gold as there’s not much worse than getting a puncture mid-ride and discovering that your pump is woefully inadequate, resulting in a ruined ride on squishy tires, after a half-hour long arm workout as you desperately try to reach an acceptable pressure level to get home on. 

Our best bike pump buyer's guide is split in to sections for quick navigation to searching for either mini pumps or floor pumps. For general bike pump buying hints and tips, including what to look for when making a purchase, scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

Mini pumps

Our pick of the best mini bike pumps

With each product is a ‘See more’ 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.

best mini bike pumps

Blackburn Airstik Anyvalve mini pump

Best bike mini pump for easy to obtain high pressure

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader, dunlop
Dual stroke : Yes
Barrel: Aluminum
Weight: 137g (claimed)
Max PSI: 160PSI
Length: TBC
Other features: Bike mountable, handle
Reasons to buy
+Fold out handle+All valve compatible +Dual stroke inflation +Bike frame mountable 
Reasons to avoid
-TBC

Weighing just shy of 140g the Black Burn Airstik works with Presta, Schrader and Dunlop valves making it a great option for multiple bikes, although it also comes with a handy frame mount which attaches just below your bottle cage, which will free up some pocket space as it will take up marginally more than something like the Toepeak Microrocket AL mini pump. 

Utilising the brand's high volume design it's a dual stroke mini pump, which means both the push and pull will inflate your tyre, potentially halving the amount of strokes required to reach the required PSI. 

What we really love about this pump is the fold-out handle which offers just that that little bit of extra leverage meaning that you are likely to achieve a higher PSI than a regular barrel mini pump. 

We're yet to put this specific version to the test, but are big fans of Blackburn, with the brands floor pumps always scoring highly on test and often becoming our keepers for our at home bike tool kits, with a Blackburn Air Tower 1 still going strong after nearly ten years of regular use. 

LifeLine Performance Road Mini Pump

(Image credit: Wiggle)

LifeLine Performance Road Mini Pump

Best mini bike pump on a budget

Specifications
Valve type : Presta and Schrader
Dual stroke: No
Barrel : Aluminium
Weight : TBC
Maxi PSI: 100psi (Claimed)
Length: 18cm
Other features : Frame mount, hose system
Reasons to buy
+Great price +Frame mountable +Hose attachment 
Reasons to avoid
-TBC

This is a great bike pump from Wiggle house brand offering excellent value for money. 

The 18cm length barrel is one of the longer bike mini pump on the market, especially when compared to the likes of the Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite Mini pump or Topeak Microrocket AL mini pumps. 

The retractable hose with both Presta and Schrader valve adapters should make it easier to inflate to high pressures without the risk of bending the valve that a direct mount pump can do when under the load of the user trying to shove high pressure in. 

Although we haven't used this exact version, we found the LifeLine Performance CNC mini pump a excellent option, finding it light and robust enough, but thought the length could make it easier to lose from your pocket and would err on the side of caution when it comes to claimed psi capabilities. 

Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite Mini pump

Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite Mini pump

Best mini bike pump balancing performance Vs weight

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader
Duel Stroke: No
Barrel : Carbon Composite
Weight: 80g
Max PSI: 120psi (claimed)
Length: 170mm
Other features: Hose, bike mount, pressure relief
Reasons to buy
+Very lightweight+Efficient up to 100psi+Very pocketable+Duel valve compatible+Pressure relief button 
Reasons to avoid
-Not very comfortable holding at higher pressures-Need to attach hose to pump before using-Screwing onto valve is fiddly-Pricy option

The Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite Mini pump is the perfect cycling accessory for anyone wanting to balance the need of carrying an effective pump without a weight penalty. 

Capable of both Presta and Schrader valves, this lightweight carbon bike mini pump comes with a hose extension stored in the barrel to give a slight distance between the wheel and pump for ease of use. 

At 17cm long, it's a shorter than others, such as the LifeLine Performance Road mini pumps, but on test we found that it took 200 strokes to go from flat to 100psi, which is far better than most of a similar size.

The down side is that in order to reach such a high psi, the pump does become uncomfortable to hold, and it is pretty awkward to attach in the first place. 

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.

It's not the cheapest bike pump by any stretch, but if you're wanting functions and performance as well, this is one of the best mini bike pumps out there. 

Topeak Microrocket AL mini pump

Topeak Microrocket AL mini pump

Best bike mini pump for stowing away

Specifications
Valve type: Presta
Barrel : Aluminium
Weight: 2.29 oz/ 65 g
Max PSI: 160psi (claimed)
Length : 16cm
Other features : Frame mountable
Reasons to buy
+Very compact+Light+Comfortable to use
Reasons to avoid
-Low volume means lots of pumping

 

A light aluminium construction, this pump is connected directly to the valve, without the need for any assembly or an extra hose.

At just 160mm long and weighing only 65g, it one of the smallest bike pumps on the market, and easy to fit in a jersey pocket or even a saddle bag. If you are already packed to the rafters, the mini pump even comes with a frame mounting kit for either side of the bottle cage, or a optional extra centreline mount (although check the brackets fit on your tubing shape before investing).

The claimed 160psi seems slightly keen, as on test 200 strokes test only got us to just above 60psi on a 23mm tire. It's more than enough to get you home or back to race HQ, but not as impressive as the Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite Mini pump, although to be fair it was a comfortable in the hands when using.

iPump Twist mini pump

iPump Twist mini pump

Best bike mini pump for weight-weenies

Specifications
Valve type: Presta
Barrel: Carbon
Weight: 25g
Max PSI: 120 (Claimed)
Length: 13cm
Other features: Hose attachement
Reasons to buy
+Very small and light+Will achieve get-you-home pressures
Reasons to avoid
-Not very efficient-Gets hot in use-Expensive option

 

Technically we wouldn't really include a product that hadn't hit high scores on test, but the iPump Twist mini pump will appeal to a lot of riders, so it's good to know what your getting in the claimed 'world's lightest bike air pump' and where you'll have to decide if the performance compromises are worth it.

Tipping the scales at just 25g, it really will be hard to beat the barely there mini bike pump on weight. Even the best CO2 inflators will struggle to beat this flyweight, and of course, it's arguably more environmentally friendly in that it's reusable.

 A thin, Presta-only hose is pulled out of the handle when it comes time to put it to use, which does increase the usability of the full carbon fibre pump, and helps to  keeping that weight to the same as most energy gels .

On test however, we found 200 strokes only got us to 60psi, but this alone took quite a lot of effort, and the body of the pump became quite hot.

It's a mixed review, but if you're just looking for an emergency option and saving weight and space are your priorities (and truth be told you're just showing willing that you do carry a pump, but know that you'll borrow the bigger and heavier option that your cycling mate always carries)  then it might suit you just fine.

Lezyne Digital Road Drive mini pump

Lezyne Digital Road Drive mini pump

Best bike mini pump for accurate pressure readings

Specifications
Valve type : Presta, Schrader
Barrel: Aluminium
Weight: 173g
Max PSI: 90psi
Length: 21.6cm (18cm barrel)
Other features : Digital gauge, air bleed valve
Reasons to buy
+Accurate inflation pressure+High volume leads to quick inflation+More than get you home pressure+Saves additional press gauge purchase 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite bulky and heavy-Not the best for higher pressure use-Can unseat the valve when unscrewing-Rubber bungs can get lost easily-Pricier option

 

A digital gauge on this mini pump from Lezyne will give you accurate tyre pressure measurements to a realistic and achievable maximum inflation capacity of  90psi, out in the middle of nowhere.

On test we found that the hard-wearing aluminium pump was swift and efficient at reaching desired PSI's, more than just get you home levels, and cross checked with a regular gauge, actually really accurate.

It's length and weight is heavier than some of the other best bike pumps, especially when compared to the likes of the iPump Twist mini pump or Topeak Micro Rocket AL mini pump  but it can still easily fit in a jersey pocket, just watch for loosing sight of the dust cap.

It's a great bike pump for several reasons, but if the price is putting you off, it's worth bearing in mind that it can potentially save you the additional outlay of having to purchase a pressure gauge, assuming of course that you are not wanting to seek psi's over the maximum volume.

Crank Brothers Klic Hp gauge and co2 mini pump

Crank Brothers Klic Hp gauge and co2 mini pump

Best bike mini pump for additional functions

Specifications
Valve type: Presta
Barrel: Aluminium (tbc)
Weight: 170g (claimed)
Max PSI: 120psi (claimed)
Length : 26cm
Other Features : Air pressure gauge t, T- handle, concealed CO2 inflator, bottle cage mount, magnetic head, two colours
Reasons to buy
+Concealed CO2 inflator+T - Handle+Magnetic head interface for easy valve locking on+Air pressure gauge+Mounting bracket
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy-Short stroke for its size -Complex design which some won't find intuitive-Pricier option 

 

Crankbrothers' pump has lots of hidden features that collapse into a tidy and small design. It's T-handle, similar to that of the Blackburn Airstik Anyvalve mini pump, which along with the flexible magnetic hose, helps make to make connecting with the tyre valve and inflating tyres easier.

At the head of this great mini bike pump is a concealed pressure gauge and co2 inflator if it's more than a get you home pressure you're after. We found using on air pump only getting a reasonable 'ride home' pressure took some effort, and think the 130psi claimed is more realistic using the CO2 aspect (just remember to replace the canister if you do use it).

With all these extra parts it weighs in at a heavier 170g, around 30g more than the above mentioned Blackburn.

As one of the longest mini pumps on the market, although on test we found the extra length actually made the pump a bit wobbly at full extension, even though the actual barrel length at 12.5cm is quite short.

best mini bike pumps

Topeak Mini Morph G mini pump

Best bike pump for zero compromises on inflation

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader, Dunlop
Barrel: Aluminum
Weight: 220 g / 7.74 oz (claimed)
Max PSI: 160psi (claimed)
Length: 35cm
Other features: Converts in to road side floor pump, built in gauge, hose attachement
Reasons to buy
+Extra capacity and leverage over a minipump+Reasonably portable+Will get you up to a proper running pressure if you get a flat
Reasons to avoid
-Awkward ergonomics mean you have to bend a lot to use it-Takes up a bottle cage mount if you put it on your frame

Straddling both the portable mini bike pump and floor bike pump camps, the Topeak Mini Morph G transforms road side flats back to your ideal tyre pressure thanks to it's long barrel, fold out footplate and handle for great leverage.   

Obviously this does incur a slight weight penalty,  but not much more than the Lezyne Digital Road Drive mini pump, or Crank Brothers Klic Hp gauge and co2 mini pump, which are the best bike mini pumps which also provide gauge meter readings. 

On test we found that the wide and long barrel teamed gave great air per stroke rate, but at 35cm in total length, it wasn't exactly pocketable, so relied on it's frame mounting brackets. This does mean you'll probably loose one of your bottle cages (unless you can secure it safely and have space on the underside of the top tube, which depending on your frame size, might mean fitting side opening bottle cages).

All the compromises you might have to make in fitting and carrying will be worth it however when you do use it, with the ease of which it inflates tyres from total flat to perfect PSI, even if it does require a bit of a back bending in order to do so. 

A brilliant bike pump for anyone touring or long distance riding where you need more than get you home air pressure and flagging the broom wagon for rescue isn't an option. 

best mini bike pumps

LifeLine Motion Floor Mount mini pump

Best mini bike pump for higher pressures on a budget

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader
Barrel: Alloy
Weight: 183g (claimed)
Max PSI: 140psi (claimed)
Length: 29.5cm
Other features: Fold out foot and hand platforms
Reasons to buy
+Quick and easy to reach higher pressures+Schrader and presta compatible
Reasons to avoid
-Best suited to frame mounting rather than a jersey pocket

Similar the the Topeak Mini Morph G mini pump, this mini pump from LifeLine falls in the middle ground between mini and floor pump. 

Too long (295mm) to fit in your jersey, the frame mounted bike pump comes with a fold out foot peg and handle allows for a vertical stroke, which should make it easier, like with the Topeak, to reach higher tyre pressures. 

With no gauge, it's reaching an exact PSI will be tricky to reach , but if your Intune with your own tyre squish readings then it's a great option for anyone on a budget. 

The frame mounted aspect will mean possible bottle cage loss, or replacement to a side opening version, but it's potentially another great bike pump option for riders who need to ensure they are able to reach high volumes while out on the road or trails. 

Floor pumps

Our pick of the best bike floor pumps

Blackburn Chamber floor pump

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Blackburn Chamber floor pump

Best all round bike floor pump

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader
Tubeless compatible : Yes
Barrel: Aluminium
Max PSI: 160psi, 11Bar (claimed)
Length: TBC
Other features : Duel pump and tubeless charge, changeable handle, air bleed, large gauge, long hose
Reasons to buy
+High pressure volume+Valve options+Air bleed+Handle bar swop out+Readable gauge+Hose length
Reasons to avoid
-Footprint-Pricy option, but great value if running tubeless set up. 

If you're looking for one do all floor pump, this is it. The Blackburn Chamber will, according to the brand, easily seat tubeless tyres as well as give them just air top up with the flip of a switch to change from chamber to regular floor pump.

This is also the perfect bike floor pump for anyone who is finickity about tyre pressure, coming with a handy air bleed button on the pump head for micro adjusting pressure to get it just right.

We love the idea of being able to  switch out the as standard handle for a pair of your favourite bike handlebars thanks to the 31.8mm stem clamp. It might not provide any extra pump performance, but does give it excellent individuality for your home workshop.

The extra long 4ft of hose should give you enough floor space to effectively pressurise and use (as well as a decent safety distance for tubeless tyre conversion incidents), although this could impact on a slight loss of pressure in the hose.

It isn't the smallest footprint, and it's also not the cheapest on the market, but if you are running a tubeless set up, it proves both space and money saving with only one one bike pump required. 

With two valve options (Presta/ Schrader) there's plenty of versatility and a lifetime warranty for performance reassurance.

Topeak JoeBlow Booster track pump

(Image credit: mike prior)

Topeak Joeblow Booster

Best bike floor pump for professional home set up.

Specifications
Valve type:
Tubeless compatible : Yes
Barrel :
Max PSI: 160psi, 11Bar
Length: 30" / 75cm
Other features:
Reasons to buy
+Will hold a high volume and pressure of air to seat tubeless tyres+Very solid build+Quality Presta/Schraeder valve connector+Easy to use and to read pressure gauge
Reasons to avoid
-Very bulky and heavy-A bit spongy when used without the reservoir-Expensive for the tubeless amateur

We found the Topeak JoeBlow Booster to be as close to a professional floor pump as you can get.

This does make it one of the more expensive options from Topeak, and a fair bit more than the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless floor pump above, both of which come with a reservoir tube that holds air in, it's the perfect option for seating tubeless tyres.

It's ease of use and easy to read gauge make tubeless conversions or tyre changes a doddle, and well worth investing if you're intending on riding without innertubes for the foreseeable future, but it might be a bit too much if you're not totally sold on a tubeless set up, or just want to use as a standard pump.

It stands 30in/ 75cm tall and weighs 7.3lbs/ 3.3kg, so it’s not something you’re likely to want to lug around with you, but perfect for leaving in the garage. This is certainly a good, reliable option if you're serious about going tubeless.

LEZYNE STEEL TRAVEL DRIVE TRACK PUMP

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Lezyne Steel Travel Drive Track Pump

Best small floor pump

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader
Tubeless compatible : No
Barrel : Steel
Max PSI: 160psi | 11bar
Length: 50.8cm
Other features: Lay-flat design, air bleed
Reasons to buy
+Compact lie flat design is great for travel+Steel barrel for durability +Air bleed for getting air pressures exact+Great looking with wooden handle
Reasons to avoid
-One sided foot might impact stability-Small gauge size is tricky to see 

The Lezyne Steel Travel Drive Track Pump a more robust version of the above 'on bike' mini LifeLine Motion Floor Mount and Topeak Mini Morph G mini pumps and a great compact and lay-flat floor pump. A great choice if home space is a premium or you want to travel with one of the best bike floor pumps.

It has a steel barrel and piston, an aluminium base and is finished off with a varnished wood handle - making this a stylish option.

Also included is a Speed Chuck which means the pump is compatible with disc wheels, as well as Presta and Schrader, there's even a handy inbuilt air bleed for getting the pressure exactly right.

However, this compact design, standing 20cm or so shorter than the above Joe Blow floor pump does mean the smaller chamber length will require more pumping action thank others and the readability of the small gauge might be tricky for some. 

Capable of reaching a claimed 160psi/ 11Bar, the one sided foot might make this hard stability wise, especially at the higher pressures where you have to really put some effort in. 

ZEFAL PROFIL MAX FP60 TRACK PUMP

(Image credit: Zefal)

Zefal Profil Max FP60 Track Pump

Best bike floor pump for stability.

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader
Tubeless compatible : No
Barrel : Aluminium
Max PSI: 174psi, 12Bar (claimed)
Length: 26.4" / 67cm
Other features : Extra long hose
Reasons to buy
+Large base for stability+Magnified gauge for easier accrete pressure readings +Capable of high pressures+Over a meter of hose length
Reasons to avoid
-Footprint and overall large size requires a lot of storage space -Looks won't be everyone's taste

The follow up to the successful Zefal Profil Max FP50, the semi-classic looking FP60 now features a sophisticated wooden handle to go with it's high pressure efficiency, which according to the brand should be around 174psi/ 12Bar.

With its Z-switch system, the French brand say it's easy to change from Presta to Schrader valves. In a break from it's traditional looking upper, the bottom half it's more functional, featuring a gauge with a magnifying lens, to help make gauge readings significantly easier, although we're unsure what the bright red ring to highlight the gauge in general brings to form or function.

The wide base and sensible chamber height will make this one of the best bike floor pumps for stability, especially when compared to the smaller, single footed Lezyne Steel Travel Drive Track Pump, but will require a lot of storage space when not in use and is far from ideal for travel.

TOPEAK JOEBLOW MAX II TRACK PUMP

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Topeak JoeBlow Max II Track Pump

Best bike floor pump on a budget

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader, Dunlop
Tubeless compatible : No
Barrel: Steel
Max PSI: 120 psi / 8 bar
Length: 26" / 68cm
Other features : Ball and bladder needles are included
Reasons to buy
+Efficient at gaining lower pressures quickly+Stability of pump in use+Wallet friendly price tag
Reasons to avoid
-Pressure limit hard to reach-Ergonomics of having to pump hard to reach top pressures 

If you're looking for something a little less pricy, than the duel compatible pro-home Topeak Joeblow Booster floor pump then this is the one. Finished with a steel barrel and a quality gauge, the JoeBlow Max II track pump is great bike floor pump that meets all your basic needs, but by limiting it's extra functionality keeps the cost down.

On test we found that it took just 19 strokes to get a 23mm tyre up to 100psi, which makes it a very efficient pump.

The pump comes with a plastic twin-sided head that works with both Presta and Schrader valves and has a lever to lock it onto the valve securely.

There's even replacement parts available should anything stops working, making it a good long term choice too.

SKS Rennkompressor Track Pump

(Image credit: Wiggle)

SKS Rennkompressor Track Pump

Best bike floor pump for lifetime use

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader, Dunlop
Tubeless compatible : No
Barrel: Steel
max PSI: 230 PSI/ 16 bar
Length: 65cm
Other features : Fold up feet
Reasons to buy
+Easy push/pull at high pressures+Capable of 230psi+Longevity - it will probably become a family heirloom +Beautifully handmade+Four valve connector options+Four hose lengths+Spare part availability.
Reasons to avoid
-Small gauge makes it tricky to see pressures-No air bleed to get pressures exacting-Not the most stable of platforms

The Rennkompressor is a beautiful and timeless bike floor pump with a steel barrel and tactile wooden handle. Although there are more practical modern pumps out there with larger pressure gauges, this icon pump still delivers and is capable of pressures up to 23opsi.

Here at Cycling Weekly we've had one of these live for over 25 years, having a very hard life travelling the world as part of a semi-pro bike mechanic's set up for race teams and home use, only meeting it's demise once caught in a garage flood.

There are four valve head connectors on offer with this pump: Multi-valve, Thumb lock, EVA Head, and Brass Nipple Connector. In terms of performance, it took 40 pumps of the SKS Rennkompressor track pump to inflate the tyre from near flat to 100psi, which is respectable but not class-leading.

More modern pumps with plastic composite feet, such as the Topeak JoeBlow Max II Track Pump, are more stable, and there are pumps with bigger gauges, such as the Blackburn Chamber floor pump, but for life long dedication, you can't get better.

Topeak JoeBlow Ace DX

(Image credit: Wiggle )

Topeak JoeBlow Ace DX

Best bike floor pump for rapid inflation

Specifications
Valve type: Presta, Schrader, Dunlop
Tubeless compatible : No
Barrel : Aluminium
Max PSI: 280psi, 19Bar
Length: 29" / 74cm
Other features : Target pressure selector, air bleed
Reasons to buy
+Enormous twin barrels are super powerful+Target pressure selector+Heavy-duty metal construction+Bleed button
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive option for non-tubeless compatibility 

This does feel a little like a Topeak buyer's guide, but it does to show how much we rate the brand's bike pumps, as arguably what Garmin's are to the best cycling computers

The Topeak JoeBlow Ace DX towers over many other pumps not only in height but in capability too. We found that in its '60' setting the Ace DX inflated our test 700x25c tubeless tyre to 100psi in a 11 monster strokes making it the best bike floor pump for swiftly inflating your tyre.

While the lower pressures are easily reached, it's worth noting that on test it took a lot of leaning on to get much more air in per stroke once it got beyond 60psi.

It is an excellent performer and features a bleed valve that lets air out the tyre rather than just the hose - which is useful for getting pressure spot on.

The only downsides are that for the price it doesn't offer a tubeless tyre inflation capabilities and with the benefits that a huge visual gauge brings, it also means a large footprint, making stowing away neatly at home a challenge.

Bizrman Maha Push and Twist Track pump

(Image credit: Wiggle )

Bizrman Maha Push and Twist Track pump

Best bike floor pump for value

Specifications
Valve type : Presta, Schrader
Tubeless compatible : No
Barrel: Aluminium
Max PSI: 220psi, 15Bar
Length : 29" / 75cm
Reasons to buy
+Stable base+Easy to read gauge+Excellent valve head design is easy to use, with little air loss
Reasons to avoid
-None found! 

The Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice winning Maha Push and Twist from Birzman is a great value floor pump that we found to be easy to use, accurate, and above all reliable.

Its push and twist head makes an easy, fast connection to the valve and the large gauge allows for accurate pressure reading. Birzman doesn't skimp on hose length. Twice as long as the barrel and secured via a hook in the base, there’s plenty of length to reach a bike in a stand.

It's seen almost constant use in the two plus years since it arrived in the office and still continues to perform.

The base is pretty big, but our tester didn't seem to find issue with stowing away, although with it's height it will probably need a specific home anyway.

Which bicycle pump is best?

Which bicycle pump is best?

For those who ride off-road, either on a mountain bike, a cyclocross or gravel/bikepacking rig, getting the tyre pressure just right is even more important because it is critical to ensuring grip in loose conditions and, if you are using inner tubes, avoiding pinch flats

How do I choose a bike pump?

Fundamentally there are three different ways to inflate your bike tyres. We have lots of detailed information below, but as a quick summary: 

Mini pump - The best portable bike pump will balance the ability to inflate your rubber and being small enough to carry in your rear pocket or stow on the frame. Your riding priorities will help you focus your decision here as, like all bike pumps, each one will lean towards a specific talent, eg micro size and weight, but not great at achieving much more than getting you home tyre pressure, or great PSI capabilities but heavier and frame mounted. 

Floor pump (aka track pump) - In the main, this is stay home pump and the best way to achieve higher pressures, especially when going from totally flat. Some floor pumps include a 'air chamber' which can be pumped to high pressures in order to seat tubeless tyres. 

CO2 Inflator - Technically these aren't a pump as they contain compressed gas, which can reach up to 120psi in seconds. There are pros an cons to this system, more of which is explained in detail on our page dedicated to the best CO2 inflators.  

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 hose extends 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.

If you have invested in one of the best road bikes already, the price of a decent mini pump will seem like a small outlay in order to ensure you enjoy every ride on it. 

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.

What is the best mini bike pump?

Buying the best mini pump will depend on what sort of riding you do, indeed you might even find you need a couple of mini bike pumps.

Long barrelled mini pumps will be a heavier option, but best for getting tyres back up to a decent pressure swiftly, ideal for long club runs, to save hanging around too long in cold weather, or on more adventurous bike rides when when it's further than a short slow scoot back to civilisation. 

An uber lightweight micro pump lends itself to a' just in case' option, the perfect bike pump for summer racing and events. It won't penalise you weight wise, or take up vital energy gel space,  but will be limited to providing 'just enough' pressure to your tyres in order to get you back to the broom waggon or race HQ without incurring damage to a pair of the best  road bike wheels.  

What is a bike floor pump?

Inflating your tyres with a mini-pump before you set out is an option, but you'll soon realise that it's hard work and you'll probably tire before reaching a high enough pressure for a road tyre, and if you intend to use it for a track bike, it will need to reach much higher pressures than a mini pump will ever be capable of.

A floor pump will make things a lot quicker, easier and more comfortable. With a pressure gauge, and often a air bleed button, you'll be accurately able to determine you tyre’s pressure to get it perfect for your ride preferences.

While all floor pumps share common mechanisms, most will have a unique feature that will appeal to you most.

A bike floor pump will provide versatile inflation options. Most road, grave and mountain bikes will come with Presta valves (either innertubes or tubeless valves). But many entry-level and children's bikes come with Schrader rather than Presta valves, and the best bike floor pumps will be compatible with both types. 

The third most common type is a Dunlop valve, which looks like a combination of both, but not often seen on bikes in the US or UK.

More often than not the best bike floor pumps will have a stable base, and a metal barrel, which is perfect for longevity and pumping efficiency.  When buying your floor pump, make sure the handle are to be comfortable and wide enough so that its ends don’t dig into your hands.

It can be helpful to have a long hose on a pump so that you can find somewhere stable to place the pump body without needing to move the bike.

If you use a bike stand, a long hose helps access the valve while the bike is lifted off the ground, without having to fiddle around with the valve’s position.

However, hoses are more permeable than the chamber, so will loose some of the pressure the longer they are - so if extreme pressure is vital for you, select a bike floor pump that doesn't have reams of hoses.

What is the best bike floor pump?

The important thing is to get the right one meet your needs, whether it's tubeless tyre seating capabilities, a large gauge for ease of reading, swift inflation - or even all of these at once.

The key to finding the best bike floor pump for you is listing your non-negotiables, then nice to haves - this will help you work out your priorities.

For example, if tubeless compatibility is vital, you might have to accept that it's not going to be something you can neatly pop on a shelf, and you might have to dig a bit deeper in to your wallet.

The above all have their best feature highlighted to help you filter out what one is right for you, including tubeless compatibility and maximum PSI/ pressure capabilities. 

Word of warning, where a PSI is claimed it's worth erring on the side of caution. Just because technically a pump can reach such dizzying high pressure numbers, doesn't mean that you can. If you're without upper body weight, you might struggle to actually force the air in to a tyre once you reach anything above 80psi (5.51 bar).

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.