Best budget mini pumps 2024 reviewed and rated

We find out whether these pumps can handle the pressure...

Budget Mini Pumps BG
(Image credit: Paul Grele)

When it comes to the tools you carry on every bike ride, having the means to repair a flat tyre is generally considered to be the minimum requirement, otherwise you could find yourself facing quite a long walk home... 

A key factor in getting your tyre rideable again is the ability to inflate it. An increasingly popular method is using one of the best CO2 inflators. But you need to be careful, as they can be a one shot solution. If that patch didn't hold the first time, or if you missed one of the holes, you could be left feeling a little deflated.

Even if you're using a tubeless set up – relying on the best sealants and the best tyre plugs to keep the air from escaping your tyres – there can still be a slow leak for quite a while before a complete seal. The gas you have in a CO2 canister might not be enough.

We look at a variety of budget mini pumps, all of which can be frame mounted with a bracket. In addition, the smaller ones can fit neatly in a rear pocket,  and the larger ones could be carried in a pack if required. If you're interested in pricier options – and floor pumps as well – you can read our guide to the best bike pumps .

Best budget mini pumps



Lezyne Sport Drive HV

Best of the rest...

Specifications

Length: 191mm
Diameter of shaft: 27mm
Valve types: P/S
Max pressure: 90psi
Weight: 99g
Bracket weight: 13g
Manual head swap: No - uses a flexi tube

Reasons to buy

+
Great weather protection caps
+
Flexi hose
+
Best in class when pumping the 650b tyre
+
Can carry in a back pocket

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to pump above 50psi
-
Flimsy bracket

The Lezyne Sport Drive HV (High Volume - there is an High Pressure version too) has an old school flexible hose which screws over either a Presta or Schrader valve type. The hose is clearly marked with which end is which and is well protected from the elements by sturdy rubber caps. 

There isn't a handle lock, but the frame bracket performs this function. The bracket does feel the flimsiest of the group, although the strap is nicely designed with a rubberised inside to secure the pump.

It required the fewest number of pumps to get my road tyre to a rideable state, only equalled by the Topeak pump we've reviewed further down the page. The Lezyne Sport Drive HV was also the best when it came to inflating our the large 650b test tyre. 

However, although the pump is rated to a 90psi max, it became increasingly difficult to pump above 50psi. So for road tyres, I'd consider its HP sibling and use this version for larger volume/lower pressure tyres. 



Zefal Air Profil Micro

Nicely made road pump

Specifications

Length: 162mm
Diameter of shaft: 20mm
Valve types: P/S
Max pressure: 100psi
Weight: 92g
Bracket weight: 9g
Manual head swap: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Sturdy all metal construction
+
Gets to pressure easily
+
Fits in a rear pocket
+
Roadie bling stying

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a while to get to pressure
-
Handle locking O ring is a bit fiddly
-
Dust cap is a bit plasticky

The Zefal is the other truly 'mini' pump on test, measuring 165mm long with a shaft diameter of 20mm. It weighs a little more than the almost equally tiny Bontrager Air Support, due to its metal construction. 

It certainly feels the most premium in the hand, and it won't cause your pocket to sag if you choose not to attach the bracket to your bike. There are three colours to choose from if the Red/Silver doesn't appeal, as an all silver and a black version are options. 

Swapping between Presta and Schrader is worth practising before riding as it is a little fiddly but not too difficult. Once the chuck is clamped onto the valve using the locking lever I found that the technique of holding the chuck in place by wrapping a thumb over the tyre kept it nice and stable. 

The pump handle is held shut by friction using an O ring. This needs to be pushed up the shaft when using, but it can find its way into the handle and it then needs fishing out to lock it again. It's bit low tech and faffy. The handle itself is a bit short but I found it adequate in use.

Again, much like the similar Bontrager, it is easy to pump to pressure but it just takes ages. Definitely in the top two for road tyres, it is ok with larger volume tyres.



Topeak Peakini ii

Great for mountain biking

Specifications

Length: 270mm
Diameter of shaft: 29mm
Valve types: P/S/D
Max pressure: 90psi
Weight: 132g
Bracket weight: 10g
Manual head swap: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
One of the best for Mountain Bike tyres
+
Neat Schrader deflation pip in lever

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite large
-
Struggled with higher pressures

The Topeak Peakini ii is the largest pump on test measuring 270mm long, with a shaft diameter of 29mm and weighing in at 132g. It is optimised for larger volume mtb tyres and is capable of 90psi according to Topeak. It can handle Schrader, Presta and Dunlop valve types too, using its manually reversible chuck.

The T handle is secured well with a 1/4 turn twist and in use the T is comfortable in the hand. I had to use the tip of a screwdriver to release the rubber part of the chuck  when reversing the use from Presta to Schrader. 

Otherwise it was easy to swap over. The dust cap stays in place but doesn't feel overly tight. The valve lock lever works well and it had an unexpected feature. Namely a Schrader valve deflation detent, it saves using a finger nail or twig!

As expected, it pumped the 650b tyre up easily and it was fine with a 700x35c hybrid tyre to 60psi but along with many of the others it struggled on the 700x28c road tyre (81psi). Above a rideable 50psi, it felt progressively harder to pump.

The Topeak Peakini ii is fairly well made and best suited to mountain biking and carrying in a pack.



Truflo Micro ii

Interesting 2 stage barrel keeps this pump compact

Specifications

Length: 250mm
Diameter of shaft: 26mm
Valve types: P/S
Max pressure: 80psi
Weight: 120g
Bracket weight: 14g
Manual head swap: No

Reasons to buy

+
Easy selection of valve types
+
T-handle is comfortable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Two barrels have some play in them

The Truflo Micro ii pump falls into the larger end of our mini pump selection. It weighs in at 120g and measures 250mm with a diameter of 26mm. It has two valve inset holes in the chuck, one for Presta and the other for Schrader, which are covered by robust rubber cap.

Initially the pump had me foxed. It seemed to be moving very little air per stroke for a pump of its capacity. I looked over the box, then the webpage specs and noticed the line "telescoping barrel for easier inflation". Then I realised that the legend "< unlock lock >" meant the second barrel not the handle! 

By twisting the knurled section a second barrel was released adding an extra 100mm to the length. Now it was pumping correctly. There was a bit of play in the shafts when fully extended but it pumped reasonably well. I did like the T handle in use too. 

It seemed to get quite difficult to pump much over 50psi on the 700x28c tyre, much like a few of the pumps on test. It coped fine with the 650b tyre but didn't shine. I also tried it on a 26x1.25" touring bike tyre (60psi normally) and again it worked fine. I think that the telescoping barrel idea is interesting, but maybe needs more robust materials to be really effective.



Bontrager Air Support Comp

Excellent performance from the smallest pump on test

Specifications

Length: 167mm
Diameter of shaft: 21mm
Valve types: P/S
Max pressure: 100psi
Weight: 68g
Bracket weight: 14g
Manual head swap: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Small and light
+
Lock on valve twist unusual but good
+
Sturdy bracket
+
Fits in a pocket easily
+
Easy to swap between P & S valves

Reasons to avoid

-
Would like a lock to hold handle in place

As one of the smallest and lightest pumps on test you'd be forgiven for overlooking the Air Support Comp. However, it is surprisingly capable. Whilst it takes more pumps on my reference tyre to get it to a rideable pressure, it remained easy to pump. 

As it is "intended for low and mid-volume road tyres" up to 100psi, it can cope with our 81psi, it just takes longer to get there. It coped with the 650b tyre easily too.

I liked the unusual valve lock. You pop the chuck over the valve then twist the shaft of the pump to lock it on. This is useful with smaller wheels (Brompton or kids' bikes) where the closeness of the spokes doesn't always allow a lock lever to be flipped easily. The cutaway on the handle allowed just enough space so that my left hand wasn't hit on every stroke.

The construction of the pump feels strong and durable, and the shaft appears to made from aluminium, with the handle and chuck are made from plastic. I would've liked a handle lock but otherwise this is a really impressive small pump.



Specialized Airtool Switch Sport

Great looks from Specialized but unusual handle

Specifications

Length: 210mm
Diameter of shaft: 27mm
Valve types: P/S
Max pressure: 120psi
Weight: 114g
Bracket weight: 18g
Manual head swap: No - Auto

Reasons to buy

+
Clean styling
+
SwitchHitter auto valve select

Reasons to avoid

-
Not enough room to hold the valve end of the pump
-
Lack of a chuck cap
-
Pumping is hard work above 50psi

The Specialized Airtool Switch Sport is arguably one of the nicest looking of the pumps on test. I really liked its clean lines. It falls mid-group for size and weight. You could carry it in a rear pocket but only just, as it is a bit long.

The chuck fits over a valve cleanly and it will auto adjust to either Presta or Schrader when you lift the lock lever. However, it is when I started to pump that I found an awkwardness in the design. The handle is the majority of the length the pump, and this leaves very little room for the valve end hand to hold onto. 

I adopted a technique of cupping the chuck from the end as if it was a T handle and this helped. Otherwise I needed to pump normally but with a little finger in the air as if I was drinking Earl Grey from a fine bone china teacup...

I would've liked a cap or plug to cover the chuck opening to stop mud or road scuzz getting in too. The handle locks in place with a quarter turn twist.

It got to a rideable 50psi in 130 pumps using the 700x28c tyre which is reasonable but it started to get really difficult after that point. I had to really hunch around the pump to use it then. It seemed strange as this pump is rated at 120psi max pressure so it should cope with 81psi easily. It was fine with the 650b tyre.

A solid 3rd place with functions, higher with looks and lower with the awkward hand positioning.



SKS Rookie XL

If budget trumps all else look here

Specifications

Length: 235mm
Diameter of shaft: 26mm
Valve types: P/S/D
Max pressure: 73psi
Weight: 123g
Bracket weight: 15g
Manual head swap: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Price
+
Pump handle held nicely by friction ring

Reasons to avoid

-
No valve lock

The SKS Rookie XL is at the larger end of the selection on test. It can cope with Schrader, Presta and Dunlop valve types, is purposed for mountain and all road uses and has a maximum pressure of 73psi/5 Bar. The SKS is also the cheapest pump on test, coming in at £10 RRP. I suspect the saving has been made by omitting a valve lock lever. 

It coped fine with a Presta valve large volume 650b tyre, but with a Schrader valve 700x35c hybrid tyre I hit a problem. As there was no valve lock, I found that above a certain pressure the pump was being pushed off the valve. It was awkward to keep in place and was quite a stretch to hook a thumb over the tyre to keep it located. 

Interestingly this wasn't a problem with the Presta valve on the 700x28c road tyre. Although on that tyre the SKS struggled to get above the 50psi 'rideable' benchmark as it too became progressively harder to pump. Obviously I wasn't expecting it to get to 81psi as its stated maximum is 73psi, but I hoped that it would get close.

It is reasonably well made, mostly in plastic, like many others on test here.



Methodology

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I tried a variety of tests using four different volume tyres to establish how each pump felt in the hand and how each performed. Fairly quickly a pattern emerged. To keep the results straightforward I will generally refer to either the road setup with a 700x28c tyre or off-road 650bx2.35" tyre. The road setup requires 81psi and the off-road should be 25psi as it is tubeless. Only the SKS Rookie wouldn't reach the target as it has a 73psi max pressure, which was noted.

I then pumped the road tyre up to a 'get you home' pressure and it was calibrated against a Topeak Ace DX track pump with gauge. A remarkably consistent 50psi was reached each time. It must be noted that most pumps struggled to get much beyond this pressure with a couple becoming very difficult to compress the pump. 

There were another two that, although they were still pumping fairly easily, frankly I was giving up the will after more than 300 pumps...! All got the high volume 650b tyre to the correct pressure fine. I doubt that they would reseat a tubeless setup though, but that's where CO2 inflators come into their own.


Conclusions

These are definitely get you out of trouble tools rather than workshop type pumps, but you knew that already didn't you? I was a little surprised to find that the two smallest pumps were the more effective on test albeit with double the number of pumps needed to gain the same pressure compared to the others.

If you're riding on road with narrow tyres I'd look at the Bontrager or the Zefal, followed but the Lezyne (HP version) or the Specialized, and possibly consider the addition of a small CO2 inflator. If you're riding higher volume/lower pressure tyres then all of the above are suitable but the Bontrager and Zefal will take longer to inflate a tyre.