A good bike pump is essential for a cyclist. Riding with correctly inflated tyres not only produces a faster ride with smoother handling but it also helps prevent punctures. As bike tyres can lose up to 10 PSI per week a good bike pump is a worthy accessory to add to your arsenal. In this post I’ll take you through what to look for to make sure you don’t waste your money on the wrong one. I’ll also round up some of the best bike pumps that are well recommended.
The 5 things to look for in a bike pump
- Head: Your bike has either a Presta or a Schrader valve. Choose a bike pump that will fit your valve type or one that can fit both.
- Pressure: The best bike pumps can reach higher pressure levels. You can find out what kind of pressures you need by looking at the maximum levels on your tyres. Road bike tyres can have pressures exceeding 100 PSI where as mountain bikes are around 50 PSI.
- Gauge: You should keep your bike at the pressure levels indicated on the tyres. A gauge will help you measure the PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Ideally look for a bike pump that includes one.
- One for on the road, one for at home: Whilst the small bike pumps are great for carrying around with you at all times, the track bike pumps can reach higher pressure levels with far less effort.
- Durability – generally speaking the smaller bike pumps wear out faster than the track pumps
Track/Floor Bike Pump
The bike pump for road/hybrid cyclists who are not big fans of spending hours pumping up the tyres.
Topeak Joe Blow Sport
I’ve previously reviewed the Topeak Joe Blow Sport bike pump for London Cyclist and absolutely loved it. It’s a firm favourite amongst cyclists and bike shops. Luckily it is also within most budgets at under £30. The Topeak comes with a pressure gauge so you know what PSI your bike tyres are at. It fits both valve types.
Handheld bike pump
For on the go you’ll need a mini bike pump. These easily fit into bags, pockets or can even be strapped to the bike. Better mini pumps can reach high PSI levels although they’ll require closer to 180 pumps as opposed to around 20 for a floor pump.
Topeak Race Rocket
This is the bike pump I use and I rarely leave the house without it. The Topeak is definitely on the smaller end of the handheld bike pump market at just 19cm. It can reach PSI levels of up to 140 and is pretty light. The only downside to it is that it doesn’t have a pressure gauge so you’ll have to guess by pressing your thumb on the tyre. I’ve previously reviewed the Topeak Race Rocket bike pump on London Cyclist. It fits both valve types.
Lezyne Road Drive
If you’re willing to spend a little more then the Lezyne Road Drive bike pump will get you to you’re required tyre pressure faster thanks to its unique design. It is also very lightweight at just 90g for the medium version. There is a carbon model for those who are truly weight conscious.
CO2 bike pump
The big advantage of CO2 bike pumps is the sheer speed in which they pump the tyre. On the downside if you run out of cartridges you cannot pump up your tyres. The Innovations Microflate Nano Pump is a good one to try.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.