If you ride your bike as often as a lot of us do, then you probably have to fill up your tires fairly often. Bicycle pumps come in handy for just this task.
You might think a bike pump is a bike pump, but you’d be surprised. Spending more money on a good pump is recommended, since it will likely last you for years. Cheap ones will break when you need them most.
Not sure where you can find a high-quality bike pump? Check out this page, as we have some stellar options that might pique your interest.
The Types of Bicycle Pumps
Before we can get into our recommendations about the best bicycle pumps, we want to differentiate between the two types. These are floor pumps and portable pumps.
If you have a floor pump, you’ll typically keep it in your garage or outside of your home. Floor pumps are a reliable means of adding air to your bike tires before you leave on a trip. Once you do leave, though, if you get a flat or have any other tire issues, you have to find another pump to use. That’s because floor pumps are not designed for traveling.
Then there are portable pumps. As the name tells you, these are smaller, lighter-weight pumps that can come with you when biking. This way, if your tire ever goes flat, you can pull over and pump it up. There’s no need to seek a gas station or retail store to fix your flat.
Portable pumps may go by the names frame pumps and mini pumps. Whatever you call them, there are two styles to choose from. These are high-pressure and high-volume pumps. High-pressure portable pumps can reach more than 100 pounds per square inch (PSI). For that reason, they’re often only used on road bike tires. Using this pump on any other tires could cause them to pop.
Then there are high-volume portable pumps. These should be used on hybrid tires as well as large mountain bike tires. They have less pressure, so there’s less risk of popping. Still, it’s not recommended you use a high-volume pump on high-pressure tires and vice-versa.
Our Favorite Bicycle Pump Picks:
For Everyday Use — Topeak JoeBlow Pro Floor Bike Pump
Here at Bicycle Universe, we’re huge fans of Joe Pro pumps. For everyday use, we think you’ll like the Topeak JoeBlow Pro Floor Bike Pump. For a floor pump, it’s quite lightweight, clocking in at under three pounds.
It has a smooth appearance made even smoother with the inclusion of a polished metal barrel. The Smarthead lets you use either Presta or Schrader tire valves. Its total pumping capacity is an impressive 160 PSI.
For High-Pressure Tires — Pro Bike Tool High-Pressure Mini Bike Pump
If you have high-pressure tires, then you can’t use just any ol’ bicycle pump. This high-pressure mini bike pump from Pro Bike Tool is suitable for road bike tires and more.
The frame mount bracket that comes with the high-pressure pump even includes an extra security strap. That means you have less of a chance of losing your pump. It will also rattle less when you ride your bike.
If you have Schrader or Presta valves, the Pro Bike Tool is compatible with both. The pump itself was constructed with an aluminum alloy shell that’s CNC-machinated. Weighing 3.49 ounces and with a length of less than eight feet, it shouldn’t take up too much room.
The Pro Bike Tool can achieve 120 PSI, requiring far fewer pumping strokes (up to 30 percent less) than other portable pumps of its kind. The pump comes in three colors: titanium, red, or black.
For a Budget Option — BV Bicycle Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump with Gauge and Smart Valve Head
The base of the BV pump is an aluminum barrel. It includes an ergonomic comfort handle as well. With a sizeable gauge towards the bottom of the pump, you can read pressure changes as they occur. Speaking of pressure, this pump can get up to 160 PSI. An included pivoting hose saves you time and effort as you pump air.
The twin valves the BV pump boasts let you use both Schrader and Presta valves without reversing. That means fewer air leaks. The pump is covered by a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
How to Ensure Your Bike Tires Are Ready for a Ride
Before you embark on any riding journey, it’s recommended you check the pressure of your bike tires. After all, you don’t want to find out the hard way that the pressure is too low or too high.
The good news is that two of the three pumps we wrote about have built-in gauges. You can test pressure before you go and then fill your tires if need be.
No gauge? No problem! Here are some tips for guesstimating when tire pressure may be low or high:
- If it’s a mountain bike, check the tires from a lower vantage point. It’s okay for there to be some tire protrusion, but if it exceeds two millimeters, the pressure has dropped too much.
- Likewise, you can tell when the pressure is too high without a gauge. If the tires are unyielding and quite hard, let some air out.
- If you ride a road bike, it’s recommended you grab the tire on either side and press on it. Depending on how much you can press, you can determine if the pressure is adequate, too high, or too low.
Any pump can inflate your bike tires, but it’s best if you invest in a higher-quality one. Whether you prefer a standing pump, a high-pressure portable pump, or a high-volume portable pump, any of the suggestions we made are great to add to your list of bike equipment.