You don’t hear a lot about bike pumps because there honestly isn’t a lot of difference between most of the brands and models on the market. When you think about it, all you really need is something that can air up your bike tires when you need it.
That basic need can be met by pretty much any model you find. However, if you are looking for something specific – like a portable bike pump or if you only want to shop for a floor standing pump, then you need to be a bit more careful in your selection. If you’re new to shopping for bike pumps, we’ll give you some tips and pointers below. We’ll also share a few of our favorite options that might meet your needs.
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Top 10 Best Bike Pumps for the Money (2017 - 2018)products selected and rated based on quality, performance, & value
|Nashbar L'Orange V.2 Floor Pump||Floor standing||Nashbar|
|Topeak JoeBlow Sport II Floor Pump||Floor standing||Amazon, Performance Bike|
|Nashbar Mini Pump||Mini||Nashbar|
|Topeak Pocket Master Blaster Pump||Frame fit||Amazon, REI|
|Genuine Innovations Air Chuck Elite CO2 Tire Inflator||CO2||REI, Nashbar|
|Lezyne HP Pressure Drive Mini Pump||Mini||Amazon, REI|
|Topeak Road Morph Pump with Gauge||Frame fit||Amazon, REI|
|Zefal HPX Frame-Fit Pump||Frame fit||Amazon, Nashbar|
|Spin Doctor Pro HP Floor Pump||Floor standing||Performance Bike|
|Topeak Peakini 2 Master Blaster Mini-Pump||Frame fit, Mini||Amazon, REI|
Our Bike Pump Favorites Reviewed
We’ve taken the time to give you some mini reviews on a few of our favorite models. We hope that this makes your shopping decision a bit easier!
Nashbar L’Orange V.2 Floor Pump Review
Every cyclist, even the weekend hobbyists, needs a quality floor pump to stash in the garage. Make no mistake, there are a lot of options out there at a lot of prices. In fact, the JoeBlow pumps are often touted at the best option in this category, but honestly here at Active Weekender we think that the Nashbar L’Orange V.2 Floor Pump is a superior choice.
What makes this one so great? It’s a cheap floor-standing bike pump that is actually high quality. In fact, it’s cheaper than a lot of the JoeBlow pumps.
We like that it has a good handle, is easy to use and feels rugged enough that it seems like it will last for plenty of years to come. The pressure gauge is smooth and easy to read and the Presta-Schrader head works well.
A couple of times it seemed like maybe the gauge was slightly off, but we’re not 100% sure on that and it could’ve just been user error. Overall though, we don’t think you can go wrong with this one and even think that is it the best floor standing bike pump for the money.
Nashbar Mini Pump Review – best portable bike pump
If you’re looking for something small and lightweight that you can stash in your pack, then we definitely suggest that you check out this mini pump from Nashbar.
You can actually mount this one beside or under the bottle cage on your bike, if you’re not wearing a pack that you want to stash it in. And yes, this little thing has both Presta and Schrader conversions.
It feels rugged enough to last for several years of weekly use and it has a helpful hi-volume/hi-pressure switch. We’re actually surprised by how quickly it works on the hi-volume setting!
Overall, this little pump is easy to use and dependable so you don’t have to worry about getting stranded out on the trail. We highly recommend this for all cyclists in search of a cheap, quality portable mini bike pump.
Types of Bike Pumps
As you shop, you’ll notice that there are a few different types of pumps available to cyclists like you and me. Your cycling needs will dictate which type is the best choice for you. Here’s a quick breakdown of those types:
- Floor standing – this is the type that you’ll store in your garage because they are bulky and heavy, which means you won’t want to transport them with your bike. This is the fastest pump for airing up your bike tires, plus they are typically designed to work with other things that need aired up and offer a high capacity. Pressure gauges are typically built in and large enough for most people to read while standing.
- Frame-fit – this type is ideal for a road cyclist because they are designed to attach to the frame of your road bike. You’ll definitely want one of these as a road cyclist, lest you end up miles away from home with a flat.
- Mini – these are smaller and more lightweight than the frame-fit pumps and can be used by road cyclists as well as people who ride out on the trails. Most of the time you can snap one of these onto your bike frame as well. One thing to pay attention to with this type is the capacity – some have a psi capacity that isn’t high enough for road bikes.
- CO2 inflators – ideal for racers, this type is good for the cyclist who wants the most lightweight and minimalist option. Zero pumping is required; you just fill the damaged tire with this and it should last you long enough to get home. But once home, you have to get all of the CO2 out tire and re-fill it with air. Honestly, this type really isn’t something that we here at Active Weekender use since we’re just hobbyists.
As you can see, you’ll probably want to get yourself two different pumps – one of the floor-standing ones to keep at home and one of the mini or frame-fit options for when you’re out on your bike. At least that’s what we recommend.
Things To Consider
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of pumps, let us share a few things that you’ll want to take into consideration before making your final choice on the best bike pump for your needs.
There are basically three different types of valves that you may encounter on your bike tires. The two most common in the United States are Schrader and Presta valve stems. The third type is more common in other countries, and it is the Dunlop valve stem.
If you’re shopping in the US, then you will find some cheap pumps that are either Schrader and Presta compatible, but not both. If you buy one of these cheaper options, then you might need an adapter to get it to work with your tires. The higher quality bike pumps adjust automatically to work with your valve stem type.
You’ll want to make sure that you get yourself a pump that can handle the tires of your bike. For instance, road bikes are higher psi than mountain bikes. Here’s a quick breakdown of bikes by psi capacity:
- 90psi is suitable for mountain or comfort bikes.
- 120psi offers the fastest inflation for mountain or comfort bikes; OK for some road bikes.
- Up to 160psi is ideal for road bikes.
More On Tire Pressure
You can see our recommendations for psi capacity above, but often the tire pressure is a bit more complicated than those standard numbers. You see, there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to determining the correct tire pressure for your bike. Things includes things like the rider weight, the tire size and sidewall thickness, and riding conditions. So know that the recommendations are not an exact science and will need to be adjusted slightly.
Generally speaking, fully inflated tires are ideal for smooth cycling conditions; and slightly under-inflated tires may be a better choice for rough roads or trails.
Pounds per square inch (psi) is the standard US measurement; “bars” are the metric equivalent. An approximate guide to recommended tire-pressure range:
- Road bike: 80-130 psi / 5.5-9 bars
- Comfort bike: 35-70psi / 2.2-4.8 bars
- Mountain bike: 30-60psi / 2.1-4.2 bars
Once you find the right bike pump for your needs, consider taking a look at our favorite road bike options right here in case you wanna upgrade your ride.