Investing in a good bicycle pump will save you money and time in the long run. There’s nothing worse than going to pump up your bike tyres only to find your pump is letting you down.
When I first started riding I found this out the hard way. Buying a cheap pump after cheap pump and regretting it a couple of months later. I finally invested in a good pump and have never looked back.
Bike Floor Pumps review
The AerGun has one of the best heads on the market for pressure control.
The pressure release button on the back of the head means that you can adjust the air in the tyre without any risk. This will save you time. And ensure that you can get the right pressure into your bike tyres for the different riding surfaces.
If like me you have a mountain bike and a road bike then you don’t need to worry. There are no changing rubber valves in the head to accommodate the different valve types.
This will do all valve types hassle-free and with a good seal for the high pressures required on road bike tyres.
I like the fact that the bike pump is metal and is very sturdy when you’re pumping the tyres up. What I don’t like about the pump is that the handle when extended up feels flimsy.
Some reviews I have read say that they can’t connect the head to small tyres like pushchair tyres. As I don’t have a need like that I can’t say for sure if this is the case, but it’s something to be aware of.
I’ve been impressed with this pump series over the years and I’ve owned two Joe Blow bike pumps in the last 30 years. They are very well made and built to last.
The pump’s made out of steel on both the base and foot. This means that when you need to get the higher pressures for a road bike it does so with ease. And also remains stable during the pumping of higher pressures.
Due to the steel in the construction, the Joe blow sport III is heavier than all the other pumps in this review. But I’m happy with this; It’s a good trade-off for the durability you gain.
The pump head is well made and securely connects to the valves. The nice thing about this head is it has two sides one for presta valves and one for schrader valves.
However, the only downside I’ve found is the lever to be a little awkward when my kids were younger and their bike wheels small. The lever would be difficult to get between the spokes.
This bike pump has a quality feel to it. I liked the fact its metal construction had a hefty feel to it. This makes it sturdy to use and gives you a nice amount of feedback on the pump handle when you use it.
The gauge is mounted on the handle of the pump. This makes it easier, to read as you can bring it nearer to see, but also worse as the gauge goes up and down as you pump.
The dual head on this pump means there are no fiddly bits to change for use on different valves. The locking mechanism work’s backwards. When the lever is up, it’s locked, but when it’s down, it’s unlocked.
Once your tyre’s pressurised and you let go of the handle to remove the pump head, be aware that the handle will rise. There doesn’t seem to be a valve to stop the pressure from going back into the pump.
We found the Schrader valves tend to be a very snug fit and required extra wiggling to remove the head. We tested this on an older innertube and found that it will remove the valve from the tube.
I guess that’s one way to ensure you maintain your inner tubes.
This is another well made and designed pump capable of reaching up to an extremely high 200PSI! This is possible thanks to its screw on nozzle that provides a solid connection to the valve.
The Presta connection does not engage with the valve. This means that you will not lose any pressure from your tyre when connecting the head. The pressure in your tyre will hold the head valve closed until you have equalised the pressure in the pump.
This is great except if you need to let some air out if you over-inflate your tyre, then you can’t without a separate gauge and deflator.
You will also need to take the pump head apart to reverse it. The little rubber grommet is reversible so that you can switch between valve types, this can be annoying!
The pump construction is very good; you have a durable aluminum base and a steel barrel. The gauge is nice and big at 3.5 inches. But if you’re 6 foot or over you may struggle to read the numbers as they mounted it to the base of the pump.
Best Mini Bike Pumps
This pumps out an impressive amount of air in a short time. This is thanks to its ability to act like a floor standing pump. Meaning that you’ll achieve the higher pressures stated.
The pump is a bit bulkier than other mini bicycle pumps on the test. But you will be thankful for this pump if you get a flat miles from anywhere. You will love the fact that the gauge twists out for easier reading then folds away for storing on your bike.
The handle folds down to form a T-handle, allowing you to get the extra leverage needed for higher pressures. Because of the addition of a pressure gauge and the support for the floor stand, those of you where weight and size is an important factor this pump will not be for you.
This mini powerhouse of a pump is the one I carry on my bike. It’s not the lightest of pumps but you will be thankful you have it when you need it.
This pump gets your tyres to over 100PSI easily on the side of the road. Thanks to the fold out foot pad that allows you to hold it securely the ground when inflating
Another feature you’ll like is the T-handle, this allows you to get more pressure on the pump. But you need to be aware that if you are pumping on uneven ground you will find the pump moves around a bit.
The built in gauge on the head is a nice touch. It’s a bit jerky while inflating but works well. Lastly the flex pipe means no more damaged valves.
Another quality mini pump from the Pro bike manufacturer. The pump is aluminum so it should last a long time. The flex hose is housed inside the center of the pump, while I like the flex hose it does reduce the capacity of the pump.
With the reduced capacity and this being a hand pump, I found you need arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger. To get this mini pump past 80 PSI. The pump is rated for higher pressures but I cannot see you ever getting them that high.
The pump is only 7.3 inches long and weighs in at 3.6oz, great if you are looking to save weight. The bracket mounts next to the water bottle on your frame to the left or right.
I found that it took a very long time to inflate a mountain bike tyre. Your arms will ache (mine did) and if you then have a rough ride ahead, your arms will not thank you.
The only co2 inflator in the list. I’ll be honest with you I’m not a fan of these, as it costs you more for the canisters on top of the device. However, I do like this device’s safety features.
The way the canister screws into the pump head seats it securely. Then it’s covered with an aluminum casing protecting you from the freezing canister when it’s discharged.
You have full control over the way the air is dispersed into your tube via the lever on the rear of the pump. This also means if you need to use one or more for a tube then you can safely store and use the rest later if required.
This device will not be for you if you want to save weight. Not only have you got to carry the pump but also the cartridges. Furthermore, if you get multiple punctures on a ride what do you do if you run out of cartridges?
You will also find, the following day your tyre will have about 50 percent less pressure in it than the day before. This is due to the way air expands from the canister.
Vibrelli Mini pump
The Vibrelli mini pump has two modes for use, a long stroke for low pressure to transfer a high volume of air. The second is a short stroke to get higher pressures.
You can achieve pressures up to 100 PSI with this pump. That’s impressive considering that it’s 8 inches long. Unlocking the collar of the pump allows it to extend up to 15.7 inches for low pressure.
The pump is made from aluminium. As such, strong enough to achieve higher pressures. Your arms will ache however, as you will need to put a lot of effort in with this pump.
The mounting bracket holds the pump securely to your bike. The addition of a velcro strap on the holder ensures that even on the extreme rides your pump is secure.
Pump buying guide
Types of Valves
Bike tubes come with either a Presta or Schrader valve. The Presta valve is thinner than the Schrader valve and can be found on road racing bikes.
The reason for this is that space is at a premium on the thin wheels used on a road racing bike. There isn’t much room to get the bead of the tyre in and the width of the valve if you use a Schrader valve.
The Schrader valve is similar to a car tyre valve. These are on the wider wheels like mountain bikes and commuter bikes where space isn’t an issue.
The Presta valve is easier to blow up as you unscrew the locking nut and push the valve down to push air in. The Schrader valve doesn’t have a nut but uses a little spring to keep the valve shut. So you need to overcome the spring to put air into the tyre.
Different Pump Types
- Floor standing: these the ones most commonly found in your garage with your bike. These types of pumps are great for shifting large volumes of air. Blowing up a bigger tyre is easier, while also allowing you to achieve higher pressures.
- Hand pumps: these are the emergency pumps that you carry with you on rides. They tend to be very small around 7 – 8 inches. However, they’ll only get enough air into your tyre so you can ride to a place where you can blow up your tyre fully.
- Frame Pumps: these are larger and bulkier than a hand pump. They’re designed to be mounted in the triangle of your bike frame. These pumps will make 100 PSI allowing you to safely carry on with your ride.
- CO2 pump: these types of pumps utilise a canister of co2 air to inflate your tyre. They are very small. But you need to buy the canisters and you will need to carry more than one. In case you get multiple punctures.
Things to consider
- The pressure required – do you need to get over 100 PSI for a road bike or 60 PSI for a mountain bike? The pressure need should determine what type of pump you look for.
- The size of your tyres will also play a factor. You don’t want to be trying to blow up a large tyre with a small pump unless you’re after an arm work out before you ride.
- Weight may also play a part especially if you are racing, the extra weight of a pump may not be needed.
- Do you want a one-off cost for a pump or an ongoing one with the co2 canisters? These are around $1 each, so the cost could mount quickly.
- Are parts available for your pump, how easy is it to service? Servicing a pump is essential; however, some manufacturers offer a lifetime guarantee.
Cycling Ambition Recommendations
For floor mounted pumps I’d recommend that you invest in the Joe Blow Sport III. This series has been used by me for well over a decade. It has never let me down even though all the abuse. Over the years it’s fallen out the back of the car and dropped the head of a trail while used by others.
Having 2 different head sizes for the different valve types is the right way forward. If you only have one connection that can do both sizes, it will wear the rubber away. This’ll result in leaks when used on the smaller Presta valves.
For an emergency pump, I recommend and use Topeak Morph G. The flex hose means no more broken valves when pumping and will actually get over 100 PSI.
This pump only just beat the Schwinn and that was due to the build quality. The Topeak is better made. I’m not sure how long the twisting motion would last, as it’s made out of plastic.