An Expert Guide to the Best Bike Pumps

Cycling Expert Julien Guarniere breaks down the best bike pumps on the market to help you choose the right one for your needs and riding style!

A bike pump connected to a bike tire. The pressure guage is visible in the foreground.
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The bike industry is continuously expanding with new technology even in what seems to be the oldest bike accessory—the bike pump! Yes, the essential yet mundane-looking pump has many applications, sizes, and price points to consider.

Although this might seem like one of the most basic tools in cycling, bike pumps can get very complex. This goes for many seemingly straightforward cycling products, so get comfortable with this concept if you’re new to cycling.

To compress the enormous world of bike pumps into a brief article, let’s place them into three major categories:

  1. Mini pumps
  2. Floor pumps
  3. Chamber pumps

Mini Pumps

The Topeak Mini Dual Pump.

The Topeak Mini Dual Pump

The mini pump is exactly as its name suggests, a miniature version of an everyday generic pump. Models like this one can be stored in the back pocket of virtually any cycling jersey. It’s an exceptional option for long days in the saddle where you could find yourself with a flat in the middle of nowhere. Other than being small and compact, it can be a lifesaver when you need to pump up your tires. Mini pumps have become a staple in every cyclist's bike arsenal. They’ve got your back!

Some models are high-pressure capable for road bikes, meaning they go up to +120psi (pressure per square inch). Read the packaging before purchasing as mini mountain bike pumps look similar in form but won’t provide the high pressures needed for road tires. A high-pressure pump can work on lower-pressure mountain bike tires, but a mountain-bike-specific pump can’t fill a road tire. If you aren’t sure what pressure you need, it’s stamped on the sidewall of every tire.

No room in your pocket or no pocket at all? Most models come with a mounting bracket that fits seamlessly under your water bottle cage, or throw it in your bag.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Topeak Peakini Master Blaster Pump

The  Topeak Peakini Master Blaster Pump.

Topeak is a reputable name in the bike pump scene, and they create quality, affordable products for the everyday cyclist. The Topeak Peakini Master Blaster Mini Pump is a perfect example. This dual-action pump with a lightweight alloy barrel is durable to keep up with the demands of the user. It is Presta and Schrader compatible and has a max rating of 90psi to pump up any road or mountain bike tire.

Most High Tech: Crank Brothers Klic HV Gauge with CO2

The Crank Brothers Klic HV Gauge with CO2.

The Crank Brothers brand is known for pushing the boundaries with their high-tech cycling products that make the lives of cyclists easier. The Klic HV Gauge with CO2 is a perfect example. It is the most integrated mini pump on the market and includes a gauge indicator on the hose. This is a rare yet useful feature on a mini pump, as it eliminates a lot of guesswork.

With this indicator, you can see the current psi level in your tire, and it comes with an integrated CO2 cartridge dispenser to boot. You get a Plan A and a Plan B! It has a max setting of 110psi, and its slightly longer shaft than its closest brand sibling means you get more air per stroke to fill your tires faster.

Best Overall Quality: Lezyne Pressure Drive Pump

The Lezyne Pressure Drive Pump.

The Lezyne brand is always associated with outstanding quality. The Pressure Drive Pump is the smallest and lightest mini pump in their fleet and its hose has two different ends—one Schrader, one Presta—to fit on any valve.

Floor Pumps

Best Bang For Your Buck: Specialized Air Tool Comp V2

The Specialized Air Tool Comp V2.

Specialized has become a household name. Over the years, they have built a reputation as a leader in quality and innovation in cycling. The Specialized Air Tool Comp V2 provides accurate pressure readings for both mountain bike and road tires, and its aluminum barrel and base mean years of reliable service. It doesn’t take up much space and is easy to transport or hide in your workspace.

Most High-Tech: SuperPista Digital Floor Pump with Backlit Digital Gauge

The SuperPista Digital Floor Pump with Backlit Digital Gauge.

If you’ve been in cycling for a while, you’re probably familiar with the Silca name. This mythical Italian brand came up for sale in 2013 and the engineers at Zipp snapped it up as it runs parallel with their view of quality and craftsmanship.

This pump has a seamless design with a back-lit computer screen that displays tire pressure with 1% accuracy, down to a 0.5psi readout and up to 200psi. It has a lockout system to stop airflow and an ergonomic wooden handle that fits perfectly in the user's hand. Set up is a snap, and it comes with Silca’s patent HIRO Chuck, which has a convenient magnetic dock for storage.

Best Overall Quality: Lezyne - Classic Drive Floor Pump

The Lezyne - Classic Drive Floor Pump.

Like its mini pump counterpart, the Lezyne-Classic Floor Pump offers a high-end design at an exceptional price. Its ergonomic grips are comfortable to use, and its accurate 3.5” gauge is large and easy to read, with no squinting or guessing required. The Classic Drive Floor Pump measures pressure up to 200psi and comes with Lezyne’s Pro Flip-Thread Chuck valve compatible with Presta and Schrader valves.

High-Pressure Chamber Pumps

A high-pressure chamber pump is a generic floor pump with a separate pre-charging chamber. What does that mean? With a flip of a switch, air flows into this chamber instead of directly into your tire. Why is this useful? Once charged, it releases a blast of air useful when installing tubeless tires. A standard pump can do the trick, but a chamber pump facilitates the task for tubeless.

Best Overall: LEZYNE Pressure Over Drive Floor Pump

The LEZYNE Pressure Over Drive Floor Pump.

The Lezyne Pressure Over Drive Floor Pump offers the best features any cyclist or mechanic needs. It has comfortable, ergonomic grips, an aluminum base, a large accurate gauge, and a chamber capable of putting out a max blast of 220psi to seat and inflate any tubeless tire! If you haven’t gone tubeless yet, use it as a regular floor pump until ready to make the jump.

Conclusion

Pumps come in many shapes, forms, and sizes. Each one has its unique style and uses to make your life easier. I hope this list sheds some light on which pumps would suit you and your cycling needs best.

My top pick in the mini category is the Lezyne Pressure Drive Pump. It is super lightweight, perfect for really mountainous areas as it won’t weigh down your pockets or take up precious space needed for food, a jacket, or an emergency patch kit.

In the floor pump category, my vote goes to the Lezyne Classic Drive Floor Pump. You can’t beat its quality, design, and good looks. Its smooth wooden handles make you feel you aren’t using a low-quality pump that might break down after little use; it’s in for the long haul. But any of these pumps would be a good choice based on your personal taste and style.

If you want to find your perfect fit, chat with a Cycling Expert here on Curated, and we can help identify the best bike pump for your needs.

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Written By
Julien Guarniere
Julien Guarniere
Cycling Expert
Hi my name is Julien I'm originally from Oslo, Norway but lived here most of my life.Cycling has always been in my blood, my grandfather being Norwegian national champion and my Uncle being the current womens national teams coach. I've been cycling since the age of 11 and have raced professionally f...
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