Bike Pump Guide
Summary / Key features
- You need at least one bike pump – they are necessary for inflating bike tyres
- Most cyclists would benefit from having one mini or frame pump and one track pump
- Mini/frame pumps are designed to be carried on your bike or person
- Track pumps are heavier duty home/workshop pumps that deliver exact pressure
A Bike Pump is suitable for?
- Every cyclist!
- It’s important to carry some sort of bike pump with you on every bike ride. Not doing so leaves you open to a far increased chance of punctures according to the famous equation: no bicycle pump x sods law = loads of punctures.
- Even more portable that the mini/frame pump option is the gas cartridge canister. They are highly convenient, but only good for one/two uses.
- Track pumps use your weight and a stable base to offer far greater and more accurate PSI (pounds per square inch) than a hand pump can offer. Perfect for keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure.
- Cycling inner tube valves come in two varieties (Presta and Schrader) – so make sure the pump you buy is compatible. Having said that most good bicycle pumps are now designed to work with both.
Dave at Tredz: “A track pump is almost as important as your mini pump – getting the right tyre pressure is one of the most important ways to improve any ride.”
Choosing the best bike pump
Type of pump
- Track pump. For the home and workshop. Gives the high precise pressure that inner tubes need, but not something you can stuff in your sack due to size and weight.
- Hand/mini/frame pump. This is the portable option. Great for taking with you anywhere you go and being unnoticed until you need it. Most can’t deliver the same pressure as a track pump, but it will get you home in times of trouble. There are some modern versions of the mini-pump that have a foldable base, creating a semi-track pump. These aren’t as good or heavy duty, but offer a good halfway between performance and portability.
- Gas cartridge. Ultra portable and great for races and times when space is at a premium. Not good for long journeys due to limited usage.
- Genuine Innovations
- Shock pumps are high pressure and low volume in design. You could try pumping up your tyres with one but it might take a few hours.
- Due to the high pressure requirements, suspension systems should never be inflated with a normal track or hand pump even if they are high pressure models.
- If you own a bike with an air shock or fork, you need to have a shock pump. As with tyre pressure, a shock/fork will loose pressure over time (no matter how well made).