Home
Verdict: 
Good all-steel pump with easy-to-read gauge and less-easy-to-use head
Weight: 
1g
Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump
7 10

Recently we tested the Blackburn Piston 1 floor pump, which was okay. The Piston 3 is the next one up, and it's an improvement, although the price takes it up a rung into competition with some pretty heavy hitters.

The Piston 1, with its plastic base and 140psi maximum pressure felt a little bit on the weedy side. By comparison the Piston 3 is much better. The steel base makes it feel a lot more sturdy, and you also get a much-improved dial that's really easy to ready. The 37-inch hose ends in a better quality head but it's still a reversible-insert design meaning you have to take it apart to switch from Presta to Schraeder.

Buy Blackburn Piston 3 floor pump
Find a Blackburn dealer

Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump - valve head.jpg

Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump - valve head.jpg

It's not unusual at all to see a smart head on floor pumps over £50, so that feels like a bit of an omission here. I didn't have any issues with the function of the head though, save for the fact that the locking lever requires plenty of force to actuate and the sharp edges at the back mean you need to be a bit wary of your fingers. There's a bleed valve to let air out if you accidentally shove too much in.

Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump - gauge.jpg

Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump - gauge.jpg

The Piston 3 is rated to 160psi and doesn't struggle to achieve it. The only thing I routinely pump up to anything like that pressure is a tubeless tire booster, and putting 150psi into that was easy enough. If you're inflating a 25mm tyre then 100psi is achievable in 29 strokes of the handle without any problems. The handle itself is comfy enough, too. The gauge appears to be accurate by comparison with my digital gauge.

Read more: 16 of the best cycling tyre pumps and CO2 inflators

Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump - handle.jpg

Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump - handle.jpg

For £52.99 you're getting a pretty well-made pump: it's easy to use, and it's built well enough for you to be confident it'll last. Having said that, the price puts it in direct competition to the SKS Rennkompressor, which will be knocking about with the cockroaches after the nuclear apocalypse. The SKS isn't quite as easy to use with its 2-part head, and the gauge isn't as user-friendly. Horses for courses: if it's for your shed and you're going to use it regularly but not heavily, the Piston 3 will do the job just fine and should last for years and years. The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive is a very similar price and is also worth a look.

Verdict

Good all-steel pump with easy-to-read gauge and less-easy-to-use head

road.cc test report

Make and model: Blackburn Piston 3 Floor Pump

Size tested: 160 PSI/11 BAR MAX * SUPERSIZED 4

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

MASSIVE GAUGE, BOMBPROOF BARREL SMART, SIMPLE, BUILT TO LAST

No more squinting or bending down low to see your tire pressure. The Piston 3, with its massive 4" gauge, lets you dial in the precise pressure. And a tough steel barrel and base means you'll have this pump for years to come.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Pump head features rugged alloy cap.

Extra long 37" hose to reach valves in stands or car racks.

Convenient integrated hose keeper on handle.

PSI and Bar increments on gauge, with vibrant color matched background.

160 PSI, 11.0 Bar maximum

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Pretty well, it's a solid pump

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Easy-to-read dial, sturdy construction

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Fiddly head

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, mostly

Would you consider buying the product? There are other pumps I'd probably buy before this one

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe

Use this box to explain your score

Solid pump with good performance, not stellar value. Overall it's good.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.