Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

BUYER'S GUIDE

Best bike pumps 2024 — inflate your tyres with ease and find the optimal pressure with our pick of the pumps

A decent bike pump to inflate your tyres is absolutely essential, as you can't ride around on flat ones! Be equipped and prepared with our guide to the best bike pumps for all occasions

This article contains links to retailers. Purchases made after clicking on those links may help support road.cc by earning us a commission but all of our reviews are fully independent. Find out more about road.cc buyer's guides.

If you're a cyclist looking for the best bike pump or tyre inflator for your needs, you've come to the right place. Whether you're looking to invest in a reliable floor (or track) pump to keep at home, or a more portable variety such as a frame pump, mini pump or CO2 inflator, there's something for everyone in this guide.


The pneumatic tyre is one of mankind's greatest inventions, smoothing the ride and making bikes faster compared to the solid tyres that came before it. But it's also a pain in the neck, because it's vulnerable to punctures and gradually loses air while your bike is stored. At home and on the road, you need a a way to replace the lost air.

If you're starting from scratch and don't currently own any type of tyre inflation tool, you’ll ideally want to own at least two kinds of pump. Most commonly, a floor pump to keep with your bike tools and accessories, as well as a portable variety to take out with you on rides in your pocket, attached to your bike or in your bar bag.

There are broadly three types of tyre inflator: portable hand pumps that you take along on your rides; portable carbon dioxide canister devices (CO2), and floor/track pumps for workshop and trackside use. Hand pumps in turn divide into full-size frame pumps and mini pumps that are small enough to fit in your jersey pocket, and a now common type of track pump is one that can also deliver big blasts of air to inflate tubeless tyres. 

If you were wondering what other items bar a pump you may need for general maintenance, then we’d highly suggest you check out our guides on workstands, chain lubes and multitools; but since you're here, let's take a look at all your pump options and variations, then delve into some Q+As including some info about tubeless tyres, ideal pressures and some more tips on the types of pump out there...

The best bike pumps

Floor pumps

Cannondale Precise Floor Pump

Cannondale Precise Floor Pump

9
Best bike pump overall
Buy now for £44.99 from Bike Inn
Sturdy build
Big, east-to-read gauge
Self-adapting head
Long stroke
Smaller, lighter folks might struggle

The Cannondale Precise Floor Pump is our favourite floor pump, and best pump overall at the time of writing. It’s a quality piece of kit if you want a pump that is well built, efficient and features a big gauge that's really easy to read. It was also selected to feature in road.cc recommends, as we feel that it’s a real stand out item.

With regards to performance, the large gauge is marked with a range of different riding types which is useful to suggest the correct pressure for your tyres if you aren’t too sure, making it a great choice regardless of the style of riding you’ll be doing. It also tops out at 145psi which is pretty impressive: there’s not many situations where you’ll need more than 145psi! The pump itself is also very efficient, taking just 21 pumps to get a set of 25mm tyres to 90psi during testing. There is also a bleed button to allow pressure out if you go slightly over which is super useful. 

All in all, the Cannondale Precise Floor Pump is a really excellent overall track pump: it effortlessly gets tyres up to pressure, and the large, easy-to-read gauge makes reading the pressure or knowing what's suitable for your tyres straightforward. Therefore it’s a solid option for anyone looking to invest in a super reliable floor pump. 

Read our review:
Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage floor pump

Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage floor pump

9
Best high-end floor pump
Buy now for £98.99 from Tweeks Cycles
TubiHead chuck is great
Great for installing tubeless tyres
Does both high pressures and high volumes
Non-linear gauge can be confusing
Hose is a bit short
Requires 16mm of valve to attach

The Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage floor pump features the new TubiHead valve coupler which is very useful for anyone using tubeless tyres. Not only that but the two-stage chambers also help to make inflating tyres a fast and fuss-free process, but this comes at a cost, setting you back £109.99 RRP, making it our best high-end floor pump.

Although it is expensive, the performance is impressive. Thanks to the twin barrel feature, you can easily change between high-volume and low-pressure and then by flicking the switch, low-volume and high-pressure. Making it perfect for both pumping up your tyres and setting up tubeless. Not only that but the TubiHead valve coupler allows you to reinstall the core and still keep pressure in the tyre, and it works very effectively. 

Overall, the Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage floor pump is a really great pump if you want a high quality pump but will also be setting up tubeless tyres as well as working with a range of different tyres (an adapter for schrader valves comes with the pump). In short, this floor pump is great for both high pressures and high volumes.

Read our review:
Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital HPG

Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital HPG

8
Best floor pump for travelling
Buy now for £63.76 from Tweeks Cycles
Impressive build
Shifts air fast
Much easier than a mini-pump
Overkill for frame mounting
Expensive
Handle is a bit small

If you're in the market for a travel-friendly floor pump, then the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital HPG pump is our choice as the best luggage friendly floor pump for travelling. At only 224g it won’t add too much to your weight allowance either, not to mention it could easily fit in your bike box or case. 

This pump really comes into its own where shifting lots of air quickly is concerned, doing so much easier and quicker than a mini pump that is designed to be thrown into your back pocket. The digital gauge also provides pressure readings that are clear and easy to read and the units can be switched between psi and bar.

Overall the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital HPG is a must have for those frequent flyers who travel with their bike and need a travel friendly pump. It’s very well made and highly effective, shifting air fast. Although it is a little on the pricey side for its size, the job it does for such a small pump is really impressive.

Read our review:
Lezyne Sport Gravel Drive Track Pump

Lezyne Sport Gravel Drive Track Pump

9
Best gravel-specific floor pump
Buy now for £52 from Sigma Sports
Great serviceability
Efficient and works for a range of pressures
Great for setting up tubeless tyres
The screw on valve takes a little longer to put on and take off
Valve core removed fits loose

The Lezyne Sport Gravel Drive Track Pump is a great option for anyone looking for a pump that works really well for both off-road tyres but also is suitable for road tyres with a pressure range of 10 up to 100 psi. While some of you might wonder what makes a pump gravel-specific, or anything specific for just gravel riding... well of course it can be used for road or mountain bikes, however this is a pump that truly excels with wider gravel tyres, hence the name!

This pump has been designed to work best on 32mm and wider tyres and in comparison to Lezyne’s CNC and Classic Floor Drive pumps. The barrel on the Sport Gravel Drive is larger, helping to move more air at a time. With regards to the pumping power, this one is excellent for large-volume tyres as it requires a lot less effort to get the tyres pumped up, which is why it's so good for gravel tyres. 

Overall, the Lezyne Sport Gravel Drive Track Pump is a brilliant high-volume off-road tyre pump and a high-pressure road tyre pump because not only can it deliver large volumes of air in one go, but road tyres don’t really need much more than 90psi, so this pump, although gravel specific, should suit anyone's needs.

Read our review:
Topeak Joe Blow Sport III

Topeak Joe Blow Sport III Pump

9
Best bargain floor pump
Buy now for £35.99 from Tweeks Cycles
Well made
Well priced
Easy to use

The Topeak Joe Blow Sport III is a very popular floor pump that many mechanics, professional or otherwise, opt for, and for good reason too. Not only is this pump well priced but it’s also very well made and compatible for both presta and schrader valves, making it our best value for money floor pump at under £50 RRP. It’s seriously tough to beat.

Performance wise, this pump is really impressive for the money. Maxing out at just under 160 which took 49 strokes during testing on a set of road tyres, no wrestling was needed to achieve this: it simply reached a point in the downstroke and that was it. This pump also features an easy-to-read pressure gauge that is situated half way up the barrel, which gives you both psi and bar, which is useful.

Overall, the Topeak Joe Blow Sport III is a very well-made and easy to use pump that does the job very well and for a really brilliant price. The gauge is also easy to read and parts can also be bought from Topeak to keep your pump serviceable and running. Therefore, it’s a bit of a bargain.

Read our review:

Pumps with inflators for tubeless tyres

Topeak Joe Blow Booster track pump and tubeless inflator

Topeak Joe Blow Booster track pump and tubeless inflator

9
Best multi-use floor pump
Buy now for £147.99 from Wiggle
Well-made and built to last
Inflates efficiently and seats tubeless tyres with ease
Simple to use and faff-free
It's on the expensive side if you already have a track pump

Topeak's Joe Blow Booster is an easy to use, all-in-one solution for anyone that wants a floor pump that will allow you to seat tricky tubeless tyres as well as inflate tyres, instead of investing in two different pumps for the separate usage. Therefore landing it as the best multi use floor pump.

Using a high-pressure reservoir, this pump from Topeak provides enough of a blast of air to get even the most stubborn rubber seated on your rim. Although it is expensive, it's without a doubt the best all-in-one unit we've tested by some way. Not only that but as previously stated it’s also great for normal pump usage too.

Overall, the Topeak Joe Blow Booster is a well made dual purpose pump that is built to last, making the price worth it in the long run. It’s also simple to use and inflates efficiently, seating tubeless tyres with total ease, thus making it a solid option for pretty much anyone.

Read our review:
Silca Superpista Digital Floor Pump

Silca Superpista Digital Floor Pump

8
Best money-no-object floor pump
Buy now for £349.99 from Chain Reaction Cycles
Build quality
Accuracy
Extremely expensive

Silca makes super-high-quality tools and accessories, with the associated high prices. The Superpista Digital Floor Pump is the most expensive track pump we've ever tested (and one of the most expensive bike pumps ever made), but it is extremely nice to use, with a solid build quality. Handcrafted with an aluminium barrel, steel piston shaft, large aluminium base and an ash wood handle, it also looks nice if the aethetics of your pump matter to you.

Atop the barrel is a digital pressure gauge, and the long rubber hose is capped with the company's HIRO chuck, an all-metal design with a large lever and compatibility with all valves. All in all, this is a highly accurate pump and it offers a few neat tricks up its barrel... but as it costs as much as some bikes, it better be!

Read our review:
Topeak Tubibooster X tubeless inflator

Topeak Tubibooster X tubeless inflator

9
Best overall tubeless inflator
Buy now for £56.99 from Merlin Cycles
Really well made and thought out
Powerful and reliable inflation
Quality construction
All-in-one pump/inflators are a bit more convenient if you're starting from scratch

The Topeak Tubibooster X tubeless inflator is our best overall inflator for tubeless tyres on our guide. It’s really well made and equally as well thought out, offering powerful and reliable inflation to ensure your tyres get seated on your rim.

This inflator has a high-pressure aluminium body that is charged using a separate floor pump, therefore it’s a great addition if you have a floor pump already. Performance wise, this aluminium body can be charged up to 200psi, which during testing we found was more than enough to seat some high-volume tyres onto the rim, therefore you shouldn’t have any trouble at all using this inflator. 

All in all, the Topeak Tubibooster X tubeless inflator is a really solid overall option if you already have a floor pump but were looking for a reliable inflator of quality construction that can get the job done. This one will undoubtedly sort you out.

Read our review:
Beto CJA-001S Tubeless Air Tank Inflator

Beto CJA-001S Tubeless Air Tank Inflator

9
Best value tubeless inflator
Buy now for £45 from Tredz
Workshop-quality tubeless air tank
Well-thought-out features
Excellent performance
Also need to purchase a floor pump to use

The Beto CJA-001S Tubeless Air Tank Inflator provides a workshop-quality, at a very affordable price, making it our best value tubeless inflator. This tubeless air tank has some great features and offers excellent performance when it comes to setting up tubeless tyres.

With regards to the performance, during testing the tank took about 40 pumps of a floor pump to get to 120PSI. During testing 120psi in the tank, it was able to seat a 30mm tubeless road tyre and also with 120psi in the tank, it was able to seat and fill a 2.3in mountain bike tyre to 18PSI without any issues. The capacity of the tank was also more than enough to seat both beads.

All in all, the Beto CJA-001S Tubeless Air Tank Inflato is a top-quality workshop-grade tubeless inflator at a really reasonable price. It’s a real no brainer now that tubeless is taking over. 

Read our review:

Frame pumps and mini pumps

Topeak RaceRocket HP mini pump

Topeak RaceRocket HP mini pump

8
Best compact mini pump
Buy now for £24.99 from Wiggle
Stashes in a pocket
Good build quality
Comfortable to use Includes valve core tool in its handle
Impressive capacity for its size
Threaded SmartHead is not compatible with certain valve extenders

The Topeak RaceRocket HP mini pump is a really great option if you were looking for a pump that easily stashes away in your rear jersey pocket while you are out riding. At only 18cm long, it's our best compact mini pump thanks to its useful proportions. 

Not only that, but the performance of this pump is also very impressive given the compact size. During testing the RaceRocket HP effectively inflated a 25mm road tyre to around 100psi in around 300 strokes, which is thanks to its chamber capacity as well as the tactile design. All of which is not bad at all for such a small pump which attaches to your bike with a bracket that fits under your bottle cages. 

Overall, the Topeak RaceRocket HP mini pump is of good build quality, is compact so fits into your jersey without any trouble and offers an impressive capacity for its size. As well as that, it also includes a valve core tool in its handle, so all in all, a great choice.

Read our review:
Birzman Mini Apogee hand pump

Birzman Mini Apogee Hand Pump

9
Best lightweight mini pump
Buy now for £23.99 from Tweeks Cycles
Small
Light
Excellent valve-holding and air-sealing
Rebuildable with two spare seals included
Getting to the maximum pressure is hard

The Birzman Mini Apogee Hand Pump is a really small and lightweight mini pump, weighing only 79g. It's ideal for throwing in your back pocket to take out on a road ride.

The lightweight pump is only 136mm long and at 79g will be pretty unnoticeable in your back pocket. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it won’t do a good job of inflating your tyres. During testing, inflating a 23mm 700C tyre took 200 pumps to get to 63psi, which is more than enough to get you home on post puncture repair, especially if you are on a gravel bike. 

Overall, the Birzman Mini Apogee Hand Pump is a really brilliant lightweight option that is really easy to fit in your back pocket, and very capable in terms of getting your tyre up to a decent pressure to get you home.

Read our review:
Topeak Pocket Rocket mini pump

Topeak Pocket Rocket

9
Best mini pump overall
Buy now for £13.99 from Wiggle
Light
Ergonomic, well thought out design
Easy to carry
Great value for money
Achieving advertised 160psi might take some time, but do you really need your tyres that hard?
Pump head dust cap can pop open if you leave it in Schrader mode

The Topeak Pocket Rocket mini pump is a very popular compact pump, it’s well priced, lightweight at only 109g and does the job well despite being very small, hence the name.

As mentioned, although it is small in size, this mini pump works impressively well. During our testing, it only took 150 pumps to get a 28mm road tyre to 70psi, which is really rather good considering the size. Therefore this pump is more than capable of getting your tyres up to a good pressure to help get you on your way.

All in all, the Topeak Pocket Rocket is a great value for money, lightweight pump that is also well made. It’s also really easy to use and more than capable of putting a decent amount of pressure in your tyres to get you home, a real no brainer.

Read our review:
Lezyne Road Drive Alloy mini pump

Lezyne Road Drive Alloy mini pump

9
Best mini pump for efficiency
Buy now for £46.59 from Wiggle
Easy to use
Effective
Comes with frame bracket
Not as small as other mini pumps

Although the Lezyne Road Drive Alloy mini pump (in size  30 is 297mm long and the largest size in the Lezyne Road Drive Alloy range, this is still a ‘mini pump’. Due to its longer length however, it’s very efficient, thus finding itself as our best mini pump for efficiency. 

This pump also comes with its own bracket to allow you to attach it to your bike underneath your bottle cage, which is super useful in terms of transporting around as it is larger than most mini pumps. Performance wise, this is an efficient mini pump, taking around 100 pumps to put about 30psi in your tyres. 

Overall the Lezyne Road Drive Alloy mini pump is a really brilliant high quality pump that delivers on efficiency. It’s also easy to use and easy to transport thanks to the bracket that comes with it. Overall, a great mini pump to take out on rides.

Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive mini pump

Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive mini pump

9
Best mini pump for versatility
Buy now for £58.49 from Bike Inn
Impressively efficient
Carries a lot of repair power in a small package
Excellent built quality
Expensive
Weighty
Missing a valve core remover

If you were looking for a seriously high quality mini pump that is also the best mini pump for versatility then look no further. The Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive mini pump carried a lot of repair power in a small package, ideal for taking out in your pocket on off-road rides.

This pump is a really solid versatile tool. The hand pump can get up to 30psi in your tyres, which is enough for when out on the trails and need a quick fix or extra pressure. It also features a tubeless repair kit and tubeless inflator that are both easy to set up and use. Additionally, the featured CO2 inflator is a simple push-on type, so once you have it on the valve, you’re good to go. 

All in all, the Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive mini pump offers impressively efficient and versatility. Boasting three useful features: tubeless repair kit, CO2 inflator and a mini pump, it’s a really solid option that has you covered.

Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump

Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump

8
Best frame bike pump
Buy now for £26.99 from Westbrook Cycles
More effective than mini pumps
Range of sizes to fit your frame
Easy to use

The Topeak Road Master Blaster is a well-thought-out frame bike pump that usefully attaches to the top tube of your bike, making it our best frame bike pump. Opting for a pump like this is a great way to neatly transport your pump around while out and about. There’s also 4 sizes available ensuring you find one to fit your bike.

Performance wise, this aluminium-barrelled, plastic-ended frame pump can easily get your tyres back up to 100psi without any issues, taking around 100 pumps. Meaning, it’s a really great pump for long rides on your road bike when you’ll need a little more pressure than a gravel tyre would need.

Overall the Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump is a really brilliant road riding companion. The job it can do easily beats that of a mini pump as higher pressures are much easier to achieve.

CO2 inflators

Lezyne Control Drive CO2 Inflator

Lezyne Control Drive CO2 Inflator

8
Best overall CO2 inflator
Buy now for £19 from Sigma Sports
Simple
Well designed
Presta and Schrader valve compatibility
Easy flow adjustment

Lezyne's Control Drive CO2 Inflator is the best overall CO2 inflator in our guide. It’s nice and simple, it’s also supplied with a 16g canister and is well designed. Compatibility wise, both presta and schrader valves work with this inflator, therefore it’s suitable for any tyre.

The Control Drive is as simple as they come, and works very effectively. The easy flow adjustment makes it really user-friendly, so even if you are new to using CO2 inflators, you won’t have any issues. You simply push the Control Drive onto the valve, and turn the inflator head to release air. With the 16g canister provided you will be able to inflate your tyres up to around 100psi, which is more than enough for any tyres, regardless of the bike.

Overall the Lezyne's Control Drive CO2 Inflator is a really brilliant overall inflator. It also usefully features a jacket to protect your hands once you’ve released the gas as the freezing to the canister then freezes which is another good feature.

Muc-Off CO2 Inflator Kit

Muc-Off CO2 Inflator Kit

8
A great CO2 kit for reliability
Buy now for £30 from Sigma Sports
High quality
Confidence-inspiring valve
Controlled release
Screw-on design means cold fingers when removing

"Inflate your tyres quickly and get back to riding in no time!" claims Muc-Off on the product description for its colourful CO2 inflator, and we'd have to agree. Our reviewer says the chuck works really well and doesn't release any gas while attaching, and the neoprene sleeve stops ay unwanted freeze-burning of your fingers.

The 16g canister are enough to fill road tyres, but you can also get the 25g version for gravel or mountain bike tyres. Our reviewer was able to get to 65psi with a 28mm tyre and 90psi with a 25mm tyre, enough to get most road riders home and then some. 

This isn't the cheapest CO2 kit, but you get what you pay for and this one is better quality than many cheaper options. 

Read our review: 
Vel CO2 Flow Regulator Head With 16g Cartridge

Vel CO2 Flow Regulator Head With 16g Cartridge

8
Best budget CO2 inflator
Buy now for £20 from Sigma Sports
Controllable flow
Simple to use
Comes with a couple of canisters
Screw-on design risks unscrewing your valve core

If you were looking for the best budget CO2 inflator then the Vel CO2 Flow Regulator Head With 16g Cartridge will be right up your street. First off, this package includes not one, but two CO2 canisters, making it a really decent deal. Plus, you never know when that second will come in handy.

This CO2 inflator is made from robust aluminium construction, it’s also simple to use and the connection between the inflator and valve is impressively good, ensuring the job is done in a matter of seconds. Also, the inflator overall works well without any fuss, it didn’t even unscrew the valve core during testing which of course is good news.

Overall, if you want the best budget CO2 inflator then the Vel CO2 Flow Regulator Head With 16g Cartridge is a great, no-fuss, affordable choice. Using just the one canister will easily get you up to around 80-90psi, therefore be it road or off road you wanted to use this inflator for, it's got you covered.

Pressure gauges

Topeak SmartGauge D2X Best bike tyre pressure gauge

Topeak SmartGauge D2X

8
Best bike tyre pressure gauge
Buy now for £31.49 from Bike Inn
Flick from Presta and Schrader in seconds
Head swivels 360°
Includes air release button
Display lights up brightly
Small and light
Slight pressure loss on Presta valves
Expensive

The Topeak SmartGauge D2X is a slightly upgraded version of the Topeak SmartGauge D2, which we also highly rated. This best overall pressure gauge is light and offers accurate readings of your tyre pressures. This device is good for both home or while out riding as it’s small enough to pop in your pocket or bag.

This gauge allows you to effortlessly switch between presta and schrader valves in seconds, allowing you to easily measure your tyre pressure no matter what bike it’s on, be it mountain bike or a road bike. The accuracy is great and the display lights up brightly which makes it easy to read. It also includes an air release button, which coupled with this device's accuracy, is useful in letting you know how much pressure you’ve let out in real time, ensuring you don’t let too much out at once.

All in all, this gauge may be a little on the pricey side but it’s accuracy and compact nature make it a great overall gauge if you were looking for one to use either at home or while out on your bike.

 

SKS Airchecker

SKS Airchecker

8
Best affordable gauge
Buy now for £19.99 from Decathlon
Good quality
Well priced
Requires a bit of practice to use properly

If you have a track pump but you want to be absolutely sure of your tyre pressures with improved precision in comparison to what your pump gauge suggests, but don’t want to be splashing out on a more expensive pressure gauge, then the SKS Airchecker is a brilliant well-made option. Not only that, but it won’t break the bank either, landing itself as our best affordable gauge. 

The SKS Airchecker is a well-made digital gauge for tyre pressures that's quick to use, only taking a few seconds to read. Although you do have the knack of ensuring the gauge is correctly seated on the valve, once that’s mastered it’s undoubtedly straightforward to use. Letting air out is also simple thanks to the little orange 'deflate' button on the valve head.

Overall, the SKS Airchecker is well priced but also quick and easy to use, making pressure checks simple and fuss-free. The compact size of this gauge also means that it is a great item to pop into your bar bag or jacket pocket during rides for when you need to check your tyre pressures.

How to choose from the best bike pumps

faq-icon
Which pump is best for a bike?

Deciphering which pump is best for your bike will largely depend on what your needs are. If you tend to only really pump your tyres up at home, but don’t use tubeless tyres on your bike, nor set tubeless up yourself, then a basic floor pump will cover most of your needs. Couple this with a CO2 inflator or mini pump so that you can inflate your tyres when you puncture on a ride, and you have a winning combination. 

faq-icon
What are the different types of bike pump?

As mentioned in our intro, the three main types of pump are floor pumps, mini/portable pumps and CO2 inflators. Let's do a bit of a deeper dive on each: 

Floor pumps/track pumps

Known as track pumps because they're the most common way to get the very high pressures used in track cycling, floor pumps make it easy to get air into your tyres. A floor pump has a handle to help you get your weight behind the job, feet that are big enough to stand on to hold it in place, and a gauge so you can get the pressure spot on. The narrower the barrel of a floor pump, the easier it is to get high pressures, but it will take more strokes.

All track pumps have some sort of chuck to attach to the valve, but there are many different designs. Some use a universal mechanism that will fit Presta and Schrader valves, while others have a separate attachment for each type. Almost all have a lever to clamp the chuck round the valve.

There's some debate about where the pressure gauge should be. Some manufacturers put it at the top of the barrel, which makes it easier to read, others put it at the bottom because it's less likely to get damaged there if the pump falls over. If you go for pump with a high gauge, make sure it has some sort of protection against falls.

Some pumps are definitely more robust than others, w

Portable pumps: mini pumps and frame pumps

A scaled down version of a frame pump, a mini pump is small enough to fit in a bag or pocket, or clips into a mount that fits under a bottle cage. Mini pumps are popular because they're light and tidy. They don't get a tyre up to pressure very quickly, but their fans see this as worth putting up with given how rarely they need them.

Classic frame pumps fit along the seat tube, between the top tube and down tube. Problem is, almost all bikes have two water bottles these days, and one of them is on the seat tube. That means you may need to get imaginative to carry a bike pump on your frame, fitting it along the top tube, perhaps with the help of straps or a clamp-on pump peg.

The length of a frame pump means it's a fairly quick way to inflate a tyre out on the road, and it doesn't cost you the price of a carbon dioxide cartridge every time. Some riders feel a frame pump spoils the look of their bikes, though.

Both frame pumps and mini pumps usually come set up for Presta valves, but can be switched to Schrader by swapping round some parts in the chuck. 

CO2 inflators

With the work done by a small bottle of compressed gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) inflators are the fastest way of getting back on the road. They're perfect for sportives or fast training rides where you don't want to be holding up the rest of the group by labouring with a bike pump.

As a gas expands it cools, so look out for CO2 inflators that protect your fingers from the canister, either with a rubber cover for the canister or by enclosing it in a plastic shell. Some inflators only pop open the canister when you use it, and don't allow you to use only part of the available gas, others have a trigger so you can use just part of the contents.

A 16g cartridge will get a 23mm tyre up to 90-100psi, which should be plenty to get you home. Threaded cartridges are usually slightly more expensive than unthreaded. 

Other sub-genres of bike pump or inflation tools are pressure gauges, if you're really fanatical about making sure you've got the exact amount of PSI, and tubeless tanks that can be purchased separately to a track pump. Our top-recommended pressure gauge is the Topeak D2X Digital Pressure Gauge and the Topeak Tubibooster X Tubeless Inflator would be our top tubeless inflator of choice. 

faq-icon
Does it matter what bike pump you use?

The type of bike pump that you use doesn’t matter as long as it’s compatible with your valve. For example, some pumps will only be able to pump up Presta valves, which are the most commonly-used type. Therefore, if you have a Schrader valve you won’t be able to pump your tyres up, so it’s best to double check what valves you have and if the pump you have or are looking to purchase is compatible in this way. Many pumps can accommodate multiple valve types, so if you have bikes with Presta, Schrader and/or Dunlop valves then look for a pump that has multiple adaptors or automatically fits to any type. 

If you were needing a pump for a specific use, such as setting up tubeless tyres, then you need a pump that can store the pressure to release a larger volume of air in one go to ensure your tyre is seated on the rim. Similarly, if you wanted a portable pump to take on rides, a floor pump won’t be suitable, therefore a mini pump would be more suited to your needs.

faq-icon
What's the difference between high pressure and high volume bike pumps?

Luckily this is pretty straightforward! First off, a high pressure bike pump is simply one that can reach higher pressures. For example, you would want a high pressure bike pump for pumping up tubs on a track wheel or on a road bike. This high pressure means that it can inflate tyres to a higher psi.

A high volume bike pump will be able to move a greater volume of air in one go. This is why they help to seat tubeless tyres, because higher levels of volume in one go force the tyre to sit properly on the rim.

faq-icon
What is the lightest bike pump?

The lightest bike pump will be a portable mini bike pump that is designed to be taken out while you are riding and popped either in your little pocket or bar bag. They are light because their size is compact which makes them ideal for on the go. 

But, with this being said, from our best bike pump guide, the lightest option is the Birzman Mini Apogee hand pump which weighs only 79g, which is very very light for a pocket sized pump. You wouldn’t be able to find a floor pump anywhere near this weight,  but this is just the nature of mini pumps; they are designed to be lightweight and portable, unlike floor pumps that stay at home.

faq-icon
What pump do I need for tubeless tyres?

Tubeless has become one of the most common wheel-tyre set ups of the past few years, with the majority of off-the-peg road bikes now coming with wheels and tyres that are at least tubeless-compatible nowadays. 

If your tyres are set up tubeless, or you're planning to, then you'll most likely want to choose from one of our track/floor pump options that have a special feature to store pressure and release a large volume of air in one go. This applies more force to the tyre, pushing the bead into place and sealing the tyre against the rim, otherwise known as seating, therefore allowing it to be tubeless. Sealant is of course needed too, don’t forget that important step when setting up tubeless tyres!

All this said, tubeless tyres and rims have improved a lot in recent years (and are still improving) so many find that a tubeless inflator is not needed on some combinations of wheel and tyre. If you do run tubeless, we'd still recommend having a tubeless pump just in case you switch to tyres and wheels that don't marry up well enough to inflate with a standard track pump; plus, it's often just a bit quicker to inflate with a tubeless-specific pump. 

> Fitting tubeless tyres – learn how with this simple guide

faq-icon
What pressure should my tyres be on a road bike in PSI?

This is a question that likely would have had a very different answer 20 years ago; but as tyres and rims have got wider and common wisdom on rolling resistance and aerodynamics has involved, so has the preference on what PSI to run on road bike tyres. In the old days it was thought that tyres simply needed to be as narrow and as hard as possible, but all the evidence suggests that's simply not the case. We're talking about speed and rolling resistance here, but another great benefit of running wider tyres at lower pressures is greater comfort. 

To go back to the original question, there is no hard and fast answer. Traditionally road cyclists would aim to pump their tyres up to around 100 PSI; however this was when the most common tyre width was 23mm or even narrower, and with wider tyres lower pressures are recommended, not to mention much more comfortable underneath you. 

It's now common for road cyclists to run about 80 PSI on 28mm tyres, and sometimes even lower if the tyres are set up tubeless. If you're in doubt then you can check tyre pressure charts on you wheel manufacturer's website to make sure you're not exceeding the recommended pressures or going too low. 

Having learnt to ride a bike in order to race as a child, Charlotte is no stranger to life on two wheels. Racing across multiple disciplines over the years, she now focuses her time on road racing. Racing with her Belgium based team. Not only that, but Charlotte has many years experience working within the cycling industry alongside her racing endeavours. Therefore, it’s fair to say that anything with two wheels is right up her street.

Add new comment

7 comments

Avatar
Me_ | 8 months ago
1 like

After struggling for far too long with 'charging' a tubeless inflator only to not seat the tyres and having to try again with lots of swearing, I took the plunge and bought an air compressor from Screwfix. Now new tyres go on first time, every time. With the added bonus of being able to get the drivechain bone dry within 5 minutes of returning from a wet ride/washing the bike. Cheaper than the best multi-use pump listed above as well 

Avatar
a1white | 1 year ago
0 likes

I've had the Topeak Pocket Rocket for years now and I can atest to it's durability. I picked it up from a Halfords I was close to after i had a roadside puncture and my old pump (can't remember what it was) got stuck on the presta valve (it had already fallen apart a few times before). it's small enough that I can usually carry it around with me, often in the bottom of a bag knocking around and it's never let me down. I can get my tyre up to a decent pressure to get home. (where I use my Bontrager track pump to inflate to the corect pressue).

Avatar
Kerans | 1 year ago
2 likes

I'm reluctant to take a portable pump that has a screw-in type presta connector anymore - these invariably unscrew the valve core when detaching after pumping up the tyre at the roadside, letting all the air out and making you have to pump all over again (with the knowledge that this could happen every time).

On a recent club ride we failed with three different screw-in pumps (even tightening the valve core first!) before someone with a lever-compression fitting pump turned up and resolved the issue. I know some inner tubes are worse than others this but it's not worth the risk IMO.

Avatar
Awavey replied to Kerans | 1 year ago
1 like

I've got the Lezyne mini alloy pump, and I've only started to have the valve core removal thing recently with it, which makes me think it's a recent inner tube issue than a pump problem. Once you tighten up the core properly it doesnt (touch wood) happen again, but invariably in the field you dont have the tools to do that job and finger tight isnt enough,so you almost have to barely have the pump screwed to the valve for it to work.

Avatar
HaveLegsWillRide replied to Awavey | 1 year ago
1 like

That unscrewing happened to me using a lezyne when commuting in the p155ing rain pre-pandemic, so not exactly a recent issue! Beautifully made pump, but a nightmare to use. Ever since I've bought either thumb-lock style (eg. Topeak roadie) or Birzman's (they have a clever smart head design on some of their pumps).

Avatar
Backladder replied to Kerans | 1 year ago
3 likes

Screw on presta connectors are fine if they have a pressure relief button, it is the residual pressure in the head that locks the threads together.

Avatar
ktache replied to Backladder | 1 year ago
0 likes

I do hope you are right.

I have the Lezyne micro floor HV with analogue gauge, first iteration, chuck broke and the replacement updated alloy chuck the sent me (nice!) had a pressure release button.

It's my day out carry around, normally left at work to make it easier there.

Previously used without hassle but on normal tubes, both presta and schrader, but now the Ultimate Commuter, which it pretty much my full time bike too, has tubeless. Pumping up those 3 inches, even to their low pressures, and then losing all of that air and effort...

Thing of beauty, but I reckon the Topeak version would have been more prictical.