As a regular cyclist, you need the best bike pump. After all, you want a pump to last a long time, be of good quality and also be comfortable to use.
Most models are piston pumps. I, therefore, recommend investing in a good model.
These piston pumps consist of a cylinder and a piston. You move it up and down in the cylinder with a rod equipped with a handle. When you pull up the suction system with the handle, air enters the cylinder. After pressing the handle, it closes the cylinder, and the air is pushed into the band. When the lever is raised again, the valve prevents air from flowing back out of the tire.
What types of bicycle pumps are there?
You can choose from different types of bicycle pumps. To help you decide which pump is the most suitable for you, I’ll explain the possibilities below. I will also tell you all the pros and cons.
1. Hand pumps and mini pumps
This species is characterized by its small and simple shape. Most hand pumps have a size between 15 and 25 centimeters. They’re usually made out of plastic or metal. The classic long models are barely used. The best mini bicycle pumps are ideal to take with you on the road.
In terms of performance, they usually do not come close to standing bike pumps. Only a few models have a pressure gauge to check the pressure. Modern devices have a locking lever.
2. The standing pump
This pump offers high comfort. Inflation is fast, even with tires that require high air pressure. Floor-standing pumps are larger and heavier than other types. This makes them less suitable to take with you on your bike. Besides speed, these types of pumps also have a high ease of use and deliver thorough work every time.
3. CO2 cartridge pumps
These new types of pumps combine the convenient size of a mini pump with the speed of an electric pump. With the CO2 cartridge pump, you save time and protect the valves at the same time. With this type of pump, you only need to operate one controller, after which carbon dioxide flows into the tire under high pressure.
Tip: Use an USB rechargeable electrical pump
If you use an electric bicycle pump, you don’t need to use any power. This type of device is multifunctional. Nowadays there are also rechargeable mini compressors that you can take with you on the road.
You can of course use an electric bicycle pump on any type of bicycle and not only on E-bikes. This type of device is multifunctional, and you can use it for your bicycle, motorcycle, car or to pump balls.
Things you need to check when buying a bike pump
Below I show you what to pay attention to when buying a bike pump
These criteria make it easier to buy a good bike pump that also suits your needs.
You should always ask yourself first: “What is a good bike pump that meets my needs? For someone who often takes the bike, a good bike pump is an indispensable accessory. But someone with a city bike will not have the same needs as a road cyclist.
Therefore, always pay attention to these features:
- What type of valve?
- Do I need a pressure gauge and a pressure display?
- Dimensions and weight?
1. The type of valve
To successfully inflate your bike tires, you need a valve that matches the valve on your tires. Please note that the same bike pump is not suitable for every bike. There are three main types of valves used on bikes:
- Dunlop valve
- Presta valve
- Schrader valve
Most cities and touring bikes have the so-called Dunlop valve. These are also named a ‘normal valve’ or ‘flash valve’. Sometimes the name ‘German’ or ‘English air valve’ also occurs. Dunlop valves can withstand a maximum pressure of 6 bar.
Characteristic for the French or Presta valve is the rather narrow valve diameter. Since this type of valve can withstand pressures up to 15 bar, it is the ideal valve for racing bikes. The small diameter makes this valve less robust and stable.
2. The pressure gauge
A manometer is a pressure meter. You can read on the display how high the pressure in the tire is. Many bicycle pumps are equipped with it. The tire manufacturers recommend checking the tire pressure regularly to prevent damage or even accidents. Checking is especially important for mountain bikes and road bikes.
3. The dimensions and weight
There are heavy and light bike pumps, but there’s big and small bike pumps too.
For example, most hand pumps are only between 12 and 25 centimeters high and usually weigh no more than 150 grams.
Tripod pumps are usually much bigger and heavier. For example, they can be up to 65 centimeters in size. The average weight of these pumps varies between 1.5 to 2 kilograms. The weight also depends on the material used.
Your purchase decision depends on how you want to use the pump. If you want a pump for the workshop, the bike pump may weigh more. A small lightweight bike pump is handy if you want to take the bike pump with you on your trip.
4. The force
The power of a bicycle pump is the maximum pressure the tire gets when inflating. The pressure performance of your new bike pump depends, among other things, on the type of bike you ride. Most pumps have a maximum pressure ability of 10 bar.
The air pressure in the tires of touring, city, and mountain bikes usually does not exceed 6 bar. The common Schrader and Dunlop valves have a limit of 6 to 10 bar, so a bike pump with a higher-pressure performance does not provide any additional advantages.
5. The correct tire pressure
The correct air pressure for a bicycle tire depends on several factors.
In addition to the tire size and weight of the cyclist, the type of bike also plays a role. A road bike with tire pressure between 5 and 10 bar needs a higher pressure than a touring or city bike.
For touring and mountain bikes the pressure should be between 2.5 and 3.5 bar, for city bikes between 3.5 and 4.5 bar. Usually, you will find a print on the tire that gives you information about the maximum pressure.