When it comes to bike tire pumps, you have a lot of options. Knowing what is the best bike pump for your bike depends entirely on where you need to inflate your tires. The best tire pump in your garage looks and functions differently than the bike tire pump you need on the trail. This guide covers the best on-bike pumps, the best floor pumps, and we even get into air compressor accessories.
The right pump for you depends on a lot of different variables. If you are running a tubeless setup then a pump that can deliver air quickly is required to get the bead to set with the rim. For tubed wheels the options are endless, but the amount of effort you have to put in will also vary greatly.
The pump is one of several tools you need to fix a flat. Check out this Best Bike Maintenance Tools guide for more information on the other tools you will need. Without tubes, tire levers, sealant, etc. it will be impossible to fix your flat.
High Volume vs High Pressure Bike Pumps
There are two pumping types out there. Most bike will produce either high volume or high pressure. There are a small amount of floor pumps that have settings to do both. With a high pressure bike pump it will release a small amount of air with each pump. High pressure pumps are great for filling those skinny, yet high PSI road tires.
High volume bike pumps are perfect for your fat tire bikes that run at lower PSI. They move a lot of air with each pump to quickly fill your tire and get you back on the trail. High volume floor pumps can even seat a tubeless tire with a little effort..
Another option that doesn’t involve using any pump is CO2. I use the Pro Bike Tool CO2 Kit (Check Current Price on Amazon Here) and love it. Flats are awful, but fixing a flat and filling your tire up with a CO2 kit is quite fun. You put the CO2 cartridge to the inflator, which then connects to your tire valve and in a flash your tire is full of air.
Best On Bike Hand Pump
Bike hand pumps come with mounting brackets that allow it to sit underneath your bottle cage. The best on bike hand pump will have a Velcro strap or tension bracket that you can remove it from for use without having to unscrew your bottle cage. Once it is mounted to your bike you never have to worry about forgetting your hand pump again.
Bike hand pumps will be high pressure pumps. They are a lot of work to pump your tire, but when you are miles from a floor pump or air compressor it will get the job done. Take a gel or energy bar because your arm is going to get a workout.
Best Bike Floor Pump
Floor pumps are great, and there has been a lot of innovation in this are a of the bike industry recently. There are now rechargeable flash pumps. These are floor pumps allow you to fill a canister in excess of 120+ PSI. You then use the flash pump to inflate your tire releasing all the air inside in a quick flash. Its very similar to CO2, but rather than buying prepackaged cartridges, you simply pump the canister up yourself. The LEZYNE Over Drive Floor Pump (Check Price on Amazon Here) is capable of this, making it the best bike floor pump. It is perfect for anyone whose setup tubeless and doesn’t want to buy a noisy air compressor.
You also need to pay attention to the valve type when buying a floor pump. There are many pumps capable of handling both Presta and Schrader valves, but some aren’t. Know what kind of valve you are using before you buy your next floor pump.
Best Air Compressor Bike Pump Accessory
The fastest and easiest way to air up is with an air compressor. Both tubes and tubeless setups are a breeze, but using an air compressor isn’t without risks. That’s why the best air compressor bike pump accessory every cyclists using an air pressor should have is a Park Tool Shop Inflator INF-2.
The Park Tool Shop Inflator INF-2 works with Presta and Schrader valves. It has an accurate gauge so you never over or under inflate again. This tool is incredibly well thought out. It has a rubber boot around the pressure gauge. Accidents happen, and the rubber boot makes the Shop Inflator the most durable air compressor bike pump accessory.