A bike pump is explicitly designed for inflating bike tires. It has an adapter which can be used with all the common types of valves used on bicycles. In its most fundamental structure, a bicycle pump functions by means of a hand-operated piston. Through the up-stroke, this piston pulls air from outside through a one-way valve into the pump. Through down-stroke, the piston then dislodges the air from the pump into the bicycle tire. Majority of floor pumps have a built-in pressure gauge to show tire pressure.Whether you bicycle to work, mountain bike for fun, or participate in road races, you have probably used a bike pump. But whether you are an expert or a novice biker, it can help to have some knowledge of what types of bike pumps are available for use. There are several different types: stand/floor pumps, foot pumps, handheld pumps and even CO2 powered pumps.
- Types of bicycle pumps
- Buyers Guide for Bike Pumps
- Mini Pumps vs. Full-Size Pumps
- The Best Bike Pump is cheaper then you thought
- Overall score
- Best Mountain Bike Pump
- Best Pocket or Mini Bike Pump
- Presta and Schrader
- Uses for Bike Pumps
Types of bicycle pumps
Also acknowledged as floor or track pump, the user lays the stand of the pump on the floor and pulls and pushes full strokes with handles. An extra tube needs to be attached to the pump in order to fill the valve, which might create dead volume. This is the type of pump that many people grew up with. Shaped like a tall ‘T’, they have a long, rigid body and a flexible hose that comes out from the bottom of the pump. This hose attaches to the air valve on the bike tube by use of a compression washer and a lever. When you want to pump air, you simply raise the ‘T’ handle and push down.
Hand bike pumps are basically of two types: tubed and integral. The tubed type necessitates the use of a detachable tube in order to connect the pump to the valve. Though they are cheap, but are inefficient as compared to other pumps, as they have many joints from which air can escape.
Integral hand pumps have a hole in the side with a rubber washer that is often compacted on to the valve by an extra lever. Since it is well sealed, stiff and has little dead volume, this category of pump is very efficient.
These bike pumps are usually quite small and can often attach to the frame of the bike. This type is divided into two varieties: integrated and tubed. The integrated pump has at the bottom a cup in which the tire’s air valve gets inserted. The user must apply pressure to this connection in order to depress the valve stem and pump air in.
The tubed variety works in the same way that the traditional stand pumps work: it has an air hose with a compression washer and lever on the end, where the bike tube’s valve gets inserted.
Foot pumps are habitually not particularly designed for bike use. They do not produce very high pressures and so do not work fine for contracted road-bike tires, however, are suitable for big low-pressure tires such as instituted on mountain bikes.
Apart from these main types, several basic types are:
» Frame mounted
» Compact or mini
» Double action
» CO2 inflators
» Electric bike pumps
Different types of riding entail different kinds of pumps. One must compare pump performances by measuring the amount of force required for it to operate, the amount of air being pushed out and the maximum amount of PSI which it can create in a tire. It is important to base the selection of pump on the kinds of riding one enjoys. Foot pumps were probably invented by a biking aficionado who was sick of having to bend over each time he put pressure on his bike pump. This type has a wide, stable base that rests on the floor. A hose connects the pump to the bike tube’s valve and the pump is then operated with the foot. Foot pumps almost always have an air gauge
CO2 bike pumps
For the biker who is in a hurry and has money to spare, the CO2 pump may be the right choice. These operate simply: a cup is placed over the tube’s valve stem and pressure is applied. Then the pump is activated and a CO2 cartridge expends itself into the bike tube. You can see this type of bike pump in heavy use in bike races.
Buyers Guide for Bike Pumps
If you’re in the market for a bike pump, you’re probably mulling two basic questions:
1. How much should you expect to spend?
2. Where should you buy the pump?
While you will need to do the footwork in order to find the right price for the right product, here’s some advice for you to consider while you search.
Bike pumps, as you’ve no doubt discovered, come in a wide variety. In general, you can expect the newer, small pocket-sized pumps to cost a little more than the simple pumps you attach to the frame of your bike. You can also expect a tough, full-sized pump with a gauge to run you a little more than a simple, cheap pump you get from Wal-Mart.
As for specifics, expect the following:
Cheap pumps range from $10 to $20. These are worth what you pay, as they are made from low-quality parts that break easily.
For a mid-quality, full-size pump, expect to pay about $30-40. These are usually made of metal parts that aren’t going to break as easily.
For the top of the line pumps that will inflate tires to as much as 100 p/si, expect a price tag between $80 and $100.
Where to Buy
Where you buy your bike pump from depends on how much you want to pay and the quality you are looking for. You will want to balance the price you want to pay now for how long you are hoping to use the pump. Cheap pumps will last a year or less if you use them regularly, while you can expect to have a quality pump for the rest of your life.
Discount and grocery stores sell only cheap, lower-end products. If immediate cost is an issue, try them out but expect your pump to break within the year.
Bike shops and sporting goods stores will have pumps that range from mid-quality to top-end. Talk to the bike expert in the store you go to in order to make sure you get a good pump for the price you are willing to pay.
Mini Pumps vs. Full-Size Pumps
Do you prefer convenience or durability? Which is more important to you: price or reliability? Finally, do you love the movie Transformers?
Your answers to these questions can help you in your search for the right bike pump. As you probably know by now, bike pumps come in all shapes and sizes. These varieties can be generalized into two main categories: Mini-pumps/Pocket pumps and Floor/ Full-Size pumps.
Let’s compare these two main types of bike pumps, considering their size, durability, ease of use, and price.
Some pumps are small enough to fit in the pouch under your seat or in your pocket, while others can attach to your bike frame. Being able to have your pump with you at all times while you ride can be useful, for obvious reasons.
Full size floor pumps are far more efficient. If you have a small, hand-operated pump, you will be pumping up your bike tube for a long time. However, you can get a bike tube pumped up in less than a minute with a good full size pump.
Some mini-pumps have a lot of moving parts, much like a Transformer toy. You often need to unfold this part and click that part into place in order to get your pump ready for use. With all of these moving parts, breakage is not uncommon. Also, the small, CO2-powered pumps have to have their cartridge replaced after each use.
Full size pumps, unless they’re dirt cheap, are usually far more durable than smaller pumps. They are often made of metal and have fewer moving parts that can be broken off. What is more, since you are pumping far less due to their efficiency, the wear and tear on full size pumps are considerably less.
Ease of Use
If you have a pocket pump or some other small pump, it can often be difficult to figure out how to get a good connection between it and the tube’s valve stem. In fact, some of them have levers that are counter-intuitive, meaning that to tighten the connection you pull the lever out, rather than pushing it in. With the connection in place, these pumps are simple enough, despite the fact that small hand pumps will tire out your pumping arm pretty fast!
Full size pumps are straightforward. You attach the hose to the valve, pressing the lever tightly down, and then you pump. They are even simpler to use if they have a gauge so that you can be sure your tire pressure is right on.
If you go to Wal-Mart, you can expect to spend from $10-$20 on any bike pump they have, including hand-held versions. If you want a gauge on your pump, expect the price to jump about five or ten dollars.
CO2 pumps can run from $15 to much more, with the price of cartridges varying widely from store to store.
The Best Bike Pump is cheaper then you thought
A pump specifically designed for inflating bike tires through up-stroke and down-stroke movement of a piston is called a bike pump. Some of the best bicycle pump, though not necessarily in the same order are listed below.
Topeak Pocket Rocket Master Blaster Bike Pump
This lightweight mini pump, with its efficient butted aluminum barrel design, has a capacity of 160 PSI. Weighing just 4.05 ounces, this Pocket Rocket pump has soft Kraton head and plastic handle for enhanced gripping while one pump. It also includes a dust cap to keep the pump head clean and ready to use. It is a high efficiency single action pump with an aluminum thumb lock lever and escalates easily on bike frames with a mounting bracket and is Presta as well as Schrader compatible.
Serfas TCPG Bicycle Floor Pump
A Serfas floor pump has a capacity of 160 PSI, has an extra-large gauge and simple valve pump head which easily fits both Presta and Schrader valves. Featuring all-metal barrel and nylon base, this pump is equipped with a ball and other accessory attachments and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Schwinn Bicycle Floor Pump (16-Inch)
Having a maximum capacity of 120 PSI, a Schwinn bike pump features a nozzle which can inflate Schrader valves and includes an adapter for Presta valve. Its long twirling and swiveling hose make it easy to inflate tires.
Topeak Joe Blow Sport II Floor Pump
Having double-sided twin-head, this floor pump works with Presta as well as Schrader valves. With oversized handles and steel base, these painted steel barrel pumps are designed to provide comfort and stability. The extra long hose with 360-degree pivot makes inflating tires much easier.
Topeak Road Morph G Bike Pump with Gauge
A Topeak Road Morph G combines floor pump efficiency and ease of use into a compact and portable design. This inline gauge pump has foldout footpad which steadies the pump aligned with the ground rather than the hand, thus formulating a comfortable and efficient pumping motion. Additionally, the flexible air hose attached to the pump makes it easy to work with discomfited or tightly positioned valves whilst also preventing valve stem damage. Weighing 0.49 pounds and having a capacity of 160 PSI, this pump features an extra-long barrel, a safe mounting bracket, Presta and Schrader valve compatible head and plastic thumb lock.
Best Mountain Bike Pump
A loss in optimum tire pressure, while on one’s much loved mountain track, can put together all the disparity between a pleasant ride and an arduous one. Quite a lot of tire pumps come explicitly designed for mountain bikes. Some mountain bike pumps are intended for portable use on the track, while the rest are a bit bulky and are better left at home.
Some of the top featuring mountain bike pumps are:
Lezyne Shock Drive
A Lezyne Shock Drive mountain bike pump is the most compact pump available for use on the mountain track. The pump features a pure aluminum frame, an inflation hose which sets out from the pump handle and a built-in precision gauge. Weighing merely 80 g, this portable pump comes in a smooth, tubular shape which one can quite easily slip into their pocket.
Topeak Turbo Morph
Topeak Morph mountain bike pumps with regards to a full-track tire pump and it is also portable enough to be taken on the rides. Its amazing features consist of an aluminum barrel with an ergonomic grip, thus making it least exhausting out of the various other pumps and a pressure gauge for prompt checking of the tire’s inflation levels.
Lezyne Air Drive M Pump
A Lezyne Air Drive mountain bike pump actually “oozes quality.” The pump features a bigger compartment dimension so that one can inflate their mountain bike’s tires quickly, along with a hose attachment which is compatible with most tire valves.
Specialized Windpipe Mountain Pump
Specialized’s mountain bike pump though may be small; still fits the heavy and big tires set up on the mountain bike. The pump’s high-volume design gets the mountain bike tires up to the required pressure with minimal effort. The pump features a built-in storage space section for one’s tire-patch kit, in addition to a handle which opens up into a “T” shape for a firmer and extra comfortable grip.
Zefal Jet TL Mini Pump
This mini mountain bike pump is very reasonably rated and very easy to use. Even though its design isn’t something unusual or extraordinary, what makes it be noticeable is its locking clip and aslant pump head, which makes the pump usable even in very tight situations as it can fill in the tires even when held at a pointed angle of 45 degrees.
Best Pocket or Mini Bike Pump
Although riding a bike can be pleasurable, getting a flat tire is not, particularly if one is on the road and far from a repair shop. However, mini pocket bike pumps can fit in a pocket, bag or pouch on the bike, though they may have need of many strokes to inflate a flat tire. Mini pumps use a piston which pulls air through a one-way valve and pushes the air into the tire. Some well-liked pocket bike pumps are listed below.
Topeak Pocket Rocket Master Balster
It is a lightweight pocket bike pump designed for road use, with a competent design which has the pumping capacity of 160 psi. Weighing just 4.05 ounces, this pump features soft Kraton head and plastic handle for an enhanced and secure hold when one pumps and alloy barrel construction. The pump also has an integrated dust cap which keeps the head clean, a mounting bracket for easy mounting and Schrader and Presta compatible valve.
Topeak Pocket Rocket DX II Mini-Pump
Featuring double-butted aluminum barrel and aluminum alloy handle, this pocket pump weighs 3.52 ounces and has Presta, Schrader, and Dunlop compatible valve. With a filling capacity of 160 psi, this pump is recommended to be used on the go.
Topeak Mini G MasterBlaster Bike Pump with Gauge
Weighing just 158 gm, this compact dual-action pump has an inline gauge and filling capacity of 120 psi. These pocket bike pumps feature an aluminum barrel with a plastic thumb lock to ensure an airtight seal. The pump is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves.
Tandem Sports Pocket Pump
This extremely compact designed pump is easy to pack and carry. Offering an easy 1-hand operation, the pump includes an air release valve and a flexible hose which makes pumping easier. The pump is also UV protected.
Topeak Pocket Shock DXG Suspension Pump
Simply hooking up this Pocket Shock Suspension Pump, get the bike adjusted to incorrect settings or a winter of sitting. The front fork and rear shock pump allow fine-tuning of the suspension for best mountain bike riding. With an inflating capacity of maximum 300 psi, this pump features an anti-air-loss shock valve and air pressure discharge button. A swiveling hose allows ease of pumping.
Presta and Schrader
Not all bike tire valves are created equal. The truth is that there are two major types of valves on bikes these days. It can help to understand the difference between these two valves, particularly if you are in the market for a bike pump. Why? Because the valves are different enough that each valve needs its own pump.
The two valves are called Presta and Schrader.
These valves are often unfamiliar to the majority of the general public, particularly to the people who grew up riding Schwinn and Huffy bikes. Presta valves have a few distinctive features which can be discussed in terms of pros and cons.
- The appearance of Presta valves is taller and thinner from Schraders. They also have a threaded, metal exterior with the valve stem exposed.
- Because the valve stem is exposed, it is very easy to manually deflate the bike tube: simply press the stem down and the air will escape.
- They are smaller, so they allow for a narrower rim and thus a tighter spoke set up and a stronger wheel.
- With the threaded exterior, it is possible to lock the valve to the rim using a nut.
- They are thinner than the traditional Schrader and thus might have a tendency to break more easily.
- The valve stem is exposed, making it possible for accidental leakage to occur easier than in the Schrader.
- Less common than the Schrader valves, making it sometimes difficult to find a pump that will work. Adapters are unreliable.
These are the pros and cons of the various features associated with Schrader valves.
- Far more common than the Presta type of valve. You will never have a problem finding a pump that can be used on a Schrader valve. You can even use the air system at gas stations as long as you are careful, as Schrader valves are also on most car tires.
- A little tougher than Presta valves, due to their being thicker and protected by a layer of rubber.
- Very easy to get a pump cup over the valve and tighten it correctly, as the valve is flat.
- With the valve stem on the inside of the valve itself, it can be sometimes difficult to deflate the tire by hand. This problem is mitigated by the fact that many valve caps have a point on the outside so you can use the cap to deflate the tire.
- Sometimes they are difficult to get through the hole in the bike rim.
Despite being flexible in their connection with the tube, this is the most common area for a leak to open up.
Now that you know what to look for, go ahead and examine your bike to see what type of valve you have. Keep in mind that Presta valves will fit through a hole made for a Schrader valve, but not vice versa. If you do put a Presta valve through a Schrader hole, be sure to use a grommet or rubber washer to fill in space, or the valve will break easily.
Uses for Bike Pumps
So maybe your bike is trashed, with the tires flat and the gears lose. Maybe you don’t have time to ride as much as you used to, or at all. Does this mean that you should get rid of your bike pump instead of tripping over it?
Not necessarily. If your bike pump is, like most, designed for Schrader valves, it actually can be used for a variety of other purposes. These other uses can be broken down into a couple of simple categories: with an adaptor and without.
With an Adaptor
Just think, you have a tool that can fill all kinds of things with air. Picture the things you have that are filled with air. How about all kinds of balls for sports? What about yoga exercise balls and even swimming floats? These are the kinds of things that will need some kind of adaptor.
Sports balls. If you look closely at your football, soccer ball, basketball or volleyball, you will see that there is a little round spot on it with a tiny hole in the middle. This hole is where the needle on your pump will be inserted.
Don’t you have the needle? You can easily find one in a sports-themed store or a department store. They are usually metal. Just make sure that it can attach to your bike pump.
When you have the needle, set it firmly into the cup of your pump, whether it be at the end of a hose or integrated into the pump. Then, I kid you not, suck the needle for a second to get it moist and lubricated. Now you can insert the needle into the ball, pushing firmly to get it all the way in. You know the needle needs to get deeper if you pump and there is resistance and no give.
Most yoga balls come with a long, plastic needle that attaches to a foot operated, accordion pump. But if that pump is broken or lost, don’t worry. First, see if you can get the long, plastic needle set firmly into your bike pump. If so, you’re ready to go! If not, you might try using the needle you used on your soccer ball. Try the same approach for your swimming floats.
Without an Adaptor
Bike pumps are the perfect tool for filling inner tubes since these tubes are usually originally designed for use in a car. You don’t even need an adaptor; just attach your pump to the tube’s valve and fill away.