A bicycle pump is a central part of any cyclist’s toolkit. Bicycle pumps serve the home maintenance function by keeping your bike’s tires in top shape before you take them out for a ride.
There are many bicycle pumps on the market today, and choosing the best one for you can be confusing. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to accidentally get a pump that may be good, but doesn’t necessarily have the best features for your needs. Here we have a list of factors you should consider when purchasing a bike pump, as well as several bike pump reviews to help you make a more informed decision before purchasing one for your own use.
If you’re wondering about the difference between a full-size bike pump (also known as floor pumps) and a mini bike pump, it’s simply a matter of size and efficiency. The larger the pump, the more air it can pump effectively.
Mini Bike Pumps are specialized versions of floor pump that are much easier to carry. They are intended to be used as emergency tools for cyclists already on the road. On the other hand, floor pumps are intended to be used at home or stored in a vehicle, as they are usually too large and heavy to be portable. However, they can produce higher volumes of air and can re-inflate their tires much faster with less effort.
For a bicycle pump to be useful, its valve must be compatible with your tires. There are two main types of valves: Presta and Schrader. While both valves play the same role, they differ in how they do it.
Presta valves are all-metal valves that have a smaller diameter compared to Schraders. These valves are usually seen on more expensive bicycles and use a pressure-based seal that is generally easier to pump.
Meanwhile, Schrader valves are more robust and are more widely used among various types of tires. These valves are bulkier and use a spring loaded check valve to seal the air inside the tires.
Although much rarer, there is also the Dunlop valve that is commonly used in some Asian and European countries.
Due to the difference in their designs, compatibility can be an issue. Be sure to get a bike pump that has universal compatibility or buy Valve adapters to make sure your pump doesn’t go to waste.
High pressure and high volume
Bicycle pumps have high pressure or high volume outlets. While these terms sound similar to each other, they both serve separate roles.
High pressure bicycle pumps move smaller, concentrated air gusts and are more suitable for inflating thin tires. On the other hand, high volume pumps move large amounts of air to make inflating fat tires faster and easier.
The designs of bicycle pumps are usually similar to each other, but there are some brands and models that offer some additional features. Pump designs are often designed for ease of Use and other quality of life settings so you can have an easier time while inflating your tires, so it’s best to choose a bike pump with a design you personally prefer.
With so many bike pumps to choose from, it can be downright confusing to figure out which bike pump to buy. In addition, there are now a variety of features available in modern bicycle pumps that did not exist in their day. Spending time selecting the right bike pump for your needs will be cost-effective in the long run, as pumps are one of the most widely used maintenance tools for avid cyclists. In this article we’ll go over the factors you should consider when purchasing your bike pump.
When selecting a bike pump type, be sure to consider whether it will be able to provide the correct air pressure needed for your tires. A standard rule for air pressure is 85-130 psi for road bikes and 30-50 psi for mountain bikes; therefore, it may not be absolutely necessary to get a pump that delivers a significantly high psi, such as 200. Also, buying pumps with a higher pressure output can sometimes mean having a lower volume per pump or having a meter that is not accurate. You want to choose a pump that is a good balance of each of these elements while providing you with the necessary air pressure for your tires.
Pump Size And Weight
If you don’t need to travel with your pump, you may consider getting a larger pump, such as an electronic or crawler pump for home use. However, if you are an avid camper or travel frequently on uneven terrain, you may want to consider getting a smaller pump, such as a mini pump. The trade-off is that smaller pumps are typically for single-use purposes and may not be able to pump as high an air pressure as more robust pumps. Therefore, depending on how often you ride your bike, you may want to consider having a quality pump at home and a lightweight one for travel needs.
For smaller pumps, you are unlikely to find an included meter; for larger pumps, such as an electronic or crawler pump, you can expect it to include one. Try to find gauges that are easy to read and able to measure the range of air pressure used by your bike. These days it is possible to find digital meters that are accurate and easy to read, but can be more expensive. Meters are often worth the investment as they help ensure you’re pumping the right air pressure into your tires, which in turn helps extend the life of your bike.
A typical rule of thumb is: the more expensive the materials, the more expensive the pump will be. High quality pumps will be made of metal, are more durable and generally last longer. Alternative options of cheaper materials will be made of plastic and may wear out after prolonged use. Depending on what you can afford, you may want to consider investing in a pump that will be able to withstand under repeated use.
Finding a suitable bike pump depends largely on your individual needs. If you are an avid cyclist, you may want to consider buying a compact, lightweight pump that can provide air between regular pumping. If you are an occasional cyclist, you may not need to buy a pump with all the bells and whistles. Keeping these tips in mind will help you make an informed decision when selecting the ideal pump.