How to Choose Bicycle Pump

How to Choose Bicycle Pump | Buyers Guide 2022

Every rider needs an excellent quality pump to make sure that they can ride the bike smoothly and perfectly on the road. If you are one of those riders and looking for the most suitable cycle pump for tires, then you have come to the right place.

Here we will discuss everything you need to know how to choose bicycle pump and get the right one is extremely easy and effortless for you.

How to Choose Bicycle Pump: Everything You Should Know

Why you need a good Bicycle Pump? Why Should You Choose Your Bicycle Pump Carefully?

Why you need a good Bicycle Pump

A bike pump is an accessory that is needed to inflate the tires of a bicycle tire. It adds air to the tires to make them ready for the run.

Pump is one of the most basic, most necessary tools to have in your tool kit because it helps tire always inflated and ready to go. It is extremely crucial to buy an excellent quality cycle pump because if you don’t choose the right one, then there are high possibilities that you cannot inflate the tire properly.

Moreover, if the pump is not compatible with your bicycle type or the tires, you just cannot put air inside and get the tires ready for the ride.

Benefits of Bicycle Pump

The benefits of a cycle inflator are vast. Some prominent advantages of pump other than inflating air are:


The best benefit a pump provides is the convenience of inflating your pump quickly and effectively in the comfort of your place without visiting the repair shop.

You can put air into the tires of your cycle whenever and wherever you want and get it ready for the ride easily and quickly.


Bicycle Pump Accuracy

It’s common knowledge that different weather and riding conditions need different types of tire pressures. An excellent pump can provide you just that; will help you make the pressure adjustments easily and accurately to have the best riding experience in any riding conditions.


In addition to inflating flat tires, a bike pump can be used for other things around the house also. For example, you can use this tool to put air inside sports balls, yard cart tires, air mattresses, and other household items effortlessly and utilize it at the most.

What Kind of Bicycle Pump Do I Need?

Similar to other bike tools, it is also available in different types and forms. So let’s discuss the different kinds of  pumps to find the best one according to your need is easy like never before.

Stand (Track or Floor) Pump

Stand (Track or Floor) Pump

A stand pump (also known as the track, stand or floor pump) is the best one that you can add to your tool kit, especially if you are a beginner.

This offers the easiest and most effective way to inflate your air-less tires when they get flat. The amazing floor pump comes with a steady base and a large high-volume shaft to inflate air more effectively into the tires.

While the flat base allows the tool to sit on the floor perfectly, the shaft pushes more air into the flattened tires with every pump to make it ready quickly.

Moreover, unlike other, the track pump features an extended hose that provides more convenience and ensures the user's freedom of movement.

Hand Pump (Mini-pump) / Portable Pump

Hand Pump (Mini-pump) / Portable Pump

If you are always on the go and need a pump to always carry with you, this one is the best option.

This portable bike inflator is small and compact enough so that you can pack it inside your backpack and take it anywhere and everywhere you go. In addition, you don’t have to suffer from flattened tires on your long trips because of the mini pump.

Even after offering incredible portability, you must remember that this pump takes a long time to inflate the tires than any other.

Foot Pump

Foot Pump

As the name suggests, a foot pump uses the foot to push air to the tires through the cylinder. You have to step on a pedal to move air from the pump to the tires to inflate it properly.

It uses a pressure gauge that is placed near the pedal to pump air with your foot. Unlike hand pumps, this cycle inflator is an excellent choice for weak hands or those suffering from chronic hand pain.

Co2 Inflators / Co2 Pumps

Co2 Inflators / Co2 Pumps

The Co2 inflators are one of the most expensive bike pumps available in the market to inflate bicycle tires.

Even though these are quite expensive, the Co2 can do the job of pushing air into the flat tires super quickly in times of emergencies and save a lot of your valuable time.

Even though this inflator is super quick, it can also be quite tricky to use. For example, some Co2 inflators come with a shut-off valve that stops you from overinflating your tire while others don’t.

Electric Pump

Electric Pump

Another type of pump that you must know about is the electric bike pump. As the name suggests, this requires electrical power to operate and inflate air to your flattened tire quickly and effortlessly.

This extraordinary cycle inflator is the simplest and easiest to use pump available in the market. It incorporates modern technology that automatically measures the pressure required to inflate the tire tubes perfectly so that you don’t have to do it yourself. This amazing technology not only saves time but at the same time also saves your effort.

However, as you need electrical power to operate this, it is not travel-friendly at all and cannot be taken with you wherever you go.

Mini Floor Pump

Mini Floor Pump

The mini floor pump is turned into a mini size to carry it with you easily. Most mini floor inflators are about a foot long and can be effortlessly fit in your backpack so that you don’t have to worry about flat tires whenever you are on the run.

This compact handheld pump makes sure that you can inflate air in tire whenever it loses air, regardless of the place or the time.

However, it would be best if you remembered that you could not expect full tire inflation with a mini pump.

Air Compressors

Air Compressors

An air compressor pump is a unique one used to inflate the tires perfectly. This electric inflator pushes high pressured air into the tires to keep them at their optimum pressure so that you can enjoy phenomenal riding sessions whenever you ride.

Frame-fit Pumps (for Road Cyclists)

Frame-fit Pumps (for Road Cyclists)

The Frame-fit Pumps are the best option for road cyclists. This one can fit onto the road bike frame, usually under the top tube, easily and effortlessly without extra mounting hardware.

This special one is usually longer and heavier than any regular mini pump, but it works more quickly in inflating air into the tires and make the bike ready for the ride.

Moreover, as this comes with a large capacity, it can fill the high-pressure tires of road bikes without much effort.

Inflator Head - Presta Vs Schrader Valves

To fit every type of bicycle, manufacturers use different inflator heads in their cycle inflators to meet every type of riders demand with different types of bikes. Let’s read them in detail to find out more.

Inflator Head - Presta Vs Schrader Valves

Presta Valves

A Presta valve (also known as a French valve or Sclaverand valve) is a special type of valve most commonly found in a road bicycle's inner tube. Made entirely with metal, this component comprises an outer valve stem and an inner valve body with a slight taper toward the top.

Moreover, this French valve seals completely based on the tire tube's pressure rather than a check valve.

Schrader Valves

Unlike the Presta valves, the Schrader Valves are slightly wider and have the same circumference from top to bottom. In addition, they are often wrapped in rubber and have a threaded outer wall to take in a cap or pump head effectively.

These valves also have a pin in the center that is spring-loaded and control the tube's airflow seamlessly.

Dunlop Valves

Another common type of valve used on mostly city bikes in the Netherlands or Asia is the Dunlop valve. This valve comes with a pneumatic valve stem placed in inner tubes for better convenience.

Build Quality – Steel Vs. Aluminum Vs. Plastic

Before buying, you should consider its built quality because the performance and durability depend largely on the tool's construction material. The most commonly used materials are:


Bicycle pumps that are made from steel material are the most durable ones available in the market. Manufacturers construct the cycle inflators with steel to ensure that even if you put it outside or carry it in the rain or snowy conditions, it won’t rust or corrode and last for a long time.

However, as steel is a heavyweight metal, the pump constructed with it is a bit heavy and not as portable.


Aluminum is a lightweight metal and it is also durable. Aluminum is the most preferred inflator construction material because it is more resistant to wear and tear. It can be carried around with you anywhere and everywhere you go without the extra burden.


Another material used by manufacturers to make bicycle pump is hard plastic. The plastic material is super light and hence the pump made from it are lightweight and easily portable.

However, plastic is not as durable as the others and breaks of easily, hampering your purpose of having an inflator with you.

Air Pressure Gauge – Analogue Vs. Digital

The air pressure gauge is the easiest way to determine how much air is left in the bicycle tires. To know about the air pressure, you can either use an analog or a digital one according to your convenience. Let’s discuss them both:

Air Pressure Gauge – Analogue Vs. Digital


Analog air gauge is also known as dial air gauge and looks similar to a clock. The hand in the clock indicates the air pressure inside the tire and is extremely easy to read. Some models also incorporate 2 hands to provide better readability.


On the other hand, digital air gauges come with an electronic LCD screen, similar to a pocket calculator, making it easier to read the tire's air pressure. These gauges are also durable and don’t suffer from damages due to dirt and dust.

However, digital air gauges are bulky and heavyweight. They also require batteries to operate.

What to Look for When Buying a Bicycle Pump

Buying a cycle pump is not that difficult if you know what to look for while making your purchase. Let’s discuss the features and factors to keep in mind while buying.


The design and the built quality are extremely important because it determines how your pump will fit tire and how durable it will be.

A well-designed inflator made with premium quality materials would not only inflate your tires perfectly but at the same time, would also offer long-lasting services. Moreover, because of their durability and longevity, these pumps also ensure reliability to their users.

Ease of Use

Bicycle Pump Ease of Use

As you are buying its  to use on your own, it should be extremely easy to use. Otherwise, it won’t serve the purpose perfectly.

If you don’t want to struggle with your pump after buying it and want the best ever service from it, it would be best to check it beforehand to see if you are comfortable using it on your own. If you find it difficult somehow or the other, you should move to the next best option.


When you spend money and buy, you expect it to last long and provide you phenomenal services. But, unfortunately, it is mostly true when you buy an expensive one. Before making your final call, you should read online about its durability and decide accordingly.


Bicycle Pump Portability

If you are always on the go and want to be fully prepared when riding long distances, then a portable cycle pump is the best option.

In fact, portability is one of the most crucial aspects in this case because it will determine how effortlessly you can carry the inflator anywhere and everywhere you go.

On the other hand, if your main purpose is to use the pump inside your garage or workshop, portability shouldn’t be of significance. You can buy any one you want without even paying any heed to the portability of the tool.

Psi Output

Another thing to consider before making your final call is the PSI output of the pump. PSI or “Pounds per Square Inch” measures the amount of air an inflator inflates in the tire to make it ready for the run.

Before buying, make sure to find out the tires PSI so that it’s easier for you to find the pump with the same pressure. If the PSI output doesn’t match, the pump will not be able to inflate the tire fully and you cannot enjoy the best ridings.

Speed of Inflation

While choosing, you must keep an eye on the speed of inflation because it will determine how quickly the tool will inflate the tires.

A higher speed means prompt inflation of air in the tire, while a lower speed will undoubtedly take a lot of time to push the required amount of air in the tires. Typically, a smaller pump will push air slowly in tires as they cannot hold a lot of air in the cylinder and don’t have immense air pressure.

On the other hand, larger pumps have a lot of air in their cylinder and offer incredible air pressure so that you can push air with greater speed for super quick tire inflation.

Multi-valve Capability

Bicycle Pump Multi-valve Capability

While purchasing, don’t forget to check the tires valve compatibility and the pumping tool.

It is an important aspect to consider because not all the tires come with the same type of valve and that’s why not all the pump would fit them perfectly to move air into them.

It’s the best option to pick an inflator with multi-valve compatibility to make sure that it will perfectly fit your tire’s valve. Moreover, with such pumps, you can inflate air in other tires also.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mini Bicycle Pump vs. Floor Bicycle Pump

Mini pump and floor pump are the two most popular pumps available in the market right now. Even though these two are among the best, there are some obvious differences between them that make them distinct.

For starters, as the name suggests, a mini pump is a miniature version of a regular one that comes with a small air cylinder and a short hose for inflation.

Even though it is portable and gives you the freedom to carry it with you anywhere you go, a mini pump has less air speed and takes a long time to inflate the tire fully.

On the other hand, a floor bike pump has a larger size cylinder with lots of air in it to inflate tires perfectly.

It also offers more speed so that you can push air quickly and get your bike ready for the ride. However, as this inflator is heavy, it’s not as portable as the mini one.

Floor Pump vs. Frame Mounted Bicycle Pump?

Both of these are two different bike inflators to use. While the frame fit pump fits your bike frame for easy portability, the floor pumps are intended to be used in the garage or at your workshop.

However, both these inflators offer high air pressure and do the work of pushing air into your flattened tires quickly and effectively.

How Does a Bicycle Pump Work?

A bicycle pump is basically a cylinder of compressed air used to inflate your bicycle's flattened tires. When you push the pump's handle, the air from the cylinder is pushed out through the tube to the tire to inflate it properly.

Which Valve System is Easier to Use, Presta, or Schrader?

The Presta and the Schrader valves are easier to pump because it doesn’t have a valve spring to overcome.

Are There Any Health Dangers to Using a Bicycle Pump?

There no proven cases of health problems from using a bike pump. However, as you have to push and pull the tool continuously for inflating reasons, it can be too hard on your body, causing pain in your arms and legs.

How Do I Know What Pressure to Inflate My Bike Tires?

Different bike tires require different pressure range to inflate them properly. Without the right pressure, your tires won’t be completely ready and you won’t be able to ride your bike properly.

Typically, the required air pressure is written on the tire itself; however, we are still listing it below for your convenience.

  • Road Bikes: 70-130 Psi
  • Hybrid Bikes: 40-70 Psi
  • Mountain Bikes: 25-40 Psi
  • Fat Tire Bikes: 8-20 Psi

How Much Psi Should I Put Into My Tires?

Perfect air pressure helps bike to roll quickly and smoothly. How much PSI you should push in tires entirely depends on the type of bike you are riding and the tire you are using.

Generally, 80 to 130 psi is the perfect range. Then again, don’t forget to check the tires before inflating air to them.

How Often Should I Pump Up My Bike Tires?

How often you should inflate our bike tires entirely depends on its size and the pressure it requires.

Normally, high-pressured road bike tires need to be inflated at least once a week, whereas; you can pump up your hybrid and mountain bike tires once every two weeks to keep them running properly.

What is a Co2 Cartridge Pump, and What Are Its Advantages and Disadvantages?

The Co2 is a small metal canister pump that consists of compressed Co2 to inflate your tires.

It is very small and compact and can be carried around easily. It is also extremely lightweight that adds more to its portability.

Moreover, even though this cartridge pump is small, it can inflate your flattened tires quickly to reduce inflation time to get your bike ready.

But then again, there are some disadvantages also. For example, the Co2 Cartridge is one expensive pump and requires an ongoing cost if you want to use it regularly.

Can the Bicycle Pump Inflate the Car Tire?

No, it can’t. As the name suggests, a pump is specially made to push air to the bike tire. Car tires require more air pressure to inflate them properly, which the pump cannot provide.

Unless it’s an especially situation, you shouldn’t use this tool to push air to your car tire.

Wrapping Up

There is no doubt that bike pump is one of the essential tools for your bicycle. The right inflator for your cycle can make a whole lot of difference. And with this guide in your hand, finding the right pump would never be easier.

About the Author Zachary Anderson

Hi, I am Zach who is behind I am a fitness geek. I love to ride bicycle regularly to be fit everyday. In winter when riding is impossible in cold then I love to workout at home using indoor exercise equipment. I also love to write in blog to share my knowledge in cycling & workout segment. I hope my articles will help you to be fit in any weather.Thanks!

Leave a Comment:

Scroll To Top!