The Best Bike Pump
After four weeks of inflating, deflating, and reinflating bike tires with six of the best bike floor pumps and five of the best mini bike pumps on the market, we crowned our champion in each division. Our choice for best floor pump is the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump and for best mini bike pump, the Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump.
Adding air to bike tires is a simple task that is accomplished in essentially the same way by all the products we tested. We found that the distinctions came in subtle design details. The leaders in each category won due to the ability to connect the valves quickly and securely, the texture of handles, and the gauge design. The best bike pumps are intuitive, efficient, and built to last decades.
Top Pick: Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump
Efficient and easy to use, the Lezyne pump is perfect for both recreational and serious bikers alike.
Table of contents
- How we found the best bike pumps
- The 11 best bike pumps
- Why you need a good bike pump
- Which bike pump is best for you?
- What you need to know about your bike tires
- What to look for when buying a bike pump
- How we tested the best bike pumps
- The best floor bike pump
- The best mini bike pump
- Runner up bike floor pump
- Runner up mini bike pump
- The other floor pump finalists
- The other mini pump finalists
- The bottom line
How we found the best bike pumps
Before we researched the wealth of information about the best bike pumps, we knew that a complete evaluation of the bike pump market would require consideration of both floor pumps and portable pumps. We also learned that, while all pumps function in essentially the same way, there are clear differences in durability and user experience.
Having a strong base of knowledge from years of city cycling, we began to explore articles and reviews published by the biggest names in outdoor retail and adventure sports.
We also found blogs from around the world that shed light onto the best and worst models available. We ditched the worst and chose six of the best-reviewed, most-popular floor pumps and five mini models to determine our favorite bike pumps.
The 11 best bike pumps
- Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump
- Serfas TCPG Bicycle Floor Pump
- Schwinn Floor Pump
- Topeak Sport II Floor Pump
- Vibrelli Performance Bike Floor Pump
- Nashbar Earl Grey Floor Pump
- EyezOff Alloy Mini Bike Pump
- Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump
- Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump
- Lechi Mini Bike Pump
- Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump
Why you need a good bike pump
If you own a bicycle, you need to own a bike pump. Properly inflated tires are critical to safely enjoying your ride through the neighborhood, down the mountain, or around the track. A fully pumped tire also rides considerably smoother and faster.
A flat tire can ruin a great day of riding, and the best way to avoid flat tires is to ensure they’re well inflated. Tires are more vulnerable to puncture when they are under inflated. The more you ride, the more pressure slowly escapes from your tires.
Even if you don’t ride often, the air in your tires will seep out while your bike waits for you in the garage. Temperature, riding surface, and the quality of your tube and tire will also impact how quickly you lose air pressure.
Owning a bike pump is the right move. The consensus in our research is that road bikes, which require the highest air pressure, should have tires pumped about once a week, hybrid bikes every two weeks, and mountain bike tires a bit less frequently than that.
A quality bike pump is an investment for many years of happy cycling. Bonus: Using the appropriate adapter, a bike pump can also inflate sports balls, children’s toys, pool floats, and air mattresses.
Which bike pump is best for you?
Bike pumps come in both floor and portable models, each serving the same function for a different situation. The floor pump is what most people probably picture when they imagine a bike pump.
While styles vary slightly, they all work the same way. With the base on the floor, the rider uses gravity and leverage to push air into the tire while standing over the pump and pressing down on the handle.
As the tire inflates, resistance builds and it becomes more difficult to add air to your desired pressure. The leverage from standing up and using one’s body weight to push down makes it relatively easy for most people.
Hand-held pumps are smaller devices that can be brought along on rides to help mend tires that may lose air or to fill a new tube when one is punctured while out and about. Most of these pumps measure about an inch in diameter and a foot long, easily fitting inside a bag or clipped somewhere on the bike.
Many mini bike pumps come with mounts that can be attached to the frame of the bike. These are great options for frequent riders, particularly those who enjoy longer rides in more remote areas where bike repair shops are few and far between.
When using most portable bike pumps, it’s very difficult to achieve full tire inflation as the pressure increases. Without the benefit of being able to use your body weight, using a mini bike pump to fill a tube can be a pretty intense workout for the forearms. In fact, many riders will find it nearly impossible to reach their optimal PSI level with a hand pump alone.
What you need to know about your bike tires
Before you start pumping, it is important to know some key things about your particular bike tires. First, there are different different types of valves — the stem that protrudes from the inner tube and connects to the pump. Each valve requires a unique connection point to securely fit the pump and allow for inflation.
The Schrader valve has a wider stem that is often wrapped with rubber where it attaches to the tube. There is a small pin the middle of the opening that acts as a check valve. When it’s depressed, air is able to flow both in and out.
A pump fitted with a Schrader attachment will push the pin down when attached correctly. Schrader valves resemble car tire valves and are mostly found on older and less expensive bicycles.
The Presta valve is the new standard in the cycling world, as it tends to hold air longer and more consistently than Schrader valves. The stems are longer and thinner and taper almost to a point at the connection tip.
At the tip there is a small nut that, when unthreaded, permits air to enter the tire. Unlike the Schraeder, the pressure of the tube itself seals the air inside, negating the need for a check valve.
Once you’ve determined what kind of valve you have, you need to know what the optimal pounds per square inch (PSI) is for your particular tire. As a general rule of thumb, the thinner the tire the more pressure is required to get the perfect fill.
Road tires, for example, usually perform best when pumped to between 80 and 120 PSI. Hybrid and city bike tires need 50 to 70 PSI, and mountain bike tires should have about 30 to 50 PSI. Less pressure in mountain bike tires is what allows them to conform to different-sized rocks along a trail.
Most tires will have an optimal PSI imprinted somewhere on the tire itself. If not, look up your tire specifications online or ask at your local bike shop.
What to look for when buying a bike pump
While it is important to know which type (Presta or Schrader) you have, all the pumps on our list can accommodate both. They do so in different ways, however. Most of the floor pumps offer two separate insertion points, one for each kind, which are easy to identify and use. The tire then locks onto the pump by pulling a lever or screwing onto a nut.
The hand pumps can be a bit more tricky. Some require you to rearrange a couple of rubber and plastic components inside the connection point.
When fitted one way, a small internal stem will protrude enough to access a Schrader valve. For the Presta, you have to turn that piece around and face the thinner side of the rubber washer outward so it securely fits onto the valve.
The gauge displays the PSI, which measures the pressure inside your tire. As you pump, that pressure increases toward your goal, which varies depending on the the type of tire you have. All floor pumps should have a gauge, and the top six floor pumps we tested have one mounted on or near the base. This gauge should be easy to read and the needle should move steadily and hold its position without wavering.
It is less common for hand-held mini pumps to have gauges. Because these pumps are designed for travel, with a small size and low weight, most do not include a way to measure your PSI. There are some with cleverly crafted and unique gauge systems, but most will require the old method of manually feeling the pressure of the tire until you’re satisfied it is firm enough to ride.
The look and feel of the pump is also important — not just in terms of aesthetics but for durability as well. A good bike pump should last for many years. The design and materials used to manufacture these products will impact their longevity.
If you’re a regular road bike rider, you will be using a floor pump weekly, and an extra hand pump mounted to the bike frame will be a permanent fixture on your ride. So get one that you like.
How we tested the best bike pumps
The first thing we did to differentiate our finalists was a simple measurement, comparing the height and hose length of our floor pumps. Taller pumps require less distance to bend down and thus cause less strain on the back. Longer hoses simply make it easier to connect the pump to the valve regardless of the tire position.
We also took down the length and components of our mini pumps. Since the idea is for these to go with you on your rides, the more compact, the better.
While the air pressure accumulates inside your tire, it is also being increased inside the components of the pump. To stand up to the stress of years of use, these components must be strong and durable. As a general rule, steel and aluminum will hold up better than parts made of plastic.
While our testing lasted a couple weeks and not a couple decades, we needed to get a pretty quick feel for how well the products will age. The quality of the materials and the construction was evident after having pumped several dozen tires and subjecting our finalists to a bit of common abuse.
Speed and pressure
While inflating a tire is not necessarily a speed sport, if you can do it quicker and with less effort that’s a plus. For our floor pumps, we recorded the number of full pumps it took to achieve 80 PSI.
It becomes increasingly difficult to add air to a tube as the pressure builds when using a mini pump. Therefore, we compared the PSI levels at the moment that the resistance of the pressure halted our ability to continue pumping.
The kickback from the pressure is so great that forcing more air into the tire just becomes impossible. We also compared how many pumps were required to reach those points.
At the end of the day, bike pumps all function essentially the same way. The information gained from the above tests is useful, but the overall ease of operating each product is really what differentiates one from another.
The way the handle fits and feels in your hand; the intuitiveness and security of the valve connection; the smooth glide of the pumping motion; the level of resistance you must work against as you force air into the tire — all these factors create a different experience that defines what it’s like to use and own each pump.
The best floor bike pump
The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump, with its steel tube construction, unique valve locking mechanism, and wooden handle is our selection for the best bike floor pump.
The valve attachment screws to lock onto both Presta- and Schrader-style valves. While nearly all the other models we tested rely on two separate holes and a sometimes clumsy toggle switch, the Lezyne valve firmly fits both types with a smaller, tighter component.
The unique screw lock, which is metallic, is also more secure than any other we tested. Once fastened, the head of the pump cannot be dislodged from the tire.
Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump
Sturdy and durable, the Lezyne pump makes inflating bike tires simple.
The pump itself, at 25.5 inches, is one of the taller ones in our top six floor pumps. That means less strain on the lower back because you don’t bend over as much to complete a pumping motion. It also reaches 80 PSI on a standard Presta valve road tube in 37 pumps, just two more than the quickest pumps and far less than the average of 42.
The hose on the Lezyne is the longest we tested. It’s also mounted to the base of the pump, which helps keep it steady. During our testing, we found that the hose being connected to the base allows for full 360 degrees of movement as well. This length and ability to move the hose wherever you need makes the valve connection incredibly easy.
Both the barrel and the base of the Lezyne are made of strong steel. More durable than plastic and aluminum, the Lezyne is likely to endure years of use and abuse. The steel components also allow the pump to withstand higher pressure, with a maximum PSI of 220. All the other floor pumps we tested max out at 160 PSI.
While most cyclists will never need to hit PSIs above 140, the higher capacity makes reaching lower PSIs much easier. When pumping even to 120 PSI, there is barely a perceptible resistance in pumping, unlike our other finalists, which require more effort after 80 PSI.
Finally, the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump looks and feels great. The polished black steel is sharp and sleek. The base is properly weighted and sturdy. The engraved wooden handle is unique and feels smooth in your hands.
- The Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump’s unique screw valve attachment creates the easiest and most secure connection.
- Steel components provide impressive strength and durability with the highest PSI capacity.
- Its polished black surfaces and wooden handle look and feel great.
The best mini bike pump
The Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump has unique features for a hand-held, mini bike pump including a pressure gauge, flip-down foot stand, and a hose-attached valve head. These components clearly distinguish it from other top portable bike pumps.
Most mini bike pumps have a valve connection directly on the end of one side of the tube. The Road Morph, on the other hand, has a small attached hose that spins 360 degrees at the connection point, making it very easy to securely lock onto the tire.
Combined with the two-inch foot stand that flips down from the bottom of the tube, the Road Morph can operate like an actual miniature version of a floor pump.
Traditional mini pumps require holding the two ends of the pump in either hand, using forearm muscles to open and collapse the tube upwards of 200 times. The Road Morph allows you to use the leverage of your body weight and gravity, standing over the pump and pushing down on the handle in the same fashion as a floor pump.
While it was nearly impossible to achieve a PSI higher than 30 with many of the mini pumps, the design of the Road Morph makes reaching a PSI higher than 60 relatively easy for most users. This is aided not just by the stand-over design but by the size of the pump itself. At 13.5 inches, it is the largest in the category, making it easier to use but a bit more difficult to transport.
The valve head at the end of the hose features a small pressure gauge, unlike most mini pumps. The ability to get an accurate PSI reading gives the rider confidence that the tire is properly inflated.
The Road Morph’s handle rotates 90 degrees, allowing for an overhand grip that is stronger and more comfortable than being forced into a parallel grip.
The connection valve is not our favorite in the mini pump category, but it is easy enough to get accustomed to after a couple uses. By unscrewing a large plastic washer at the opening, you release a plastic part with a stem designed for the Schrader valve and a rubber ring designed to fit over the Presta valve.
By rearranging the parts, choosing which one faces out, and then resealing with the plastic washer, you can accommodate either valve type.
- A flip-down foot stand and longer tube length, combined with the stand-over design, make the Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump by far the easiest mini bike pump to use.
- While pumping, the user experiences less resistance, allowing for proper inflation above 60 PSI.
- The inclusion of a gauge lets you know exactly when you’ve reached you optimal level of pressure.
Runner up bike floor pump
The Nashbar Earl Grey Floor Pump stands out from the rest of the floor pump pack because of its extra-wide metal base that provides more stability than any other product in our tests. Not only is the base large and weighty, it is covered with a rubber pad that prevents slipping on smooth surfaces and protects the wood floors in your home.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the Nashbar is the oversized gauge, which sports a red needle against a black backdrop. The numbers are large and easy to read, and the contrasting colors help with seeing the PSI as you pump.
Nashbar Earl Grey Floor Pump
The most stable bike pump we tested, well-suited for bikers who want a particularly user-friendly pump.
It may be a minor feature, but we appreciated the moveable dial around the gauge that shows a red target for your desired PSI. By turning the dial you can easily mark the correct pressure point for your tire and pump until the needle hits your target.
The double-sided valve, one for Presta and one for Schrader is similar to many of the other contenders. It is easy to identify and secure the correct side to the tire by toggling a plastic lever toward the appropriate end. However, we found that all heads in this style were prone to dislodge at higher pressure.
The long hose, second only to the Leyzene, at 44 inches long, makes hooking it up to tires easy in any position. It is also the second tallest floor pump we tested, with an extra-large air capacity that can achieve 80 PSI in a hybrid tire in just 35 pumping actions, the best performer overall.
The Nashbar Earl Grey Floor Pump also provides a great value in the bike floor pump category. At $30, it’s about half the cost of our favorite while still offering a high quality experience.
- The Nashbar Earl Grey Floor Pump’s large metal base with rubber padding provides excellent stability and protection.
- Its over-sized gauge with bright contrasting colors and a moveable target point is well designed and easy to use.
- Taller than most and with one of the longest hoses, the Nashbar is easy to hook up and the quickest to reach full inflation.
Runner up mini bike pump
The Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump is cleverly designed in a compact package that offers individual valve connections for Schrader and Presta valves, a sliding pressure gauge, and a hose that detaches and fits inside the tube.
By removing the dust cap on one end of the pump, you reveal a six-inch hose with a screw-on valve connection on each side, one for Presta and one for Schrader. The middle of the hose contains a pressure gauge, which, as air is added to the tire, slowly starts to slide open rendering the PSI reading.
The hose also has two one-inch rubber segments that allow it to bend and move in infinite ways, making it easy to use. Some hand pumps that connect directly to the tire without a hose can force you to pump in between the spokes of the tire — causing difficulty when your hands hit them.
All you have to do is for the Pro Bike tool is connect the hose to the pump so that the desired valve is free to lock onto the tire. Like the Lezyne floor pump, the screw-on valve head provides the most secure connection that will not release inadvertently.
The Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump is very efficient, reaching 50 PSI in about 150 intervals. At 150 PSI, the reliance on arm strength alone is tiring and reaching pressures levels above 60 PSI requires a considerable amount of strength and effort.
If size and convenient transport are your main concerns, the Pro Bike Tool is an excellent choice. At just over six inches long, it can fit in almost any bag or purse and can be mounted to a bike frame even with a water bottle cage on the same bar.
The other floor pump finalists
It is important to note that all of the products we tested will reliably and successfully inflate your bicycle tires. But we investigated and discovered some features that improve the user experience and make durability more likely.
The Topeak Sport II Floor Pump is a popular choice for many cyclists — and for good reason. It’s lightweight, yet it’s the tallest we tested with the largest tube. Because of its size, there is less strain on the back.
However, the Topeak falls short due to its smaller gauge that can be difficult for some users to read. It also relies on too many plastic parts that we can see being problematic over time.
The Vibrelli Performance Bike Floor Pump also suffers from heavy use of plastic components that feel cheaper than others. The twin valve head is a bit clunky and prone to slipping off the connection.
We like the black face gauge with a yellow needle that is large and easy to read. The handle, too, is well designed, tapered to be easily gripped by any size hand.
The Serfas TCPG Bicycle Floor Pump has a unique universal valve mechanism that connects to both Presta and Schrader valves. While not as secure as the Lezyne’s screw system, the locking lever on the Serfas is definitely a close second, stronger than the other floor models we tested.
The slide of the pump is super smooth, but the size of the Serfas makes the repeated action of pumping uncomfortable for taller users. At 23 inches, it is the smallest floor pump to make our finalists, which also means it took the longest to reach full inflation. Fifty-three pumps is more than 10 pumps over any other product we tested and 16 more than our favorite.
We liked the Schwinn Floor Pump for the large gauge, mounted high on the tube itself instead of the base, which is by far the easiest to read. We also found the design of the valve head (both openings on the same side) sturdier and more substantial than the twin heads with connection points on opposite sides.
But we were unimpressed with the Schwinn floor pump’s hose length of just 28 inches, nearly half the length the Lezyne hose. The short hose makes it awkward to attach and maintain a secure connection to the tire during pumping.
The other mini pump finalists
We liked the Lechi Mini Bike Pump because of a flip-down bar and its attached hose that, like the Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump, allow it to be used more like an upright floor pump. Pushing air into the tire, particularly above 40 PSI, is so much easier when you can take a standing position.
The valve connector on the Lechi mini pump is the same as nearly all the other portable pumps in our group of finalists. The removable, reversible two-piece mechanism that changes from Presta to Schrader takes a little getting used to, but it’s an easy maneuver once you’ve done it once or twice.
There wasn’t much we disliked about the Lechi, but we felt that the omission of a pressure gauge prevented it from being one of our top picks.
The Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump has a couple features no other hand-held pump has, which we were excited to test. First, a universal valve eliminates the need for fumbling with the small reversible parts that most mini pump valve systems utilize. It’s a great innovation at lower pressure, but the valve repeatedly slipped or popped off the tire as the pressure increased.
The Vibrelli Mini also advertises a secondary telescope, a smaller tube inside the main tube that allows you to increase the volume of air with each pump, ideal for the early stages of pumping. Then, as the resistance increases, you retract the inner tube and the motion becomes shorter, better adapted to adding higher pressure above 60 PSI.
We really liked the collapsible telescope, and it made reaching higher PSI levels easier. What we were frustrated by was just how small the pump and handle are. During use, we often pinched the skin of our hand. There was just not enough space for one hand on the handle and one on the valve to secure the connection without pinching.
The EyezOff Alloy Mini Bike Pump is a fine option if all you need is a basic, functional portable pump. At around $11, it’s about half the price of any other finalist in the mini pump category. It gets the job done with no frills, but it is very difficult to reach a PSI of 20, and the valve connection leaks somewhat with the Presta connection.
The bottom line
Proper bike tire inflation is the best way to ensure a smooth, fast ride and avoid flats. If you own a bicycle, a good bike pump is a necessary investment. Your first purchase should be a bike floor pump, which will be your primary tool that you keep at home.
For those who ride often and want to add air to low tires and perform tire changes while out cycling, a mini bike pump is also a wise accessory.
Our favorite bike floor pump is the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump. Made of strong, durable steel, the Lezyne is more likely than any other pump we tested to perform better and last longer.
The extra-long hose and unique screw-on valve mechanism make connecting the pump to the tube incredibly easy and secure. The pump’s black polished finish and wooden handle looks sharp and feels great.
We also recommend the Nashbar Earl Grey Floor Pump for its base stability and oversized, easy-to-read gauge.
The Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump is our clear winner in the mini bike pump category. It sports a flip-down foot pedal and attached hose that allow it to function more like a small floor pump than a traditional hand-held travel pump.
It’s much easier to use than most portable bike pumps, and the valve-mounted gauge guarantee hitting your optimal inflation level.
Finally, if you’re looking for the most compact travel bike pump that doesn’t sacrifice functionality or performance, you can’t go wrong with the Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump. It’s efficient and offers a secure connection when pumping a tire on the go.