Having a good pump at hand is important to avoid being stranded at the side of the road or sitting at home unable to go for a ride because of a flat tyre. While bike pumps come in a wide range of designs, they can be roughly categorised into three types: floor pumps for using at home or in a workshop, portable hand pumps for taking with you on a ride and CO2 inflators, which use single-use CO2 canisters for rapid re-inflation at the roadside.
Scroll down for a summary of some of the best options available to buy now.
The different types of bike pump explained
Mini-pumps are the pocket friendly evolution of the classic frame pump. While the frame pump has its advantages, a mini-pump is much easier to carry, and can be mounted beside the bottle cage for easy reach.
Pumps will attach to the valve with either a built-in valve head or a flexible hose stored inside the pump body. While screw-on hoses can present an extra fiddly stage, they reduce the stress on the valve itself and allow a more comfortable pumping position.
Mini-pumps are available in high-volume and high-pressure options. With high volume being designed for mountain bikes and the high-pressure road-specific models that are capable of reaching 100psi and beyond.
While mini-pumps excel as practical and reusable offerings they can require a lot of effort to reach the desired tyre pressures due to their small chamber size and slim shapes.
2. CO2 inflators
CO2 canisters offer a huge benefit in convenience and speed as well as being very packable in a jersey pocket or saddlebag. Small canisters of compressed carbon dioxide connect to an adaptor and deliver a powerful blast of inflation.
Being able to inflate a tyre in a matter of seconds can be crucial mid-sportive or at the side of the road in the freezing rain. A 16g canister will happily inflate a road tyre to around 90psi and if you have larger volume tyres there are 20g and 25g options available.
As CO2 canisters provide a finite amount of inflation, you're reliant on having enough cartridges, so consider whether CO2 is the most practical for your ride or a mini-pump should also be taken for backup. An element of care must be considered when using CO2, the discharge of gas will freeze the outside of the canister and unless protected by a cover or gloves, your skin will stick to the metal. The cost factor and waste must also be considered due to the throw -away nature of emptied canisters.
3. Floor pumps
Floor pumps, otherwise known as track pumps, are the most efficient method for inflating tyres at home. With a wide steady base, a large air chamber and being able to use your weight to push the handle makes inflation much quicker and easier than a handheld pump. Floor pumps also have long hoses, which makes reaching valves simple, even if a bike is mounted on a work stand.
Most floor pumps will include a pressure gauge so that tyre pressure can be set up accurately. An analogue gauge is simple and easy to read, however, a digital gauge will provide a more accurate reading.
As the forces that are put through floor pumps are greater than hand pumps, investing in a high-quality pump - rather than cheaper plastic designs - is worthwhile. Often, high-end brands will offer spare parts and replacement seals should you need to service your floor pump.
Best bike pumps: mini-pumps
Topeak Race Rocket HP
A small but powerful pump that will get you re-inflated and back on the road
Max tyre pressure: 160psi | Pressure gauge: No | Weight: 82g | Length: 180mm | Price: £32.99 / $34.95 / AU$69.99
Topeak has been keeping riders on the road by making innovative tools and pumps for a long time. The Race Rocket HP (high pressure) is a compact and lightweight pump that will easily fit into a jersey pocket while still packing a punch with a max rating of 160psi.
Neatly stored inside the pump body, an extendable hose is combined with Topeak’s Smarthead Threadlock head. This head threads to the valve stem and allows both Presta and Schrader valves to be inflated without needing to change any fiddly internal parts. Topeak has added a handy built-in tool for tightening or removing valve cores as well.
Blackburn Core Slim Mini-Pump
Lifetime warranty gives you confidence that this pump will keep going for years
Max tyre pressure: 120psi | Pressure gauge: No | Weight: 102g | Length: 247mm | Price: £35.00 / $34.99 / AU$55.00
Blackburn offers two versions of its Core pump, the slim road bike version is the high-pressure model which can achieve 120psi. Blackburn has paid close attention to build quality as well as product longevity by not only offering rebuildable internals but a lifetime warranty, too.
The Core Slim Mini is pocketable but the pump is long so may be better frame-mounted with the included attachment. A rubber seal keeps the pump from extending when not in use and stops grit getting inside the pump body, there is also a rubber dust cap protecting the valve head.
The Core Slim is only compatible with Presta valves and features a thread on the head for a secure fit. A valve-core tool is screwed into the bottom of the pump in case you need to tighten your valves mid-ride.
Lezyne Carbon Road Drive Medium
Beautiful CNC design expected from Lezyne with some extra carbon bling
Max tyre pressure: 160psi | Pressure gauge: No | Weight: 83g | Length: 216mm | Price: £90.00 / $99.99 / AU$150.00
Lezyne has a well-deserved reputation for making high-quality precision CNC products, the Carbon Road Drive pump is no different, other than carbon fibre replaces the barrel and handle to reduce weight without sacrificing performance.
The long body pushes a good amount of air with each stroke to get you back on your bike more quickly. An ABS flex hose allows a comfortable position while pumping up tyres and although the head is not compatible with Schrader valves it will work with both threaded and non-threaded Presta valves.
Lezyne wants its pump to last a long time, so if the seals become a bit worn or you accidentally lose the hose, there is a seal kit and replacement parts available.
Silca Tattico Bluetooth Mini-Pump
Premium build quality with bluetooth connection for digital smartphone display
Max tyre pressure: 120psi | Pressure gauge: Yes | Weight: 159g | Length: 241mm | Price: £120.00 / $120.00 / AU$N/A
The standout feature of the Silca Tattico Bluetooth mini-pump is the Bluetooth connectivity that facilitates a large-screen digital display of tyre pressure by pairing with the iGauge app on your smartphone.
For Silca, the motivation behind using this system was the ability to continue using larger precision parts which result in a more accurate reading, without the need to add a cumbersome dial to what is an otherwise pocket friendly pump. For us using the product, the result is a mini-pump that can provide accurate (to one per cent) readings at the side of the road. While not rechargeable, the infrequent use will undoubtedly result in a very long time before the CR2032 battery needs to be replaced.
As a standalone pump, it works flawlessly. The aluminium pump features an extendable hose for ease of connectivity, with a locking chuck that is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves. The pump can handle pressures of up to 120psi which is more than enough for any roadside reinflation.
Of course, with the Silca name, you can expect an extremely high build quality and as such, the high price can be seen as an investment - don't expect to need to replace it for a long time.
Best bike pumps: CO2 inflators
Genuine Innovations Ultraflate
Fast and easy inflation that is ready to go straight from your pocket
Max tyre pressure: n/a | Pressure gauge: No | Weight: 62g (without cartridge) | Length: 132mm | Price: £22.99 / $24.99 / AU$39.99
Rather than a simple head that screws onto a canister, Genuine Innovations has designed a trigger system that makes accurate inflation easy. A safety switch on the back allows you to save leftover gas for later on and stops the Ultraflate going off in your pocket.
The head is compatible with Presta and Schrader valves, as well as both threaded and non-threaded canisters (a non-threaded 20g cartridge is included). The holder will fit 16g, 20g and 25g canisters. The unit is also fully enclosed protecting your hands from the freezing action of the discharging CO2.
Lezyne Control Drive CO2
First-class design and engineering makes the Lezyne Control Drive one of the best CO2 inflators available
Max tyre pressure: n/a | Pressure gauge: No | Weight: 16g (without cartridge) | Length: Unpublished | Price: £24.99 / $32.99 / AU$40.00
The Control Drive is a small 100 per cent CNCed CO2 head from Lezyne that gives control over inflation. Whether a large blast is needed to re-seat a tyre or you are fine-tuning tyre pressure, the knurled dial on the back makes flow adjustment easy.
In use, the Control Drive simply presses onto both a Schrader or Presta valves with no need to make any adjustment. The head will work with any size of threaded canister and Lezyne supplies a 16g canister to get you started.
Superb value and adjustable CO2 inflator from Lifeline
Max tyre pressure: n/a | Pressure gauge: No | Weight: Unpublished | Length: Unpublished | Price: £4.99 / $7.00 / AU$10
Wiggle's house brand, Lifeline, adorns a mountain of cycling sundries from tubes to turbo trainers for the budget-conscious cyclist. The LifeLine CNC CO2 is about as cheap as a CO2 head comes but this compact unit is more than a basic inflator.
Although having to thread the head onto the valve is fiddly, once connected it creates a strong seal. Inflation can be modulated and a partly used canister can be closed for topping up tyres later.
Best bike pumps: track pumps
Lezyne CNC Digital Drive
Lezyne’s material choice and finishing makes this a professional-grade tool
Max tyre pressure: 220psi | Pressure gauge: Digital | Weight: 1.6kg | Length: 635mm | Price: £109.99 / $129.99 / AU$160.00
Lezyne’s CNC Digital Drive Pump is a professional pump with its aluminium construction and finish. Lezyne has specced a digital gauge for clear readings which measures to a claimed accuracy of 97 per cent.
Lezyne has redesigned the valve head, the new ABS1 Pro uses a chuck that flips between Presta and Schrader and securely screws onto the valve. The valve head has a valve-core tool that is integrated on the rear of the unit for tubeless systems.
Lezyne offers a range of seal kits and spares should you need to service your pump or wish to fit different valve heads, extenders or hoses.
Topeak Joe Blow Booster
Two-in-one floor pump for quick inflation and tubeless setup
Max tyre pressure: 160psi | Pressure gauge: Analogue | Weight: 2.9kg | Length: 740mm | Price: £139.99 / $189.99 / AU$199.99
Tubeless has been around in mountain biking for a while but as it becomes more popular for road having a booster is key to successful tubeless setup. The booster works by pressurising a one-litre air chamber to 160psi before blasting the air into the tyre to seat it properly on the rim.
A simple switch on the gauge allows you to transfer between charge and inflate mode, releasing the charged air from the booster. The big gauge is mounted to the top of the booster making it easy to read while using the pump.
The head uses Topeak's Smarthead technology to adapt to any valve type without the need to change any parts. A 152cm hose allows you to reach your valves easily, even if the bike is mounted in a work stand.
Birzman Maha Push and Twist V
Unique valve design and durable build at a very fair price
Max tyre pressure: 220psi | Pressure gauge: Analogue | Weight: 1.2kg | Length: 744mm | Price: £42.99 / $49.99 / AU$75.00
The Birzman Maha Push and Twist V delivers a good level of inflation and uses the company's Evolved Barrel Structure, a CNC machined aluminium barrel which promises a smoother pump stroke. The wide base houses an analogue gauge for pressure readings.
Birzman uses a bespoke valve that connects to either a Presta and Schrader using a collar which is pushed down and twisted to secure. Removal simply involves lifting the collar to release and pulling the head away from the valve. Both actions can be performed easily with one hand.