Skip to main content

Best bike pumps: Tyre inflation that won't let you down

A pair of hands pumping up a road tyre using a black hand pump
(Image credit: Topeak)

Having one of the best bike pumps to hand is a godsend, whether that's when you're stranded at the side of the road fixing a flat — usually in the rain and with a cold wind blowing — or at home prepping to head out on a ride.

It's vital to be able to quickly get your bike set up with the right tyre pressure, which will improve your ride quality and grip. Whether you're running the best road bike tyres, best gravel bike tyres or best commuter bike tyres, it will make you faster too.

There are five types of bike pump you can use: mini-pumps, CO2 inflators, track pumps, and reservoir pumps.

A mini-pump is designed to be taken with you on a ride, so you're prepared in case you get a puncture. A quicker way to get going again is to use a CO2 inflator, although replacement CO2 cartridges are quite pricey and once the gas has gone, it's gone, so you still run the risk of being stranded. Plus they're pretty wasteful.

Many cyclists find it useful to have a floor pump (also called a track pump) as a second inflation option to keep at home or take to races. It's a lot faster to get your tyres up to the right pressure and usually the pump includes a gauge so you can set the tyre pressure precisely before your ride.

A variant of the track pump, useful if you're running a set of the best tubeless road tyres, is the reservoir pump. Here you pump air into a chamber in the pump and release it rapidly to help seat the tyre on the rim. It can also be useful for standard at-home duties.

Finally there are battery-powered electric tyre inflators. They minimise your effort and are portable, but they can be slow to get a set of bicycle tyres up to pressure.

You can find out more about the best bike pump options in our buyer's guide at the bottom of the page, but next is our selection of the best bike pumps we've used here at Cyclingnews, which we've divided up by type.

Best bike pumps: mini-pumps

Best bike pumps: Topeak mini-pump

(Image credit: Topeak)

Topeak Race Rocket HP

A small but powerful bike pump that will get you re-inflated and back on the road

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 160psi
Pressure gauge: No
Weight: 82g
Length: 180mm

Reasons to buy

+
Well made
+
Built-in valve core tool 

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires a lot of pumping

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.

Best bike pumps: Blackburn

(Image credit: Blackburn)

Blackburn Core Slim Mini-Pump

Lifetime warranty gives you confidence that this pump will keep going for years

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 120psi
Pressure gauge: No
Weight: 102g
Length: 247mm

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in valve core tool
+
Lifetime warranty 

Reasons to avoid

-
Presta only
-
Long body 

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.

Best bike pumps: Lezyne mini-pump

(Image credit: Lezyne)

Lezyne Carbon Road Drive Medium

Beautiful CNC design expected from Lezyne with some extra carbon bling

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 160psi
Pressure gauge: No
Weight: 83g
Length: 216mm

Reasons to buy

+
High-quality materials and finish
+
Serviceable  

Reasons to avoid

-
Price
-
Presta only

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 replacing 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.

Best bike pumps: Silca mini-pump

(Image credit: Silca)

Silca Tattico Bluetooth Mini-Pump

Premium build quality with bluetooth connection for digital smartphone display

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 120psi
Pressure gauge: Yes
Weight: 159g
Length: 241mm

Reasons to buy

+
World-class build quality
+
Accurate Bluetooth digital display on smartphone

Reasons to avoid

-
Price
-
Battery required

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

Best bike pumps: Lifeline

(Image credit: Lifeline)

LifeLine CNC

Superb value and adjustable CO2 inflator from Lifeline

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: n/a
Pressure gauge: No
Weight: Unpublished
Length: Unpublished

Reasons to buy

+
Controllable CO2 flow
+
Multi uses from one canister
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Thread on valve head fiddly and tedious to use

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: Genuine Innovations

(Image credit: Genuine Innovations)

Genuine Innovations Ultraflate

Fast and easy inflation that is ready to go straight from your pocket

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: n/a
Pressure gauge: No
Weight: 62g (without cartridge)
Length: 132mm

Reasons to buy

+
Trigger controlled
+
Safety lock
+
Compatible with threaded and non-threaded

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky

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.

Best bike pumps: Lezyne co2

(Image credit: Lezyne )

Lezyne Control Drive CO2

First-class design and engineering makes the Lezyne Control Drive one of the best CO2 inflators available

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: n/a
Pressure gauge: No
Weight: 16g (without cartridge)
Length: Unpublished

Reasons to buy

+
Controllable CO2 flow

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Minimal protection from the cold canister

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 either a Schrader or Presta valve 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.

Best bike pumps: floor pumps

Topeak Joe Blow Tubi 2stage pump

(Image credit: Josh Ross)
Valve core removal tool built in, making for easier tubeless set-up

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 160psi
Pressure gauge: Analogue
Weight: 2.3kg
Length: 740mm

Reasons to buy

+
Clever valve core removal
+
Inflates to high volume or high pressure

Reasons to avoid

-
Gauge doesn't have enough granularity over 30psi

Another entry from Topeak, the JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage pump will pump high volumes of air but at the flip of a lever can be changed to push smaller volumes into your tyres at higher pressures. That means it's useful whatever tyre volume and pressure you use. 

It also makes the Tubi 2Stage a good option to seat tubeless tyres without needing a reservoir. That's helped by the built-in valve core removal tool which lets you unscrew the core once the pump head is attached to the valve, seat the tyre, then return the valve core without losing pressure. 

Best bike pumps: Birzman Maha

(Image credit: Birzman)

Birzman Maha Push and Twist V

Unique valve design and durable build at a very fair price

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 220psi
Pressure gauge: Analogue
Weight: 1.2kg
Length: 744mm

Reasons to buy

+
Simple push and twist head

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic handle

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 head that connects to either a Presta or Schrader valve 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.

Best bike pumps: Lezyne track pump

(Image credit: Lezyne )

Lezyne CNC Digital Drive

Lezyne’s material choice and finishing makes this a professional-grade tool

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 220psi
Pressure gauge: Digital
Weight: 1.6kg
Length: 635mm

Reasons to buy

+
High-quality construction
+
Accurate digital gauge

Reasons to avoid

-
Digital gauge risks being damaged

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.

Best bike pumps: Topeak floor pump

(Image credit: Topeak)

Topeak Joe Blow Booster

Two-in-one floor pump for quick inflation and tubeless setup

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 160psi
Pressure gauge: Analogue
Weight: 2.9kg
Length: 740mm

Reasons to buy

+
Topeak is well known for its build quality
+
Built-in tubeless booster

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky, by virtue of the booster chamber

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.

Best electric tyre inflators

Xiaomi electric tyre inflator

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi Mi Mijia

Low-cost electric tyre inflator

Specifications

Max tyre pressure: 160psi
Pressure gauge: Digital
Weight: 440g
Size: 124mm (180mm with hose) x 70mm x 45mm

Reasons to buy

+
Auto cut-off at the desired pressure
+
Auto battery-off if you forget
+
Effortless

Reasons to avoid

-
Slower inflation than Fumpa
-
Noisy (but quieter than Fumpa)

Not necessarily designed for cycling use, the Xiaomi Mijia digital tyre inflator gives you rechargeable battery-powered pumping at a decent price. 

The Xiaomi offers the option to add up to five preset pressure limits, so you can quickly and easily flit between pumping up different tyres at different pressures, and when it reaches the desired pressure it will shut off automatically. However, while the manual mode can get up to 160PSI, the preset modes are limited to a road-bike-unfriendly 65psi. 

In our experience, the Xiaomi was good for around 14 inflations to 100psi, however inflation was slow, and the thread-on head is a little fiddly to use. It's a suitable solution for anyone looking for auto-inflation on a budget though. 

How to choose the best bike pump

Choosing the best bike pump for you depends on your tyre inflation needs, and in all likelihood, you'll benefit from owning more than one type. For example, if you're looking for a pump to quickly top up your tyres before you head out the door, or only ever need to worry about tyre inflation at home, the best option is likely going to be a floor pump. If you're in need of rapid roadside reinflation, then a CO2 inflator might be your preferred method. However, since each canister can only be used once, you could still find yourself stranded if you suffer a second flat later in the ride. 

If you're in less of a rush and want unlimited inflation, the portability and never-ending air supply of a mini-pump will be your best bet. Finally, if you want to save effort, an electric tyre inflator might well be the solution. These are portable enough to throw in a bag or your car, but with a built-in battery, they're not the most compact or portable. 

Still not sure? Keep reading for some more individualised details on each type.

Types of bike pump head to head

Should I buy a mini pump?

Mini-pumps are the best bike pumps for those looking for portability and unlimited inflation. They are a 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, or stored inside one of the best saddlebags for your road bike.

Mini-pumps will attach to the valve with either a built-in valve head or a flexible hose that extends from 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.

Should I use CO2 inflators?

CO2 inflators are the best bike pumps for those looking for one-time effortless inflation at the roadside. The inflators will usually feature a screw-on thread at one end and a push-on valve head at the other. 

When you thread a single-use canister of CO2 onto the bottom of the inflator, or push it on in the case of a non-threaded canister, it pierces the canister's seal and allows the compressed carbon dioxide to be released, through the adaptor, and into the inner tube / tubeless tyre in a continuous powerful blast. 

Many also feature a regulator which can stop and start the flow, so that it doesn't go to waste before you've managed to push it onto the valve of your inner tube. 

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. 

This huge benefit in convenience and speed is also complemented by its diminutive size, which makes it very packable in a jersey pocket or saddlebag. However, 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 financial and environmental cost must also be considered due to the throw-away nature of emptied canisters.

Should I buy a floor pump?

Floor pumps are the best bike pumps for big inflation duties, be that at home or in the car park before a race. 

Otherwise known as track pumps, floor 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, usually down to 1psi granularity. 

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.

Do I need a reservoir pump?

A pump with a reservoir, like the Topeak JoeBlow Booster in our selection of the best floor pumps above, is a great option if you plan to run tubeless tyres. Often a tubeless tyre can be seated with an ordinary floor pump, but some rim-tyre combos just won't inflate however hard you try.

That's where a reservoir pump comes in. You pump up a chamber in the pump to a high pressure, usually in excess of 100psi, hook the pump up to the tyre valve and let the air out in a rush which, hopefully, will push the tyre beads onto the edge of the rim. You can up your chances by removing the valve core in advance.

A reservoir pump is expensive, but if you're regularly fitting or swapping tubeless tyres it will save you a lot of aggro. It can be used for standard inflation duties like a normal floor pump too, although with some designs the reservoir in the line to your tyre can make things feel a bit spongy.

Should I buy an electric tyre inflator for my bike?

Electric tyre inflators are the best bike pumps for anyone looking to save the effort of pumping up tyres. They feature an inbuilt Li-ion battery which will last between around 7 and 15 inflations per charge, depending on the product. 

They are typically compact enough to fit into a jersey pocket, however with the battery built in, they are rarely super light, so they may be better restricted to bikepacking setups or for anyone travelling afar with a bike. 

In operation, they offer a long, continuous shot of air at the push of a button, however, rarely do these options offer enough airflow to seat tubeless tyres. 

Graham has been part of the Cyclingnews team since January 2020. He has mountain biking at his core and can mostly be found bikepacking around Scotland or exploring the steep trails around the Tweed Valley. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has gained a reputation for riding fixed gear bikes both too far and often in inappropriate places.

With contributions from