Best bike pumps 2024 tried and tested

The best bike pumps will get you up and running quickly, whether that's by using a floor pump (aka a track pump) to get your tyre pressure just right before starting out or a handheld mini pump to repair a puncture when out on a ride. 

Although a floor pump can do double-duty for both road and gravel bike tyres, mini pumps tend to be good for one or the other.

Here, we've tested a large selection of pumps back to back in identical conditions to see which performs best. We found the best pumps in their categories were the Lifeline mini pump and the Topeak JoeBlow floor pump after being really impressed with their performance throughout testing. 

The best road bike tyres need higher pressures, while the best gravel tyres run at lower pressures but can have a high volume. A gravel bike mini pump may not be able to achieve enough pressure for a stable ride on the road, while a road bike mini pump can take a long time to inflate a gravel bike tyre.

Some mini pumps include a pressure gauge, but most don't, so ensuring your tyre pressure is correct can be a matter of guesswork. In contrast, almost all floor pumps include a pressure gauge, so you can dial in your ideal pressure. 

We've also tested frame-fitting pumps below, as well as a couple of options that will help out in specific situations. If you're after fast inflation with less effort, we have another guide to the best CO2 inflators and an article on whether you should go for CO2 inflators or mini-pumps.  

If you've got any burning questions or are just not sure what type of valve your tyres have, we've also got a buyer's guide at the end of this piece to help you choose the best bike pump for your needs. 

Quick list

The best bike pumps you can buy today

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Best mini pumps for road

A mini pump, or at the very least one of the best CO2 inflators, should come out with you on every ride, along with tyre levers a spare tube, tubeless plugs, and a bike multi tool

However, the needs of road riders and gravel riders are slightly different when it comes to inflation: Road bike tyres don't need much air volume, but the pressures are much higher, while conversely for larger gravel tyres you need more air, but don't need such high pressure. 

You can use one for both if you like, but you'll either spend ages pumping up your gravel tyres, or have some rather soft road tyres to contend with, so we've separated out road and gravel bike minipumps and frame-fitting pumps into separate sections below.

A Lifeline Performance Road hand pump on a wooden surfaceA cyclingnews awards badge for best overall

The Lifeline pump is great value and does the job well (Image credit: Will Jones)

1. Lifeline Performance Road

The best mini pump for road bikes

Specifications

Weight: 106g
Length: 18cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 100psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 29psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 61psi

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Secure head
+
High pressure

Reasons to avoid

-
A little noisy
-
Not the smallest pump on test

Lifeline, the in-house brand of Wiggle, is best known for producing good value, but not always matched by out-and-out performance. In this case, the Lifeline Performance Road mini pump achieved the highest reasonable pressure of all the road mini pumps on test. It also had an extremely secure head, and avoided any valve damage thanks to an extending hose. It's not as secure as a Lezyne screw-on, but it's very good. 

The telescopic design means it is effectively longer than it seems, and while it's not the smallest or lightest on test, it's the one I end up throwing in my jersey most often, except when pocket space is at a premium. 

While it can achieve high comparative pressures it doesn't have the build quality of more premium options though, and it takes more strokes to get there too. 

It's also, along with the MTB version later in this guide, been awarded best overall and best value in our inaugural awards.

A silver Birzman Mini Apogee on a wooden surface

Birzman's pump is tiny so it's very easy to carry (Image credit: Will Jones)

2. Birzman Mini Apogee

The best road mini pump for size factor

Specifications

Weight: 79g
Length: 14cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 120psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 18psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 51psi

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny package
+
Snap-on head
+
Low weight

Reasons to avoid

-
Sharp edges aren't ergonomic
-
Can't achieve high pressures

The Mini-Apogee from Birzman is constructed from CNC machined aluminium, but still packs a respectably low weight, mostly due to the size: it's tiny! If you find yourself struggling to fit a mini pump in your pockets, or even want to cram one in your saddlebag, this is the one to go for.

The proprietary snap-on head works well enough, though its not the most secure and can splutter a bit at its pressure limit. In general the sharp corners of the pump do detract from the ergonomics, but at higher pressures, you can put the flat face of the head against your palm and really crank the last few strokes out.  

A Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive pump

With a gauge included, you'll know exactly what pressure your tyre is  (Image credit: Will Jones)

3. Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive

The best road mini pump for accuracy

Specifications

Weight: 128g
Length: 21cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 120psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 38psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 55psi

Reasons to buy

+
Accurate pressure reading
+
Very secure head
+
Quality construction
+
Valve core tool integration

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively high retail price 

If you absolutely have to know what pressure you're running then this is the road mini pump for you. The digital gauge mounted to the barrel was spot on compared to the independent gauge, and the air delivery was excellent thanks in part to an extremely secure screw-on head at the end of a hose, so the valve is protected from any lateral forces. Should anything happen to the valve core though there is a handy spanner inbuilt into the collar of the hose, so it needn't be an issue. 

That being said, it is relatively expensive and the added electrical innards add up to the heaviest road mini pump on test, so that's something for you to weigh up (pun very much intended). 

A Rene Herse NUDA pump on a wooden surface

The Rene Herse pump is the lightest on test (Image credit: Will Jones)

4. Rene Herse NUDA

The best road mini pump for weight weenies

Specifications

Weight: 30g
Length: 20cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 142psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 25psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 45psi

Reasons to buy

+
Crazy light
+
Small form factor
+
Simple design

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels a little flimsy

Considering it weighs four times less than the Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive, and is made entirely from carbon fibre and titanium you might expect the Rene Herse NUDA to come with a crazy price tag to match the astonishing weight. Fortunately, thanks to an extremely simple design, this isn't the case, and it's one of the cheaper options too.

Low weight is one thing, and certainly has advantages (there is also an even smaller, lighter NANA version), but the simple design has some drawbacks. The head only presses on, meaning it struggles to seal at higher pressures. Combine that with the narrow barrel and it struggles to reach the pressures you'd want for a road pump.

That being said, if you're preparing for an FKT, or a bikepacking adventure where the grams really start to add up, this would be an excellent option if you're running slightly wider tyres. 

Best mini pumps for gravel

Gravel tyres are wider than those for road, sometimes rivalling mountain bikes (my gravel bike clears a 2.5in tyre in 650b). As such, using a standard road mini pump takes forever as they can't deliver enough air volume. 

Gravel mini pumps, or MTB ones, deliver more air per stroke but can't reach the same high pressures. You'll get going quicker though, that's for sure. Gravel mini pumps are bigger than their road counterparts too, so don't always expect to be able to fit one in your jersey pocket. Run a fashionable frame bag or bar bag and chuck it in there instead.

A black Lifeline Performance MTB bicycle pump in a garageA cyclingnews awards badge for best overall

Another great value option from Lifeline, this time for high volume use (Image credit: Will Jones)

5. Lifeline Performance MTB

The best mini pump for gravel

Specifications

Weight: 120g
Length: 19cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 80psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 20.5psi
Reasonable max pressure (42c): 34.5psi

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Secure head
+
Delivers a lot of air for the size

Reasons to avoid

-
A little noisy
-
Build quality not as good as some

Considering the Lifeline Performance Road performed so well it shouldn't come as a shock that the larger, nominally MTB version of the same pump also did very well. 

As per its smaller sibling the hose protects the valve, the head is secure, it's not too big and it doesn't cost the earth either. As well as being the more budget option in this list it also managed to hit the highest reasonable pressure, and only the Specialized Air Tool MTB Mini delivered more air per stroke.

The only things that were a drawback were the build quality compared to more premium options, and the slightly noisy operation that comes from the telescopic design. Regardless, this is the one I reach for when I head out to the trails. 

As per the road version, this too was awarded best overall and best value in our recent Cyclingnews Awards.

A Topeak Mountain 2Stage Digital bicycle pump in a garage

A digital gauge adds accuracy for gravel bike tyres and the pump does double duty for air suspension forks (Image credit: Will Jones)

6. Topeak Mountain 2Stage Digital

The best mini pump for gravel bikes with suspension

Specifications

Weight: 222g
Length: 26cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 300psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 16psi
Reasonable max pressure (42c): 24psi

Reasons to buy

+
Can pump suspension
+
Accurate readout
+
Secure head

Reasons to avoid

-
Big form factor
-
High retail price 

Gravel suspension is a thing now, and if you are running suspension and want to adjust your pressures out on the trail then you'll need a pump capable of much higher pressures than those in your tyres. The Topeak Mountain 2Stage Digital can do both, but don't expect the 'high pressure' setting on the pump to be any good for higher tyre pressures.

In general though, for tyres, the pump performed well, had accurate readouts at the gauge, and a great secure head to rival Lezyne options. The large digital dial could do with being more ergonomic though. Given the maximum reasonable pressure of 24psi, it's one for those running wider gravel tyres.

The other major downside is the size factor. It's a pretty hefty thing, so make sure you have room.

A Specialized Airtool MTB pump in black on a wooden stool

The Airtool works fast to get you rolling again (Image credit: Will Jones)

7. Specialized Airtool MTB

The best gravel mini pump for fast inflation

Specifications

Weight: 137g
Length: 24cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 60psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 29psi (at 75 strokes)
Reasonable max pressure (42c): 29psi

Reasons to buy

+
Quality construction
+
Delivers loads of air

Reasons to avoid

-
No hose means strain on the valve

Are you impatient? Well you've read this far so it can't be that bad. Either way if you want to pump your gravel tyres up fast then this is the option to go for as it delivered more air per stroke than any other mini pump on test. 

The machined body and neat head design were clearly well made, but where the Airtool MTB was found slightly wanting was at the very highest end of the pressure spectrum, thanks mostly to having a direct head design rather than delivering air via a hose where you can crank the pump a lot harder without either leaking air or worrying about damaging the valve.

A Lezyne Pocket Drive HV mini pump

The Lezyne Pocket Drive is a very compact gravel mini pump (Image credit: Will Jones)

8. Lezyne Pocket Drive HV

The best gravel mini pump for size

Specifications

Weight: 90g
Length: 15cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 90psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 12psi
Reasonable max pressure (42c): 28.5psi

Reasons to buy

+
Small form factor
+
Excellent valve connection
+
Great build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Short body doesn't deliver much air per stroke

Lezyne mini pumps are extremely well made (I've got a road one that's still going after nearly eight years), so if you're particularly hard on your gear then this may be the one for you. The short length makes it more pocket-friendly, though it is wider than other options so maybe more frame bag or bar bag friendly than one for pockets already stuffed with snacks. 

The valve connection is excellent as per other Lezyne options, and given it gets to the same effective pressure as the Airtool it's a toss-up as to whether you want a small form or a quick inflation. As with most things, there is always a decision to be made.

Best frame pumps

Frame pumps have somewhat fallen out of favour since the heyday of the cycle tourist. They are larger and harder to store than a mini pump, and naturally heavier too, which puts most people off. A dedicated band though continue to use them, sometimes for aesthetic reasons, but mostly because they can refill a tyre a lot quicker and more easily than most mini pumps.

A grey and silver Topeak Road Masterblaster on a garage floor

Topeak's frame pump is efficient and stylish (Image credit: Will Jones)

9. Topeak Road Masterblaster

The best frame pump overall

Specifications

Weight: 228g
Length: S-XL
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 160psi
Pressure at 50 strokes: 35.5psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 83psi
High pressure switch: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Highest pressure for a frame pump
+
Smooth action
+
Great build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Silver won't be to everyone's tastes
-
Less frame protection than the Silca

I found it very hard to find something to mark the Topeak Masterblaster down on. The build quality was great, the head was secure thanks to the clip on, the sprung end of the shaft meant you lower the risk of damaging the valve. The action was smoother than the more premium Silca, but not loose like the Zefal options. Once you reach the limits of the pump you can flip the switch to high-pressure mode and give yourself even more air. The ergonomics were spot on too.

The only real downside is that it's silver, which looks less cool than the black options in my opinion, and there is less protection for your frame than that on offer from the Silca Imperio.

A black Silca Impero pump on a floor

Silca's pumps may be expensive but they last and parts can be replaced (Image credit: Will Jones)

10. Silca Impero

The best frame pump for protecting your bike

Specifications

Weight: 295g
Length: S-XL
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: N/A
Pressure at 50 strokes: 46psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 78.5psi
High pressure switch: No

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible build quality
+
The best frame protection
+
Ultimate cool factor

Reasons to avoid

-
It's VERY expensive compared to other pumps 

The Silca Impero is genuinely a thing of beauty, and its aluminium, brass and leather construction is of such quality that it earned itself a place in our guide to Buy It For Life cycling tech. The rubber protectors at either end mean it fits, rattle-free, into virtually any frame and along with the silicone bumper there's a much-reduced chance of rub and scuff.

The pump action is smooth to the point of being a little too resistive, but from experience with other pumps, I expect this will loosen up over time. Think of it like wearing in a pair of fancy shoes. Two things limit the Silca: The head connection and the price. The head only presses on, rather than clamping in any way, so at high pressures, it can leak air unless it's held on totally straight. The price is also such that it's truly a luxury purchase.

A black Zefal HPX bicycle pump in a garage

The Zefal frame pump is a lower priced option (Image credit: Will Jones)

11. Zefal HPX

The best frame pump for a vintage aesthetic

Specifications

Weight: 239g
Length: S-XL
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 174psi
Pressure at 50 strokes: 35.5psi
Reasonable max pressure (25c): 57psi
High pressure switch: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
High pressure switch works well
+
Vintage aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels a bit flimsy
-
Not the most ergonomic

While not the cheapest frame pump you can buy, the Zefal HPX represents a decent value option that still works reasonably well. The Zefal 4, an all-plastic option that you can pick up for under a fiver in some places, so it's extremely cheap, but it felt so flimsy and didn't achieve sufficient pressure to warrant inclusion.

The head of the Zefal IPX pump is secure, not as secure as the Topeak but still more so than the Silca. Where the Zefal falls down is on ergonomics and construction quality. Everything felt a little loose and insecure, and the spiky bumpers at the head end were uncomfortable to hold when you have to wrap your hand around the very end to avoid bending the valve. 

While it couldn't attain the pressures the others could, I think it's still a viable option if you're running slightly larger rubber, on a slightly vintage-looking touring bike perhaps.

Best floor pumps

While mini pumps and frame pumps are there to sort you out in an emergency and can be serve at a pinch for pre-ride use, a floor pump - or track pump - is the key to getting your tyres set up perfectly. They can reach higher pressures, and the gauge means that actually tell you what that pressure is too. They should be a staple in any cyclist's garage, and the right one will last you years and years of use.

A lifeline essential bicycle pump in a garage on a concrete floor

Yet another Lifeline pump that does the job well at a low price (Image credit: Will Jones)

12. Lifeline Essential Track Pump

The best value track pump

Specifications

Weight: 1287g
Length: 68cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 140psi
Strokes to 120psi: 39
120psi measured pressure: 122psi

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
More accurate than some 

Reasons to avoid

-
Struggles at higher pressures
-
Smaller dial than Topeak Joe Blow
-
Can't pick up by the handle

If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a track pump then this is the one to go for. It feels a little more flimsy than the competition, particularly against those models from Lezyne, but the air ended up in the tyres and that's all you really need from it. It took a few more strokes to get to 120psi, but not so much it'd ruin your morning. Moreover, even though the dial was a little small compared to the Joe Blow, the readout from our independent sensor showed it was more accurate than some of the more expensive options when tested. 

The only real gripe I had with the Lifeline Essential Track Pump was that, as the hose doesn't loop over the handle before clamping away, it's impossible to pick the pump up by the handle.  

A yellow Topeak Joe Blow Sport III floor pump on a garage floorA cyclingnews awards badge for best overall

The JoeBlow Sport is stable and efficient (Image credit: Will Jones)

13. Topeak Joe Blow Sport III

The best all round track pump

Specifications

Weight: 1779g
Length: 65cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 160psi
Strokes to 120psi: 37
120psi measured pressure: 123psi

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant large dial
+
Smooth stroke
+
Very stable base

Reasons to avoid

-
Handles are not as ergonomic as the Lezyne

The Topeak Joe Blow Sport III has continued to be the track pump I reach for most frequently since concluding this grouptest. The large, stable base makes it excellent for trying to seat difficult tyres, the dial is large enough to be useful, and it doesn't cost a bomb either. The handles could be more ergonomic, but unless you're using it for hours on end it's unlikely to become an issue. 

I prefer the screw-on attachment to the valve that many Lezyne options opt for, but for a clip-on option, the head on the Joe Blow was perhaps the most secure of that particular cohort. All in all, it strikes an excellent balance, plus, as it's bright yellow, it's easy to find in a messy garage. 

Black Lezyne Alloy Digital Drive floor pump in a garage

Another digital option from Lezyne that lets you dial in precise pressure (Image credit: Will Jones)

14. Lezyne Alloy Digital Drive

The best track pump for accuracy

Specifications

Weight: 1568g
Length: 65cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 220psi
Strokes to 120psi: 37
120psi measured pressure: 121psi

Reasons to buy

+
Accurate pressure
+
Brilliant build quality
+
Secure valve attachment

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher than average retail price  
-
Wobbly base

While most pumps either just press on or clip onto the valve, Lezyne pumps screw onto the valve. This results in an extremely secure connection with no chance of bending the valve. The only downside is it takes a little longer, and if your valve core is loose it can sometimes come out when you unscrew the pump head.

That aside, in general I think it's a better system for a track pump. Combine that with a digital dial that was more accurate than the analogue dial options and some lovely ergonomic handles and you have a track pump that's a pleasure to use. If you want to get really nerdy about tyre pressures then the Lezyne Alloy Digital Drive is probably the option for you, the main downside being the slightly unstable base which can get wobbly when furiously pumping. There is also a bit of lag to the digital dial, so don't rush things for the best results. 

While I haven't had this pump for long, I do own another Lezyne track pump that has, thanks to being easily repairable, continued to offer good service for many many years too. 

Alternate options

While this test has been pretty comprehensive, taking in floor, frame, and two kinds of mini pumps, there are still some inflation options that don't fit into any of these categories, but are worthy of a mention in their own right.

A Lezyne Digital Micro Floor Drive bicycle pump in a garage

The Digital Micro Floor Drive is a great option if you need to travel with your bike (Image credit: Will Jones)

15. Lezyne Digital Micro Floor Drive

The best mini pump for travel

Specifications

Weight: 212g
Length: 31cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 90psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: 64psi
Reasonable max pressure (700c): 98.5psi

Reasons to buy

+
High pressure
+
Small form for what it does
+
Accurate readout

Reasons to avoid

-
Too big to take on the bike with you in most cases

The Lezyne Digital Micro Floor Drive is a specialist bit of kit, but if you travel with your bike a lot then it could really be invaluable. It'll get to pressures that almost rival full-on track pumps, thanks to decent ergonomics and the fact you can press against the floor to use it, and it's small enough to slip into a carry-on suitcase. Unless you regularly run your tyres over 100psi this is all you'd need on a cycling holiday for hotel room top ups. 

It's too big to slip into a pocket, but bolt it to a frame and you've got an ideal pump for expedition riding too, where you need absolute performance and load is less of a factor. 

A silver Topeak Tubibooster X bicycle pump in a garageA cyclingnews awards badge for special mention

You can convert your floor pump to a reservoir pump for tubeless set-up with the Tubibooster X (Image credit: Will Jones)

16. Topeak Tubibooster X

The best tubeless setup accessory

Specifications

Weight: 997g
Length: 37cm
Dual Purpose Head: Yes
Stated max pressure: 200psi
Pressure at 100 strokes: N/A
Reasonable max pressure (700c): N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Simple design
+
Cheap compared to dedicated track pumps

Reasons to avoid

-
Hose could be longer

Seating tubeless tyres with just a track pump is often difficult, and occasionally it's totally impossible without either a compressor or some other way of delivering a lot of air very quickly. There are dedicated track pumps that feature an air reservoir, but they're often an expensive option, especially if you already have a perfectly good track pump already. 

The Tubibooster X from Topeak is an incredibly simple bit of kit, effectively taking the form of a small 1litre fire extinguisher. Attach your track pump to the top of it and pump it up to the desired pressure (which will be about as much as your track pump can handle), and when ready you just attach the hose to your valve and release all the air. 

It's yet to fail me on even large-volume gravel tyres, and my only criticism is that the hose could be longer. You can even continue to pump through it into the tyre while it's working to get those last few scary pops and pings done without having to disconnect everything. 

How to choose

It may appear like the humble bicycle pump is a simple creation. They all pump air from outside my tyres into my tyres, right? More or less, yes, but mostly thanks to differences in tyre sizes and the relative pressures used, there are distinct differences between bike pumps. 

In short, you have floor pumps, ideal for use at home before you set off. These deliver air fast and have an accurate gauge to tell you what pressure you're running. While out and about you naturally can't cart something that big around with you, so a mini pump or a frame pump is the next best thing. 

These tend to be either low volume but high pressure (for road bikes), or high volume but low pressure (for gravel and MTB). You can mix and match to an extent but we'll get into that later. Frame pumps sit somewhere in between, offering a higher volume of air per stroke, but also higher pressures too. 

Should I carry a pump on my bike?

Absolutely. A mini pump or a frame pump should be with you at all times on every bike ride. I make sure I always leave the house for a ride with one packed.  You can get away by using the best CO2 inflators, but they're one-hit. If you run out of gas you're going to be in trouble, so even then we'd say you should have a mini pump with you anyway, along with tyre levers, a spare inner tube, and a bike multi-tool.

Can I use a gravel pump on a road bike?

Gravel pumps add more air into the tyre per stroke, but cannot reach the high pressures needed for road tyres, so we wouldn't recommend taking a gravel mini pump out with you on a road ride. Some mini pumps have high-pressure switches though, making them much more multi-purpose.

Road mini-pumps will take longer to inflate a gravel bike tyre, especially if it's a large one, but will definitely be able to produce the pressures required if you have the patience, so while we wouldn't take a gravel pump on a road ride, we would take a road pump on a gravel ride. 

Frame pumps will happily do either job.  

What is PSI and BAR?

How much a tyre or inner tube is inflated is expressed in usually one of two measurements which are pretty universal in the bike world. BAR is the metric unit of pressure and PSI is the imperial measurement.

BAR is measured in 0.1 increments but PSI is measure in 1.0 increments. 2.0 BAR is the equivalent of 29 PSI. So when hearing or reading about BAR measurements the readings will be lower than PSI. The UK and USA seem to refer to PSI more whilst the pro racing world and much of Europe seem to use BAR. 

Do all bike pumps fit all valve types?

Most, but not all bike pumps will fit both a Presta (the pointy road bike one) and Schrader (the fatter car one) valve. Track pumps will invariably do both, but with mini pumps make sure yours will work with the valves you use. 

Tubeless valves tend to be Presta, and so this is becoming the standard for all pumps, but there are some MTB options that will only do Schrader. Likewise, some pumps are Presta-only (and will also inflate the older Dunlop valves sometimes found on budget hybrid bikes), so check which valve type you have and make sure that  your chosen pump will work with it.

What's better; CO2 or mini pump?

A CO2 inflator will get your tyres inflated extremely quickly, and can even reseat tyres in a pinch. The downside is that the canisters are single-use, so if you take one with you and puncture twice or your tube is still not airtight, you're in trouble at that point. They're also a bit wasteful if you're not racing, and CO2 will also leak out of your tyres overnight, rendering them useless for multi-day trips.

Mini pumps, in contrast, take longer to inflate a tyre with, but the only limiting factor is your strength and energy levels. There is always enough air to pump and it's free. You're also not going to get frostbite from using a pump, unlike some CO2 inflators.

Should I buy a track pump?

While you can inflate your tyres at home before you head out with a mini pump it'll take ages and you won't get the pressures you want. For a gravel bike it'll take even longer. You could use a car tyre compressor, though these rarely work with Presta valves, but in either case, the one drawback is that you will have no idea what pressure you're running. 

A track pump, even a budget one, will allow you to inflate tyres quickly and easily and know what pressures you're running, which is key to producing a consistent ride feel, a faster ride, the right level of grip and protecting your tyres from sidewall damage while out on the road or the trail.

Do I need a reservoir pump?

Reservoir pumps are extremely useful if you need to set up tubeless tyres. Without an inner tube, seating these can be tricky or sometimes impossible using a track pump alone. Reservoir pumps (or other solutions like the Topeak Tubibooster) allow you to deliver a large volume of air in a very short space of time. This pops the tyre bead up onto the rim and allows the sealant to begin its job sealing the tyre. 

If you are in the market for a new track pump and are running or want to run tubeless then it's probably a good investment. If you already own a track pump then a separate reservoir like the Tubibooster is definitely a cheaper option and just as effective.

Should I buy an electric tyre inflator for my bike?

Electric tyre inflators will save you a fair amount of effort if you regularly inflate a lot of tyres, but they're not a silver bullet. Think of them as a nice luxury item though, rather than a necessity; they can't really do anything a track pump can't do, and when it comes to setting up tubeless tyres they can't provide as much air as quickly as a reservoir pump can.

How do we test bike pumps?

For this test we tried to keep things as repeatable as possible. For the track pumps, frame pumps, and the road mini pumps we used the same tyre and wheel combo, a 25mm Vittoria on a DT Swiss rim. For the high-volume gravel pumps we instead used a 42mm Teravail tyre on a Parcours rim. 

All the testing was conducted on the same day so as to normalise any interference from changes in temperature or atmospheric pressure. All measured pressures were verified with a standalone tyre pressure gauge, in this case, a Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital.

A bicycle pump in a garage

All pressures were independently verified by the Topeak Shuttle Gauge Digital  (Image credit: Will Jones)

Track pumps were tested to an indicated 120psi and then verified to see if they read high or low, as well as counting the strokes taken to reach such a pressure. Frame pumps were tested to see how much pressure they could achieve after 50 strokes to indicate how much air they realistically deliver, and both the road and gravel mini pumps were tested in the same manner but after 100 strokes. 

Frame and mini pumps were then tested to a point of reasonable failure, which is the point at which one would generally give up and decide the benefits of struggling to force a single stroke more air in were not worth it. This is naturally slightly more of a nebulous measurement, and subject to the vagaries of human nature, but it is a far better representation of what pressure can be attained than the stated maximum provided by each manufacturer.