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How To Choose a Bicycle Pump

Cycling pump is one of the essential tools you must have if you are riding on the road bike. Pumps serve a straightforward purpose — keep your tires inflated. There are hundreds of pumps with different features and prices. When I was purchasing my first road bike together with a multitool and tire levers, I bought a floor pump.

My Experience Using Pump

I like to use the traditional pumps. I have three different type of pumps. Floor pump (or also known as track pump), frame pump and the mini pump. There are reasons for it.

Floor Pump With Pressure Gauge

This pump always stays at home. Usually, they are relatively heavy, big and have a flexible and long hose. It helps me efficiently and quickly inflates tires before every ride. Pressure gauge helps to maintain correct pressure, which you will find on the sidewall of any tire. I’m using this pump regularly (at least 150 inflations per year), and after some time I have noticed air leak. Rubber in the hose became less flexible, and I changed the pump.

Frame Pump

I’m using this pump on my secondary bike. This pump with me on rides which are more than 30 miles (50 km). It can inflate tires relative fast and more comfortable to use compared with a mini pump. Usually, it comes without a pressure gauge, and you have to control the tire pressure with fingers and experience.

Bicycle Pump Tire Inflation

Mini Pump

It’s my favorite pump which is always together with me on any up to 30 miles (50 km) rides. It is very lightweight and compact. Usually, I place it in my saddlebag. I recommend using this pump to inflate a flat tire on the road. Few tips I can give. Make sure pump designed for the road bike tire pressures and can inflate tires up to 90 psi / 6.2 bar. I wouldn’t recommend this pump for cold autumn/winter/spring rides. You will require to take more strokes to reach your desired pressure. Make it with freezing fingers is hard.

There are other options like CO2 inflators. CO2 cartridges have a limited quantity of air and can be used only once per cartridge. As I have said previously, I prefer to use traditional pumps.

Things to consider

  • Pressure Gauge. In my opinion, it is an essential thing for every pump. Using pressure gauge, you may reduce the tire wear. With correct tire pressure, your favorite tire will last longer. Keep in mind that pressure gauge accuracy is Plus/minus 10 psi and may vary depending on the model and quality of the pump. This may cause incorrect tire pressure and overinflate.
  • Size & Weight. As road bike user I like to keep things minimal. Compact and light pump models are a way to go.
  • Pump Heads & Valve Types. Road bike inner tubes use Presta valve. When you are choosing your pump, make sure they are suitable for the road bike or have both valve types. Mountain bikes use Schrader (car style valve).
  • Price. Don’t expect to spend too much. I have paid $20 for my floor pump, $15 frame pump and $20 for a mini pump.

Bicycle Pump Size And Weight

Every cyclist should have at least 2 pumps. First is floor pump that you will have at home and the second one, which will be during your rides in the back pocket, saddlebag or on the frame.

Thank you so much for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to RoadBikeBros Youtube channel. Please, share this article and leave your comments below. Enjoy cycling, and I will see you next time!