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Best bike pump 2023: Track and mini pumps to suit any bike

Best bike pump

For everyday or emergency use, we round up the best track pumps and compact pumps to get your tyres to the perfect pressure

If you own a bike, having the best bike pump at your disposal – perhaps even two – is pretty much essential. The reason for this is that even if you avoid punctures, your tyres will slowly leak air. The effect is evident within days on narrow, high-pressure road models, and even wider tyres will soften noticeably after a few weeks. Buy the best track pump you can afford for home use and the best compact pump for roadside top-ups or puncture repairs and you’ll be fixed for almost any tyre-related eventuality.

Whatever style of bike you own, you do need to top up your tyres regularly and buying the right pump for the job will make your job far quicker and easier. Track pumps won’t fit in your rucksack, but they’re ideal for quickly pumping up tyres at home, especially when you want to reach the high pressures required for road bike tyres without giving yourself arm cramp. What’s more, the integrated pressure dial in a track pump allows you to precisely tailor the tyre pressure to your preferences, weight and riding style.

When it comes to the dreaded puncture, a more pocketable compact pump is an essential riding partner. These are easy to carry when cycling and will get as much air into your tyres as your arm muscles can muster.

In this article, we’ll cover both types of pumps, and explain which features you should look out for before making your choice.

Save big on the SKS Rennkompressor now

This timeless pump is of high quality and although quality usually costs, this discount makes it a superb purchase for your every pumping need.

Wiggle Was £72 Now £57 View deal

Topeak Race Rocket now on offer at TweeksCycles

This compact pump can be purchased for a discounted price, and is a sturdy and trustworthy item with a flexible hose that you won’t regret buying.

TweeksCycles Was £40 Now £24 View deal

Best bike pump: At a glance

How to choose the best bike pump for you

Which type of pump should I buy?

If you don’t own any type of pump at all, then you may want to budget for both a compact pump and a larger track pump.

Compact pumps are primarily designed to be used in puncture-related emergencies, so they prioritise minimal weight and size over ease of inflation.

Even the best compact pumps can take a hundred or so presses to get a road tyre up to the high pressures required, and they can take a long time to pump up wide MTB tyres too. You really don’t want to use a pocket pump as your sole source of air.

Ideally, you’d partner a compact pump with a larger floor-standing pump, also known as a track pump. A track pump’s large T-shaped handle allows you to put your back into pumping your tyres, while their larger air chambers make quick work of inflating any kind of tyre.

There are some pumps that aim to strike a balance between the two designs, however, so you can potentially opt for a do-it-all option as long as you’re willing to compromise a little on portability. A good example is Lezyne’s Micro Floor Drive ABS Pump, which is a capable jack-of-all-trades choice.

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Which features should I look out for?

Your bike will most likely have either skinny Presta valves (as found on almost all road bikes) or fatter Schrader valves (like those found on a car). Most pumps will work with both, although some will switch automatically, while others require minor disassembly to swap between styles. A few road bike-specific carry-along pumps will only work with Presta valves, so check your requirements before you buy.

Another key difference is that some pumps are specifically designed to suit narrower or wider tyres. If you have broad tyres, a high volume pump will inflate them quickly. If you have narrow road tyres, a high-pressure pump will inflate them more slowly but will make it easier to get them rock hard. All floor pumps will have a gauge to tell you the exact pressure, but many compact pumps leave you to rely on feeling alone. Finally, the way the pump attaches and whether it features a flexible hose to make this easier is another crucial feature to look out for.

How much do I need to spend?

Pumps needn’t be costly. About £20 for either a floor or compact style should get you something of decent quality. Spend more, and you’ll get greater durability, extra features and more pleasing performance. Look out for more prominent brands, and you’ll also get access to spare parts, meaning you could extend the life of your pump almost indefinitely.

All the pumps listed here should be supported by after-sales spares available through their original stockists. However, if unsure about a model you’re considering, a quick Google search should reveal whether replacement parts are available.

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The best bike pumps you can buy in 2023

1. Topeak Joe Blow Sport III Track Pump: Best mid-range floor pump

Price when reviewed: £41 | Check price at TredzThe bright yellow Joe Blow seems to appear in almost every bike workshop. Excellent value for a robust and ergonomic floor pump, its all-metal construction is seriously long-lasting. Better still, many shops will also stock the little rubber and plastic grommets needed to rebuild it if you do eventually wear it out.

In use, the Joe Blow performs just as you’d want. The brand’s twin head chuck is simplicity itself: with two colour-coded openings, one for Presta and one for Schrader, you simply push it on and flip back the lever for secure fitting. The bright and easily readable gauge will then tell you how much pressure you’ve added. The volume of each stroke suits it to both wide and skinny tyres alike.

Neat features such as a rotating hose connector plus spare inflators for footballs and other items round off a super value package.

Key features – Length: 785mm; Weight: 168g; Main material: Steel; Head type: Dual with switch; Pressure rating: 160psi; Extras: N/A

Check price at Tredz

2. SKS Rennkompressor EVA Head Track Pump: Best floor pump

Price when reviewed: £72 | Check price at WiggleAlthough spending much more on a pump is possible, the SKS Rennkompressor is probably the default choice for both pro bike mechanics and pro bike racers. Nigh on indestructible, it’s been doing the rounds in various formats for over 50 years.

It’s both timeless and tactile, with an orange steel body, cast iron base and wooden handle. It’s also capable of generating a very solid 230psi, which is probably only useful for track racers but is a cool feature nonetheless.

Unsurprisingly, over the years SKS has built up strong spares availability, so replacements will be easy to get hold of if you do wear something out. It’s available with four different head connectors, covering multi-valve, thumb lock, EVA head and press-on brass chuck styles. The last of these is the preference of most mechanics, but the other three options are a bit more modern and potentially easier to work with. Whichever you choose, being rebuildable means you can always switch later.

Key features – Length: 650mm; Weight: Heavy; Main material: Steel; Head type: Various; Pressure rating: 230psi; Extras: Folding stand

Check price at Wiggle

3. LifeLine Essential Track Pump: Best-value floor pump

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at WiggleAn uber solid pump with great features and a price less than half that of its rivals? There’s a lot to like about LifeLine’s Essential Track Pump. Occupying a price point where most of its competitors feel distinctly cheap and plasticky, it’s robust, accurate and stonking value for money.

It’s not stripped back either, with many high-grade features to match its more expensive rivals. These include an easy-to-use twin head that lets you pop the corresponding end straight onto either a Schrader or Presta valve with zero faff. Once in place, the pump reaches high pressures quickly, with your progress readable via its clock-face style gauge. Unlike on some pumps, this is located high up on the pump’s steel shaft, making it easy to read, even for the short-sighted. With a broad base to get your feet on top of, its long hose makes positioning easy, too.

Key features – Length: N/A; Weight: N/A; Main material: Steel; Head type: Dual with switch; Pressure rating: 140psi; Extras: Gauge

Check price at Wiggle

4. Lezyne Micro Floor Drive ABS Pump: Best compromise between size and speed

Price when reviewed: £46 | Check price at HalfordsThis clever pump straddles the gap between stay-at-home and carry-along designs. Small enough to fit in a backpack, it offers almost all the features of a floor standing pump in a miniaturised format. Most notably, it’s available in both high volume (HV) and high pressure (HP) versions to suit different tyre widths.

Its sturdy aluminium body houses a flip-down footrest to give it stability on the ground, and its T-handle provides you with a strong handhold from which to exert some serious pumping force. Its lengthy hose is a boon and is also long enough to wrap around the whole pump when folded down. With a reversible chuck screwing onto the end of the hose, it will cover both Presta and Schraeder valve types, and the in-line pressure gauge is a welcome sight.

Thanks to its quality construction and excellent spares availability, the Micro Floor Drive is an excellent choice if you only want to buy one pump.

Key features – Length: 300mm; Weight: 225g; Main material: Aluminium; Head type: Screw-on Presta/Schrader; Pressure rating: 160psi; Extras: In-line gauge

Check price at Halfords

5. SKS Airboy XL Pump: Best compact mountain bike pump

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Decathlon This oversized version of SKS’ Airboy is perfect for riders using wider tyres. Covering everything from mountain bikers to gravel and touring cyclists, it’s also available in a more diminutive high-pressure road version.

Its all aluminium construction should last for years and its simple push-on head is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves – the only downside is that you’ll need to dismantle the head to swap the parts around for each type. This is easily achieved, thankfully, and not something you’re likely to need to do often.

Rated to hit just over 70psi, the Airboy does this quickly and with a minimum of sweat thanks to a clever two-chamber pumping system that makes the most out of its diminutive stroke. Cramming a lot of volume into a small space, it will fit relatively easily into a bag or jersey, and the supplied frame mount is robust and secure, too.

Key features – Length: 179mm; Weight: 90g; Main material: Aluminium; Head type: Push-on Presta/Schrader; Pressure rating: 73psi; Extras: N/A

Check price at Decathlon

6. Topeak Race Rocket HP: Best all-round compact pump

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at TweeksLike the Lezyne pump featured above, the Topeak Race Rocket comes in either high pressure (HP) or high volume (HV) versions. We’ve opted for the HP version here and made it our pick for road riders looking for a reliable and high-quality carry-along pump.

With a sturdy metal construction, the body of the Race Rocket houses a flexible hose. Popped out when needed, this allows a degree of separation between the pump and the valve to make inflation easier and reduce the risk of causing damage to the tube.

Getting up to a high pressure isn’t too strenuous, while if you’re desperate to get in those last few psi, a rubber handle grip ensures your hands don’t slip. Equally good in its chunkier HV version, either makes a great addition to your saddlebag.

Key features – Length: 180mm; Weight: 89g; Main material: Aluminium; Head type: Screw-on Presta/Schrader; Pressure rating: 160psi; Extras: Flexible hose

Check price at Tweeks

7. Birzman Mini Apogee: Best micro pump

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Sigma SportsThis tiny 13cm long pump does a surprisingly good job of getting road bike tyres up to pressure. Occupying an absolute minimum of space, it’s best saved for emergency use and when you want to keep your carry weight to a minimum.

It’s able to fit both Presta and Schrader valves and its small stroke is capable of hitting high pressures on narrow tyres thanks partly to a pleasingly airtight head. That said, you’ll probably stop at a functional rather than rock-solid pressure – a pump this tiny is hard work.

The all aluminium construction feels robust, and there’s good spares availability, too. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a good choice for tubeless tyre users who don’t expect to be getting punctures on a regular basis and just need a little backup.

Key features – Length: 136mm; Weight: 80g; Main material: Aluminium; Head type: Snap-on Presta/Schrader; Pressure rating: 120 ; Extras: Tiny size

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