Now, that you have a good idea on what the top models are and what to look for when shopping for any type of pump, even a bike shock pump, it’s time to move on and actually tackle the frustrations or considerations you may stumble upon in the process of deciding which one of the 12 models described above is the best bike pump for you. And there are certain characteristics that apply to all models, here’s what they are.
A good quality pump head, like the one on the Topeak bike pump, for example, will allow you to easily attach and also detach the head to any of the Presta or Schrader valves. Not only that it should be compatible with both valve models but it should also secure a tight seal and prevent any leaks. If you’re using a mountain bike pump that leaks air, you’ll never reach the desired pressure and the effort you make to inflate your tires is also greater. As you see above, the most-indicated air pump for bike tires is one that automatically adjusts on each type of valve with no need for an adaptor or switching sides. Another thing to consider when talking about the pump head is materials, in all the bike pump reviews we’ve been through so far, a combination of metal and rubber is the best way to ensure durability and a tight fix.
Using a bike pump requires stability among other elements in order to get the tire inflated within a reasonable amount of time. That’s exactly why the best mountain bike pump will be the one that, besides maximum PSI, materials used for construction and type of head, has a stable base so that you can inflate the tires no matter where you need to. It might already be clear that using a bike frame pump will pose some serious issues regarding stability due to the fact that you can’t really keep it still while pumping. Besides contributing to a more efficient inflating process, a stable base will also help with the amount of effort you put into that. For example, a bike foot pump is probably the one that requires the least effort to inflate a tire due to the fact that you only use your foot.
No matter if you’re looking for a Schrader bike pump or a Presta one, it’s a good idea to have a gauge fitted on. The most experienced riders won’t really feel the need for a gauge in order to determine what’s the best bike tire pump for their needs, however, considering there are different inflation instructions for each type of tire, it doesn’t harm to have one. It’s a bit uncommon to see a gauge fitted on a compact bike pump, that’s why if you want a pump with a gauge you’ll probably have to go with something bigger such as a floor pump.
For the ones of you that are still wondering where to buy a bike pump, the inflation speed might not matter that much as this is a thing that will come with time after you already tried a couple of models. But it won’t hurt to start with a good bike pump from the beginning. As mentioned above, a bike pump with a pressure gauge is recommended, however, this won’t really affect the inflation speed. Actually, the fastest pumps on the market right now are the CO2 ones that can deliver a vast amount of volume into the tires almost instantly. However, if we were to look at an air pump for bicycle tires, in terms of speed, a bigfoot pump is the best choice if you want high inflation speeds. It goes without saying that a compact bicycle pump won’t offer you the speeds you need so a standing bike pump is most likely the choice you need to make.
Whenever you’re checking a bike pump for sale, try to determine exactly why you need that pump in the first place. If you’re that kind of riders that apply a few pumps then feels the tire and they are good to go, then you won’t need a racing bike pump to exactly calculate the pressure within and be able to know how much more pressure you add with each stroke. But if you’re attempting to become a pro, those extra PSI’s can really make a difference so you’ll want to have accuracy in mind when you buy bike pumps. Most of the stand-up bike pumps have a built-in gauge that is accurate enough, however, you can double check that with a different gauge just to be on the safe side.
If you’re not looking for something in particular but you just want a universal bike pump that is durable and will last forever, pay close attention to the materials it is built from. The most common material is aluminum alloy for the tube and rubber on the hose and head. Sometimes, plastic or metal is used for the head and that adds to durability but might make it harder for it to lock tight on the valves. A bike wheel pump should be able to face being left on the frame of the bike with no real damage.
Entering an area that might affect the bike pump price as well. Comfort is something that few riders think of when buying a pump. If you’re going for a cheap tire pump, then comfort isn’t going to be a priority and you’ll most probably put more effort into inflating your tires. But even with all the comfort in the world, the tire won’t inflate itself so you’re still going to get a bit uncomfortable when dealing with your flat tire.
Another buying consideration that doesn’t really address the ones that are at the ‘where to buy bicycle pump’ phase. It’s true that a small air pump for a bike is more likely to have a pleasant design and also look cool but when you’re too focused on design, you might lose efficiency. So, in the end, it comes back to the exact reason you’re buying using a bicycle pump for.
A category where different bike pumps offer a vast range of options, portability is very important because you will need to carry it around you in case of an emergency. In terms of portability, the most important features are weight and dimensions. To take care of the weight part you should opt for an aluminum bike pump and regarding dimensions, your best bet is a small and basic bike pump that will fit on the bike frame.
Some riders are also interested in what else comes in the package and not the best air pump for bike tires per se. The extras that are most common with bike pumps are the ball-inflating needle, some special valves for inflatable pools or a number of different such devices. It’s common for the best value bike pump to also include these accessories, however, you can always buy them separately.