Best of Bike Tools series: Bike Pumps and Inflators
Getting air in your tires isn’t the sexiest conversation but its something that cyclist do almost every day. So why not get the best, most efficient equipment for the task? Now, each rider and riding style has different needs. Do you need something that will fix your flat instantly like a CO2 cartridge, or are you someone who takes time and prefer the dependability of a portable bike pump? Either way, our list has got you covered, and don’t be that guy with only a portable hand pump for the garage. You need to have the right tool for the job whether you keep it in your vehicle or in the bike cave – we’re here to help you find the right one for you, from the best bike pumps to the best value products.
Let’s get you pumped!
Pumps – for the garage and vehicle:
For most, this is the pump that is used most often – it’s the pump that gets the pre-ride check, slammed into the trunk of the car and thrown into the pits if we need it. A floor pump is a tool that doesn’t get enough credit – maybe that’s because most people aren’t using the right one for their riding and overall bike needs. These are the best we could find – all have their own reasons for best of status and are perfect for the garage or vehicle.
Topeak Joe Blow Mountain X:
This unique mountain bike specific floor pump features a super-sized barrel that inflates tires and tubes nearly 50% faster than normal floor pumps. It delivers the higher volume required for large volume off-road tires and the 3 inch easy-to-read low-pressure gauge helps you dial in the proper pressure. The large base is easy to rail on and the large steel base provides stability. The best feature on the Joe Blow Mountain X is how quickly it seats tubeless tires and fills fat bike/plus tires. A must have for anyone that loves constant pressure readings and has a few plus tire bikes in the shed.
For more info topeak.com
Specialized Air Tool MTB:
Designed for low pressure, and high volume tires, the Air Tools provides precise pressure to ensure that your tires are set up for whatever the trail throws at you. The Air Tool has an easy to read 3″ inch gauge that ragens from 0-40 PSI, giving the user maximum resolution and easy to read volume readouts. The large 508cc volume aluminum barrel pushes enough air to seat tubeless tires and the Ergonomic Wing handle feels nice when in use. The Air Tool comes with an auto selecting SwitchHitter II technology and easily adapts to Presta and Schrader valves. The best feature is on the Air Tool is the accuracy of the pressure read out – the large display and the fact it maxes out at 40psi make hitting exact psi easy and consistent.
For more info specialized.com
Audew Cordless Air Compressor:
The choice of cross country pits crews and quick pressure adjuster worldwide, the cordless air compressor is a great tool to have on race day or preride. The light 2.3-pound tool easily fits in a pack and has an easy to read digital scale that offers pressure setting that shut the pump down at the desired psi. Perfect for the pits and race day pack and charges easily like a power tool. The best feature of the Audew Cordless Air Compressor is the set pressure and ease of use on the cross country and cyclocross course. A must have if you’re a pressure freak and love gadgets.
For more info audew.com
SKS Airworx -Plus:
These are made for heavy duty professional use and abuse with steel cylinder, huge-solid base. The Multi-Valve-Head works easily for all valves and lasts a long time before you ever need to replace the seals. The precision gauge on top with adjustment ring extra allows for prescise read outs for both mountain and road bike use. The best feature of the SKS Airworx is the bombproff nature of the build, the craftsmen ship and materails are designed to last and the SKS brand is well respected for thier warranty – perfect if you want a pump that will go the distance.
For more info sks-germany.com
CO2 inflators small and packable:
For those that the weight and speed of a CO2 cartridge out weights (pun intended) the couple dollars in purchase – these are for you. The quickest fill up, lightest and easiest to use are all coming up. So make sure you have a good place to stash them because these chucks are so lightweight they will float out of your jersey.
Silca EOLO Regulator:
The smallest threaded valve CO2 chuck on the market enblazened with Silcas Italian heritage. The EOLO regulator is a new take on the oldest CO2 regulator head. Perfect for the rider looking for the smallest and reliable CO2 chuck on the market, plus it arrives with two 16g cartridges. The head is easy to use, thread the cartridge and push the head onto the valve. You can regular the speed and amount of air coming in and out by letting some pressure off the valve. The best feature of this chuck is how light and compact it is – perfect for anyone who likes to ride with minimal luggage and bags – the classy Italian look is a bonus as well.
For more info silca.cc
Genuine Innovations Air Chuck +:
The AirChuck+ features a lightweight, push-to-inflate technology in an ergonomic design that keeps your hand off the cartridge ensuring they never get frostbite. Available in silver or blue with a rubber outer to keep a grip even with sweaty hands. The chuck head works with both Presta and Schrader valves and is compatible with 16 gram, 20 gram, and 25-gram threaded CO2 cartridges. Our favorite feature in the Air Chuck + is how easy it is to use and rubber around the chuck a nice touch for riders who hate the feeling of a frozen glove to a C02 cartridge.
For more info genuineinnovations.com
Simple and to the point, the CrankBros Klic is the minimalists C02 chuck. No filler all killer, this chuck is simple. Thread on and push on to the valve head – get back onto the trails quickly. We love how portable and simple this chuck is, the rubberized outer keeps it from marring tools in your pouch, and makes it easy to grip.
For more info crankbrothers.com
Lezyne Ctrl Drive:
In true Lezyne fashion, their CNC machined aluminum C02 chuck is crafted from beautiful alloy. The chuck has a CNC control knob twists for easy and controlled inflation and Twin Slip Chuck head presses on to Presta and Schrader valves easily. The Neoprene sleeve insulates hands from the chill while in use and can be used time and time again. We love the look and control knob on this chuck – if you like Lezyne tools are looking to match the set – the Ctrl Drive is for you!
For more info lezyne.com
In the pack or in the jersey – straight up pump:
If you don’t like taking chances of running out of cartages or prefer the utilitarian nature of hand pump your not alone these are for you. The hand pump is the hero that saves riders after the sealant runs out and the Macgyver time is at hand. Over the years hand pumps have evolved to be more efficient and focused in on the specific riders needs. Mountain bike hand pumps are high volume – making it easier and faster at getting air into the tire and keep you on the trail with less lag time. The following cover all the bases of the best- weather you like a basic get it done, or you need the pressure to the exact psi – these pumps will get you sorted.
Park Tool Mini –
This super small micro pump fits in just about any bag or jersey pocket or mounts directly to the frame. One word comes to mind; dependable. I’ve used my Park Tool Mini pump for years with no issues. Though rainy training rides to fall out of the road on a decent- this is a pump you can count on. It’s compact and ideal to take along when space and weight are an issue – great for the pack. The aluminum barrel comes with a locking dual head and soft-touch dual-density flip out handle that’s easy to use with gloves. The best feature of the Mini is its robust build, simple and strong – always there when you need it – like an old friend.
For more info parktool.com
Crank Bros Klic:
For those looking for some flare and cool features, the CrankBros Kilc is a premium hand pump. The Klic uses a flexible rubber hose hidden inside the body of the pump when not in use. THe Klic also boasts an air pressure gauge, magnetic head with twisting collar, a folding and locking handle, and a presta/schrader valve adapter. If James Bond used a hand pump he would use the Klic. The coolest features are all hidden – the pump looks unassuming and – boom – there are all these cool gadgets that help you get on the trail and with the right pressure. The Klic is also available in both low and high-pressure models.
For more info crankbrothers.com
Lezyne HV- With Gauge:
Compact, lightweight, classy – the Lezyne high volume pump is just that. Crafted from CNC alloy the HV used as CNC machined aluminum barrel, handle and piston – optimized for high volume uses. Equipped with the ABS Pen Gauge Flex Hose; an integrated pressure gauge compatible with Presta and Schrader valves. The best features of the HV is the craftsmanship, gauge, and overall look – combining old world and new to deliver a stunning product that will last for ages.
For more info lezyne.com
A classic look and easy to use – what more could you want. The larger barrel version pumps from Topeak are perfect more air volume and for mountain bikers. The large integrated 1-1/8” diameter gauge is easy-to-read and provides consistent inflation every time. The pump uses Dual-Action which doubles volume with each stroke and inflates tires up to pressure quickly. The integrated dust cap keeps the pump head free from dirt and sand and thumb lock lever ensures an air-tight seal. The best feature of the Topeak mini is the ease of use and dual-action pumping – this pump gets tires filled up fast, while the gauge is easy to read under low light in the trail. Perfect for the mountain biker that likes to go exploring and recognizes the dependability of a hand pump.
For more info topeak.com