7 Things to Consider While Choosing the Right Pump for Your Bike

Keeping the tires of your bicycle properly inflated is important, especially if you plan to go on long distance cycling routes. Therefore, a good bicycle pump is mandatory. Right now, there are a lot of bike pumps from different brands available in the market.


You just need to choose which bike pump is right for you. Before asking yourself what type of pump is appropriate for your bicycle tires you need to take a look at the following factors:

1. Valve Type

Take a look at the valves attached to your tires. There are two common types: the Presta and the Schrader. The main differences between the two valves are their lengths and exterior appearance.

Presta valves are longer and slenderer compared to the Schrader. At the same time, Presta valves have threads on its exterior which runs almost through its entire length.

2. Pump Type

There are three common types of pumps: the floor pump, the foot pump, and the frame mounted pump. Each pump has its own advantage.

Generally, the floor pump and the foot pump are meant to stay in your homes while the frame pump is meant to be carried along on those bike trips.

The floor pump is excellent for pumping in huge quantities of air into the tire. This is possible due to its large built and a huge cylindrical chamber which supplies much needed air to complete the inflation faster.

The foot pump, on the other hand, is suitable if you want to refrain from hurting your lower back as it lets your feet do all the work. The foot pump is comparably smaller than the floor pump and a bit more portable.

And lastly, the frame pump’s handy design is excellent for long distance travels. This is what cyclists often prefer compared to the former pumps mentioned because they can carry it on their bike trips.

3. Terrain

A bike is versatile. You can use it for exploring rugged mountain terrains or for simply travelling on the city’s roads.

Consider the frequency of your bicycle tires being subjected to constant impacts from any rough terrain. Cycling on rugged or mountainous terrains tend to deflate your tires faster compared to flat terrain cycling.

If you are to spend most of your time cycling on the city’s roads, a flat pump or a floor pump is ideal. In contrast, if you are spending most of your time cycling on mountainous regions, then the frame pump is an excellent type to bring along on those trips.

4. Pressure Ratings

All bicycle tires have different pressure ratings depending on what type of tire it is. Pressure ratings could also depend on where you are to spend most of your time cycling.

For city cycling, where terrains are mostly flat and relatively smooth, choose pumps that can supply higher pressures. This is to ensure smooth experience when traversing on city roads. Choose pressure pumps that can supply 80 to 130 psi.

On the other hand, cycling on mountainous regions may require pumps that can supply lower pressures compared to pumps for city cycling.

In order to absorb the constant impact of rugged objects along mountainous terrains, a slightly underinflated tire is recommended for pumping therefore the need for lower pressure rating pumps. The recommended pressure rating for mountain bike tires is from 30 to 60 psi.

5. Accuracy and Suitability of the Pressure Gauge

When choosing bike pumps, check for the numerical ranges of the pressure gauge. It is critical to choose pumps according to the pressure ratings which are recommended by the manufacturers of the tires.

If you only need relatively smaller pressures to inflate your bike, it is advisable to choose pumps that have gauges with a maximum reading of at most 70 psi.

It will be harder to determine or read the pressure being supplied to the tires on gauges that have higher numerical ranges. This is because the graduations on the gauge are too large for smaller pressures to be read.

Similarly, for bike tires that need higher amount pressure ratings, it is advisable to choose pumps whose maximum reading can reach 150 psi.

Choosing a pump with a gauge whose rating is lower compared to the needed pressure will not serve its purpose. On another note, though optional, purchasing portable gauges is an excellent to help the rider determine if the tire pressure is in top shape.

If ever you need to purchase this, remember to check the adequacy of the ranges of the numeric pressure values.

6. Intake Volume

A lot of lightweight pumps are widely available in the market to cater to the needs of those who are frequently travelling at great distances. But, they may not be able to inflate your tires as quickly as the bigger pumps.

Typically, the larger the pump, the more volume of air it can supply to your tires at a single stroke of the pump which means that completely inflating your pump will take lesser time.

But, bigger pumps are bulky and not convenient for travels. Of course, the bigger the pump, the heavier the weight. If you opt to choose lighter pumps, ask yourself whether you want to spend a couple of extra seconds on the side of the road to completely inflate your tires.

7. Durability and Serviceability

Bike pumps will serve as an investment for keeping your tires in top shape. Smaller type pumps tend to wear-out faster than those bigger sized pumps. Just imagine the amount of pressure that you repeatedly apply to the pump just to get the tires inflated.

It has been observed that pumps made from alloy materials are more durable and robust compared to bike pumps made of plastic although plastic is comparably lighter.

Final Words

For individuals who are passionate about cycling, investing in bike pumps is a must and it requires a careful decision making process. In order to make things easier, just remember all these factors mentioned to help you obtain the right bicycle pump.

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