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Best bike pumps 2021 | Top-rated track pumps and mini pumps

The best track pumps and mini pumps and buyer's guide

Collage showing four of the best bike pumps as tested by the BikeRadar team

If you’re looking for one of the best bike pumps, you’ve come to the right place.

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Over the years, the team at BikeRadar have put countless pumps to the test, from high-end track pumps and frame pumps to get-you-home mini pumps.

This list brings together some of the most reliable and durable pumps there are and has options to cater for every type of riding. So you’ll be sure to find something to fit your needs, whether that’s pumping your tyres up to 100psi quickly or getting your hands on a pump that will help you seat a tubeless tyre easily.

We’ve divided this list into the best track pumps and the best mini pumps.

Track pumps are ideal for home use because they will make light work of pumping up tyres. Mini pumps are suited to taking out on rides in case you have to fix a puncture, because they are lightweight and will fit in a pocket or frame bag.

You can skip to the track pump or mini pump sections by hitting one of the following links:

If you’re not sure which pump is best for you, keep reading until the end for our bike pump buyer’s guide, where we take you through everything you need to know about this essential bike tool.

Best track pumps, as rated by our expert testers

  • Lezyne Classic Over Drive: £60 / $70 / AU$200
  • LifeLine Professional: £40 / $49 / AU$83
  • Birzman Maha Push & Twist V: £45 / $48 / AU$80
  • Topeak Joeblow Mountain X: £55 / $70 / AU$100

Lezyne Classic Over Drive

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Lezyne Classic Over Drive mountain bike pump
The hose is nice and long, which aids usability.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Use: MTB
  • Price: £60 / $70 / AU$200

The long, mid-volume barrel and quality metal construction help this Lezyne pump strike a great performance balance, with an easy action, smooth feel and low stroke counts. Although the gauge is at the base, it’s easy to read and accurate. The hose is long, and it’s easy to swap between valve types.

It’s a shame that there’s no bleed valve for spot-on pressure adjustment and some won’t like the screw-on head, although we had no issues with the valve core working loose. Max pressure is only 60psi, which rules out use as a road pump.

LifeLine Professional

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best track pumps
LifeLine’s Professional track pump is efficient, accurate and affordable.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • Use: Road, MTB
  • Price: £40 / $49 / AU$83

LifeLine’s professional track pump gets a 25mm Continental GP4000 tyre to 100psi in 25 strokes and was just 2psi out on our separate pressure gauge, which really doesn’t matter unless you’re very particular.

The steel barrel, wooden handle, long hose and all-metal switchable chuck are very impressive for the price, and we’ve had one of these going strong for years without complaint.

Birzman Maha Push & Twist V

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best track pumps
The Birzman Maha Push & Twist V is a decent track pump for road and mountain bikes.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • Use: Road, MTB
  • Price: £45 / $48 / AU$80

The Birzman’s USP is its ‘Push and Twist’ head – simply push down and twist, and it is both secure and quick and easy to disconnect. It took around 30 strokes to hit 100psi, or a few psi higher according to our separate digital gauge.

The chunky polymer feet and handle make the Birzman feel a little bit cheap compared to some other pumps on test, but the Twist/Push head is neat and effective.

Topeak Joeblow Mountain X

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Topeak Joeblow Mountain X mountain bike pump
The Joeblow Mountain X is one of the highest-volume track pumps out there.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Use: MTB
  • Price: £55 / $70 / AU$100

With its high-volume metal barrel, the mountain-bike specific Joeblow gets tons of air into tyres with just a few strokes and seats tubeless mountain bike tyres easily.

The head has a large locking lever, with separate holes for each valve type. There’s a big bleed valve near the base for fine-tuning pressure, via the large, easy-to-read gauge located midway up the barrel. A rubberised handle and smooth action add to the comfy, solid feel.

It’s not quite as stable as we’d like, though, and the hose isn’t that long, so using it on bikes mounted in a workstand is tricky. The high volume also means a stiffer action, and it only inflates to a max of 60psi.

Also consider

The following pumps scored fewer than four stars, but are still worth considering if you’re in the market for a new track pump.

Lezyne CNC Digital Drive

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Best track pumps
The Lezyne CNC Digital Drive’s party trick is its digital gauge.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • Use: Road, MTB
  • Price: £110 / $130 / AU$180

We found the CNC Digital Drive to have a very consistent gauge reading. Its long braided hose is attached to a screw-on ABS-1 HP head which – while slower than a thumb-lock – proved very secure on the valve.

We’re not sure you’ll ever hit the 350psi max, especially because it took a slightly sluggish 35 to 36 strokes to hit 100psi, but it’s well made and all the parts are replaceable.

Scott Syncros Vernon 2.0HV

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Scott Syncros Vernon 2.0 HV mountain bike pump
A long hose leads to an easily swappable and secure head
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Use: MTB
  • Price: £55 / $60

HV refers to the high-volume build of this MTB-specific pump.

It’s solidly constructed and, despite not having the widest base, remains stable during pumping. A long hose leads to an easily swappable and secure head. The gauge is mounted at the top of the barrel and has a clear PSI and bar scale. Next to this is an easy-to-access bleed valve.

The action is fairly stiff though, which makes seating tubeless tyres hard work despite the ample air volume, not helped by the basic plastic handle. A max pressure of 40psi limits its versatility.

SKS Air-X-Press 8.0

3.5 out of 5 star rating
SKS Air-X-Press 8.0 mountain bike pump
The head of the pump has separate holes for Schraeder and Presta valves.
Andy Lloyd
  • Use: Road, MTB
  • Price: £30

This pump is good value and, in years of use, has proven very robust, even if it doesn’t feel particularly sturdy. The two-hole head works well, while the gauge goes up to 140psi, proved accurate and is easy to read from a distance. In use, the plastic handle is comfortable to hold.

It’s rather wobbly, though, and the hose is short compared to other pumps. The barrel is also short, so you end up stooping to pump. While we managed to seat a tubeless tyre with the Air-X-Press, it took some furious pumping and more strokes than others. The action isn’t the smoothest either.

SKS Rennkompressor

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Track Pump road bike
The SKS Rennkompressor is built to last.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • Use: Road, MTB
  • Price: £70 / $80 / AU$113

The superbly constructed Rennkompressor came with a thumb-lock head (one of three chucks available) and took upwards of 35 strokes to reach our target pressure of 100psi, due to the shortish barrel.

But the sprung action is lovely and smooth and the fold-up metal feet make it handy for the car. The low-level gauge is the smallest and hardest to read here though.

Best mini pumps, as tried and tested by our expert reviewers

  • Lezyne Grip Drive HV Long: £33
  • LifeLine Performance MTB: £20
  • OneUp EDC 100cc: £54
  • Topeak Mountain DA G: £32

Lezyne Grip Drive HV Long

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best mountain bike mini pump
This reasonably priced pump is well built and performs well for its size.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Price: £33
  • Weight: 138g
  • Length: 239mm
  • Strokes to 25psi: 143
  • 100 strokes: 17psi

Not only does the Lezyne pump have a great weight-to-performance ratio, it’s reasonably priced, too.

The textured barrel provides grip for your palms and its design ensures your skin is kept out of harm’s way. It also adds to the pump’s well-built feel and good looks.

The screw-on hose attaches to the valve securely and rubber caps do a good job of keeping gunk out.

It takes a little longer to set up for use than some others and the small mounting bracket allowed the pump to rub against our frame.

LifeLine Performance MTB

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best mountain bike mini pump
While the pump will take a little longer to inflate larger-volume tyres, it’s still a great option for the price.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Price: £20
  • Weight: 139g
  • Length: 183mm
  • Strokes to 25psi: 222
  • 100 strokes: 12psi

This pocket-sized pump packs a punch, with impressive inflation speed for its size. It feels well-built, too, with all-metal construction and no annoying rattling out on the trails.

The extendable hose and push-on valve attachment have a locking tab that ensures a leak-free seal.

With 100 strokes taking you to just 12psi, it’ll take you a while to inflate large-volume tyres. Otherwise, there’s not much to moan about with this one.

And although we found it prone to pinching our skin while pumping, that low asking price is hard to argue with.

OneUp EDC 100cc

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best mountain bike mini pump
This larger-volume pump is probably best stored in a pack or on a bike frame.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Price: £54
  • Weight: 183g
  • Length: 247mm
  • Strokes to 25psi: 119
  • 100 strokes: 21psi

The rattle-free, machined aluminium build of this EDC pump feels second to none. It’s comfy in use and there’s no pinching of skin when compressing the handle.

Due to its large volume, each stroke takes a fair amount of effort, especially at higher pressures, but this does mean it inflates tyres in no time.

It’s easy to use, with a push-on valve attachment and while there is no locking mechanism it’s still very secure. The pump can also house OneUp’s EDC tool (sold separately).

Its size and weight mean it’s best fixed to your bike or put in a pack (although OneUp does sell a shorter 70cc version) and it is pricey.

Topeak Mountain DA G

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best mountain bike mini pump
This pump includes a pressure gauge that we found to be accurate and clear to read.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
  • Price: £32
  • Weight: 170g
  • Length: 257mm
  • Strokes to 25psi: 123
  • 100 strokes: 20psi

If fast inflation is your key consideration, the Topeak Mountain DA G offers maximum bang for your buck with its dual-action stroke and reasonable price.

The pressure gauge is accurate and clear, the push-on valve connection holds in place well with a locking tab, and the build quality is good. Its mount held it away from our frame, too.

Your arm never gets a rest because air is pumped on both the instroke and the outstroke. It occasionally pinched our skin while pumping.

The styling isn’t that appealing and it’s also bulky.


Bike pump buyer’s guide

Knowing how to pump up a bike tyre is an essential skill for cyclists, and a bicycle pump is one of the most basic, mandatory tools to own if you want to carry out your own bike maintenance.

Pumps are designed to serve a very simple purpose – that of adding air to your tyres. Despite this, many pumps seem to fall short of the mark. So we’ve put together this guide to tell you about the different types of pumps and what to look for when buying one.

Types of bike pump

Pumping up a mountain bike tyre with a track pump
Checking tyre pressure before a ride is a habit worth getting into.
Steve Behr / Immediate Media

Track pump

Every cyclist needs a decent track pump (also known as a floor pump), and if you’re building a home workshop it really should be one of your first purchases. This style of pump will almost always offer a long flexible hose, pressure gauge and large chamber for quick air transfer.

Hand pump

While a portable hand pump (or mini pump) can be used as your only option, it really shouldn’t be your first port of call.

Portable pumps are designed for emergencies or occasional use, and so are kept compact and light. With these size constraints come compromises.

The main issue is that these pumps stress the valve stem, eventually leading to a leaking or useless inner tube. There are pumps on the market that add a flexible hose to remove this issue, but you’re still left pumping longer than you would do with a track pump, and in many cases, not able to reach the ideal pressure.

Frame pump

Silca was giving an award for the best integration of its products into custom bikes. As a result, painted-to-match Impero Ultimate Frame Pumps were everywhere
Frame pumps were the norm for many years.
Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

Effectively a longer, more efficient hand pump. A frame pump is designed to fit within the triangle of a bike frame. This allows the pump to be bigger, which often means a more effective hand pump. You’ll generally only find this style of pump on steel road bikes and touring bikes.

CO2 inflators

You can inflate your tyres in a hurry with compressed carbon dioxide. This should only be used in case of a flat out on the road or trail though because the cartridges are expensive and wasteful.

A common 16g cartridge will inflate a standard 700 x 23c tyre to about 100psi.

An issue with these inflators is that you only have as many attempts as there are cartridges. A way out of this is with a hybrid pump, this combines both a CO2 inflator and hand pump together, so you can use the CO2 if you’re in a hurry or save it if you’ve got time.

We have a list of the best CO2 inflators if this sounds like the right thing for you.

Shock pump

If you own a mountain bike with air-sprung suspension, it’s worthwhile investing in a shock pump. This high-pressure, small-volume pump will often have a max pressure of 300psi, allowing you to get the right pressure and then fine tune it.

Other options

Fumpa electric bike tyre pump
Fumpa Pump is a battery-operated, rechargeable electronic tyre inflater.
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media

You could also consider a battery-operated air pump or air compressor.

The battery-operated air pump is popular among professional cyclocross mechanics – its electric-drill shape makes it easily portable and inflating light work, but its maximum pressure is limited and the good ones are expensive. Other options, such as the Fumpa, also exist.

Air compressors are the go-to option in bike shops and are especially handy when seating tubeless tyres, but are more expensive, very loud and casual users will sooner reach for a floor pump than switch on the compressor.

Things to consider when buying a bike pump

Mountain bike tyre pressure, pressure gauge 22 PSI
A pressure gauge might be worth adding to your tool collection if you run low pressures.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Pressure needed

Not many people really need a pump that goes to 260psi and even a committed mountain biker probably won’t need above 40psi. A higher-pressure pump is often a trade-off for volume output, or at least gauge accuracy. Because of this, brands such as Lezyne offer pump models specific to road or mountain biking.

Volume needed

Much like pressure, this will depend on your main bike choice. A high-volume pump will mean it takes fewer strokes to reach your desired pressure, but in turn, will generally mean a lower maximum pressure.

As mountain bike tyres have far greater volume (and lower pressure), a large-volume pump is more important here. If you have tubeless tyres, a pump with a massive volume output may be enough to seat a tyre without needing an air compressor.

Gauge accuracy

Few hand pumps include a gauge, but any decent track pump should.

Look for a gauge that’s easy to read and offers a suitable pressure range for your needs. Gauges are generally most accurate at the middle of the range, so if you’re trying to accurately inflate your mountain bike tyre between 23 and 25psi you’ll need a gauge with a low-pressure accuracy (or just a separate pressure gauge).

A pump with a digital gauge is also an option if you’re looking at more expensive options.

Pump heads and valve types

Presta (racing style) and Schrader (like on a car) are two of the most common valve types. Nearly all pumps these days will cater for at least Presta and Schrader, but not all are as simple as others.

Some pumps are valve-specific, others must be changed internally to fit various valves. A twin-valve head will have two separate slots for either valve, while a ‘smart-head’ will automatically adjust to the various valve sizes. Then there’s the thread-on style, which offers a reliable fit, but needs to be ‘flipped and changed’ depending on your desired valve.

If you use tubes or tubeless valves with a removable core, just be aware that some thread-on pump heads can unscrew the valve once inflated. For this style of valve, more common press-on style heads are best.

If you run tubeless tyres, check out our list of the best tubeless pumps and inflators.

Size

If your pump is going to stay at home, size isn’t going to be of great concern. But if you’re planning to carry your pump on a ride or take it in the car, then it’s an important factor in your decision. The smallest mini-pumps will eventually inflate a tyre, but are obviously limited on air volume.

Weight

Much like size, weight isn’t a concern if the pump is going to be left at home, and here, a sturdy pump that doesn’t topple over is a bonus. But if you’re looking to carry it with you, then you don’t want anything too heavy.

The most expensive pumps are now made with lightweight aluminium, but there are plenty of plastic options, which are perfectly acceptable too. Don’t trade low-weight for something that’s just not suited to your needs, but at the same time, there’s no point carrying extra weight if you don’t have to.

Construction

The quality of a pump’s construction is often in line with its price, and generally speaking the more expensive the pump, the more metal it contains.

For track pumps, the cheapest options are plastic and will flex and wobble under heavy use, eventually giving up. The metal ones are far more solid, keep going and are well worth rebuilding.

Serviceability

Serviceability generally applies to the more expensive pumps, which can be seen as a long-term investment.

Most main brands will offer a range of common spares to keep your pumps working. The most important spares are the head and valve gaskets because these will wear and begin to leak over time.

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Don’t buy an expensive pump if spares are not readily available.