Pump Guide

Having properly inflated tyres dramatically reduces friction from the road and improves a bikes handling.

Tyre pressure for mountain bikes is usually 40psi and for road bikes it is usually 90psi. The best method is usually to pump tyres up to the pressure printed on the sidewall.

There are 3 basic varieties of pump:

  • Track pumps – They rest on the floor and the user stands on the baseplate while using both hands to pump. Track pumps are the fastest to inflate a tyre but are bulky and heavy
  • Hand pumps – Small and light, these pumps attach directly to the valve and are held in both hands by the user. Hand pumps are small and portable but take more effort to inflate tyres than track pumps
  • CO2 Inflators – Very small and very light, CO2 inflators rely on a shot of compressed air to inflate tyre. This takes no effort and very little time but gas canisters can only be used once before replacement

Although you may have a track pump for workshop use, when you’re out on the trail (or road) you will need an easily portable hand pump. So here is our pick of the best hand pumps and inflators:

Beto 2-Way Alloy Mini Pump with Gauge - £13.29

Genuinely great value pump. With a dual head design (for Presta or Schrader valves) and an easy-to-read gauge, this pump is stocked full of features despite its bargain price.

Lezyne Alloy Drive Hand Pump - £29.99

Precisely made to exacting standards this is a masterpiece of form and function. An external hose reduces pressure on the valve stem and stows inside the handle. The oversize barrel and overlapping handle result in a compact pump which inflates in 30% less strokes than a conventional hand pump.

Portland Design Works Magic Flute with Co2 option - £30.00

Ultra stylish and innovative pump combines a hand pump with a CO2 inflator. You can use the CO2 to inflate your tyre in seconds or, if you have a little more time or are out of cartridges, you can pump the old fashioned way. It works with Presta or Schrader valves.

Return to our commuter guides.