The Best Bike Pump Review

Click to enlarge
We put eight of the top-performing floor pumps to the test and measured their performance in five categories. We believe these metrics will make all the difference when you are pondering which contender to buy: stability, ease of attachment/detachment, gauge, inflation speed, and accuracy. Happily, no contender failed miserably in any of our categories. Every pump succeeded in placing more air into the tire than it had before; some came up a little short, while others scored perfect tens. Most of the models we tested are solid, good quality pieces of equipment, but we did notice some key performance differences in our tests. Read on to discover how all competitors fared in our comparisons!

Read the full review below >

Test Results and Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 8 << Previous | View All | Next >>

Analysis and Award Winners

Review by:

Review Editor

Last Updated:
August 3, 2016

Best Overall Bike Pump

Lezyne Steel Floor Drive

Editors' Choice Award
Lezyne Steel Floor Drive
Price:   Varies from $55 - $60 online
Compare at 3 sellers

Read the review

Unlike a dropper seatpost or brand new bike, a pump for your bike is nothing to get overly excited about. That being said, buying a pump should be a one-time deal. Buying a pump that breaks and needs to be replaced every couple years is a poor investment. We feel the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive embodies everything that a quality pump should be. This pump is sturdy, easy to use, accurate, and gets the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Like a Napa Valley wine snob, you'll find yourself expounding on the virtues of the ABS2 (Air Bleed System) air chuck whenever you use a different pump. When other people are around, you'll purposely over-inflate your tires and give the ABS button a couple hits, hoping the satisfying "pfft…pfft…pfft" sound will garner adoring stares from jealous friends. Until someone starts making a handle out of the tusk of a Wooly Mammoth, the varnished wooden handle of Lezyne pumps will make you turn your nose up to plastic handles.

Best Bang for the Buck

Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2

Best Buy Award
Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2
Price:   Varies from $40 - $50 online
Compare at 2 sellers

Read the review

Don't interpret Best Buy to mean cheapest. We list prices for you and if price is your only concern, save yourself some boring research and pick the lowest number. While the Topeak Joe Blow Sport 2 is 20 dollars more than the least expensive pump in the test, we are confident this pump is dollar-for-dollar a much better choice. The Sport 2 selected a smart mix of metal parts to enhance durability and longevity and then combined that with plastic to keep weight and costs down. Unlike the less expensive pumps whose pressure readings were consistently inaccurate, the Sport 2 was spot on every time. For even more value, Topeak threw in a bladder and ball inflator; a secure and convenient storage spot on the pump assures you're less likely to lose them and have to buy them again.

Top Pick for Seating Tubeless Tires

Topeak JoeBlow Booster

Top Pick Award
Topeak JoeBlow Booster
Price:   Varies from $147 - $160 online
Compare at 2 sellers

Read the review

With tubeless tires becoming mainstream in recent years, more and more riders are discovering when it comes time to buy some new rubber for their ride, installation is a bit more complicated than a traditional tubed tire. Tubeless tires require a sudden blast of air in order to seat the tire bead onto the rim, with an air compressor typically being needed for this job. The Joe Blow Booster functions in the same manner as a regular floor pump, but also features an additional high-pressure air chamber that can be "charged" and released in much the same manner as a noisy, corded, expensive air compressor. It takes about 50 pumps to reach the 160 psi that the chamber holds. A selector dial surrounds the elevated, easy to read gauge; when rotated, the air rushes out and snaps the tire bead onto the rim. Construction of the Booster was top-notch; it featured our favorite base design, ranking it at the top in stability. With a 59 inch hose, you can inflate tires from the neighboring zip code but it wraps up and stows away neatly when you're finished. An air bleed button just below the gauge lets you fine tune your pressure, while still being within a 2 percent accuracy range. Is it worth the $160 price tag? Yes indeed. It's heavy for a floor pump, but you can still easily bring it along on a road trip to Moab. You'll be singing its praises the first time you blow a sidewall on a trip, and instead of driving into town to find a bike shop, you get to stay by the campfire and drink beer with your crew while fixing that tubeless tire.

You might also like

Analysis and Test Results


Pumping up a bicycle tire to full pressure can be a full aerobic workout. It looked like a CrossFit class pounding out sets of burpees with our testers side-by-side, madly pumping away. The base of a floor pump needs to be just as strong as you in order to hold up to pumping forces and provide a lifetime of service. Bases take a pretty good beating; they comes in contact with the ground and you stand on them. For these reasons, we found the best bases to be made from metal.

Our top ranking pump in this category was our Top Pick winner the behemoth Joe Blow Booster. This was one of the two pumps we tested that was designed with an additional high-pressure air chamber used to seat the bead on tubeless tires. This is a tall, heavy pump, with a large steel base that provided a great foundation. There is plenty of room for your feet, as the base measures 10 inches across and about 4 1/2 inches front to back. An overbuilt plastic cradle mounted directly on top of the base, which holds the barrel and high-pressure chamber in place. There is no rubber or plastic protection to the underside of the base.; it's not the base that needs protection though, just use caution when using this hefty pump on delicate surfaces. The other compressor-type pump in our test, the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger also had a top scoring base incorporating a robust stamped aluminum tripod base. Our Best Buy winner, the Topeak Joe Blow Sport 2, featured a strong aluminum base, though we were not as pleased with the ovoid shape. Standing on its own, it was a bit tipsy; fortunately, the issue was largely resolved when standing on the base during pumping. The svelte, minimalist, tripod aluminum design used for the bases on the Lezyne pumps were a favorite as well.

Click to enlarge
It's all about that base! These are the best of the bases from left to right; Bontrager FLASHcharger, Nashbar Earl Greyy, Lezyne Steel Digital Drive, Lezyne Steel Floor Drive, Topeak Joe Blow Booster

The pumps scoring the lowest in this category were the ones that featured fully plastic bases. Both the Park Tool PFP-8 and the Serfas TCPG had lightweight plastic bases that resulted in these pumps feeling less "grounded". It only took one toss into the truck to snap the fragile base of the Park in half. The slim design of the Serfas did have some benefits; although we don't prefer it as our everyday pump, its lightweight and slim base made it easy to pack in a suitcase for travel.

Click to enlarge
These were the 3 lowest scoring bases. Compared to the above pumps, these were not as stable and construction was of lesser quality often using plastic. Left to right; Park Tool PFP-8, Topeak Joe Blow Sport 2, Serfas TCPG

Ease of Attachment/Detachment

The ABS2 (Air Bleed System) air chuck on our Editors' Choice winning Lezyne Steel Floor Drive was hands down our favorite pump head. This head fits both Presta and Schrader valves in the same port without swapping or flipping any parts around.

Click to enlarge
It's hard using any other air chuck once you've experienced the ease of attachment and ability to bleed off air with the ABS2 from Lezyne.

The heads of the Flash Charger, Joe Blow Booster, and Serfas all have a single head design, but are more difficult to attach and detach. With the other pumps, once the head is pressed onto the valve, flipping the lever to secure the head onto the valve is most often a two-handed procedure that often creates air leakage. By contrast, the knurled aluminum locking sleeve on the ABS2 chuck slides forward and back; a simple twist locks it onto the valve stem. Aluminum couplers are used in place of plastic where the head meets the hose; the ability to fine-tune pressure by releasing air from the tire lies directly under your thumb. Our other award winners set themselves apart by using a more durable design in comparison to their lower ranking competitors. Both The Booster and the Joe Blow Sport made use of metal, where other pumps like the Serfas, Park, and Nashbar Earl Grey all used plastic and were more finicky to attach.


Like we mentioned above, pumping up a bike tire can be a pretty good workout. With sweat already starting to sting your eyes, it's no fun to have to squint or bend down further to check what pressure the pump gauge is reading. Height, color combination, and print size are a few of the important factors that can make the difference between a good gauge and a bad one. Our test favorite gauge goes to the Top Pick Topeak Joe Blow Booster. Located at the top of the high-pressure compressor barrel, the elevated position minimizes the distance from the gauge to your eyeballs.

Click to enlarge
Bontrager FLASHcharger (left) and Topeak Joe Blow Booster (right). We liked gauges that were positioned at the top of the pump, bringing them closer for easier reading. Even close up, the Bontrager's gauge suffered from tiny print and poor measurement spacing. The Top Pick Booster was much more user friendly.

Like the other highly ranked gauge on the Joe Blow Sport 2, the white numbers (on the black background) and yellow needle seemed to "pop" and stand out for clear, easy readability. The Sport 2 also features a handy chronograph dial that can be set at a desired pressure; even those with poorer eyesight can preset the dial and not worry with the numbers. The gauge on the Nashbar Earl Grey also uses a black background with large, silver/grey font and a chronograph dial. Unfortunately, the gauge would later prove to be the most inaccurate of the test. Often times when a gauge is mounted towards the top of a pump, although it may be easier to read, it is more subject to damage should the pump fall over. The thick plastic selector dial used to release air from the compressor chamber fully surrounds the gauge on the Booster. The gauge suffered no damage during repeated "chuck it in the truck" testing or while during our even more formal method of kicking it over in the driveway.

Our Editors' Choice Lezyne Steel Floor Drive has its gauge mounted atop the front tripod leg and is fully encased in metal, thwarting lots of potential damage. The bold black print against a polished metal background gave this gauge a quality appearance.

Click to enlarge
The gauge of the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive is surrounded by metal, easy to read, simple and elegant. The design team at Lezyne has good taste.

The high-tech brother of the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive, The Lezyne Steel Digital Drive was the only pump in this test to use a digital gauge. The gauge was simple to use with one button to turn the unit on and another to switch between psi and bar. A few caveats were that when left in the hot sun, the digital display window would develop a black spot that obscured the reading and would remain until the unit was removed from direct sunlight. Additionally, much in the same way some lighting conditions make reading a cell phone screen difficult, the same was true for the digital gauge. Lastly, although the pump still functions without the gauge, should the battery die, you'll need to replace it or check tire pressure with a different device.

Our lowest scoring gauges were those of the Serfas TCGP and the Bontrager Flash Charger. The Serfas gauge had tightly spaced black print on a white background, giving it a crowded appearance that proved difficult for many testers to read, while the Bontrager had miniscule black print on a silver background. Most dreadful was the spacing of the pressure readings. Pressure readings increased in increments of 20, with no intermediate markings severely decreasing accuracy and forcing the user to make a best guess reading.

With exception of the Digital Drive, all the bike pumps in this test are somewhat lacking in precision if you only have tubeless mountain bike tires. Because of the low pressures these tires run at, often times the first pressure readings on the gauges are where these tires are ridden; a separate low-pressure gauge would be nice. Lots of these companies offer high-volume, low-pressure mountain bike specific pumps as well.

Inflation Speed

When testing inflation speed, we decided to count the number of strokes that were used to reach a pre-determined pressure on both a tubeless mountain bike tire and a road bike tire. Specifics on the tire/wheel set combo we chose can be seen in our How We Test article. The mountain bike tire was taken from a zero pressure reading (flat tire) up to 25 psi, while the road bike tire was taken from a soft 60 psi to a firmer 120 psi.

The surprising top performers in this test were two bike pumps that otherwise ranked lower on a number of other scoring metrics. The Park Tool pfp-8 pump took a scant 14 pumps on average, while the Earl Grey took 16 to take our road tire from 60-120 psi. By comparison, the Lezyne Digital required 38 strokes along that same journey. Both the Park and Earl would prove to be chronic over-reporters of their actual pressures, so perhaps a stroke or two should go against their records. Our Editors' Choice Lezyne Steel Floor Drive matched the paltry 16 pumps of the Grey, while the Joe Blow Booster, Serfas, and Joe Blow Sport 2 fell somewhere in the middle.

The Bontrager Flash Charger draws air from the tire into the pump upon attachment, causing a drastic reduction in the starting tire pressure. In our road tire test, after attaching the head to the tire inflated to 60 psi, tire pressure dropped to 15 psi and required 23 strokes just to get back to our starting pressure of 60 psi. An additional 32 strokes were needed to reach the final pressure of 120 psi, with those numbers adding up to 55 strokes! A pump that costs 3x the cost of our least expensive Park Tool PFP-8 ($120 vs. $38) required 4x as much effort to pump up a tire. Those numbers don't work for us.

During our testing we had great success using the Booster pump and installed 29 inch, 27.5 inch, plus, and fat sized tubeless tires. Out of all the tires we seated, only one set (2 tires) of Continental Trail King 27.5 x 2.4 inch tubeless mountain bike tires refused to comply. This tire has a burly sidewall and is folded for packaging. Despite trying a bunch of tricks like setting the tire out in the sun, using Windex on the tire bead, using a tube to seat one side, etc., etc., we never got the tire to snap. To the Booster's credit, an air compressor didn't do the trick either. A couple shop mechanics had a try and neither could get the tire on; it took a combination of riding the tire with a tube installed for a couple rides and leaving it in the hot car to get the pesky sidewalls to settle down.

One major difference between the Booster and the Bontrager Flash Charger, as well as the other tubeless compressor-type pump we tested, was that the Booster didn't rob the tire of a huge amount of air when the head attaches to the valve. This annoying design of the Flash Charger resulted in a far greater amount of pumping.


Whenever we inflated a tire, we would detach the head and then cross-reference the pressure reading from the pump gauge with a reading from the Topeak Smartgauge D2 digital pressure reader. Over the course of our testing, we amassed a great number of readings to ensure our findings were significant and representative.

Click to enlarge
The Topeak Smartgauge D2 digital pressure reader was used to check accuracy.

Our findings suggest that accuracy tends to increase as price increases. The old adage, "you get what you pay for", seems to hold some water…err…air here. The three pumps that were the least accurate in our test were also the three least expensive pumps; the Park, Nashbar Earl Grey, and Serfas. All of these pumps' gauges displayed pressures up to 6 percent different than the pressures we got from Topeak Smartgauge D2 we used for verification. The Lezyne Digital and our Best Buy winner Topeak Joe Blow Sport 2 were the most accurate pumps with less than a 1 percent difference in readings. Our Top Pick Joe Blow Booster and Editors' Choice Lezyne Steel Floor Drive were a mere percentage point or less away in accuracy.

Alternatives to Floor Pumps

Click to enlarge
Frame Pumps
These are not nearly as convenient as floor pumps, they are more compact, and can be less expensive. If you only have one bike and limited storage, you may just want to have a hand pump. That said, they take about 10 times longer to inflate a tire, especially a larger mountain bike tire. See our Frame Pump Review.

Click to enlarge
Portable Air Compressors
These plug into an AC outlet or your car. If you have Presta tires, it can be a hassle to buy the right adapter. The upside is they will inflate just about anything: car tires, rafts, air mattresses etc. The Kensun Portable is highly rated by users and comes with a carry case. It also only costs $50.


Click to enlarge
Clockwise from top; Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2. Lezyne Steel Digital Drive. Nashbar Earl Grey, Lezyne Steel Floor Drive, Bontrager Flashcharger, Topeak JoeBlow Booster, Serfas TCPG, Park Tool PFP-8
With so many contenders out there, you may find it difficult to choose the best bike pump to fit your needs. We hope that you've found our ratings and tests helpful and that you've been able to narrow down the best option for you via our side-by-side comparisons. If you are still not sure, check out the bike pump Buying Advice article for additional tips!
Sean Cronin
Helpful Buying Tips
How To Choose a Bike Pump - Click for details
 How To Choose a Bike Pump

by Sean Cronin