The BV floor pump is a very inexpensive option, popular on Amazon due to its low price point and decent user reviews. We found that it will succeed in moving air for you, but as you might expect, nothing about this pump is particularly impressive. The head tends to leak air when connecting, the handle is uncomfortable, the gauge is small, the overall construction feels flimsy. It'll get the job done if it's all you've got, or if low cost is the only priority, but we recommend spending just a few dollars more for a better-rated option such as the AerGun or our Best Buy award winner Crankbrothers Gem.
BV Bicycle Aluminum Alloy Floor Pump Review
Cons: Lacks durability, very small gauge, head leaks air, unstable base
Manufacturer: BV Bicycle
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The BV Bicycle Floor Pump is one of the most inexpensive pumps in our test and is an Amazon bestseller. We found in our tests that while it'll get the job done in a pinch, there are better choices available in the same price range.
This pump uses a similar base to others such as the AerGun and Vibrelli; this base design isn't one of our favorites, constructed of all lightweight plastic with an elongated curved rectangular shape. The base does a passable job of keeping the pump upright, but it doesn't handle bumps as well as the tripod style bases no other models.
While pumping, this is one of the flimsiest-feeling pumps we've encountered. There is little support offered by the base, and the barrel has a little twist to it; it's the only pump we tested with so much movement between the base and barrel. Our testers experienced a lot of wobbling and needed to concentrate on stepping very securely on the base and thrusting the handle straight down to move a decent amount of air.
Ease of Attachment/Detachment
The BV is advertised as using a "Smart Valve Head", but this should not be confused with other "smart" heads we tested which automatically accommodate both Schrader and Presta valves with no adjustment. This pump uses a fairly standard twin valve head design with Schrader on one side, Presta on the other. It's a tried-and-true design that works reasonably well for both valve types. This type of design tends to suffer from air leakage when connecting and disconnecting, especially when using a Presta valve. Air pours out of the tire until the locking lever is engaged, and after it is disengaged when the head is being removed. This can significantly impact other aspects of pump use, such as accuracy and inflation speed; it's an especially significant problem for anyone not used to making these motions quickly and efficiently.
It's not a terrible head though, the lever is relatively easy to move, and it's user-friendly enough. Novice pump users may have some initial difficulty determining which side of the pump head to use for their tires, but it's a quick education.
The BV has a pretty uninspiring gauge (which reminds us of the AerGun with inverted colors): it's a 2-inch diameter plastic circle with simple white print on a black background. It works fine, and the accuracy is surprisingly good (see below), but the design leaves much to be desired. It's difficult to read when standing above the pump, and may be a challenge for anyone with less-than-perfect vision. On the positive end, the construction of the gauge seems sturdy enough, and it does score some points for including a little adjustable red arrow. One can set the arrow to their desired pressure up close, then stand up to pump and have a more visible goal to attain. It's not ideal, but that feature does help this gauge pass muster.
The number of pumps required to move the needle on the BV is the highest of any similar floor pump we've tested. We had to move the handle up and down an average of 26 times to get from 30 to 80 PSI on our hybrid tire. This very low volume of air moved per handle thrust, combined with a general lack of stability, make this one of the slower pumps to use.
Sometimes handle comfort can contribute to a faster inflation experience, and with "Ergonomic" in the title of its Amazon listing that might be an expected benefit of this model, but it's not clear where ergonomics entered into the design. The pump is two feet tall (on the short end of common floor pump heights), and the handle is a straight black plastic bar with no unique features. It's certainly not overly challenging to grip, but there are many more comfortable handles on the market if user comfort and pumping efficiency are primary concerns.
With a nearly identical gauge to the highly accurate AerGun, our testers expected to see similar technically impressive results from this similar visually unimpressive design. It does a good job but didn't quite live up to our expectations, especially at lower pressures. We saw results about 4-5 PSI off from our independent gauge when pumping to 30 PSI. At higher pressures, the measured differences fell to about 1 PSI, a difference so small as to essentially be negligible for most purposes. A cyclist concerned with differences of 1 PSI will likely have several other reasons for considering a higher-end floor pump than the more entry-level BV.
Although the BV doesn't excel in any particular area, it moves air, and it's one of the most affordable pumps on the market. Want to teach your niece or nephew the basics of bicycle maintenance? This pump is an excellent choice for them. Want an inexpensive pump to carry around in the trunk to soccer games, or the beach? The BV comes with a ball needle and cone attachments and could be just what's needed in those situations. It's also compact and lightweight, making it easier to tote around town.
For a long term stay-at-home floor pump for a serious cyclist, other options will give more bang for the buck.
At around $30, you won't find many pumps less expensive, so if the price is your absolute number one concern, you wouldn't be wrong to consider the BV! It meets all the basic needs of a floor pump. It might not be perfect or score top marks in any one category we tested, and it may not last as long as more expensive models, but it'll get the job done for now.
Ultimately, if the quality of the pumping experience enters into the equation, we believe there are better values. There are higher quality pumps to consider which are available for roughly $5 to $20 more.
While not a recommended choice, the BV Bicycle Floor Pump will take care of business for you for a very reasonable price. If you're looking for an entry-level pump for occasional use and don't want to drop much coin, consider checking it out; although we'd still recommend trying others in this price range such as the AerGun or Vibrelli.
— Mark Schanzenbach