Reviews You Can Rely On

10 Best Bike Pumps of 2024

We filled both high-volume road bike and high-volume mountain bike tires to exhaustion with bike pumps from Bontrager, Schwinn, Topeak, Lezyne, and more to find the best
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Best Bike Pump Review (The line-up for our most recent round of bike pump testing.)
The line-up for our most recent round of bike pump testing.
Credit: Jon Oleson
By Clark Tate and Jon Oleson  ⋅  May 30, 2024

The Best Bike Pumps for 2024


Since 2013, we've independently bought and tested over 40 of the best bike pumps on the market. We present to you the top eleven in this in-depth review. We tested all aspects of these pumps, including features that contribute to ease of use, speed of inflation, and how easily they attach to a tire valve stem. We inflated a lot of tires, counting strokes and double-checking pressures with a separate digital gauge. We tried these pumps on both Schrader and Presta valves, high-pressure road bike tires, and high-volume mountain bike tubes. A good bike pump makes it easy to maintain good bike maintenance habits and perform pre-ride safety checks. They're also the unsung hero of a truly great ride, helping you nail the balance between friction and efficiency. Read on to find out which pump will get you out the door and riding away as smoothly as possible. We've also included a couple of the top frame pumps in this article in case you're in the market for a smaller pump to carry along on rides. For a more exhaustive piece on frame pumps, check out our frame pump review.

For all your other biking needs, check out our extensive hub of bike reviews. Check out our picks for the best bike helmets, the top-rated mountain bike helmets, and our favorite bike shorts and bibs. Our comprehensive reviews can help you find the best products to get out there on your favorite two-wheeled ride.

Editor's Note: Our bike pump review has been revamped as of May 30, 2024, after retesting our entire lineup and adding new options.

Top 11 Bike Pumps - Test Results

Displaying 6 - 10 of 11
 
Awards      
Price $199.95 at Backcountry$349 List
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Check Price at Backcountry$59.99 at Evo$30 List
$29.98 at Amazon
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Pros Accurate pressure readings, easy-to-use valves, valves produced good seals, gauge is easy to readDigital gauge is easy to read, display shows psi, bar, and kg/cm2, smooth pumping, very stable, accurateT-valve is easy to use, gauge is large with easy-to-see numbers, handle is soft, very stable, accurate pressure readingsPresta and Schrader valves easy to use, large gauge is very readable, long hose, stable with two feetPresta valve was reliable, very accurate gauge readings, gauge numbers are big
Cons Charge function struggles to get to 160 psi, can be wobbly when not using two hands and feetValve heads detach completely, Presta valve leaks, digital display shuts off unexpectedly, valve pops off at higher pressuresSlightly leaky valves, Schrader valve doesn't get a good seal, Presta valve can be leakyInaccurate gauge reading, wobbly when using one hand, needle sticksLeaky Schrader valve, short hose that attaches at base, wobbles when pumping
Bottom Line A premium model that delivers accurate results and smooth operating partsA top-dollar option that boasts an easily readable digital display and reliable readings, as long as the pressure isn't too highBuilt to last, this popular model brings a lot of performance per dollar to the tableThis stable and reasonably easy-to-use pump fails to produce a trustworthy pressure readingA budget-friendly, simple pump that has accurate pressure readings, though a bit wobbly during use
Rating Categories BlackBurn Chamber T... SILCA SuperPista Di... Topeak JoeBlow Spor... Lezyne Sport Floor... VIBRELLI Bike Floor...
Ease of Use (35%)
8.3
7.3
6.0
6.8
5.3
Inflation (25%)
6.5
5.0
6.5
7.0
5.5
Stability (20%)
6.5
8.5
8.0
7.0
5.0
Accuracy (20%)
8.6
8.0
7.9
4.1
8.8
Specs BlackBurn Chamber T... SILCA SuperPista Di... Topeak JoeBlow Spor... Lezyne Sport Floor... VIBRELLI Bike Floor...
Type Floor Floor Floor Floor Floor
Max PSI 50 220 160 220 160
High Volume or High Pressure HV Both HP HP HP
Measured Weight 3187 g 1984 g 1753 g 1466 g 1106 g
Measured Height 71 cm 76 cm 68 cm 66 cm 61 cm
Measured Hose Length 168 cm 125 cm 77 cm 127 cm 93 cm
Tubeless Recommended Y N N N N
Accessory Inflators Included N N Y N Y


Best Overall Bike Pump


Schwinn Air Center Plus


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 7.8
  • Inflation 8.5
  • Stability 8.5
  • Accuracy 6.6
REASONS TO BUY
More air per pump
Easy dual nozzle
Simplified gauge
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Hard at high PSI
Gauge inaccurate at HP
Short hose
SPECIFICATIONS
Max PSI 120
Type Floor
High Volume or High Pressure Both
Measured Weight 1299 g
Measured Height 63 cm
If fast inflation is the name of your game, then you're going to want to get ahold of the Schwinn Air Center Plus floor pump. It took only 14 strokes to bring our 700x25c road bike tire up to 100 PSI, which was a full five strokes less than the next one down the line, making it 35% more efficient than the next best pump on this particular test. Further, we found the “F-type” valve to be very easy to use and created a solid seal. The lock on the valve was one of the easiest to flip and maneuver between the spokes. We also found the base to be surprisingly stable, and the pump moved little, even when holding with one foot and pumping with one hand. The gauge, located slightly above the base is unique and easy to read, and has both numbers for PSI and bar, and ranges marked for MTB, Hybrid, and Road bike tires, which may simplify the process for some people.

While other pumps that accomplish the same efficiency have settings that switch between high volume (HV) and high pressure (HP) modes, this pump simply relies on a short (of note for tall riders) but squat barrel that moves a lot of air, and your brute force. This pump was more difficult to compress at HP on our road bike tire than any other pump. Although we didn't notice a big difference when inflating our mountain bike tires to 35 PSI, and it performs that task much quicker than any other contender. Another HP issue is in the accuracy of the gauge. It was off by almost nine PSI; when the gauge read 100 the tire was actually at 91.4. That's enough of a difference to give us pause if buying a pump to use, mostly with high-pressure tires. Also, the hose is the shortest of the floor pumps that we tested, at 74 cm. If you're buying a pump to use primarily with a bike stand then you may want to consider a different option, like the SILCA SuperPista Digital Floor. If you've considered all these drawbacks and still want the most efficient option at delivering volume to your tire, then we think you'll be happy with this pump.

Read more: Schwinn Air Center Plus review

We loved how quickly the affordable Schwinn Air Center Plus inflated our MTB tires.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Best Electric Pump


CYCPLUS Electric


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 7.8
  • Inflation 7.0
  • Stability 9.0
  • Accuracy 7.5
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to use
Screw-on leak-free adapters
Compact
Frame mount
REASONS TO AVOID
Loose adapters
Battery can fail
Short hose
SPECIFICATIONS
Max PSI 150
Type Electric
High Volume or High Pressure Both
Measured Weight 386 g
Measured Height 17.5 cm (length)
As technology evolves and becomes more compact, there have been a few fun developments in the world of bike pumps. One of which is the advent and affordability of mini compressors that fit in your hand or on your frame, as is the case with our best-in-class, the CYPLUS Electric. This easy-to-use tool charges with either USB or USB-C cables (not included) and has a built-in LED flashlight. The design is simple and intuitive. Just select your unit (PSI, bar, KPA, or Kgf/cm2), use the +/- buttons to set the desired pressure, screw the adapter onto your valve stem, and hit start. The pump inflates your tire to the desired pressure and then shuts off. As one of our testers put it, “It doesn't get much easier than this in terms of actual effort.” All of this in a tool that fits in your hand and even comes with a soft carrying case if you want to take it along in your glove box or day pack.

Despite the sheer ease, bordering on laziness if you ask an old timer, of using this pump there were some things that got our goat. The small, metal screw-on adapters for Presta or ball valves come separately in a small plastic bag. We'd much prefer if the manufacturer were able to find a way to store them in the body so they're easier to keep track of. We actually lost the Presta adapter for this pump during testing. We set it on the ground and walked away to test inflation on a Schrader valve, but we couldn't find it upon returning (maybe it got kicked into the grass). Luckily, the other e-pump has the same set of adapters, so our testing continued. The short hose stores in the body, which is convenient, but if you're using it with a bike mount or your bike upside down on the ground, the pump just hangs from the valve stem as it wiggles and jiggles against the frame. So you either have to allow that or sit there and hold it while it inflates. Lastly, batteries can drain quickly or fail, especially when exposed to extremes in temperature (say, if stored in your trunk); if your pump won't even turn on or doesn't have the juice to get your tire to a safe pressure, then it's not much better than a tire chock. While this wouldn't be our recommendation for the only pump in your kit, as analog is much more reliable, if you want a mini compressor to add to your pump collection, then consider our tried and tested top pick. Another solid electric option is the Woowind LP1, which also scored well across the board.

Read more: CYPLUS Electric review

The CYPLUS Electric mini compressor promoted us to supervisor for this job, with its hands-free operation.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Best Bang for the Buck


Bontrager Charger


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 7.5
  • Inflation 8.0
  • Stability 6.5
  • Accuracy 9.4
REASONS TO BUY
Efficient pumping
Large accurate gauge
Comfortable grip
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Base is less stable
Gauge too busy
SPECIFICATIONS
Max PSI 160
Type Floor
High Volume or High Pressure HP
Measured Weight 1389 g
Measured Height 67.5 cm
Bontrager has been a name in cycling since the 80s, so we're not surprised that they make a great, affordable pump for everyday use. The Bontrager Charger is the simple, less-expensive underdog that beats out the glitzier competition for its pure utility. It's one of the quickest and most efficient at inflating tires, which, after all, is what we're talking about here. Its “smart” nozzle has a universal valve, accommodating Schrader and Presta stems without needing to change anything. The comfortable handle makes both one- and two-handed pumping easy. The large gauge on the base is easy to see. But once again, and most importantly, it's affordable and fills tires quickly. It beat out every bike pump, except one (our top HV floor pump), when inflating our road bike tire to 100 PSI. It was also one of the most efficient when inflating our MTB tires.

Praise aside, that smart nozzle is more finicky than similar options in this review. We struggled to get it to connect to valves more often, especially when the tire was flat and less of it was exposed above the rim. On the other hand, we didn't find it to leak at pressure like the other Bontrager universal valve, which is strange because it's seemingly the same valve head. With a little patience, the connection isn't that hard to make. That's a lot of positives and one rather glaring negative. It's less of an issue, but still, something we noticed is that the feet of the base are short, and this pump has a tendency to want to rock when we're pumping one-handed. Lastly, and this is more of a preference, we didn't like that the gauge has hashes every two PSI since we're never trying to hit a pressure mark between scores that are divisible by two. The effect is that the gauge feels too busy for our brain. All told, this bike pump is a great value if you plan to use two hands, don't mind a lot of marks on the gauge, and you can muster patience when your tire is flat. Another budget option worth considering is the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP Floor Pump, though it isn't nearly as accurate as the Charger.

Read more: Bontrager Charger review

The Bontrager Charger is a good pump at a great value. It was among the best consistently at inflating both high volume MTB and high pressure RB tires.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Best for Home Mechanics


Bontrager TLR Flash Charger


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 7.8
  • Inflation 7.5
  • Stability 9.0
  • Accuracy 9.5
REASONS TO BUY
Charge setting for tubeless tires
Easy-to-use universal valve
Comfy handle and stable base
Super accurate digital gauge
REASONS TO AVOID
Charge function is more complicated
Valve seal is slightly leaky
Relatively large
SPECIFICATIONS
Max PSI 160
Type Floor
High Volume or High Pressure Both
Measured Weight 2976 g
Measured Height 70 cm
Tubeless tires require a sudden blast of air to seal the tire to the rim or seat it. A noisy, corded air compressor will get the job done, but so will the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger. Of the two bike pumps we tested with a “charge” function, the Flash Charger is our favorite. Both work as manual compressors, though the Bontrager we found was easier to use as a normal bike pump. It beat out the other flash pump in our inflation test by a few strokes for each tire. The universal valve head easily connects to both Presta and Schrader valves. The large digital dial, seated at the top of the tube, was one of the easiest to read that we tested. The base of this pump is also super stable, and the handle is comfortable and easy to grip, making even one-handed pumping a breeze.

Despite all the good things we have to say about this pump, we found a few issues. One is that the universal valve is slightly leaky at higher pressures on both the Schrader and Presta valves. It wasn't enough to quickly drain our hard-won PSI from the tube, but we did notice. The valve head's lock lever is also relatively long, making it awkward to flip between tight spokes. Our next problem arose when it came time to use the charge function. There are two sets of switches that you have to turn in the right order. It's not so difficult, and the pump does come with a good set of instructions. And it was easy to mess up in the beginning. Once we got the hang of it, we were amazed by the function. Lastly, this pump is bulky and relatively heavy. If you need something more compact and lightweight, consider the VIBRELLI Bike Floor Pump. But, if you're after a comfortable, easy-to-use pump that will also seat tubeless tires, we highly recommend this pump from Bontrager.

Read more: Bontrager TLR Flash Charger review

From seating tubeless tires with its compressed air “charge” function, to pumping up high-pressure road bike tires, we found that using the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger floor pump made pumping a breeze.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Best Overall Frame Pump


Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge


Purpose: Road or Mountain Bike | Weight: 134g
REASONS TO BUY
Heavy-duty construction
Built-in pressure gauge
Easy pumping
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't fit in pocket
Heavier than others

Pumping is a breeze with the Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge. The built-in pressure gauge on the inflation tube takes all the guesswork out of inflation and makes it easy to hit your mark without overshooting. In testing the accuracy of the gauge with a digital meter, we found it to be slightly off at lower PSI and more accurate at higher pressure. However, for a frame pump designed to get you back on the trail when you're in the boonies, we'll take pretty close over no gauge any day. We appreciate the sleek design, which makes the pump easy to use and carry. Further, this well-built pump is made of durable materials, ensuring that it will be around to save the day for many years to come.

We wouldn't classify this frame pump as compact. It won't fit in a saddle bag, is a bit too long for a jersey pocket, and is not the lightest we tested. Fortunately, it comes with a frame mount equipped with a rubber strap to make sure this pump stays in place no matter how hairy you send. This is a great option for most folks unless you just can't give up that extra water bottle cage on your frame, in which case you'll probably need to carry this pump in a hydration pack. At the end of the day, we'd say that any negative experience was balanced by all the things that we love about this mighty mini pump, helping it secure this year's top overall pick for mini frame pump. The Lezyne Grip Drive HV is another solid frame pump that is durable, and slightly lighter.

Read more: Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge review

The Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump with Gauge is unique in that it has a gauge that takes out any guesswork.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Best Bang For The Buck Frame Pump


VIBRELLI AIR


Purpose: Road or Mountain Bike | Weight: 88g
REASONS TO BUY
Compact and lightweight
Easy function
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Insecure frame mount
Lacks durability

It's easy to overlook the Vibrelli AIR pump. It's made of lightweight materials that feel less durable than the sturdier pumps. Yet when it came down to business, this pump was more than up for the job. Although it functions for both HV and HP pumping, it delivers less air per stroke than pumps designed for HP. The effect was that it took more strokes to reach pressure, but the pumping was easy, whether at low or high pressure. The universal “smart” valve head is easy to attach to either Schrader or Presta valve stems without the need to change anything. And at such an affordable price, this pump definitely made an impression.

Along with a cheap price tag, we're used to seeing less durable materials used in the construction, as is the case with the Vibrelli. All save the thin aluminum barrel on this pump is plastic. While this doesn't bode well for durability, at such an affordable price, you can afford to replace it. One big issue that we found was that the frame mount has no way to secure the pump to the mount – no strap. We were actually surprised that this pump stayed in the mount throughout our downhill challenge. We feel that it's only a matter of time before this pump bails from the insecure mount, as was the case with the other strapless mount that we tested. That said, it's compact and easy to carry in a hydration pack or jersey pocket. Bottom line, if you need a super lightweight, affordable, and easily transportable frame pump that will bring any bike tire up to pressure, check out our Best Bang for the Buck award winner. If you don't mind the added weight, the Silca Tattico Mini is an excellent choice for unbeatable durability.

Read more: Vibrelli AIR review

The Vibrelli AIR does just as its name suggests: it pumps air into tires, and it does so effortlessly.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
83
Bontrager TLR Flash Charger
Best for Home Mechanics
$160
Top Pick Award
79
Schwinn Air Center Plus
Best Overall Bike Pump
$46
Editors' Choice Award
78
CYCPLUS Electric
Best Electric Pump
$50
Editors' Choice Award
78
Bontrager Charger
Best Bang for the Buck
$45
Best Buy Award
76
Woowind LP1
$75
75
BlackBurn Chamber Tubeless
$200
71
SILCA SuperPista Digital Floor
$349
69
Topeak JoeBlow Sport III
$60
63
Lezyne Sport Floor Drive
$60
60
VIBRELLI Bike Floor Pump
$30
56
Topeak JoeBlow Max HP Floor Pump
$50

bike pump - we hooked up all these pumps to countless valve stems, putting in...
We hooked up all these pumps to countless valve stems, putting in countless strokes, in order to bring you the most comprehensive bike pump review available.
Credit: Jon Oleson

How We Test Bike Pumps


As one might expect, our floor pump tests involved a lot of pumping. We tested for quantifiable factors like rate of inflation and gauge accuracy, along with weight and dimensions. We tallied every stroke and compared the number among other pumps. We even custom-built a pressure gauge to see how accurate the pumps' readings were. Then, we made assessments from the perspective of an avid cyclist of more subjective things like handle comfort and overall construction quality. We also asked friends and fellow bicycle enthusiasts to join our testing rounds to balance our experts' perspectives on the best features for all experience levels. Learn more about our extensive testing process here.

Our bike pump testing is divided across five different rating metrics:
  • Ease of Use (35% of overall score weighting))
  • Inflation (25% weighting)
  • Stability (20% weighting)
  • Accuracy (20% weighting)

Why Trust GearLab


Our head tester for this review is Clark Tate. Clark is a mountain biker and fair-weather bike commuter who's been lucky enough to land in four singletrack meccas — Lake Tahoe, Grand Junction, Santa Cruz, and Durango. She ran GearLab's mountain bike program for a while, is currently getting used to New England's rocks and roots, and is considering turning to fat biking this winter. Clark also has a scientific background and, with a systematic and scientifically-trained mind, rigorous gear testing is a no-brainer. Joining our team for the new round of testing is Jon Oleson, who grew up riding sinuous sandstone singletrack and duffy pine forest downhills all across the mountain west. These days, Jon enjoys commuting around town on his lightweight road bike and barreling through the hills and dales of the northern Sierra foothills on his full-suspension MTB.

We were grateful for the long hose on the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless...
We were grateful for the long hose on the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless charge pump, which allowed us to stand back at a safe distance while releasing the chamber's compressed air.
The large gauge on the Lezyne makes it easy to read, and the pump...
The large gauge on the Lezyne makes it easy to read, and the pump proved up to the task of filling our road bike tires to 100 PSI.
The nozzle on the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP was easy to use and produced...
The nozzle on the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP was easy to use and produced a good seal, but the pump didn't quite make the cut in terms of overall performance.
We put these bike pumps to the test to make sure you get the best of the best for your next ride, whether it be gravel, trails, or on the road.

How to Choose a Bike Pump


To simplify your selection, we have compiled four key considerations for finding the best pump for your personal needs. This is a summary of our full bike pump buying advice article.

What Attachment Style Do You Need?


Identifying the correct attachment head is the first step in navigating the world of bike pumps. Typically, your bike will come equipped with a Presta or Schrader valve. When shopping for bike pumps, consider the head attachment and determine if it is compatible with one or the other. Most of the pumps that we tested come with dual-valve or universal adapter designs. A few have Presta attachments that screw off and are separate from the Schrader attachment.

bike pump - there were four types of valves that we tested during this round...
There were four types of valves that we tested during this round. From left to right: “F” type dual valve, “T” type dual valve, screw on with Schrader with separate attachment for Presta, and the universal valve, which automatically adapts to fit the stem and valve.
Credit: Jon Oleson

High Volume or High Pressure?


The type of tire and bike you own determines whether you will need a high-volume or high-pressure pump. High-pressure pumps work best with narrower road-oriented tires where you need to achieve high PSI, upwards of 120 PSI. The smaller chamber and barrel allow for more efficient pumps with less pressure. High-volume pumps work best for larger-diameter tires, such as a fat tire bike needing lots of air at once. If you have multiple bikes with various riding purposes and tire sizes, consider a bike pump with interchangeable configurations between high-pressure and high-volume settings.

What if I Have Tubeless Tires?


While tubeless tires can be easily adjusted with almost any bike pump once they are seated, it is important to consider if you plan on setting your own tubeless tires. The seating process involves using large blasts of air to effectively seal the tire to the rim, a task for which most pumps are not designed. If you plan on installing your own tubeless tires, make sure to look at compressor chamber bike pumps designed to act like an air compressor in order to easily seat tubeless tires.

bike pump - the chamber pumps have a separate pressure chamber that you can pump...
The chamber pumps have a separate pressure chamber that you can pump to compression, they recommend 160 PSI with the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger, and with the flip of a switch release to provide a quick blast of air that seats tubeless tires.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Does the Pressure Gauge Matter?


Bike pumps are typically offered with a pressure gauge to help you dial in your desired PSI. Certain gauges are more accurate than others, and it's important to consider how precise you need your pressure to be. To bring you the most accurate assessment, we built our own in-house pressure accuracy apparatus to help determine the best and worst pumps for dialing in your tire pressure.

bike pump - our testing included double-checking the pressure gauge readings to...
Our testing included double-checking the pressure gauge readings to see how accurate they were.
Credit: Ross Patton

Analysis and Test Results


Since we are sticklers for a good ride, we inflate our tires to perfection almost every time we hit the road (or trail). In a pump, we're looking for a simple, secure connection to the valve, a stable platform, and easy pumping. We also want an easy-to-read and accurate gauge — which is not as ubiquitous as we'd like — when we're putting in the strokes. We want to know that our tires are inflated correctly when we take off on our ride.

To find the best pump for every user, we focused on what we think are the five most important attributes of a high-quality bike pump — how easy it is to attach to a tire, whether or not you can easily read the gauge, stability, inflation speed, and accuracy.


Value


One of our primary goals during testing is to determine whether a product's performance is worth its price tag. We also seek out products built to last because we know how satisfying it is to spend frugally while investing in products that will perform for years to come.

We tested some pumps that provide excellent performance at a stellar price point. For example, we're blown away by the Bontrager Charger, which is a quality floor pump with one of the lowest price tags in the lineup. The Schwinn Air Center Plus is an excellent and affordable option if you primarily ride fat tires that require a lot of air. The CYPLUS Electric is among the best-performing products and one of the least expensive. Should you be interested in an electric pump, this is a high-value option.

bike pump - the schwinn air center plus quickly became a favorite for getting...
The Schwinn Air Center Plus quickly became a favorite for getting fat tires to a ridable pressure.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Ease of Use


We broke this category into two sub-metrics – how easy is it to attach? And how easy is it to pump? We analyzed any and all features that make the process more or less efficient and documented the findings. We then averaged the two sub-metrics to bring you each contender's final score in this category. Read on to learn more about what we found.


Ease of Attachment


Several pumps we tested this round have some version of a universal gauge that automatically adjusts to accommodate either a Presta or a Schrader valve. We love this concept. It lets you all but forget to look at which type of gauge your tire has. That said, not all of them worked equally well.

The Blackburn Chamber Tubeless and the two pumps from Bontrager were the best examples of automatically adjusting valve heads, although we found the connection on the TLR Flash Charger to be more finnicky. These worked seamlessly without requiring much thought, easily connecting to any valve stem. One drawback of this type of connection is that they tend to be sticky on long Presta valves, which can bend the valve stem.

bike pump - universal valve heads, like on the bontrager charger, are extremely...
Universal valve heads, like on the Bontrager Charger, are extremely easy to use, but can be a bit leaky because the port isn't designed specifically for an individual valve type.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Many of the pumps have dual valves, with separate attachments for Presta and Schrader valves on the same head. We tested two types: a “T” type valve, where the attachments are on either side of the head, and an “F” type valve, where both attachments are on the same side of the head.

Of the three “T” type valve heads that we tested, the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP and the Vibrelli were easy to operate because the valve lock was sleek. This made it easy to manipulate with our large fingers between the spokes. The lock on the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III was longer and bulkier, which filled more space between the spokes, making it harder to flip and lock once seated on the valve stem. The Max HP consistently produced a good seal on both valve types. With the other two pumps, we had a difficult time getting a good seal on Schrader valves, and the Sport III was slightly leaky even on Presta valves.

bike pump - comparing the "t" type dual valve heads on the topeak pumps. the...
Comparing the “T” type dual valve heads on the Topeak pumps. The valve on the left, on the JoeBlow Max HP, was easier to lock and consistently produced a good seal. The valve on the right belongs to the JoeBlow Sport III, and we found the large locking arm more difficult to maneuver between the spokes and the valve to be a bit leaky.
Credit: Jon Oleson

The “F” type dual valve heads more consistently produced a good seal. We tested two pumps of this type, the award-winning Schwinn Air Center Plus and the Lezyne Sport Floor Drive. We appreciated the quality of the seal produced by a port designed specifically and only for the head to which it's attached. The locking arm on the Lezyne is longer, and so tended to get in the way of the spokes a bit, bringing down its score compared to the Schwinn.

bike pump - we found that the "f" style dual valves, seen here on the lezyne...
We found that the “F” style dual valves, seen here on the Lezyne Sport Floor Drive were easier to use than the “T” type valves, and more consistently produced a quality seal.
Credit: Jon Oleson

The Silca SuperPista Digital floor pump was the only one that we tested that had separate adapters for the two valve types. The Presta adapter, which screws into the Schrader port, has a gliding locking arm that's smooth and easy to operate, although we found that it was a bit of a puzzle to weave it through the spokes before seating so that the spokes didn't inhibit the locking arm's swing. This adapter failed to produce a good seal on Presta valves, which was disappointing considering that it's specifically designed to do only that. Over 70 PSI, we had to press the head onto the tire stem with one hand while pumping with the other in order to reach 100 PSI. Needless to say, this was a huge hassle and pretty much decimated this pump's score in this category. However, if you are only buying this pump for Schrader valves, then you'll find that the screw-on adapter, which is a simple chuck at the end of the inflation hose, attaches easily and securely.

bike pump - with the silca superpista digital we had to hold the presta chuck...
With the Silca SuperPista digital we had to hold the Presta chuck onto the valve above 70 PSI in order to get our tire to 100, which made it much more difficult, took more strokes, and brought down this pump's score down in this category.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Ease of Pumping


In this sub-metric we analyzed the features that make pumping more or less efficient and comfortable, the ease of pumping itself, as well as how easy the gauges were to read. These elements combined to give us an overall assessment and score for Ease of Pumping. There were some objective as well as subjective aspects of this testing. The objective things, for example, the size of the gauges, are easy for anyone to see. Other aspects, like how easy it is to pump or the comfort of the grip, are more subjective based on differences in body type, height, build, hand size, etc.

bike pump - the pumps with soft rubbery handles that had a flatter surface to...
The pumps with soft rubbery handles that had a flatter surface to push against like on the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III (bottom), made pumping easier. The handles made of harder materials and more rounded designs that pressed into our palms, like on the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP (top), scored lower in this category.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Overall, most of the floor pumps had a similar feel when pumping, although, with the cheaper pumps, we could feel more friction and/or knocking as we stroked and stroked. The Vibrelli, for instance, produced a loud knocking, and at times, we thought we might pull the plunger from the tube. The Lezyne Sport Floor Drive produced friction and a scraping sound each time we pulled up the plunger. Conversely, the Cadillac glide of the more expensive pumps, like the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger and the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless was smooth like butter. The Schwinn Air Center Plus stood out as a high-volume pump that became noticeably harder to plunge once above 50 psi.

bike pump - the vibrelli floor pump was the lowest priced pump that we tested...
The Vibrelli Floor Pump was the lowest priced pump that we tested, and felt cheaply made. Further, there was a loud plastic knocking sound as we stroked up and down.
Credit: Jon Oleson

As far as the gauges go, we tested all types of analog and digital varieties. The analog gauges differ in size and placement. We found the base-mounted gauges were easy to read and use as long as they were big enough. Lezyne took this to heart in designing the Sport Floor Drive, which has a giant gauge that also acts simultaneously as one of the feet and a weight to keep the pump from tipping. Likewise, the Bontrager Charger has a large base-mounted gauge that acts as one of the tripod's feet.

Four of the pumps have gauges mounted 8 inches or so above the base, which for some, makes them easier to read. However, the gauge on the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP is the smallest out of the lot, so it may be hard to read for those who have trouble seeing detail at that distance. Although only a bit larger, the markings on the Schwinn Air Center Plus are designed to make reading easy, even without seeing the detail of the numbers. Schwinn has included pressure range markings for Mountain Bike (MTB), Hybrid, and Road bike tires so even if you can't see the detail, you know generally where you ought to be. The gauges on the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III and the Vibrelli are big with large numbers and are generally easy to read. We had some issues with the markings on the Vibrelli, which we'll get into next.

bike pump - the base-mounted gauge on the lezyne pump was the largest, and was...
The base-mounted gauge on the Lezyne pump was the largest, and was easy to see even though it was down at our feet.
Credit: Jon Oleson

The Blackburn Chamber Tubeless stood out as the only analog gauge mounted on top of the tube. It was also one of the largest and marked with numbers every 10 PSI. With small hashes every 5, we found that this was one of the easiest gauges to read. The convex face shield did produce a decent amount of glare, but the gauge is so close that no matter what, it's easy to read.

bike pump - the gauge on the blackburn chamber tubeless was big and easy to...
The gauge on the Blackburn Chamber Tubeless was big and easy to read, although we didn't like the glare on the convex face shield.
Credit: Jon Oleson

All the analog gauge number markings have one thing in common – large numbers every 20 PSI. As we stated, the Blackburn is the only one to be numbered every 10. The rest of the pumps have large notches every 10 PSI. The Lezyne and Topeak pumps are fairly easy to read since they have small notches every five points. This makes it easy when pumping your MTB tire to 35 PSI, or your hybrid tire to 65 PSI. We found the gauges on the Bontrager Charger and the Vibrelli more difficult to read since they're marked every two PSI between the 10's. It looks busy and makes it harder to hit those mid score marks more accurately.

bike pump - we didn't like that the gauge on the bontrager charger is marked...
We didn't like that the gauge on the Bontrager Charger is marked every 2 PSI. This doesn't seem as useful to us as markings every 5, and makes the gauge look busy.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Four of the pumps that we tested had digital gauges—two floor pumps and both of the electric compressor pumps. Digital gauges are easier to read because they display a clear number. However, things like sun exposure, glare, and temperature can affect the display on digital gauges, making them harder to see in certain circumstances.

Both the Bontrager TLR and the Silca SuperPista have digital displays mounted on top of the tube. The Bontrager has a blue backlight and measures to the tenth of a PSI until 100 and then goes to single full digits. Since this is a compressor pump, once you hit 160 PSI, the max pressure, the gauge flashes with three hashes (- - -), indicating that the tube is charged and ready to release. The Silca's gauge sticks out from the tube in a way that we found increases the chances of knocking it over. It has a white backlight and measures down to the half PSI, i.e., every .5, up to a max of 220. This gauge has an added feature, but our testers stated they “didn't find all that useful.” You can dial in a target pressure and it displays your progress in a bar at the bottom of the gauge. Since the actual number was displayed larger right above this bar, we didn't really see an added value.

bike pump - the digital gauge on the silca superpista digital pump was easy to...
The digital gauge on the Silca SuperPista Digital pump was easy to read, but it made it top heavy and had extra features -- like a progress bar on the bottom showing progress toward a preset pressure -- that we didn't find all that useful.
Credit: Jon Oleson


The digital displays on the mini compressor pumps were similar in some ways and in other ways, quite different. Both had units that displayed every tenth of a PSI until 100, and then every single digit. Both can switch between PSI, bar, kPa, and Kgf/cm². There are +/- buttons that make it easy and intuitive to set the desired pressure, although the Woowind allows you to set it to the tenth of a PSI up to 100, while the CYPLUS only allows for every full unit (which we found to be adequate). Both have a quartered vertical battery indicator. While the Woowind display is much larger, the curved plastic tends to get an awful glare that we didn't appreciate. Although the display on the CYPLUS is smaller, we actually found that it was more consistently easy to read.

bike pump - the displays on two electric mini compressor pumps that we tested...
The displays on two electric mini compressor pumps that we tested, the CYPLUS Electric and the Woowind LP1, compared side by side.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Inflation


To test inflation speed, we counted the number of compressions it took each pump to inflate a mountain bike tire from 0-35 PSI and to take a road tire from 0-100 PSI. We also considered how many pumps it took to charge the tube to a specific PSI on the charge pumps and factored that into their overall scores in this category. When it came to the mini compressor pumps, we compared how long it took them to inflate the same tire to a specific pressure – 35 PSI on our MTB tires and 100 PSI on our RB tire. We performed this test multiple times, both on full and low battery.


There was less variation when we tested inflation on high-pressure road bike tires, although there were some outliers. Like the chuck on the Silca SuperPista Digital, which we had to hold on over 70 PSI, or it would blow off and let the air out of our tire. When it came to inflating high-volume MTB tires, there was more of a spread. Of all the pumps, we were most impressed by the inflation speed of the Schwinn Air Center Plus. It took the least amount of strokes on every single tire that we inflated. This pump isn't well suited for high-pressure applications as the compressions get increasingly difficult above 50 PSI. We had to apply a lot of body weight to plunge the bar at 100 PSI. That said, it wasn't impossible and was by far the most efficient pump at moving air.

Testing inflation speed in our testing lab.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Otherwise, the Bontrager Charger and the Lezyne Sport Floor Drive were among the fastest to inflate a 2.1" x 26" MTB tire to 35 PSI, at 28 and 27 strokes respectively. Most others were in the 32-36 stroke range, while the Vibrelli performed the lowest at 40 strokes. When it came to inflating a 2.3" x 29" MTB tire to the same pressure, the Bontrager Charger, again, along with the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III were among the best performers, at 52 and 50 strokes. The rest of the lot fell between 59 and 63 strokes, with the Vibrelli again performing lowest with 66 full, sweat-inducing strokes.

bike pump - aside from our best for air displacement award winner, the bontrager...
Aside from our Best for Air Displacement award winner, the Bontrager Charger was consistently one of the most efficient pumps on the inflation test.
Credit: Jon Oleson

We had to take a different approach when comparing the mini compressors. We simultaneously pushed start on a stopwatch and the pump, and stopped the timer when pressure was reached. The CYPLUS was faster on all the tires that we inflated, whether it was low or full battery. It takes 1:23 seconds to inflate a 2.1" x 26" MTB tire to 35 PSI with the CYPLUS, while the Woowind took 1:54 seconds. Inflating a 2.3" x 29" MTB tire to the same pressure took a bit longer – at full battery 2:47 for the CYPLUS and 3:43 for the Woowind. At low battery, it took the CYPLUS 2:56 to accomplish the same, while the Woowind times remained consistent regardless. Even at low battery, the CYPLUS Electric pump hands down (or hands-off as the case may be) beat out the competition in this metric.

bike pump - we gauged inflation rate in the electric pumps by simultaneously...
We gauged inflation rate in the electric pumps by simultaneously pushing start on a stopwatch and our pump in order to time how long it took to inflate each tire.
Credit: Jon Oleson

When used as a regular pump, the charge floor pumps were pretty average and comparable. Likewise, when counting the compressions needed to reach our target pressures of 120 and 160 PSI they were neck and neck. The Bontrager TLR Flash Charger took 37 compressions to reach 120 PSI, and 50 compressions to reach 160 PSI. The Blackburn Chamber Tubeless took one less pump to get to 120, and the same to reach 160. Where we saw a difference was in how much air pressure was delivered to our 2.3" x 29" MTB tire when we released the charge at each respective pressure target. The Blackburn left 16 PSI in the tire at 120 PSI charge, and 21 PSI with a 160 PSI charge. The Bontrager performed a bit better, leaving almost 18 PSI in the same tire at 120 PSI charge, and 24.5 PSI with a 160 PSI charge.

bike pump - when releasing a 120 psi charge, the bontrager tlr flash charger...
When releasing a 120 PSI charge, the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger pump left 17.8 PSI in our 2.3" x 29" MTB tire.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Stability


Inflating a bike tire can feel like a high-intensity interval workout. Our field tests sometimes looked like a CrossFit class with our testers side-by-side, furiously inflating away. A good bike pump needs a base at least as strong as you are to hold up to the force of your pumping. Pump bases can take a beating. You need a sturdy one, especially when holding your bike with one hand and pumping with the other, which was one of our tests for this metric.


Most of the floor pumps that we tested have tripod bases, except for the Schwinn, which is kind of like a slanted cross or a scarab in flight. The stability of the base we found depends more on the material than the actual shape. The least stable bases were made of cheap, malleable plastic. A couple, namely the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP and the Vibrelli were so bad that we could actually wiggle the tube back and forth while standing with two feet on the base. You can forget trying to easily pump one-handed with these models. For obvious reasons, they performed the lowest in this metric.

bike pump - the base on the vibrelli floor pump was made of cheap plastic and...
The base on the Vibrelli Floor pump was made of cheap plastic and bent easily when in use, which brought down its score heavily in the stability metric.
Credit: Jon Oleson

The tripod is chosen as a base because of its simplicity and stability, generally. However, when it comes to floor pumps the actual shape of the tripod varies widely – some integrate large gauges that help anchor the base, while some have rounded edges or low angles that decrease stability. The Blackburn Chamber Tubeless uses the (rounded) tube as one foot of the tripod base, which makes the pump want to pitch forward more easily than others, especially when pumping one-handedly. The Bontrager Charger has three squared feet, but they're fairly short, and the forward foot, where the gauge is mounted, is even shorter (albeit more squat). This makes it want to pitch diagonally forward when pumping one-handed, although with two feet firmly planted, it becomes more stable.

bike pump - the blackburn chamber tubeless (on the left) had a more rounded...
The Blackburn Chamber Tubeless (on the left) had a more rounded front than the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger, which negatively affected the stability, especially when trying to pump one-handed.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Both the Lezyne and the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III have wider bases that are generally more stable. The Lezyne uses the huge gauge as the forward foot, while two hard plastic, non-malleable plastic legs stick out to form the foot pedals. We found this base to be sturdy whether using one or two hands to operate. Likewise, the JoeBlow Sport III was easy to operate in all circumstances. The thick metal base firmly anchors this pump to the ground, and the convex shape makes it easy to press down with one foot. Our testing team states, “The Sport III is easy to operate and is stable when pumping one-handed and one-footed. The handle is more comfortable than most, and the base is sturdy.”

bike pump - although they were basically the same shape, the material quality...
Although they were basically the same shape, the material quality directly correlated to the stability of the Topeak pumps. The lower quality plastic base on the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP (left), was far less stable than the sturdy metal base on the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III (right).
Credit: Jon Oleson

When it came to the top three in stability for floor pumps, the Schwinn Air Center Plus and the Silca SuperPista Digital tied for second and third place. Although different shapes, due to the material and design they kept the pump grounded in all the circumstances that we came across. While we experienced a bit of wobble with one hand, they were definitely the most sturdy. The top score went to the Bontrager TLR, which was by far the sturdiest and smoothest to operate in all situations. This is due in part to the sturdy metal base that seems to be just the right size and shape to keep this pump on its feet.

bike pump - the super sturdy and well-designed base on the bontrager tlr flash...
The super sturdy and well-designed base on the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger made for stable pumping in any situation, including when inflating our mountain bike tires one-handed.
Credit: Jon Oleson

At first, we were curious about how to rate the electric pumps in this metric since they just attach to the valve and either dangle or sit on the ground as you sit and watch them do all the work. We tried inflating tires every which way from every angle with these pumps, and they performed consistently and with minimal effort. We chose to give these pumps a high score in this category while taking it with a grain of salt when compared to the floor pumps.

bike pump - we dangled the electric pumps from the valve stems in all sorts of...
We dangled the electric pumps from the valve stems in all sorts of ways, and it didn't affect the performance.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Accuracy


To test the accuracy of these pumps, we asked our in-house engineer to design and build a pressure chamber that would allow us to test the accuracy of each gauge at specific targets. We measured the pressure difference of the pump gauge compared to a highly accurate digital gauge at 20, 50, and 100 PSI. The differences were averaged to give each pump an overall accuracy score.


The most accurate gauges in this review were the Bontrager gauges. The digital gauge on the TLR Flash Charger was the most accurate, with an average difference of only .6 PSI. The analog gauge on the Charger wasn't far behind, with an average difference of only .7 PSI.

The analog gauges on the Vibrelli and the Blackburn were both in the low 1 range for average difference. The digital gauge on the Silca also performed well, with an average difference of 1.9. As for the rest, they became increasingly less accurate.

bike pump - the digital gauge on the bontrager tlr flash charger was found to be...
The digital gauge on the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger was found to be the most accurate. At all 3 of the PSI marks that we checked, it was less than 1 PSI off.
Credit: Jon Oleson

The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III had an average difference of only 2, which isn't that unless you're particular about the exact accuracy of your tire pressure. The Schwinn Air Center Plus had an average difference of 3.1. Here, we're getting into territory that could matter in lower-pressure MTB tires, although we found the Schwinn actually to be very accurate at lower pressure. It only becomes inaccurate when approaching 100 PSI, which is another reason that we don't recommend this particular pump for high-pressure applications.

bike pump - the gauge on the topeak joeblow sport iii was a couple psi off of...
The gauge on the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III was a couple PSI off of the actual mark at all of the pressure checks.
Credit: Jon Oleson

There were two pumps that were fairly inaccurate across the board, with average differences in the 5-range. While this may not matter as much for an HP road bike tire – it will probably cruise similarly at 95 vs. 100 PSI – you may see a big difference if your MTB tire is at 25 vs. 30 PSI, especially when bottoming out after a launch. Because of these factors, the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP and the Lezyne Sport Floor Drive tested the lowest in this category.

bike pump - the gauge on the topeak joeblow sport iii (right) was found to be...
The gauge on the Topeak JoeBlow Sport III (right) was found to be more accurate than the gauge on the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP (left), which was off by an average of over 5 PSI.
Credit: Jon Oleson

Both electric compressor pumps were fairly accurate and comparable. The CYPLUS had an average difference of 2.3 PSI, while the Woowind LP1's average difference was 2.4 PSI. Both were slightly more inaccurate at 20 PSI; the Woowind was actually more accurate at 50 PSI. When they landed at 100 PSI, the CYPLUS was again slightly more accurate.

bike pump - the gauge on the cyplus electric pump was slightly more accurate...
The gauge on the CYPLUS Electric pump was slightly more accurate than the other electric pump that we tested.
Credit: Jon Oleson


Conclusion


While conceptually simple, bike pumps can differ in their capacities and capabilities. How easy and pleasant they are to use, as well as their efficiency and accuracy can vary greatly. We hope that our exhaustive and comparative testing methods help you sort through the details and narrow down the pump most well suited to meet your particular needs. This review will help steer you toward the pump that will keep you safely sending without digging too much into your new bike fund.

Clark Tate and Jon Oleson