Reviews You Can Rely On

The 4 Best Bike Pumps of 2024

We filled both high-volume and high-pressure tires to exhaustion with bike pumps from Bontrager, Topeak, Lezyne, and more to find the best
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Best Bike Pump Review (This is a proud pack of pumps, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. We break them down for you below.)
This is a proud pack of pumps, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. We break them down for you below.
Credit: Clark Tate
By Clark Tate ⋅ Review Editor
Wednesday April 10, 2024

Over the last decade, we've bought and tested 30 of the best bike pumps. The top 11 appear in this review. We tested their stability, inflation speed, accuracy, gauge quality, and how easily they attach to a tire valve. We pumped a lot of tires, counting strokes and double-checking pressures with a separate digital gauge. We tried these pumps on Schrader and Presta valves, high-pressure road bike tires, and high-volume mountain bike rubber. A good bike pump makes it easy to build a habit of routine bike maintenance and 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. If you're in the market for a smaller pump to carry along on rides, 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 April 10, 2024. It includes more comprehensive testing results and a helpful buying guide to steer you in the right direction.

Top 11 Bike Pumps - Test Results

Displaying 6 - 10 of 11
 
Awards Top Pick Award     
Price $89.96 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$44.89 at REI$37 List
$29.95 at Amazon
$37.39 at REI$35 List
$29.98 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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37
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Pros Efficient at high volumes, settings for road and MTB tires, double-sided nozzleMetal base, solid performance across the board, good valueLight, easy-to-use universal nozzle, accurateAffordable, far-reaching hose, double-headed chuck, comfortable pumping positionLarge print on the gauge, double head nozzle
Cons More expensive, inaccurate above 30 PSI, tall for shorter users, no bleeder valveHeavier than most, short hose, not as up to dateLess durable, small gauge, slightly slower inflationLocking lever is hard to turn, smaller gauge is harder to readPlastic construction, not as accurate
Bottom Line The fastest pump for high volume mountain bike tires that we testedBuilt to last, this popular model brings a lot of performance per dollar to the tableThis bike pump offers a combination of accuracy, excellent user-friendliness, and affordabilityA less expensive option for roadies who don’t need the latest and greatestThis is a good pump, but not the best at anything and there are more exciting options
Rating Categories Topeak JoeBlow Spor... Topeak JoeBlow Spor... AerGun X-1000 Topeak JoeBlow Max HP Vibrelli Performanc...
Ease of Attachment (25%)
6.0
5.0
9.0
4.0
4.0
Inflation (25%)
9.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
4.0
Stability (20%)
7.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
4.0
Accuracy (20%)
2.0
5.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Gauge (10%)
5.0
7.0
3.0
6.0
3.0
Specs Topeak JoeBlow Spor... Topeak JoeBlow Spor... AerGun X-1000 Topeak JoeBlow Max HP Vibrelli Performanc...
Max PSI 160 160 160 160 160
High Volume or High Pressure Both Both High Pressure High Pressure High Pressure
Weight 4.8 lbs 3.8 lbs 2.4 lbs 2.8 lbs 2.4 lbs
Height 29.75 in 27 in 24 in 26.6 in 24 in
Hose Length 32 in 30 in 34 in 37.5 in 37 in
Tubeless Recommended No No No No No
Accessory Inflators Included Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


The Best Bike Pumps for 2024


Best Bike Pump for Most People


Crankbrothers Sterling


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Attachment 8.0
  • Inflation 6.0
  • Stability 8.0
  • Accuracy 7.0
  • Gauge 5.0
REASONS TO BUY
High-pressure and high-volume settings
Universal nozzle
Light and stable
Fast MTB tire inflation
REASONS TO AVOID
Slower inflation for road tires
Gauge somewhat hard to read
SPECIFICATIONS
High Volume or High Pressure Both
Max PSI 160
Weight 2.7 lbs
Height 25 in
Hose Length 36 in
Most of the bike pumps in this review do a good job inflating high-pressure road tires, but only two really shine with high-volume mountain bike tires. This is the less expensive of the two. The Crankbrothers Sterling pump offers two modes: one that optimizes for pressure and the other for volume. You can switch back and forth using a foot pedal at the base. The high volume option takes our mountain bike tires from 10 PSI to 30 faster than every bike pump but one that we tested. And it keeps the volume manageable enough that it's not hard to compress.

In high-pressure mode, the Sterling required more compressions to fill our road bike tire than any other bike pump tested. We also wish the gauge was easier to read. It's marked every 5 PSI, but those small tick marks are harder to see, and it's a pretty rough measurement anyway. In our accuracy tests, it performed well, but we checked for round numbers: 30, 40, and 80 PSI. This gauge would make it hard to hit something like 32. That said, if you want an affordable and accurate bike pump that fills up your fat tires fast, with a universal nozzle that easily attaches to Presta or Schrader valves, we readily recommend this one. The main competition comes from its lower-cost sibling, the Bontrager Charger, which scored higher for inflation but well behind in ease of attachment.

Read more: Crankbrothers Sterling review

Some close-ups and glamour shots taken during the testing of the Sterling.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best Bang for the Buck


Bontrager Charger


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Attachment 5.0
  • Inflation 7.0
  • Stability 9.0
  • Accuracy 7.0
  • Gauge 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Efficient
Precise and accurate gauge
Comfortable to use
Less expensive
REASONS TO AVOID
Finicky smart nozzle
SPECIFICATIONS
High Volume or High Pressure Both
Max PSI 160
Weight 3.1 lbs
Height 27 in
Hose Length 38 in
Man, we love this bike pump. The Bontrager Charger is the less-expensive underdog that beats out the glitzier competition for its pure utility. Few pumps cost less. The ones that did, like the Vibrelli Performance Floor Pump, scored much lower. It's one of the best in the test at inflating tires, which, after all, is the point of all this. Its nozzle is smart, accommodating both Schrader and Presta valves without adjustment, it's stable, has a comfortable handle, and its gauge is bright, precise, and accurate. But most importantly, it fills tires quickly. It beat out every bike pump we tested when inflating our test road bike tire from 40 to 80 PSI. It was also faster than any pump without a dedicated high-volume setting (we'll get into that below) in getting a mountain bike tire to 30 PSI.

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. With a little patience, the connection isn't that hard to make. That's a lot of positives and one rather important negative. This bike pump is a great value if you can muster patience when your tire is flat. If you're willing to shell out a bit more cash, the Crankbrothers Sterling is a great pump that attaches more easily.

Read more: Bontrager Charger review

The affordable but totally capable Charger.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best for Home Mechanics


Bontrager TLR Flash Charger


75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Attachment 8.0
  • Inflation 8.0
  • Stability 9.0
  • Accuracy 5.0
  • Gauge 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Works well to inflate and seat tires
Easy to connect universal valve
Stable with a comfortable handle
Easy-to-read gauge
REASONS TO AVOID
No hose management system
Air compressor system is complicated
Gauge is less accurate at higher pressures
SPECIFICATIONS
High Volume or High Pressure High Pressure
Max PSI 160
Weight 7.2 lbs
Height 28 in
Hose Length 52 in
Tubeless tires require a sudden blast of air to seal the tire to the rim or seat it. A noisy, corded air compressor will do the job, but so will the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger. Of the two compressive bike pumps we tested, the Flash Charger is our favorite. Both work as manual compressors, though the Bontrager was more consistent in our tests and as a regular bike pump. But the Bontrager consistently requires fewer reps to inflate road and mountain bike tires, and its universal chuck connects to Schrader and Presta valves more quickly and consistently. The brightly lit digital dial is one of the easiest to read in the test. This pump also has a stable base, a comfortable handle, and a smooth feel.

There are a few problems with this pump, though none are deal killers. The first is that the process required to use this pump as an air compressor is more complicated than we'd like. You must remember to flip two levers on either side of the bike from vertical to horizontal in the correct order. It's not hard, and the pump comes with a fairly easy-to-follow instruction sheet. It's just easy to mess up, especially in the beginning. And the clip meant to hold the chuck and wrangle the hose doesn't work at all, meaning that the hose is free range. The gauge is also not super precise at higher pressures; it tends to overestimate. We recommend double-checking your road bike tires with a separate gauge. But for quick and seamless inflation and consistent tire seating, we recommend this pump. We also tested the ToPeak Joe Blow Booster, which is another pump capable of seating tubeless tires, but it's pricier and scores slightly lower in nearly every metric.

Read more: Bontrager TLR Flash Charger review

This photo collection shows some of the key details and clever design choices that earned the TLR Flash Charger such high scores.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best for Fast High Volume Inflation


Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage


61
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Attachment 6.0
  • Inflation 9.0
  • Stability 7.0
  • Accuracy 2.0
  • Gauge 5.0
REASONS TO BUY
Incredibly fast fat tire inflation
Double-sided nozzle for Presta and Schrader
Settings for high volume and high pressure
REASONS TO AVOID
Harder to compress
Gauge is not accurate at high pressures
Finicky nozzle
SPECIFICATIONS
High Volume or High Pressure Both
Max PSI 160
Weight 4.8 lbs
Height 29.75 in
Hose Length 32 in
If you want to fill mountain bike tires as quickly as possible, reach for the Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage. It takes eight strokes to bring a fat tire from 10 to 30 PSI. That's 100 to 375% fewer strokes than it takes the competition. Only one other pump comes close to that efficiency with double the compressions. The 2Stage accomplishes this feat by providing two inflation modes, which it calls Stage 1 for high volume and Stage 2 for high pressure. It works like the other two-stage model we tested, but the barrel is much bigger, filling the tires much faster.

This also makes the pump harder to compress, and it's tall, which can be a challenge for shorter riders. The high-pressure mode is less effective but only takes three more compressions than the fastest inflating pump. What is a bummer is the gauge design. The first half of the gauge covers only 30 PSI, marking every pound of pressure. The second half runs from 30 to 160 PSI, only marking every 5 PSI. And those marks are very close together. It's not surprising that the gauge is very inaccurate above 30 PSI since it's hard to tell what the needle is pointing to. The double-sided gauge is also finicky with flat tires. Go for it if you can live with all that to get the efficiency this pump offers.

Read more: Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage review

Some highlights of the JoeBlow Sport 2Stage.
Credit: Clark Tate

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
75
Bontrager TLR Flash Charger
Best for Home Mechanics
$160
Top Pick Award
70
Crankbrothers Sterling
Best Bike Pump for Most People
$80
Editors' Choice Award
69
Bontrager Charger
Best Bang for the Buck
$45
Best Buy Award
69
Topeak JoeBlow Booster
$220
67
Lezyne Sport Drive
$60
61
Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage
Best for Fast High Volume Inflation
$130
Top Pick Award
59
Topeak JoeBlow Sport III
$60
58
AerGun X-1000
$37
49
Topeak JoeBlow Max HP
$50
37
Vibrelli Performance Floor Pump
$35
27
SKS Rennkompressor
$85

bike pump - we extensively tested each pump based on our key performance metrics.
We extensively tested each pump based on our key performance metrics.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

How We Test Bike Pumps


As one might expect, our floor pump tests involved a lot of inflating. We tested for quantifiable factors like inflation speed and gauge accuracy, measured weight and dimensions, and made user-based assessments 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 Attachment (25% of overall score weighting))
  • Inflation (25% weighting)
  • Stability (20% weighting)
  • Accuracy (20% weighting)
  • Gauge (10% 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.

We round them up for the showdown.
We round them up for the showdown.
John's glad this pack has good organization for all those bike tools...
John's glad this pack has good organization for all those bike tools and pump while fixing a flat.
We take notes during the entire testing process.
We take notes during the entire testing process.

How to Pick the Best 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 Should 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. Many pumps come compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves either through two-sided attachments, unscrewing and flipping the connector, or through attachment pieces.

bike pump - using the proper head attachment means easier inflation and more...
using the proper head attachment means easier inflation and more time spent on the saddle.
Credit: Clark Tate

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 installing your own tubeless tires. The seating process involves using large blasts of air to effectively seal the tire to the rim, which only certain pumps are designed for. If you plan on installing your own tubeless tires, make sure to look at bike pumps specifically meant to seat tubeless tires.

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 PSI to be. We even conducted accuracy tests to help you determine the best and worst pumps for dialing in your tire pressure.

bike pump - a reliable gauge will help dial in the correct psi.
A reliable gauge will help dial in the correct PSI.
Credit: Clark Tate

Analysis and Test Results


Since we are sticklers for a good ride, we pump our tires to perfection almost every time we hit the road (or trail). We look for a simple, secure connection to the valve, a stable platform, and easy pumping. We also want an accurate gauge — which is not as simple as it sounds — when we take off on our ride. We want to know that our tires are inflated correctly.

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 decide if a product's performance is worth its price tag. We also seek out products that will last because we know how satisfying it is to save money while investing in products that will do their job for a long time.

We tested some options that provide excellent performance at a stellar price point. For example, we're blown away by the Bontrager Charger, which earns the second-highest score with one of the lowest price tags in the test. It works best with high-pressure road tires, though. So we also highlighted the Crankbrothers Sterling, which does a better job of inflating high-volume fat tires than all but one other, higher-priced option.

If you want a high-quality road bike pump with excellent accuracy and the type of good looks and well-considered construction that makes it a joy to use, check out the Lezyne Sport Drive. It will serve you well for a long while, and it's one of the more affordable pumps we tested.

bike pump - we look for the highest performers and then we check the price tags...
We look for the highest performers and then we check the price tags to help you find the best deals. The Crankbrothers pump here is a less expensive option that's optimized for high volume mountain bike tires.
Credit: Clark Tate

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 Bontrager TLR Flash Charger and AerGun X-1000 were the best examples of automatically adjusting gauges. These worked seamlessly without requiring us to finesse the connection, even when our tires were especially low, though the Flash Charger could be hard to remove.

Testing the ease of attachment of the Topeak JoeBlow Max HP in the testing lab.
Credit: Chris McNamara

The Topeak JoeBlow Booster also offers this style of auto-adjust nozzle. It's more finicky than the top three examples, but it only really gave us trouble when our tires were flat. The version on the Bontrager Charger doesn't work nearly as well and is the pump's one big weak point.

The Lezyne Sport Drive gives us another stellar nozzle option. This one screws on, offering impeccable security once you've got it in place. It shines when your tires are dead. Traditional press-on nozzles can shove the valve back into the rim as you try to attach them. This style barely needs real estate to make a solid connection and never shoves the valve down. It does take more time, and you have to unscrew the bright red chuck and flip it over to switch between Schrader and Presta valves, but we like the secure connection.

bike pump - the lezyne chuck screws onto your tire's presta or schrader valve...
The Lezyne chuck screws onto your tire's Presta or Schrader valve for a very secure connection.
Credit: Clark Tate

The rest of the pumps offered double-headed nozzles: one side working with Schrader valves, the other with Presta and sometimes Dunlop. Of these, the Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage works the best, with the Sport III and Max HP getting a bit trickier by degrees.

bike pump - the double-head chuck of the 2stage accepts schrader valves (using...
The double-head chuck of the 2Stage accepts Schrader valves (using the black side on the right) and Dunlap and Presta valves (gray side on the left).
Credit: Clark Tate

The Vibrelli chuck didn't work very well at all, and the SKS Rennkompressor has a longer nozzle face with a Schrader and a Presta opening stacked on top of one another. It's hard to line up and often challenging to seat correctly.

bike pump - the old-school head of the rennkompressor has an attachment point...
The old-school head of the Rennkompressor has an attachment point for both Presta and Schrader valves on the same side. It's hard to line the up correctly to get a good connection.
Credit: Clark Tate

Though some of these pumps have shorter hoses, most notably the Vibrelli, AerGun, and Crankbrothers, we never ran into a situation where they needed to be longer.

bike pump - the aergun x-1000 stole the show with its remarkably simple and...
The AerGun X-1000 stole the show with its remarkably simple and effective pump head.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Inflation


To test inflation speed, we counted the number of compressions it took each pump to inflate a mountain bike tire from 10 to 30 PSI and to take a road tire from 40 to 80 PSI. We also considered subjective factors, like how stable they were and how hard they were to pump.

Testing inflation speed in our testing lab
Credit: Chris McNamara


There was less variation when we tested inflation on high-pressure road bike tires, and there was a much larger spread when inflating high-volume mountain bike tires. Of all the pumps, we were most impressed by the inflation speed of the Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage. It took just eight strokes on average to get a fat tire up to 30 PSI. The next best high-volume performer, the Crankbrothers Sterling, needed twice that amount, though the 2Stage is harder to pump. It has so much volume and height that it is physically more difficult to compress. You work for that speed.

bike pump
Credit: Clark Tate

The 2Stage also fared reasonably well in the high-pressure test, where the Sterling flagged. These pumps offer two modes, one optimized to provide more volume and the other to provide more pressure. Flip a foot pedal on the Sterling or turn a knob on the 2Stage to flip back and forth.

The Topeak 2Stage pump gives you the option of setting it to Stage 1...
The Topeak 2Stage pump gives you the option of setting it to Stage 1 for high volume or Stage 2 for high pressure.
The Crankbrothers Sterling pump has a high volume and a high...
The Crankbrothers Sterling pump has a high volume and a high pressure mode. Just flip the pedal up or down to optimize your inflation.

The rest of the pumps were competing for top high-pressure inflation honors. Those go to the Bontrager Charger and Bontrager TLR Flash Charger. These are some of the best non-adjustable options for inflating high-volume tires. They offer similar, comfortable stances and handles that are smooth and easy to use. Both of these pumps are an excellent all-around option.

The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III and AerGun X-1000 are good pumps that offer decent inflation rates for road or mountain bike tires. The Lezyne Sport Drive and Topeak JoeBlow Max HP] are high-pressure specialists, so a more dedicated road cyclist would appreciate them most. They will certainly still serve if you're a trail rider, though.

bike pump - the sport iii is a simple and reliable pump that any rider can...
The Sport III is a simple and reliable pump that any rider can appreciate.
Credit: Clark Tate

When used as a regular pump, the Topeak JoeBlow Booster also performs best with high-pressure road tires. The JoeBlow Booster and the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger also serve as manual air compressors to install tubeless tires, using a big burst of air to set the tire's bead against the rim of the wheel. Both work wonderfully. During our tests, we've used them to install 29-inch, 27.5-inch, plus, and fat tubeless tires. Both pumps usually seat the tire's bead on the first go. If they don't, try gently pressing the tire toward the rim to force the bead toward the edges. And make sure your tire is off the ground.

bike pump - working a tire change with the impressive joeblow booster.
Working a tire change with the impressive JoeBlow Booster.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Of the two, the Booster is more straightforward to use. You have to rotate the rim of its dial between clearly marked charge and inflate marks. Its gauge was also more accurate in our tests. Though you have to switch two levers on the Flash Charger in the right order, the blast of air seemed more powerful, and the pump inflates tires faster than a regular pump, which is how you'll likely be using it most of the time.

bike pump - the joeblow booster is more straightforward to use but the flash...
The JoeBlow Booster is more straightforward to use but the Flash Charger inflates tires faster and works just as well when seating tubeless tires.
Credit: Clark Tate

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.


Pumps with well-balanced tripod bases are among our favorites, like the Bontrager's Charger and TLR Flash Charger, Crankbrothers Sterling, and Lezyne Sport Drive. These all stand upright when you step away and will deal with a few knocks. We also like that two of the base's legs tilt toward you, letting you stand further from the pump while securing it.

bike pump - the bontrager's large metal tripod base is very sturdy and...
The Bontrager's large metal tripod base is very sturdy and comfortable to use.
Credit: Clark Tate

The benefits of tripod-style bases are especially apparent when pumping outdoors on less-than-level surfaces. Unstable pumps topple easily when you're pumping on a grassy hillside covered in sticks and leaves.

bike pump - the three-pronged lezyne with a 3.5-inch gauge is quite stable.
The three-pronged Lezyne with a 3.5-inch gauge is quite stable.
Credit: Clark Tate

Pumps with bases that extend out to either side are less dependable. If the wings are large and broad enough, the pump can still be reliable on flat ground. Often though, they tip forward or backward with little provocation. The behemoth JoeBlow Booster is an example of a fairly stable, non-tripod pump. We've knocked it over a few times, though.

It's tall and heavy, with a large steel base that provides a solid foundation, measuring 10 inches across and about 4.5 inches front to back. There's no rubber or plastic protection under the metal base plate, so be careful when using this hefty pump on delicate surfaces.

bike pump - the winged base of the booster is weighty steel and broad enough to...
The winged base of the Booster is weighty steel and broad enough to be very stable, even on a lawn.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III and Sport 2Stage feature smaller versions of this baseplate. They're oriented left to right with enough depth to create front-to-back stability. You should be more careful around them. The Max HP and Vibrelli Performance are less stable still and fall over with little provocation.

bike pump - the base of the sport iii provides a lot of lateral stability but...
The base of the Sport III provides a lot of lateral stability but not much front to back. It's tall, with a high gauge, and it tips over easily.
Credit: Clark Tate

The SKS Rennkompressor prioritizes size over stability. It has foldable feet and an easily removable handle for travel. Those features make it challenging to use since it often falls over whenever you step away from it, even to attach its nozzle to a tire. If you want your pump to last, go for a wide and hefty base plate with a gauge mounted low enough to hold extra weight low to the ground.

Accuracy


To test the accuracy of these pumps, we cross-referenced their pressure readings with an independent gauge (a Jaco dial version, proven to be highly accurate in our gauge test). We checked readings throughout the testing period and ran a dedicated accuracy test, pumping mountain bike tires to 30 PSI and road bike tires to 40 and 80 PSI. All the pumps get you in the ballpark, but some will require more tweaking than others if you're particular about your pressures.


The most accurate pump in this review is the Lezyne Sport Drive. It nailed the higher pressures in the test but overestimated the 30 PSI test by 2 pounds. Since it's meant for road tires, that's not a huge deal-breaker.

The AerGun X-100, Crankbrothers Sterling, and Bontrager Charger are all similarly accurate. The AerGun struggles more with the lower pressures (under 3 PSI) and the Bontrager with the higher ones (under by around 4). The Sterling struggled with the middle-of-the-road 40 PSI mark, oddly. The Joeblow Booster is a bit worse, over by a few pounds at both lower two pressure points, but nailing the 80 PSI marker.

bike pump - the charger was very accurate in our lower pressure tests (at 30 and...
The Charger was very accurate in our lower pressure tests (at 30 and 40 PSI), and only lost a couple of pounds in our 80 PSI road bike test.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III and Max HP were about 5 pounds under at higher pressures. The Bontrager TRL Flash Charger was over by that amount at high pressures but nailed pressures around 30 PSI on a mountain bike tire.

The Max HP wasn't great at low pressures, either. From there, it just went downhill. The SKS and Vibrelli were unimpressive. The Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage disappointed us, holding it back in the scores. Its higher pressure readings (over 30 PSI) were way off, probably because the second half of the gauge is hard to read(more on that below).

bike pump - we appreciate that the gauge of the joeblow max mp has a sliding...
We appreciate that the gauge of the JoeBlow Max MP has a sliding yellow marker and that it prints its PSI readings outside the glass.
Credit: Clark Tate

Gauge


Pumping up a bike tire can be a workout. With sweat stinging your eyes, bending over and squinting to check the gauge is no fun. Height, color combination, print size, construction, and intervals are all important factors that can differentiate between a good gauge and a bad one.


We like the Bontrager TRL Flash Charger and Topeak JoeBlow Booster gauges. Both are large, clear, and located at the top of the pump, making them very easy to read. The Flash Charger's gauge is digital, making it very precise and easy to read in the dark, but completely useless if you run out of batteries.

The JoeBlow Booster's analog gauge is marked at intervals of 5 PSI, which is less precise than we'd like but pretty typical. It also has a sliding yellow marker to keep track of your desired pressure, as do the other Topeak options and the Aergun. It's a handy detail.

The Topeak JoeBlow Booster gauge.
The Topeak JoeBlow Booster gauge.
The Specialized Air Tool Pro gauge.
The Specialized Air Tool Pro gauge.
The Bontrager Charger gauge.
The Bontrager Charger gauge.
The Crankbrothers Sterling gauge.
The Crankbrothers Sterling gauge.
The Lezyne Sport Drive gauge.
The Lezyne Sport Drive gauge.

The Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage guage.
The Topeak JoeBlow Sport 2Stage guage.
The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III gauge.
The Topeak JoeBlow Sport III gauge.
The Topeak JoeBlow Max HP gauge.
The Topeak JoeBlow Max HP gauge.
The Vibrelli Performance gauge.
The Vibrelli Performance gauge.
The AerGun X-1000 gauge.
The AerGun X-1000 gauge.
The SKS Rennkompressor gauge.
The SKS Rennkompressor gauge.

The Vibrelli and the Bontrager Charger mark every 2 PSI. Of these, the Charger is another easy one to read. It's simple and bright white with large-ish black letters. The Vibrelli is smaller, packs its tick marks closer together, and tucks its numbers under the curve of the rim. Because of this, it doesn't score well.

The Booster gauge is great because it's at the top of the pump where...
The Booster gauge is great because it's at the top of the pump where you can clearly see it.
The bright digital gauge sure is easy to read and precise, reading...
The bright digital gauge sure is easy to read and precise, reading out your psi to the nearest decimal place.

The other Topeak pumps read out at 5 PSI increments, as do the Lezyne and Crankbrothers gauges. The JoeBlow Sport III is the best of this bunch, with a large gauge and PSI numbers printed clearly around the outside of the rim, free of the glare of the glass. The Max HP is a little smaller, the Lezyne Sport darker with smaller numbers, and the Crankbrothers has smaller numbers and an eye-tiring blue and white color scheme.

bike pump - the joeblow sport iii's large and easy-to-read gauge, complete with...
The JoeBlow Sport III's large and easy-to-read gauge, complete with a bright yellow adjustable guide to mark your goal pressure.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Look for large gauges that are bright and marked, with enough resolution to get the precision and accuracy you need.

bike pump - we like a lot of these pumps, but they're all good at different...
We like a lot of these pumps, but they're all good at different things. Make sure you find the right one for you.
Credit: Clark Tate

Conclusion


While conceptually simple, bike pumps can differ in their capacities and capabilities. How easy and pleasant they are to use, and their efficiency and accuracy vary greatly. We hope our side-by-side testing methods and comparison help you sort through the details. This review will help you find the best bike floor pump for your pedaling needs without bankrupting your new bike fund.

Clark Tate