I have been through a lot of bike pumps in my life. And when you are standing there, looking over all options of pumps at the bike store, it can be really challenging to pick out the best one.
Thankfully, in all of my testing, I have had a few pumps that have way outperformed the others. Some of these pumps are even partially rebuild-able, which greatly extends their life and usefulness.
When you choose a bike pump, make sure that you get one that has both schrader and presta valve attachments. Maybe you only have one kind of valve right now, but I’ve found that when I ride with other people I often need to help them air of their tires, too, and you need a pump that can do both.
The other trick is to keep your pump from being “borrowed” by family members. I can’t tell you how many pumps I have lost to other uses and then had to go track down the offender and get my pump back. In the end I decided that using a sharpie to add my name to my pump was a good idea.
But, once you get a really good pump, you will understand why everyone wants to borrow it all the time. These pumps are top-notch, affordable, and will make your bike maintenance a cinch.
Pump #1 – Review Of The Topeak Joe Blow Pump
Are there better bike pumps on the market? Possibly. But when it comes to value, durability, rebuildability and all-around toughness, the Topeak Joe Blow takes the prize.
I bought my Joe Blow as a used bike pump about 6 years ago. It didn’t work, so the owner was happy to sell it. I rebuilt it (super-easy to do), and have used it for the past 6 years. Now and then, I might need to tighten a bolt on the bottom, but, overall, it has held up excellently.
And, like most of you, it sees it’s share of use. I have to pump up my road bike tires several times throughout the week, and often the pump just rattles around in the back of my car as I drag it from ride to ride.
Some of you like to inflate your tires to above 130 psi. This is harder on the pumps, but the Joe Blow seems to handle it ok.
I could go on about this pump, but I think the fact that it has been one of the top-selling floor pumps for over half a decade is a pretty good indicator of just how solid of a pump this is. I’ve seen these things backed over and thrown, and a lot of times they still work. I’m coming to the conclusion that when nuclear war does finally break out, the two things remaining will be cockroaches and Joe Blow pumps
Pump #2 – Serfas TCPG
Want to save even more money? This Serfas pump is an absolute steal.
Currently, the #1 best-selling floor pump on Amazon, the TCPG is modeled after much pricier pumps on the market. However, in classic Serfas style, they put together a smart package that delivers for less.
This has both heads to that you can easily fill both Schrader and Presta-type valves, and I find that the head on this one to be pretty easy to use.
The downside is that it might be a little bit harder to find replacement parts for it that you could for Topeak, however my Serfas lasted for 3 years before dying, so I think that is a pretty good run for the money.
I’ve had a lot of customer’s throughout the ears who insist on only using this pump. The long hose and easy-to-read gauge are nice features, and when you throw in the price, it is easy to see why it is one of the top pumps in the market.
Pump #3 – The Blackburn
Blackburn’s brand popularity flows and ebbs. But what doesn’t change is this pump. It’s one big pump that can air you up in record time.
The key with this pump is its huge chamber, and the fact that it rapidly airs up your tires with much fewer strokes than most other pumps.
It also has a really solid feel to it, so when you are pumping it really feels like you have a lot of leverage on the pump — which is nice for those higher PSI applications.
One of the neat things about this pump is that it has a “smart valve”, so that all you have to do is slip it over the valve stem of the tire and flip the letter. The one head will fit both Schrader and Presta valves, making it easy for even newbs to use this pump.
The steel body of this pump gives you a solid setup that is designed to last. In fact, you will probably finding yourself using it on your lawnmower tires and wheel barrows. It’s a handy pump to use for both cycling and for those around-the-house needs.
Pump #4 – The Topeak Turbo Morph
This is a frame pump. In other words, you will want to hook it onto the frame of your bike — and it comes with a handy bracket for doing just that. It is designed to give you a source of air no matter where you are — especially on those long bike rides that take you hours from home. (Especially important if you happen to be Dave Matthews)
The Topeak is one of the best-designed frame pumps out there. It has neat features, such as a little footstand that flips out for you stand on while you pump (a lot of pumps are designed to force you to shove both ends at each other — much, much tougher to use). It also has a “T” handle that folds out, so you can get a lot of force on it.
The gauge is another huge feature that you don’t typically see on these small pumps. It’s pretty easy to get these pumps up to 100 PSI — more than enough to limp home on. And, with a little determination, you can hit that 120+ PSI mark, if you insist.
I typically just use these pumps for emergencies, but I’ve known people who have used this pump for all of their needs. Frankly, the “air tube” is so small that you have to pump like a maniac to fill up a tire, so I don’t care much for using it more than I need.
But, when you need it, you are so glad that you have it.
Pump #5 – Genuine Innovations Pump
Because these frame pumps take so long to pump up your bike, I am a big fan of using pre-filled CO2 cartridges when out on a long ride. That way, you can air up your tire — or the bulk of your tire — without pumping endlessly.
This Genuine Innovations pump combines the best of both worlds to create an emergency air source. The pump has an orifice for fitting a CO2 cartridge for airing up your tires.
However if you get more than one flat, you’ll appreciate having the pump that can air up your tire. In addition, if you have a tire that needs more pressure than the CO2 cartridge will deliver, this pump can “top off” your air needs.
Once again, this would not be a primary pump, but a nice one to take along with you when riding.
(You’ll want to choose either the road pump for high pressure, or the mountain pump for higher volume pumping — match the pump choice to the riding style you do)