The Best Bike Pumps for Road Bikes in 2021: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

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Whether you’re using your road bike as your main means of transport or are a passionate hobby cyclist, one essential item for all cyclist owners is a bike pump. This is why we have created a buyer's guide sharing our opinions on the best bike pumps for road bikes in 2021.

As of now, the best bike pumps for road bikes are:

 

Best Bike Pumps for Road Bike

How Do You Choose the Best Bike Pump for Road Bikes?

We will help you determine what you should look for when shopping for the best bike pump for road bikes and which type of pump suits your needs.

Things to Look For On Your Bike

Presta or Schrader Valves?

The first thing you should do when shopping for a bike pump is to make sure that the air hose connector fits your tire valves. The two valve types usually used on bikes are Schrader and Presta.

Presta valves are smaller in diameter and are easier to pump since they use a lock nut and not a spring as a valve head. Schrader valves are bigger in diameter and are the same valves that can be found on cars.

In general, higher-end bike tires use Presta valves that are designed specifically for bikes, while Schrader valves are used on more inexpensive bike models.

These days, many bike pumps fit both Schrader and Presta valves.

Finding the Desired Pressure for Your Tires

Usually, road tires don’t require more than 160 psi (pounds per square inch). The desired pressure for road tires is typically between 80 and 130 psi. However, some high-performance bikes could require closer to 160 psi. For mountain bike tires, the ideal tire pressure is between 23 and 25 psi.

Volume Needed

How much volume your pump will need depends on your bike. The higher volume the pump has, the fewer strokes it takes to reach your desired pressure.

However, there is usually a trade-off between volume and maximum pressure, meaning that a high-volume pump might have a lower maximum pressure.

In general, mountain bike tires have greater volume and lower pressure, meaning that a high-volume pump is more important than a high-maximum pressure one for these kinds of bikes.

Deciding Which Type of Pump You Want

What Is a CO2 Inflator?

This type of bike pump consists of a small canister filled with CO2. The pump is compact and perfect for carrying around with you. It inflates your tires very quickly, but one canister of CO2 can usually only be used once.

The majority of the CO2 inflator pumps don’t give you the option to regulate the air in your tires. It’s not the greenest alternative around either.

What Is a Hand Pump?

A hand pump is easy to bring with you and doesn’t take up a lot of space. However, it’s designed for occasional use. Constantly using a hand pump may stress the valve and result in leaking or leave you with a useless inner tube.

Also, using a hand pump to inflate your tires usually requires more effort. 

What Is a Track Pump?

This type of bike pump will inflate your tires quickly and easily. A track pump doesn’t damage your valves and is easy to use and long-lasting.

It’s recommended that every cyclist should own a track pump. Other portable pumps can complement the track pump but aren’t as good when it comes to performance.

Other Attributes That Differentiate Bike Pumps

Different Types of Pump Heads

As mentioned earlier, the air hose connector on the bike pump has to fit your tire valves. While some pumps are valve-specific, others have different kinds of pump heads that may allow you to use it on both types of valves.

A twin-valve head has a slot for both the Presta and Schraeder valves, a smart-head automatically adjusts to the different valve sizes, and there’s also the option of thread-on valves.

If you have tubeless tires on your bike, a smart-head will do the trick. Press-on style heads are also suitable.

Deciding on a Pressure Gauge

Pressure gauges measure the psi in your tires, making it easy to know when your tire pressure is ideal.

Many road bike pumps come with pressure gauges, and some even use a digital gauge. A pressure gauge should be easy to read

Since the optimal pressure for mountain bike tires requires preciseness, you should perhaps consider buying a pump with high gauge accuracy if mountain bikes are your ride of choice. For other road bikes, gauge accuracy isn’t as important.

Build Quality

What material the pump is made from is also a factor to take into consideration. High-end bike pumps are usually made out of metal like aluminum and last longer than their more affordable counterparts, consisting mainly of plastic. The build quality is something you should consider when shopping for a bike pump.

You’re often able to buy spare parts for the metal bike pumps if needed.

If the length of the air hose on the pump is important to you, look for a bike pump with an extra-long hose.

Our Top Picks for Bike Pumps in 2021

bike beside the see

Now that you know what to look for when buying the best bike pump for road bikes, we will present you with our top five picks.

Our Overview

Our top pick is the Aergun X-1000 bike pump. The feature that sets this pump apart from the rest is its unique AerTight pump head. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any adapters nor switching equipment, depending on what type of valves your tires have.

The pump head also has a pressure release valve that can quickly deflate tires if needed. The Aergun X-1000 can inflate your tires up to 160 psi and comes with an easy to read pressure gauge. It’s also built to last, with its aluminum body and metal tube.

The pump also comes with needles used for inflating balls and pool toys.

Even though this is our favorite bike pump on the market, it’s on the more expensive side. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to carry around since it weighs approximately 1.1 kilograms (39 ounces.)

Pros:

  • Airtight pump head is easy to use.
  • Fits both Schrader and Presta valves.
  • Has a pressure release valve.
  • High-pressure capability that easily inflates your tires up to 160 psi.
  • Comes with an easy to read pressure gauge.
  • Works with high-performance road bikes and more affordable alternatives.
  • Has a durable aluminum body and comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Comes with needles used for inflating balls and pool toys.

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side.
  • Bringing it with you on bike rides might be a little more challenging than the other alternatives since it’s relatively big and heavy.

Our Overview

This Bike Pump is ideal for bringing with you on your bike rides. Because of its small size and weight of a mere 235 grams (8.3 ounces), this is the best option on our list for a portable bike pump.

The Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump fits both Schrader and Presta valves. It automatically locks onto both tire valves and doesn’t require any adaptors. The pump has a mounting bracket that attaches it to your bike and also comes with a glueless puncture kit so you can repair a flat tire anywhere.

This portable pump has a maximum capacity of 120 psi, which might be lower than the pressure needed in some bikes, especially high-performance ones. Because of its small size and being a hand pump, it requires some effort to inflate your tires.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to bring with you on the road.
  • Fits both Schrader and Presta valves automatically.
  • Comes with a mounting bracket.
  • Includes a glueless puncture kit.
  • Can be used with both road bikes and mountain bikes.
  • Made from durable aluminum.

Cons:

  • Only has up to 120 psi capacity.
  • Doesn’t come with a pressure gauge.
  • Might require some extra effort to inflate your tires.

Our Overview

This is the most affordable bike pump on our list. The Kitbest bike pump is a mini floor pump that weighs only 200 grams (7 ounces) and is easy to bring with you. It’s a floor pump with interchangeable valve heads and fits both Schrader and Presta valves.

This pump is suitable for both road bikes and mountain bikes. It comes with ball needles and a glueless puncture repair kit. It’s so easy to use that even kids can use the pump to inflate soccer balls.

The Kitbest pump doesn’t have the same pressure capability as the other pumps on our list, but with a maximum of 130 psi, it’s enough for most normal road bikes. 

Unfortunately, the air hose is also relatively short.

Pros:

  • The most “bang for your buck.”
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Fits both Schrader and Presta valves.
  • Easy to use.
  • Comes with a glueless puncture kit.
  • Can be used with both road bikes and mountain bikes.

Cons:

  • The length of the air hose is rather short.
  • Only has up to 130 psi capability.
  • Switching between valve heads requires some effort.
  • Doesn’t come with a pressure gauge.

Our Overview

While other pumps on our list are compatible with mountain bike tires, the Topeak Mountain Morph Bike Pump is designed specifically for mountain bikes. With a weight of 250 grams (9 ounces), it’s also easy to carry around.

The tires on a mountain bike differ slightly from those on road bikes. They’re larger and run on lower pressure, which is something this pump has taken into consideration by delivering more air per stroke but generating lower pressure for the same amount of power. The pump head fits both Schrader and Presta valves.

This pump also comes with a fold-down footpad that you can use for pumping your tires. It also has a flexible hose.

The Topeak Mountain Morph Bike Pump doesn’t come with a pressure gauge. It also generates lower maximum pressure than the other pumps since it’s designed for mountain bikes.

Pros:

 

  • Specifically designed for mountain bikes.
  • A lot of air per stroke.
  • Fits both Schrader and Presta valves.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Flexible hose.
  • Comes with a fold-down footpad.
  • Clip bracket and velcro secure strap included.

Cons:

  • Generates lower pressure than the other pumps.
  • Doesn’t come with a pressure gauge.

Our Overview

When you’re on the road, or perhaps even racing, and suddenly get a flat tire, the Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator will inflate your tires in no time. This pump has an aluminum body and is small and easy to take with you on bike rides.

The Pro Bike Tool CO2 Inflator is very stylish, comes in three different colors, and is compatible with both Schrader and Presta valves and can fill up a tire in seconds. This pump gives a safe and secure connection without leaks and fits any size of 'threaded' cartridges.

However, since CO2 inflators are temporary solutions to flat tires, it’s a bit expensive, especially since it doesn’t include CO2 cartridges.

Pros:

  • Inflates your tires very quickly.
  • Compatible with Schrader and Presta valves.
  • Fits different types of cartridges.
  • Small and portable.
  • Stylish design.
  • Aluminium body.

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive.
  • Doesn’t come with CO2 cartridges.

 

Conclusion: Which Is the Best Bike Pump for Road Bikes?

painting bikes

In summary, all five products are great in different ways, but the winner in our eyes must be the Aergun X-1000. Even though it’s slightly pricier than the other alternatives, as well as less compact and lightweight, it excels in doing what a bike pump was built to do.

Our top pick has an easy to read pressure gauge and has 160 psi pressure capacity, which none of the other pumps on our list have. The build quality is also excellent, and the pump will likely last you for a long time. 

Another unique feature is the pressure release valve that can deflate your tires when needed, making it easy to adjust your tire pressure for different training needs (road or trail biking, for example). Also, our bike pump of choice fits all types of bike valves automatically.

The other pumps offer portable and budget-friendly alternatives. We also included a bike pump specifically for mountain bike tires. However, the unique features of the Aergun X-1000 are what makes it our top pick for the best bike pump for road bikes in 2021.

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