How To Pick A Useful Pump

Most cycling trips will inevitably encounter flat tires . .   It is easy to carry a pump that just might come in handy, so why not pack one in your bag and save yourself a lot of trouble!

If you fail to ride your bike frequently (we sure hope not!) then gradually the air in your tires will disappear.  If you avoid tires with low air pressure for too long, this can also damage your tires and rims.  But check this out : in addition to boosting your confidence while on the road away from home, a cycling pump can be used as a self-defense weapon! Awesome, double benefit !

For the more serious cyclist, you are probably always stopping on the road to adjust your tire pressure.  Thus, a  pump attendant is the necessary tool for you! Something suited to your needs, and something that isn’t going to break the wallet.

A bicycle pump sounds like a simple buy, but in fact there are many different types : the price gap is large, functions are quite different, so if it is not clear what your needs are you may just be wasting money. Here’s our guide on how to pick the best bicycle pump for you.

The pump : size !

Boosting the effectiveness of your pump is easy : the larger the diameter of the cylinder barrel, then likely the more air that can be pumped . . Except that the pressure is relatively low; Smaller cylinder diameter means less air, but it can reach a much higher pressure. The construction of the pump barrel is pretty much the same or less, so most barrels are pretty ok.  There will be an overlap in functionality; the use of the pump vs the individual needs or habits . . and unfortunately there is no absolute answer on which pump is best.

General road tire pressure is about 90 ~ 100PSI, race tire pressure will hit about 110 ~ 120PSI, mountain bike (including: BMX, Cross-country, Downhill) optimum tire pressure is about 45PSI, urban vehicles are at about 60PSI, car and motorcycle tires are about 40PSI, shock absorbers are about 230PSI . . The list goes on and one. However, those numbers vary depending on weight adjustments.

The pump : performance !

The current market for pumps can be divided into the following categories:

(1) MINI bicycle pump: emphasizing light, short, small :  it is generally not the best bicycle pump, but can be attached to your frame or put in your pocket. Although using the pump might not be easy, it does make for easy transportation.  In can’t really be used for tires that require a higher pressure.  But hey, now there are cars designed specifically for road MINI PUMPs: where the cylinder diameter is small, amount of air released is very low, but it’s easier to gain high-pressure.

(2) High-pressure air cylinders:  Because of the use of nitrogen-filled cylinders, you never really have to work your muscles to get this baby pumping. Even though the volume of air may be low, they are portable and easy to use.  The only downside is that they can usually only be used once, so there is no way to save the air inside the pump – but hey it’s a very convenient way to pump your tires!  It is usually sought after by the time-sensitive cyclist who owns a lightweight road frame that most people can never afford.

(3) Hand-held bicycle pumps : Similar in look and feel to the MINI pump but designed to be placed in your bag.  Since they are not very big but longer than the MIMI PUMP with a good grip, they are more functional.  The really nice ones even come equipped with tire pressure meters!

(4) High pressure barrels : shock absorbers, shock absorbers, shock absorbers . . These pumps can’t really be used for general tires, but they can offer an extreme amount of pressure for such a small barrel.  They don’t pump much air, but the pressure is high (as mentioned), and they are designed to fight shock !

(5) Floor-model pumps : This is the most common and the most traditional form of barrel design.  Highly recommended by pretty much anybody since they are quite stable and  effortless to use.  The drawback is that they are usually pretty bulky. There are also pedal-style models, but the natural fixed-foot is the most relaxed model that requires the least amount of effort.

The pump : individual needs !

The delight of choosing a bicycle pump usually weighs heavily on the needs of the individual.

Riding a road bicycle usually means you need higher tire pressure, so it is important to pay attention when you buy a bicycle pump.  You basically want something that has enough pressure to achieve your desired PSI.  In order to boost the effectiveness of the general MINI pump, you must consider factors like arm strength : after all, hand-held MINI pumps may look as if they are easy to use, but many people find them extremely difficult to use.  In addition,  road bicycles need more accurate tire pressure, so we recommend something with a  hand-held Tire Gauge, and a barrel that can be foot-fixed for less effort on your part. The downside is that something like this is usually a little to heavy for most people to carry around.  If the economic conditions permit, high-pressure gas cylinders are be the best choice for most !

The pump : pay attention !

Curious about what pump details you must pay attention to? Well, it all really comes down to a few simple things : the General bicycle air nozzle mouth and the French American air nozzle mouth.  Most pumps come with what’s know as a ’smart mouth’ : where there are two kinds of nozzles.  Usually a double-headed nozzle is the most common, or a double-hole type 2 mouth.

Most pumps are made with plastic and aluminum tubing.  Plastic pipes are light and cheap, but vulnerable to the heat generated by friction.  So it seems like aluminum is still the mainstream material on the market.

Whether you buy a smart mouth or a traditional nozzle, using the nozzle for a long time is a bad idea.  So, when you have asked about buying a pump from your local store, make sure you ask about the product availability of spare parts for repair and replacement.

The grip you have on the pump also plays a very important factor, especially for MINI pumps.  You must pay special attention to the design : make sure it is not too ergonomic – you might be pumping and pumping, and never get anywhere : we call this ‘operational inconvenience’.  Generally 90 degrees to grip your pump tight is too close together, but some manufacturers have introduced a bilateral grip : a two-way design.

The bottom line ? Make sure you do your homework before you buy a pump, and always try it out before you buy it !