The need to use a bicycle pump was born just when the solid rubber bicycle tires were replaced by air-filled tires. Once again you are stacked with a flat tire on one of your bicycling trips, somewhere along the way (for some reason, it is usually in the middle of "nowhere"). Whether you need to pump air into a new inner tube or to fix the one with the puncture, you will need a good and reliable bicycle tire pump to help you out.
Background About Bicycle Tire Pumps
Bicycle tire pumps, like the Topeak Carbon Fiber Pump can be expensive, but they can also be very affordable. Don't get discouraged thinking that if it's cheap the quality should be awful, as this is not the case. Most bicycle tire pumps have a high quality even if their brand is completely unknown. Another thing to consider is that they usually don't go through much abuse anyway.
Regardless of what bicycle pump you decide to bring on your ride, having one can make the difference between an inspiring day and a day you would rather have just spent in bed.
Full-sized bicycle floor pumps, such as the Blackburn AirTower Pump, are great pumps to have at home to fill your tires before a ride. Filling your tires with the proper air pressure (indicated on the outside of the tire) will prevent pinch flats, and will make sure you get the best distance from each pedal stroke.
Tip: As you get to know your bike and your cycling preferences better and when you get a bit more experience with your bicycle you can set the air pressure of your tires to fit your specific riding preferences.
Smaller bicycle tire pumps, such as the Blackburn Floor Pump is portable enough to slide into the rear pocket of your bicycling jerseys and light enough so that you forget it is there. Because there are so many different types of tire pumps, let's take a closer look at what is available:
|Pump||Good For..||Not Good For..||Use|
|Bicycle Floor Pump||Fast Fills||Your Back Pocket||At Home|
|Hand Pump *||Portability||Fast Fills||On Road and Trail|
|C02 Pump||Faster Fills and Light Weight||Price||For Racing, or for the impatient!|
* It is always good to test a pump-out before bringing it on a ride. Some compact pumps require way too much pumping.
** Remember: the longer the handle, the less pumping you will have to do!
Check Out my List of Bicycle Pumps
Hand Pumps - Bicycle hand pump is usually intended for use in dealing with low-pressure tire situations while on the road..
Floor Pumps - As all cyclists know, your bicycle floor pump is one of your most frequently used tools when you're cycling.
Electric Pumps - For certain cyclists, using an electric tire pump is an excellent choice, because this allows the rider to save energy and accurately pump just enough air into the tires to provide maximum performance, without risking permanent damage. Read more about buying and using electric bicycle pumps.
Things to Consider
Bicycle pumps have several characteristics. I would suggest you consider them when selecting the right pump for your needs:
- The materials from which the pump is built (plastic or metal)?
- What is the weight of the pump?
- What is the size of the pump? Can you store it inside your bicycle saddle bag?
- How easy it to use? How efficient is it?
- If this is a manual pump, can you pump air while both pushing and pulling the handle?
- Is it possible to attach the pumps to the bicycle frame?
- Is the pump designed to be connected to your specific valves of your bicycle inner tubes? (Presta or Schrader Valves)?
- Can you connect the electric bicycle pump to an electrical outlet, as well as to the socket of your car's lighter?
- Does the pump have a pressure gauge?
Did you know...?
Did you know that very few electric pumps are designed specifically for bicycle tires?
Most of the time, if you want an electric pump, you'll have to buy a multi-purpose one that can inflate everything from rugby balls to bike tires. Before you buy an electric pump, make sure the packaging specifically states it's suitable for bicycle tires. Otherwise, it'll be a fiasco!
Buying Bicycle Pumps Online
Here are some different styles of pumps you may want to consider:
Bicycle Floor Pump
Mini Tire Pump
Bicycle CO2 Tire Pump
Where to Buy a Bicycle Tire Pump?
If you are interested in buying a bicycle tire pump you can buy it at one of these trusted online stores:
Fixing Flat Bicycle Inner Tubes
Here is a quick list of the things you will need to repair a flat tire on the road:
- A dependable pump
- Patch kit
- Spare bicycle inner tubes
- Tire levers
Remember, it is much better to bring these items along with every ride, rather than depend upon someone else who might not have the right tools, or worse - to end up stranded!
Here are some other tips you may want to consider when repairing your tire:
- Pick a safe spot to repair the tire - off the road or away from the trail
- Determine what caused the flat (glass, nail, pinch bite, etc.) and remove the item
- Wipe out the inside of the tire to keep it free of anything that might cause another flat
- If the damage is too great, don't waste time becoming frustrated. Just switch the inner tube out with a new one, and repair the damaged one later. Becoming frustrated will just wreck your ride! (This, however, doesn't mean that you shouldn't bring a patch repair kit and just get a lot of inner tubes; you should always carry a patch kit religiously when riding, same as the tire pump).
- Make sure the tube and tire are seated properly in the rim of the wheel - avoid twisted bicycle inner tubes, pinched tubes, or tires that are slightly popped out from the rims.
- When using the tire levers to remove or mount the tire, be very careful not to pinch the inner tube again in another spot. This is a very common problem.
- Before pumping air to the tube after repairing it and riding along, I recommend pumping the air halfway through your desired pressure, then making the tire bounce on the ground. Then after that, you can pump the rest of the air inside and ride away. This will put the inner tube properly in place inside the tire and the rim. By doing this you will avoid an uneven inner tube inside the tire.