Bicycle Pumps Introduction

Floor Pumps
These beefy, leave-at-home pumps are perfect for garage and bike shop use. They provide high-capacity air-filling power (some models inflate up to 220psi/10 bar) for a variety of tasks in addition to bike tires, and they can handle high-pressure pump jobs that many smaller portable pumps cannot. Most have large, built-in gauges for easy pressure readings.
Floor pumps are your fastest, safest pump option.

Mini Pumps (AKA Hand Pumps)
These small, lightweight pumps provide a quick, easy solution to flats on the road or trail. Most can be attached to various places on your bicycle frame (some can even fit under your water bottle) using mounting hardware or a rip-and-stick strap. Mountain bikers tend to keep their mini-pumps safely inside their hydration pack, away from trail obstacles.
When shopping, consider the psi capacity of the pump:
  • Models up to 90psi are suitable for mountain or comfort bikes.
  • Models up to 120psi offer fastest for mountain or comfort bikes; OK for some road bikes.
  • Models up to 160psi are ideal for road bikes.
Many mini-pumps now come with a built-in hose. This handy feature reduces pumping stress on the valve stem, which can actually break off during use by a standard rigid pump if you're not careful.

Combo Pumps

CO2 Inflators

These offer a quick, temporary fix in a lightweight, minimalist option. Popular with racers and anyone who want to ride light (they can fit in a jersey pocket), an inflator kit consists of a nozzle and a cartridge. Cartridges are essentially single-use only as, once used, any remaining CO2 leaks out after a few hours. Repair or replace your damaged tube and fill with blasts of the CO2. 
  • Some nozzles include a shut-off valve to make inflation more precise.
  • Some nozzles and cartridges are threaded—others are not—so make sure you get a compatible set when buying replacement cartridges.
Choose Cartridge Tips: The 16g size is best for a single 700c road tire; The 20g size can fill a pair of 700c tires or a single (26" or 29") mountain bike tire.

Shock Pumps
Shock Pumps are used to pressurize your suspension components. Shock pumps are specifically designed to pump to high pressure and are not suitable for pumping up a bicycle tyre. They may have a pressure gauge built in, which is ideal for maintaining your bike suspension at home. Compact shock pumps without gauges are also available for carrying when you ride, to fine tune the suspension on the trail.
If you own a mountain bike with air sprung suspension, it's worthwhile investing in a shock pump. This high pressure, small-volume pump will often have a max pressure of 300psi, allowing you to get the right pressure and then fine tune it.

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