BIKE HAND PUMPS
A hand pump is a great item to bring with you on long rides in case you get a flat tire. A flat tire can cause an abrupt end to a fun ride if you aren’t prepared with an extra tube or patch kit. Bicycle hand pumps are small enough to fit in a backpack or attach to your bike frame with special brackets. Most bike hand pumps come with brackets that attach to the water bottle cage mounts of your frame. Bike hand pumps come in many sizes which typically changes the internal air volume of the pump. A pump with a large air chamber can inflate a tube much faster than a pump with a small air chamber while a mini hand pump takes up less space but requires more time and effort to inflate a tube.
Almost all modern bike hand pumps work with presta and Schrader valve types with most pump heads automatically work with both, but others feature an internal flip chip that must be reversed to go from presta to Schrader or vice versa. A Schrader valve is the original type of valve which is typically found of inexpensive modern bikes, classic bikes, and car tires too. A presta valve is a newer type of valve which is commonly found on current road bikes and mountain bikes. Presta valves are also the standard for tubeless setups.
Few hand pumps have a PSI gauge to verify how much air pressure is in your tube/tire. If you are a rider who is concerned with accurate tire pressures, you might want to consider carrying a pressure gauge around with you. Mountain bike tires and hybrid bike tires typically run lower air pressure, while road tires tend to run very high pressure due to their low volume. Lower pressures give your tires better traction when riding off-road. Higher pressures typically give you better rolling speed when riding on the road. In competitive cycling, proper PSI can give you the traction or speed needed to edge out the competition.
While a mini bike pump is great to take with your while you’re riding, it is not recommended for everyday use. A bike floor pump is much more practical when inflating a tire at home or before a ride due to their larger air chamber and pressure gauge. Typically a mini tire pump will go up to 120 PSI which is more than enough for most road bikes which typically don’t need more than 100 PSI. CO2 inflators might be faster than a bike hand pump but can become costly over time if flats frequently happen due to CO2 cartridges being a one-time use.
No matter what type of riding you’re doing, whether it be on the local trails, at the park, riding on the bike path, or riding across the country, you should always carry a bike hand pump with you. If you have any questions about bike hand pumps, hop on a call or chat with one of our expert Gear Advisors today at 888-880-3811. They are always happy to help you with any questions you may have. Keep Pedaling!