Bike Pump Buying Guide
Tyre pressure is a remarkably important variable than impacts not only general safety but also handling / grip as well as comfort over longer distances. Whatever tyre pressure you choose to inflate your tyres to, you do need to keep pressure checked regularly (bikes can lose considerable pressure if left idle even for a relatively short period time) and you also need to make sure you can inflate them whilst out riding with the minimum of fuss. Discover how to make sure you have the right bike pump for the job using our Criterium Cycles Bike Pump Buying Guide.
Types of Pump
We would advise all cyclists to consider having at least two pumps to hand; a track pump for use at home (fast, accurate inflation) and a mini pump of some description for use out riding (lightweight, portable and still very effective if not as quick or accurate as a Track Pump).
Specifically designed for accurate, rapid inflation, track pumps stand on the floor and have handy feet incorporated into the design of the base on which you can rest your feet and gain more purchase when pumping the tyre. They come with a handy pressure gauge so you can see exactly what pressure you are delivering and are perfect for use at home. The downside is they are too large to carry with you on the ride so you need another solution for that.
Hand / Mini Pump
We have to be honest – they are nowhere near as quick or as effective as a Track Pump. But they will fit in your saddlebag or seat pack and they will make sure that if you have a puncture, you can get enough air in the tyre to get home though be prepared to have to pump a lot of strokes and also be prepared for a little guesswork too as they don’t usually come with gauges.
A brilliant little invention, they take out the hassle of having to pump a large number of strokes to inflate a tyre. One canister will get an empty tyre to around 80 – 90 psi and very quickly so enough to get you home and we even stock some CO2 pumps that have a little gauge on so you don’t have to guess. Read the instructions carefully though – CO2 canisters are under considerable pressure so they get exceptionally cold when discharging and if not used correctly can cause injury. There’s no need to be afraid of them, just learn how to use it and treat with respect.
Another little tip with CO2: Because the molecular structure of CO2 is smaller than air, you may find your tyre inflated by CO2 will have completely deflated within a couple of days. Don’t panic – it’s almost certainly not another puncture – just try re-inflating with air.