The Best Bike Pump

The Best Bike Pump

Due to the coronavirus situation, some or all of our picks may be sold out, and our current budget pick has seen a slight increase in price.

Because of the increased demand, we are sharing some recommendations for inexpensive bike pumps that we still believe are a good value and offer higher build quality or better usability than others.

Though we can’t guarantee these models will always be in stock, we have contacted their manufacturers, who have assured us that these models are still being made and that if the pumps sell out, new shipments should be on the way.

  • The Specialized Air Tool Sport SwitchHitter II (typically $40) has a higher build quality than anything similar on Amazon, including the BV Pump, the Topeak Joe Blow III, and the Vibrelli pump. The air hose is longer, the base is more stable, and it inflated our tires faster than anything we tried in our tests. In fact, it only narrowly lost to our current budget pick. If you can get your hands on this model, we think you’ll be very happy.
  • The Blackburn Core 2 Floor Pump (typically $45) is on our list of models to try. It’s a tall pump with long hose and a base that has the dial mounted on the bottom, keeping it steady. All of those features, which few pumps in the same price category have, already make it more appealing than most others.

Our pick

Lezyne Classic Floor Drive

Lezyne Classic Floor Drive

The best floor pump for bikes

This mostly metal pump is a smart buy, from its extra-large pressure gauge to its recently redesigned screw-on pump head.

Buying Options

$70 from Amazon

The most important thing a pump can do is not frustrate you. Our pick, the Lezyne Classic Floor Drive, excels in this task due to the design of its pump head, which you screw securely—rather than wedge—onto your valve. It combines an L-shaped head that’s refreshingly easy to fit between spokes with a removable and reversible chuck (one end fits Schrader tire valves; the other, Presta valves). Once you’ve screwed the pump head onto your tire’s valve, the Classic Floor Drive will never, ever release the valve until you want it to. In addition, its sturdy construction, extra-large pressure gauge, extra-long hose, and varnished wooden handle make it simple, and even pleasing, to use.

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Budget pick

Planet Bike ALX 2

Planet Bike ALX 2

A reliable option with better-than-most features

Though not the cheapest pump we tested, the difference in quality between a $30 pump and this one is astounding. The drawbacks: its plastic, wedge-on pump head and very short hose.

Buying Options

$50* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $55.

With more high-quality parts than anything comparably priced, the Planet Bike ALX 2 is, we believe, the best choice for someone who doesn’t ride every day or every week. It has a steel base and barrel—in fact, the only plastic part is the pump head, which you push onto the valve and lock with a lever. That head is one reason this pump isn’t our top pick; the pump’s very short hose is another. That said, the ALX 2 inflated tires faster than almost every pump we looked at, including the Lezyne Classic Floor Drive and the pricey Specialized Air Tool Pro. Our testers also rated it highly in both steadiness and usability—the wide wooden handle really helps with that. In addition, this is the only pump we found that comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is much better than the industry-standard two years.

Upgrade pick

Specialized Air Tool Pro

Specialized Air Tool Pro

For frequent riders

Although this pump is pricey, its comfortable, generously sized handle, ultra-visible gauge, and extremely stable base make it the pump to get if you’ll be using it a lot.

Buying Options

$120 from Jenson USA

The Specialized Air Tool Pro was a tester favorite. It’s twice the price, but it doesn’t have twice the features of the Lezyne Classic, and that’s why it isn’t our top pick. But it’s so stable and easy to use—with a generously wide handle and sturdy base—that we think someone who rides a lot and has to use a pump often would be enamored with the upgrade in performance.

Also great

Lezyne Pressure Drive

Lezyne Pressure Drive

Our favorite handheld bike pump

Versatile and compact, this pump will fill the flat-fixing needs of any commuter while on the road.

Buying Options

$50 from Backcountry

The Lezyne Pressure Drive is a smartly designed handheld bike pump capable of filling the types of tires most frequently used by recreational riders. In fact, it works better with different tire sizes than the other portable pumps we tested. This pump screws securely (via a detachable hose) to inner-tube valves, and its all-aluminum body has a smooth, efficient stroke. It’s small enough to carry in a jersey pocket but also comes with a bracket that you can attach to your frame. Like all of our picks, it works with both Presta and Schrader valves, the two standard kinds of bike-tube valves in the US.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Lezyne Classic Floor Drive

Lezyne Classic Floor Drive

The best floor pump for bikes

This mostly metal pump is a smart buy, from its extra-large pressure gauge to its recently redesigned screw-on pump head.

Buying Options

$70 from Amazon

Budget pick

Planet Bike ALX 2

Planet Bike ALX 2

A reliable option with better-than-most features

Though not the cheapest pump we tested, the difference in quality between a $30 pump and this one is astounding. The drawbacks: its plastic, wedge-on pump head and very short hose.

Buying Options

$50* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $55.

Upgrade pick

Specialized Air Tool Pro

Specialized Air Tool Pro

For frequent riders

Although this pump is pricey, its comfortable, generously sized handle, ultra-visible gauge, and extremely stable base make it the pump to get if you’ll be using it a lot.

Buying Options

$120 from Jenson USA

Also great

Lezyne Pressure Drive

Lezyne Pressure Drive

Our favorite handheld bike pump

Versatile and compact, this pump will fill the flat-fixing needs of any commuter while on the road.

Buying Options

$50 from Backcountry

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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