As a cyclist, you would always want to keep your bike in top condition, and that, importantly, includes the bicycle tires as well. Whether new or old, proper maintenance of the tires including its air pressure is a key aspect to enjoying your mountain biking. So, if you are planning to devise a maintenance kit for your bicycle then start with investing in a smart mini bike pump. As the name suggests, mini bike pumps are bicycle pumps which are small enough to fit in your back pocket, so that you can easily take it with you on a ride.
Common mini bike pumps that are available in the market include a track pump, mini pump, and the mini inflators. Track pumps are larger and are typically used before your cycle ride. They offer the advantage of quick inflation to high pressures with lesser number of strokes, while the limitation is they are not portable. Mini inflators typically use one-time disposable canisters filled with carbon dioxide and are also easy to carry and quick for tire inflation.
Mini bike pumps are handy to carry on your bike or even in your jersey pocket (depending on the size). Inflating the tire with mini pumps can be a long and frustrating experience, but that is better than being stuck in the middle of the mountain trail with a flat tire, right?
Ideally, a mini bike pump should allow enough air into the tire so that you can reach home comfortably without exhausting yourself or squishing the tire. Therefore, a minimum of 50psi should be allowed by a mini bike tire for an easy ride to home post puncture.
The next section focusses on the main concepts of tire inflation that one must know before choosing the right mini bike tire pump.
Modern bikes primarily use the following two types of valves:
Most road bike tires with inner tubes or tubular use the Presta valve, which are light in weight, narrower, and features a screwable lock nut on the top for closure.
Most mountain bikes use Schrader valves, which are more robust and wider as compared to Presta valves. Schrader valves use a spring mechanism within the valve to close it.
Compared to Schrader valves, Presta valves are easier to pump using mini bike pumps. For pumping Schrader valves, pumps need an inbuilt mechanism to depress the spring in the valve.
As both the valve types are different, pumps require different pump heads to fit into the valve. While Presta-compatible pump heads cannot be used to inflate Schrader valves, Schrader-compatible pump heads can only be used on Presta valves with the aid of an additional adapter. If you need to inflate both types of tire valves, it is best to use a pump with dual attachments for both valves.
Mini bike pumps are popular because of their portability and light weight. So, when you go mini bike pump shopping, consider the frequency of the need to pump up flats during a ride and how quickly you need the pump to work. So, first check for the size of the mini bike pump.
Anecdotally, the smaller the pump size, the harder it gets to inflate a tire, especially towards the end. Therefore, opt for a relatively larger size so that you can pump up the tire as fast as possible. At the same, remember that bigger the size of the pump, the heavier it is to carry. Hence, choose sensibly while purchasing a mini bike pump.
Other features to consider include the pump’s PSI capacity and availability of an extendable hose. Generally, road bikes demand a higher PSI capacity than mountain bikes. Thus, buy a mini pump accordingly that gives you high PSI capacity that could be used for both the types of bikes.
Mini bike pump models that give up to 90psi are suitable for mountain or comfort bikes. Other Mini bike pumps that provide up to 120psi offer the fastest speed for mountain or comfort bikes, and since road bikes require high PSI, hence Mini Bike pump models that can give a punch up to 160psi are ideal for them.
On the other hand, an extendable hose comes in handy to reach into tight or awkward spaces while pumping up a tire.
Now, that you understand what mini bike pumps are, let’s review the best ones available in the market. Deciding which pump to buy from a plethora of options could get complicated. So, here we have categorized a few options as per their usage and category they belong to help you out. See which one suits your need.
The Lezyne Micro Floor Drive High Volume Pump is ideally suited for both Presta and Schrader valves. This floor pump features a machined handle for easy use and control, along with a long 24-inch hose that makes it easy to reach all valve stems. Additional features include a foot peg made of durable stainless steel to provide stability during the tire pumping. Weighing just 150 grams, this pump can deliver air pressure volume of up to 90psi.
Some reported drawbacks of this pump are its large size, and a pressure gauge, which does not work for low-pressure indication.
Here’s a recommendation list for the best mini bike pumps, take a look!
Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump & Glueless Puncture Repair Kit offers a maximum pressure volume, 120psi to be precise. The product includes a mounting bracket with convenient Velcro straps that allow you to attach your pump to your bike. This mini bike pump is suitable for both low and high-pressure pumping. The glueless puncture kit is ideal for you to fix a tire puncture in quick time.
Drawbacks include extra effort required in pumping large tires, and the pump can fall off when attached to larger bike frames.
Weighing just 85 grams and 17 centimeters in length, the Axiom Blastair HPS is among the smallest mini bike pumps available and is compact enough to carry in your cycling jersey pocket. Although the maximum PSI mentioned is 160, this pump takes a lot of effort to reach around 45psi. On the plus side, the anodized aluminum body imparts a tough and durable feel to the pump.
Weighing 139 grams, with a length of 19.5 centimeters, the Crank Brothers Sterling Short is a mini bike pump with pressure gauge. Additionally, the pressure gauge is very accurate in measurement. An additional feature is a 2-centimeter diameter shaft that imparts a tough feel to this pump.
On the downside, this pump takes a lot of effort to reach a pressure volume of 80psi (or above). The pumping action is also not very comfortable due to the positioning of the gauge.
The B’Twin MNP 500 mini bike pump weighs around 166 grams, with a compact length of 23 centimeters. Pumping action is smooth with a good connection. The product features mounting bracket and has rubberized grips at both ends. Limitations of the product include lack of a locking lever.
At 87 grams, the Lifeline Carbon Mini bike pump is among the lightest pumps. The pump features a T-shaped handle for a good grip during pumping. Comprising of a light-weight carbon barrel, this pump requires additional efforts to reach a pressure volume of even 40 to 50psi.
The Zefal Air Profil FCO2 bike pump is a light-weight and pocket-friendly pump that delivers decent performance despite its small size. This is mainly due to the combination of a short hose and a screw-on chuck. Suited for Presta valves, the 13-centimeter long stroke, and 15-mm diameter shaft ensures efficient pumping action.
The Zefal Mini RG02 is a mini bike track pump which delivers good performance but is not a replacement for your conventional track pumps. This pump features a miniature metal fold-out foot, a T-shaped handle, and a 38-centimeter hose. It is easy to store thanks to a little hook for the foot.
The product is on the heavier side weighing 108 grams, along with a size that won’t fit into your back pocket.
The Topeak Hybrid Rocket HP combines a mini pump with a CO2 canister for your convenience. Considering the weight of the canister, the product is light in weight at just 111 grams. The product downside includes its small length at 19 centimeters and a short hose, making it difficult for pumping.
At 114 grams in weight and a 32-centimeter length, the Jet Black Jet RX Road is compact to handle and delivers excellent pumping. Additional features include a 15-mm diameter shaft, reversible screw-on chuck, and 2 rubber O-rings for mounting on your bike.
Wiggle’s LifeLine Performance CNC is a mini bike pump is an efficient pump with clever valve connector. The connector has Presta and Schrader adapters on either side of a retractable hose at right angles. The blue Presta adaptor is screwed onto the valve by rotating the red Schrader adaptor — a neat trick. This mini bike pump is pocket-friendly and light to carry around. But the length of the pump could it easier to slip out of the pocket. However, the LifeLine Performance CNC mini bike pump is robust in structure and is the best buy in a tight budget.Price: 8 pounds.
Rated nine out of ten, the Birzman Velocity with gauge mini bike pump is one of the investment. It has a solid metal finishing and rubber grippers at both the ends of with a retractable hose. And it takes about 200 strikes to reach 90psi, making it an efficient mini bike pump. The Birzman Velocity with gauge comes with a plastic clip and rubber fastening to attach it to the frame.
The above mentioned mini bike pumps are the various choices at your disposal. But if the given list still confuses you then worry not for we have two more mini bike pump options to clear your mind.
This one is on the larger size of mini bike pumps. The Lezyne Gauge Drive HV has high volume inflating efficiency- owing to its large body and comes with the Pen Gauge ABS Flex Hose to help you access pumping in difficult positions.
Lezyne’s Road Drive has exceptional inflation performance; it reaches 90psi in a 25c road tire in just 200 strokes! Its easy-to-use feature in high-pressure road bike applications makes it a favorable product for long road rides. It also features the Speed Flex ABS hose which provides a secure leak-free connection and facilitates a convenient ergonomic setting.
That being said, here’s something you should be mindful about. Most mini bike pumps come with a mount that can be screwed onto your bottle cage bosses. This allows you to tuck the bike pump in beside the bottle and doesn’t interfere with your mobility. Now here’s what you should be careful about- if you use a frame mount for the pump then protecting the valve connector and the sealing between barrel and handle are important considerations.
Now, you might also be wondering if you need a mini bike pump despite having a CO2 cartridge. Well, as a matter of fact, you do! Firstly, a mini pump will be lighter to carry around than a CO2 cartridge and a cheaper option too. A CO2 inflator will undoubtedly speed up the rate at which you get back home from the ride but a mini bike pump will help assuredly to reach home in case you get multiple flats.
If you think we missed any pump and you want us to write about it, share with us in comments!
Now that you know about the mini bike pumps, Learn the Basics for Bicycle Maintenance and Oiling