How to use a manual bicycle pump

Bicycle hand pump

As already mentioned, this is the most common type of bicycle pump. The advantage is: a large selection, low, which makes them affordable for every cyclist.

Hand pumps

There are two main types: with a hose and with an integrated head.

The hose pump has a separate tubing for connection to the chamber nipple. These devices have the advantage of being cheap but ineffective compared to other types. They have many connections through which air can escape.

Pumps with an integrated head have a rubber insert in the side hole, which is needed to seal the nipple in a circle. Often, when connected, such a tab is crimped using a lever on the head. Since this elastic seals well, connects rigidly, and so that a hose is not needed, this type of product is very effective. An 8 “integral will generally pump the wheel faster than an 18” hose pump. But working with an integral type pump, without holding it with your free hand, there is a risk of pulling the nipple out of the chamber, especially the Presta design.

The simplest hand pump has a cup-shaped plastic or felt piston. When moving forward, the air presses the walls of this cup, just as tightly against the cylinder as the check valve. This piston can only push the air forward to the outlet at the opposite end.

The most efficient pumps are double-acting. Their piston is sealed on both sides in the cylinder and can force air into the tire during both strokes. forward and backward.

The small pump can be mounted on a frame bracket, on a clamp or screw, or on a soldered hanger, and can also be carried in a basket or bag on a bicycle, as well as in a backpack or cyclist’s .

Pumps carried on a bicycle are often quite small so as not to be heavy. But due to their small size, the amount of air they can supply is much understated compared to the floor-standing options. So it takes quite a few taps to pump up the wheel.

Best Aluminum Bike Pumps

  • Most reliable BBB Traveler trekking is a great combination of mini pump and floor pump. The product is equipped with a footrest, a pressure gauge, and bolts for fastening to the frame. Functional and durable model.
  • The most wear-resistant bicycle pump Giyo GP-09. a model made of aluminum with a standard handle.
  • The most compact pump Green Cycle GCP-76C. bicycle pump in an aluminum casing is suitable for two types of nipples: bicycle and car. The product is equipped with a frame mount.
  • The most efficient bike pump BBB WindRush L alu. suitable for different types of nipples. The device is equipped with a nozzle with a lock, made of durable aluminum.

These pumps are lightweight, durable and highly resistant to environmental influences. Aluminum with high anti-corrosion properties retains technical properties at temperature extremes.

Models are equipped with a comfortable T-shaped handle, folding leg rest. Accessories: frame mount and stainless steel bolts.

4) equipped with a comfortable grip and folding leg rest;

7) strength and anti-corrosion properties;

  • powerful products made of high quality aluminum are expensive;
  • there are large-sized models that are poorly transported.

Air Shock Absorber Pumps

A separate type, not related to inflating the wheels, is the high-pressure pump. It is directly related to bicycle accessories, as it is the only one that can inflate the front fork’s air shock. It is impossible to do this with a conventional pump, but you can only finally bleed the air from the shock absorber.

By the way, a pump designed for a bicycle fork can also inflate the wheels. it has a hose with a threaded connection for a Schrader nipple. But they will have to work for a long time, because it is primarily needed to pump a small shock absorber cylinder, and not a wheel chamber, of a much larger volume.

High pressure pump start at 30. for good bicycle tire inflating pumps start at 20 and go up to about 30.

How to use a bicycle pump

Floor pumps

Also known as automotive pumps. During operation, the user rests the base of this unit on the floor, steps with his feet on the base, pulls and pushes the handle at full speed. The connecting hose is screwed to the chamber through a one-way valve installed in the head or inside the auto pump.

It is very convenient to use such a product, since it has a fixed stop in the ground, and you can grasp its handle with both hands.

Assortment of nipples

Bicycles can be fitted with a variety of nipple options, of which not all will be suitable for conventional manual bicycle pumps. Automotive nipples and Dunlop are the most common. Thin wheels are often fitted with Presta valves. When working with such a valve, you need to be careful and clean. Such specimens are often found on road bikes and hybrids. Here it will be possible to bring the air pressure back to normal using a special pump, which is designed for a small volume. The use of a conventional pump will be possible due to a special adapter.

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Riding a bicycle with flat tires is not permitted. It is not even worth thinking about such an option here. So that you do not have to drive your two-wheeled friend to the nearest place for inflating the wheels, you must always have a pump at hand and be able to use it.

The best bicycle pumps with a pressure gauge

Models are ideal for wheel inflation. The best products are made from durable and wear-resistant aluminum. The devices are equipped with a T-shaped handle, a lever for fixing the device on the nipple.

With the built-in pressure gauge, you can accurately track the pressure in the wheels. The principle of operation of the pressure gauge is based on the balancing of the measured pressure by the force of elastic deformation of a tubular spring or a two-plate diaphragm.

  • Size. 20-25 cm;
  • weight. 150-160 grams;
  • made of aluminum;
  • pressure. from 120 to 130 psi;
  • set for mounting on a bicycle;
  • equipped with a built-in pressure gauge.
  • made of aluminum;
  • built-in pressure gauge (pressure adjustment);
  • convenient equipment (fasteners to the frame);
  • high efficiency;
  • reliability, durability.


Foldable (T-shaped) handle. makes the pump more comfortable to grip, which saves human energy and simplifies the process of inflating the tire.

Frame Mount. allows you to attach the portable pump to the bike frame and thus have it always at hand.

Pressure gauge. regulates the air pressure in the tire without disconnecting the pump head from the nipple.

Telescopic housing. allows you to increase the volume of the air chamber and is convenient for attaching to the frame.

Nozzles. allow the pump, originally designed for one nipple, to be used to inflate tires with different types of nipple. To do this, simply install the appropriate nozzle on the pump.

Important: using nozzles, the pump can be used to inflate not only bicycle, but also car tires, as well as other inflatable products (balls, mattresses, etc.).

The boot is a plug that protects the pump head from dirt, dust, moisture. Essential accessory for portable pumps used in the field.

CO2 pumps

A much less common type of bicycle pump, although it has a number of advantages. This pump does not require any physical effort when inflating and is quite comfortable in racing and cycling conditions due to the inflation speed. Also, its dimensions are very compact. The principle of operation is simple: a disposable CO2 cartridge is connected to the nozzle, the pump is put on the nipple and the wheel is pumped up to the required pressure rather quickly. Such a pump (for example, SKS Airgun CO2) allows you to inflate a mountain bike wheel approximately (depending on the size of the tire and the volume of the cylinder) up to 2.5-3 atmospheres, and for a road bike up to 7-8. The main advantages of the pump are its compact size and pumping speed. But the disadvantages are also quite significant 🙂 and cylinders (several hundred rubles), the weight of the cylinders and their disposability. It’s up to you, of course, to decide, but personally I feel sorry for a few hundred rubles for one pumping of wheel

Body material

Steel body. found mainly in stationary pumps. These devices are robust but heavy and corrosive.

Aluminum case. portable and stationary devices. Pumps with such a casing are lighter and not subject to corrosion, but less durable than steel.

Plastic Housing — Used in hand pumps. These pumps are the lightest and most compact.

Assortment of nipples

Bicycles can be fitted with a variety of nipple options, of which not all will be suitable for conventional manual bicycle pumps. Automotive nipples and Dunlop are the most common. Thin wheels are often fitted with Presta valves. When working with such a valve, you need to be careful and clean. Such specimens are often found on road bikes and hybrids. Here it will be possible to bring the air pressure back to normal using a special pump, which is designed for a small volume. The use of a conventional pump will be possible due to a special adapter.

Riding a bicycle with flat tires is not permitted. It is not even worth thinking about such an option here. So that you do not have to drive your two-wheeled friend to the nearest place for pumping wheels, you must always have a pump at hand and be able to use it.

What brands should you pay attention to

  • SKS
  • Zefal
  • Topeak
  • BBB
  • Airwave

Manual bicycle pump

As already mentioned, this is the most common type of bicycle pump. The advantage is: a large selection, low, which makes them affordable for every cyclist.


When choosing a pump for a bicycle, we recommend that you pay attention to specialized manufacturers BBB, Cannondale, Longus, Merida, Birzman, Giyo, Green Cycle, Lezyne, SKS, Specialized, XLC. Some of the best bicycle pumps in terms of quality and availability are Topeak models. a large assortment of models and an affordable price. A good pump comes with aluminum lightweight parts, a sturdy metal casing, and also has a selection of replacement parts. Each manufacturer offers all pump models: from portable to floor-standing.

The group of the cheapest bicycle pumps is made by Joerex, Kepai, Puky. However, for the same price, you can choose simple models from more reliable manufacturers. Therefore, it makes little sense to buy such pumps.

There are many brands of pumps for other inflatable products on the market, for example, Bestway, Intex, Molten, Campingaz. But they may not always be convenient: they are difficult to attach to the bike, they are heavier than bike pumps. Some very powerful electric pumps are simply not needed for purposes such as pumping up wheels.

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Subtypes of pumps

In turn, the above types of pumps for bicycles are of the following subspecies:

manual, bicycle, pump

A balloon to inflate a wheel without a pump

High pressure pump for bike and bicycle forks

According to the body material, bicycle pumps can be divided into:

  • Steel. heavy, corrosive, durable;
  • Aluminum. lightweight, non-corrosive, strong enough;
  • Plastic. the lightest, most compact, used for hand pumps, which allows you to carry it with you.

What are the types of pumps

    Stationary. they give out a large amount of pressure with little effort, they are large enough, they have a wide handle. It is advisable to use at home, in the garage, i.e. in one place without moving. The main criterion is performance, which ensures the price-quality ratio.

How to choose a pump for a bike

When buying a bike, the first thing you need to buy is a repair kit (patches, glue, beads), a spare camera and, of course, a pump. The pump allows you to maintain the required pressure in the chambers. The pump ensures that the bicycle wheels are inflated with compressed air. The first thing you need to decide is what kind of pump you need, what pressure to pump, and in what conditions it will be used.

Bicycle Nipple Types

The most important point is that the pump is selected based on the type of wheel nipple. There are three types of nipples:

Schrader. designated as AV (automotive nipple), wide in diameter.

Dunlop. referred to as DV (Dunlop Bicycle Nipple), classic bicycle nipple.

There are also universal pumps that fit all types of nipples by reversing the liner head (bike pump adapter).

Basic tips on how to choose a pump

When inflating, pay attention to the pressure that the tire can withstand. Minimum and maximum pressure is indicated on the circumference of the tire, be careful! This range is between 35 and 60 psi (2.38. 4.08 atmospheres). Too much or too little tire pressure is a standard mistake for novice cyclists. This can damage the tube, tire and loss of control of the bike.

In order to be completely sure of the correctness of the inflated pressure in the wheels, it is advisable to purchase a bicycle pump with a pressure gauge, which will allow you to know the exact pressure and not put yourself and your bike at risk.

The most comfortable wheel pumps that have a T-handle. This is due to the energy savings and ease of inflation due to the pressure on the pump with full force.

It is also important that the pump must have a plug (dust cover) that will protect the pump from dirt, dust and other foreign objects from entering the pump head. This is especially true for pumps that usually take with them.

It is desirable to have an aluminum case for reliability and durability.

At the end of the article, I would like to say that it is best to have 2 pumps. one to use at home, and the other to always carry with you. At the same time, it is advisable to have a bicycle pump with a pressure gauge at home so that you can find out the exact tire pressure.

Other types of bicycle pumps

Pneumatic pumps. These are very compact pumps that pressurize the tires of the bike with gas cartridges. Basically, carbon dioxide CO2 is used in gas cartridges, and the wheel is pumped in this way instantly. One can is enough for no more than two wheels. It should be borne in mind that after a few days, a wheel inflated in this way may be completely deflated. Also, simply threaded gas cylinders are used. for use without a pump. Pneumatic pumps and gas cartridges are mainly used by cyclists in competition because of their cost.

Dual Valve Pump Head. How Does It Work? Whats Inside?

High pressure pump. In addition to pumps for inflating tires, cyclists use high pressure pumps to inflate the air shock absorbers of the front forks. To create the high pressure required for the shock absorbers of bicycle forks, a conventional air pump is practically unable.

How to Use a Floor Pump

Foot pumps

The peculiarity of a foot pump for a bicycle is that it cannot pump high pressure in a bicycle chamber, so it is unlikely that you will be able to pump the wheels of a road bike. But it will be very convenient for inflating large wheels with low pressure: for example, suitable for fat bikes and mountain bikes.

This type of pump is more automotive than bicycle, therefore it is equipped with a nozzle for the Schrader nipple type. And if you want to use such a pump, then be sure to purchase a set of adapters for different types of nipples. Foot pumps are mainly equipped with a pressure gauge with a valve.

The main advantage of this type of pump is ease of use.

Bicycle pump, types and features.

For any cyclist, the next thing after buying a bike should be the purchase of a pump. A bicycle pump is a device for inflating bicycle tires. Therefore, any novice bike rider is likely to ask himself how to choose a pump for a bike.

First you need to find out what type of nipple is on your wheels. Basically, modern bikes are equipped with Schrader nipples (most often used on mountain bikes) or Presta (installed mainly on road bikes). In addition, a third type of nipple can be found on old Soviet bicycles. Dunlop. Therefore, when purchasing a pump, it is necessary that it be compatible with the nipple or an adapter is supplied in the kit.

Floor pumps

Floor-standing bicycle pumps are considered to be the most efficient and convenient. When in use, the base of the pump rests on the floor, the base is held by the feet, and the handle rises up, after which, applying a certain effort, it goes down. The air chamber is connected to the nipple through a connecting hose with a one-way valve. Due to the large volume of the air chamber, the process of inflating the wheels takes a minimum of time.

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This type of bicycle pump is also called automobile and it is ideal as a pump for a road bike, because it allows you to pump any high pressure into the wheels.

The main advantages of these pumps are considered to be fast inflation, lightness and ease of use.

Types of bicycle pumps

Let’s consider the device of a bicycle pump in a little more detail. The main components of a bicycle pump are a piston and an air chamber. The piston is driven by muscle force. When the piston moves up, the air chamber of the pump is filled through the hole in the housing, and when the piston moves down, air moves from the pump chamber to the bicycle chamber.

All bicycle pumps can be classified into the following types:

  • Manual
  • Floor standing
  • Foot
  • Electrical
  • Other types

Electric pumps

The electric bicycle pump has a compact size and light weight, allowing it to be used while traveling. The time of continuous operation of such a pump from the battery is no more than 10 minutes, which makes it easy to pump up 1-2 wheels. The built-in battery of the pump is charged in 2-3 hours from an industrial network with a voltage of 220V.

Bicycle wheels can also be inflated using 12-volt electric car air compressors. The main thing is that your compressor model is compatible with the bicycle tube nipple (Schrader), otherwise, you will need to use an adapter.

Hand pumps

A hand pump is perhaps the most common type due to its compact size. This pump can be fixed to the frame, put in a basket, in a bicycle bag or in a backpack. There are models that can be easily placed in the of your clothes.

There are two types of manual bicycle pumps: with a hose and with an integrated head. For a pump with a hose, the air chamber is connected to the nipple using a thin rubber tube, so air can be trapped in the connection points. In pumps with an integrated head, the air chamber is directly connected to the nipple through the side opening. In the side hole there is a rubber gasket that tightly squeezes the nipple around, which makes the connection more tight. A smaller integrated head pump is generally more efficient than a larger hose pump. We must not forget that with a pump with an integrated head, it is better to pump up the wheel when the nipple is on top, holding the pump with your free hand so as not to pull the nipple out of the chamber (mostly refers to the Presta nipple).

This type of bicycle pump is also called portable pump. When choosing, be sure to pay attention to the maximum pressure that the pump can pump. In the bulk, hand pumps pump no more than 5 atmospheres. But there are models that allow pumping up to 11 atmospheres and such pumps can have switches (small volume. high pressure / large volume. low pressure) for more convenient wheel inflation.

Portable double-acting pumps are more efficient: due to the two-way sealing of the piston, they swing the wheels both during the forward stroke and during the reverse stroke, which significantly reduces the pumping time.

It is also advisable to opt for a hand pump with a pressure gauge. Unfortunately, the quality of the pressure gauges installed on this type of pump is often quite mediocre. Be sure to pay attention to the accuracy of their measurement.!

Having considered this type of bicycle pumps, we can say that their main advantage is lightness and compactness.

Criteria for choosing a bicycle pump

Still, how to choose a bicycle pump? Having considered the types of existing pumps described above, it is necessary to pay attention to the following criteria:

If you are not limited in money, then we recommend that you have two pumps: manual and floor

  • The maximum pressure that the pump can deliver.
  • Air chamber volume (the larger the air chamber, the faster the wheel will inflate).
  • The size and weight of the pump depends on the method of use: if you plan to take it with you on trips, then choose a compact one, if you plan to use it stationary, then the size will not be decisive for you.
  • Accurate pressure gauge. Not all pumps are equipped with pressure gauges, but those on which they are, often are not very accurate. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to the accuracy of the pressure gauge.
  • Compatible with different nipples. Make sure the pump you choose is compatible with the Schrader and Presta nipple used on most bikes.
  • Maintainability. Check if there are repair kits and spare parts for these types of pumps.
  • The quality and reliability of the pump: what materials it is made of, workmanship and design, the presence of a comfortable T-shaped handle. Don’t try to buy cheap products.

We hope that the information from this article will help you understand and purchase the bike pump that you need.