If you think of cycling, you do not immediately think of best mini bicycle pumps. Yet they are very important. They ensure that when you drive a leak or if your tire is suddenly empty, you can inflate it again. Especially during long journeys, where you are far from home, this is fine.
In this article, we look at the different types of bicycle pumps, what you have to pay attention to and what the advantages and disadvantages of certain bicycle pumps are. We also go deeper into the size of the pumps, the weight and the materials used. Finally, we look at five most popular mini bicycle pumps on the market.
The idea of a mini bike pump is that you can easily take it with you. You can put it in your pocket or attach it to your racing bike. That is why the bicycle pumps are very small. Often they are no longer than 20 centimeters. The really small models are sometimes no larger than 10 centimeters.
It is important that you make the decision whether smaller is better. A smaller pump also means that it has lower maximum pressure. A too-small pump also makes it difficult to inflate the tire properly. Of course, you do not want to labor for fifteen minutes to find out that you only have 4 bars of air in your tires!
How many bars a pump should have at least in your tire depends, of course, on your tires. For the standard 23 mm straps, the maximum pressure of 8 bar is usually enough. Do you have broader tires? Then you probably have enough of lower pressure, like 6 or 7 bar.
When you use your mini-pump, this is usually in case of emergency. You’ve just been punctured and you just want to be able to drive home. For that, your band does not have to be very hard. You often have enough of a bicycle pump with a maximum pressure of 7 bar.
With a bicycle pump, you soon have the image in your head of a hand pump. Some cyclists, however, find it inconvenient to use. That is why there have been so-called CO2 pumps for a while. These cartridges are filled with CO2 and pump up your bicycle tire at lightning speed.
The advantage of these patterns is that they are simpler and faster. In addition, they pump your tire as hard as possible, up to 14 bar. The latter in combination with the fast inflation makes that many people use this pump for their tubular tires.
The disadvantage is that you can only use one of these patterns once. So if you really have a bad day, then you do not have enough of one CO2 cartridge. Also, these CO2 pumps including cartridges are heavier than the classic hand pumps.
A manual bicycle pump is therefore considered by some to be inconvenient, but it is indeed failproof. You can always use it regardless of the situation. However, it is less quick and takes a little more effort. Your tire will also be pumped less quickly.
The advantage of the mini-pumps is not only that they are small, but also that they are very light. This is due to their compact size. There are also ultra-light pumps weighing less than 100 grams (!) This weight is achieved through the use of high-quality materials, such as carbon. This also makes these ultra-light pumps a lot more expensive.
Do you have a lower budget?
Then you can best look at a pump of a somewhat cheaper material. So you have pumps made of aluminum, steel and plastic. The disadvantage of these pumps is that they weigh more. Furthermore, they do not or hardly underperform the ultra-light carbon pumps.
The weight of the mini-bicycle pump depends on a number of factors: Have you opted for a smaller pump? Do you have a classic hand cycle pump or a CO2 pump? What kind of material is the mini pump made of?
A smaller pump is usually a lighter pump and a hand pump has a lower weight than a CO2 cartridge pump. The material also influences the weight. As mentioned before, carbon is a lot lighter than, for example, aluminum or plastic.
Below we look at five of the best mini bicycle pumps on the market. These are pumps from the brands SKS, Lezyne and Tacx.
The Sports Drive from Lezyne is a small aluminum mini pump for road bikes and mountain bikes. The pump weighs only 133 grams and has a sturdy aluminum housing. The Sports Drive HV is a classic hand cycle pump and is therefore very light and reliable. The pump is also equipped with a flexible air hose. In practice, this ensures that it makes pumping a lot easier since you do not have to wring in all sorts of turns.
You do not have to worry about your valve since the Sports Drive HV is suitable for both Schrader and Presta valves. Then the appearance; this Lezyne mini pump looks attractive and modern thanks to its gray color and sleek design.
What you should look out for with this hand pump is that it has a maximum pressure of only 6.2 bar. This is not enough for some tires to be able to drive safely.
The Lezyne Sport Drive HV is loved by a wide audience. People find it simple and easy to use. The building quality of the pump is also praised. For many people, this is their go-to mini pump on the go.
Advantage: The quality and functionality of an expensive bicycle pump, for less.
Disadvantage: The pump is only for bicycle tires that require a maximum of 6.2 bar.
The Airchamp of the brand SKS is a so-called CO2 pump. This makes this pump very easy to use and pumps your tire very quickly. The latter is particularly useful with tubular tires.
The SKS Airchamp weighs only 181 grams, has a maximum pressure of 8 bar (more than enough!) And is made of aluminum. The pump is easy to operate and is suitable for all types of valves.
You can also use both threaded patterns and threaded cartridges with the SKS Airchamp. In addition, the pump is supplied with a clip holder as standard. In terms of appearance, the Airchamp is not huge. The pump has a modest black with orange color.
An important point is that you can use a CO2 cartridge (the cartridge itself, not the pump!) Only once. Once it has been used, you can throw it away. If you do not have other patterns with you and you have another leak, you can still walk home. So keep this in mind.
The Airchamp is popular with many cyclists. This CO2 pump is described as “convenient to use” and “efficient”. The low price is also widely praised.
Advantage: The SKS Airchamp is suitable for all valves and types of CO2 cartridges.
Disadvantage: You can only use a CO2 cartridge once.
The Lezyne Trigger Drive is just like the SKS Airchamp a CO2 mini pump. This pump also pumps your tire quickly and hard and is easy to use. The maximum pressure of the mini pump is 8 bar.
What distinguishes the Trigger Drive is its compact size and low weight: the pump weighs only 26 grams. It is not much more than a nozzle that you attach to your valve. The Lezyne
Trigger Drive is made of aluminum and is suitable for all types of valves.
Note: the Trigger Drive is only suitable for CO 2 threaded cartridges.
In practice the pump works great: it is simple, light and simple. We are not the only ones who find this.
The Lezyne Trigger Drive is widely praised for its simplicity and good price/quality ratio. The users are also satisfied with the build quality, ease of use and lightweight.
Advantage: The pump is ultra-light with its 26 grams.
Disadvantage: The pump is only suitable for CO2 cartridges with a screw thread.
The Infaltor is a handy and striking CO2 mini-pump from the Tacx brand. If you look at this mini-pump, the design immediately catches the eye. Thanks to the characteristic blue color, the pump looks unique. What is also striking is the big black button. This ensures that you can easily dose the air you pump in the tire.
The pump is made of lightweight plastic. As a result, the pump weighs only 152 grams and can take a beating. The Taxc Inflator can easily inflate a race tire with a 16-gram pattern to at least 8 bar. This is more than enough in most cases. The pump is also suitable for all valves.
Just like with other CO2 pumps, you can only use a cartridge once. This should, therefore, be taken into account if you want to drive a long journey.
Users are also very satisfied with the Tacx Inflator. The pump does what it has to do, looks good and is easy to use. People also find the ‘dose button’ very useful.
Advantage: With the dose knob you can determine your tire pressure yourself.
Disadvantage: Just as with other CO2 pumps, you can only use a cartridge once.
The SKS Raceday is a mini hand pump specially designed for cyclists. The pump is simple and efficient. In addition, the pump head is completely protected against dust and water. The pump weighs only 160 grams, has a pump capacity of 10 bar and comes standard with a pump holder. The Raceday is made of aluminum like many other mini-pumps. The pump is unfortunately only suitable for Presta (French) valves.
The SKS Raceday is praised both online and on the road for its simplistic design. The pump works well, is comfortable (no blisters) and is resistant to wind and weather. Especially the latter is ideal for many users.
Benefit: Works even in the worst conditions thanks to the protected pump head.
Disadvantage: The pump is only suitable for Presta valves.
All in all, these five pumps are very different. Which suits you best depends on your personal preference and for which you want to use it. Do you want a simple, reliable hand pump? Then the SKS Raceday or the Lezyne Sport Drive HV will fit you.
Do you have tubular tires or do you just want a somewhat easier to use bicycle pump that is also super light? Then choose the SKS Airchamp.
So you see again that there is not one best mini bicycle pump. We hope that you have been able to find out which pump is most suitable for you based on this article.