Home » Do Road Bike Tires Need A Special Pump? [The Best Reviewed]

Do Road Bike Tires Need A Special Pump? [The Best Reviewed]

53 views

If you are new to the world of road biking, or just want to know more about what makes these bikes different from mountain bikes, then you have come to the right place. No matter what type of bike you may be riding, or wanting to ride, there is going to come a time when your tire will go flat.

Is there a special pump designed specifically for road bike tires? Road bikes, most often, use tires that have Presta (aka French) tire valves on their inner tubes. These valves require using a pump that has a special valve head that can inflate and sometimes deflate, a bike tire with these valves. While a Presta valve can be found on a mountain bike, they are rare.

In this article, not only do we answer the question of what type of pump you need, but we also give you the 12 best road bike tire pumps and all the details to help you decide. If you want to know which bike pumps we recommend, including the most popular, our top choice as well as the pros and cons and where you can find them, keep reading for all the details.

12 Best Road Bike Tire Pumps

Name Dual Compatible PSI Price
Kndio Bike Pump X 120 Check Price
GIYO Mini Bike Pump X 80 Check Price
BV Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump X 160 Check Price
Topeak Joe Blow Sport III X 160 Check Price
Hopopro Mini Bike Pump X 120 Check Price
Vibrelli Floor Pump with Gauge X 160 Check Price
FreeLive Bike Pump X 120 Check Price
Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump X 100 Check Price
AerGun X-1000 Bike Pump X 160 Check Price
Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump X 120 Check Price
CyclingDeal Bike Pump with Gauge X 260 Check Price
MOSONTH Mini Bike Pump X 130 Check Price

Top Picks

Best Overall Bike Pump – BV Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump

Best Value Bike Pump – Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump

Best Budget Bike Pump – GIYO Mini Pump

How Do You Know Which Road Bike Pumps Are Best?

There are dozens, if not hundreds of different tire pumps you can go out and buy. We have combed through hundreds of real customer reviews and combined those with our very own experience to help determine which pumps are best.

When we were on the fence, we looked at the following features to decide which pumps to include among the best:

Valve Adapters: There are two general valve types, the Presta and the Schrader. Most road bikes use Presta type valves, although, with customization, some may use a Schrader valve. The best pumps will allow you to air up the tires no matter which valve you have.

Gauge Attached: Anytime a tire gauge is attached to the pump, it will save time. In a perfect world, all air hoses would have a gauge attached. However, in the real world an attached gauge is a bonus.

Type of Pump: There are two general types of pumps, floor (or track) pumps and mini-pumps. As long as the pump head fits your tire valves, then either pump will work, it is just a matter of personal preference.

  • A floor pump often offers higher pressure and due to size, can inflate a tire in just a few strokes. Conversely, mini pumps are designed more for portability than convenience. A mini pump will take more work to inflate a bike tire thoroughly – which is still better than being miles from home with a flat.
  • There are also CO2 inflators. These use pressurized CO2 cartridges to inflate a tire. A quick and convenient option, however, each cartridge is a one and done deal, so you have to buy replacements, which can be costly over time. For the purposes of this article, we have avoided inflators, just know they are an option.

Ease of Use: Finally, it is important that a pump be easy to operate. You should not need a specialized degree or certification to inflate a road bike tire successfully. Therefore, when comparing these pumps, we tried to choose the best ones based, in part, on how quickly and easily we were able to operate it and get back on the road.

PSI: You will quickly discover that bike pumps range in psi from as low as 60 psi to 160 psi or higher. PSI stands for pounds per square inch and refers to the amount of air pressure that is contained within the tube. In general, road bikes are typically inflated to 100 psi or higher. This means that in many cases, a pump with a lower psi potentially may be less effective.

The Best Road Bike Pump

Now that we’ve covered how we chose these best pumps; it is time to dive into all the details. We give you a detailed description as well as any pros and cons that we have uncovered.

Kndio Bike Pump

The Kndio Bike Pump combines the familiar action of a track pump in a compact and portable mini design. At less than 10 inches when totally extended, this pump is easily less than half the size of most floor pumps.

This Kndio pump is made of 100% aluminum alloy cylinder and features an anti-slip base to make inflating your tires safe and easy. The twin valve head design allows you to quickly switch between both Presta and Schrader valves without losing any air. In addition to working great for any road bike, this pump can also easily inflate any other type of tire, balls, and pool inflatables.

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

Pros:

  • Portable and Lightweight design
  • Twin valve design – Presta and Schrader compatible
  • Inflates up to 120 psi
  • Easy foot pump action
  • Slip-resistant base
  • Frost-proof tubing for using in lower temperatures

Cons:

  • Does not fit most general pump mounts
  • May be too small for some to use, requires balance to operate with your feet
  • Under-base storage may lead to damaged adapters

GIYO Mini Bike Pump

The GiYo mini bike pump is a compact and super portable mini pump that is perfect for those that want to attach their pump to their bike or even slide it in a small pack. When closed, the pump is only about 7 inches in length.

The GiYo can be used with either a Presta or Schrader valve without having to switch pump heads thanks to their “smart valve” design. You can quickly and easily reach up to 80 psi. When you purchase this pump, you also receive 4 caps and 2 additional inflation needles to inflate most sports balls and other inflatables.

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Pros:

  • Compact and portable
  • Includes clip and Velcro strap to attach to the bike frame

Cons:

  • May not fully inflate many road bike tires, limited to 80psi
  • Harder to use as pressure increases.

BV Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump

The BV bike pump is by far one of the best bike pumps, no matter what type of bike you have. Not only does this floor pump include an easy to read gauge, but the smart valve head can also easily be switched between a Presta and Schrader attachment and locked in place for no air leaks.

The pump’s long steel barrel is meant to stand up under intense use, offering up to an amazing 160 psi. The handles are ergonomically designed and paired with a wide and stable base to help reduce fatigue. However, the ease of use means you can air up your tires quickly, which also helps reduce fatigue.

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Pros:

  • “Smart Valve” – Presta and Schrader compatible
  • Up to 160 psi
  • Locking Valve Head
  • Easy to read gauge
  • 360-degree pivoting extra-long hose
  • Includes attachments for sports balls and other inflatables

Cons:

  • Requires unlocking to remove – may result in air loss
  • The lock may wear over time and pop off at higher psi

Topeak Joe Blow Sport III

A newer pump on our list is the Topeak Joe Blow Sport III. This pump features a newly redesigned handled and TwinHead DX that allows you to inflate both Presta and Schrader valves. This pump also includes a larger 3-inch, easy-to-read gauge and can inflate up to 160 psi.

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Pros:

  • TwinHead DX valve head- Presta and Schrader compatible
  • Oversized handle
  • 360-degree pivoting extra-long hose
  • Includes attachments for sports balls and other inflatables

Cons:

  • Wider valve head may not fit easily for smaller wheels or multi-spoked
  • The gauge may be hard to read or get used to for some users

Hopopro Mini Bike Pump

The Hopopro mini bike pump has been recently updated to be easily mounted on your bike frame, ensuring that you will always have a quality pump when you need it most. The unique design of the Hopopro pump allows you to operate it with either your hand or foot easily and achieve success.

This pump works with both Presta and Schrader valve designs as well as most other inflatables such as sports balls. This pump can provide up to 120 psi.

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • The new model includes a frame mount
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy

Cons:

  • Requires unlocking to remove – may result in air loss
  • Some may have trouble reaching road bike psi requirements

Vibrelli Floor Pump with Gauge

Vibrelli is a name that is well known in the bicyclist community, so it should be no surprise to find two of their pumps on our best-of list. This floor pump features an easy-to-read, extra-large gauge and can inflate up to 160 psi thanks to its steel barrel and reinforced ergonomic handle.

You do not have to worry about what type of valve your tire has, as all Vibrelli pumps feature a rapid-fit T-valve that allows you to switch without worrying about any air leaks easily.

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • Rapid T-Valve – Presta and Schrader compatible
  • Inflates up to 160 psi
  • Large, easy-to-read gauge
  • Includes ball needle and puncture repair kit

Cons:

  • May have trouble removing from Presta valves without air loss
  • Requires special care to avoid damaging valve connection

FreeLive Bike Pump

Another great mini bike pump is this one from FreeLive. Not only does this pump work with both Presta and Schrader valves, but it is also less than 5 inches long! Included with this pump is a simple mount that can easily fit below the water bottle cage on most bikes.

Although compact in design, this pump can allow for inflation up to 120 psi, great for most road bikes. You also get a pocket-sized repair kit and tire lever tool to make all your flat tire trouble a thing of the past.

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Pros:

  • Small and portable
  • Includes frame mount
  • Reversible valve head – Presta and Schrader compatible (Schrader by default)
  • Includes a compact, emergency repair kit

Cons:

  • Small size may require more time to reach thorough inflation psi
  • The hose may get kinked or stuck inside shaft during storage

Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump

Pro Bike Tool is another name known to bicyclists all over. Their mini bike pump is designed to get you back on the road fast. They claim that their pump can inflate your tire with 30% fewer strokes than other mini-pumps. In comparison to others we tried, it inflated as fast or faster than all other models.

This bike pump features a thread valve head that works with Presta and Schrader valves as well as most threaded valve extenders. You also get a secure frame mount that allows you easy access when you need it.

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Pros:

  • Compact and portable
  • Threaded valve head – Presta and Schrader compatible
  • Fast and simple inflation of up to 100 psi

Cons:

  • Mounting requires drilling into the bike frame
  • Reaching 90-100 psi may be difficult over time and wear

AerGun X-1000 Bike Pump

If you are tired of the valve head popping off when you get up to higher levels of psi, then this is the bike pump for you. The AerGun pump features a uniquely designed valve head that is easy to use and works with all valve types, including Presta and Schrader. This pump will provide up to 160 psi, and includes attachments for most sports balls and other inflatables.

The AerGun pump features an easy-to-read gauge with an indicator that can be set to your specific psi, making accurate inflation easier. The valve head also features a pressure release valve for those times when you need to remove a few pounds of pressure.

The AerGun pump is specifically designed for dedicated bicyclists and is proudly made in the U.S.A.

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Pros:

  • Unique valve head design – Presta and Schrader compatible
  • Inflates up to 160 psi
  • Steel Barrel
  • Easy-to-ready inflation gauge
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A.

Cons:

  • The pressure gauge may lose accuracy over time
  • Presta valve head may wear with regular use

Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump

Vibrelli brings you a mini pump, as well. This mini pump is a great option backed with the history of Vibrelli behind it. This mini pump offers a super-fit valve head that works with both Presta and Schrader valve without any adapter needed.

The Vibrelli mini pump is made to telescope, making it a great compact mini pump that can extend to allow for an increase in psi with less work. You can inflate up to 120 psi. This pump comes with a mounting bracket and a compact repair kit, so you are ready whenever you need to fix a tire.

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Pros:

  • No valve adapter needed – compatible with Presta and Schrader
  • Inflates up to 120 psi
  • The telescoping pump allows for increased volume when needed
  • Compact and includes a mounting bracket

Cons:

  • Telescoping pump-action takes time and practice to adjust to
  • Low volume at high pressure requires more work to reach higher psi

CyclingDeal Bike Pump with Gauge

The one tubeless pump that we wanted to include is this high-pressure floor pump from CyclingDeal. Unlike other floor pumps, this pump features a reserve tank that can be charged to 260 psi allowing for quick and easy inflation no matter where you find yourself.

This pump can be used with all types of tire valves, including both Presta and Schrader. You do not have to guess at the pressure, thanks to the top-mounted pressure gauge. With the ability to charge the tank, this pump will even easily inflate a car tire in addition to your road bike tires.

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

Pros:

  • Valve adapter included – compatible with Presta and Schrader
  • The tank will hold up to 260 psi
  • Also works as a traditional floor pump when the tank is empty
  • Made of aluminum alloy for increased durability
  • The pressure allows for inflation and sealing

Cons:

  • More costly than other pumps on our list
  • Psi max may be hard to reach for some users

MOSONTH Mini Bike Pump

Touted as the smallest mini bike pump, this one from Mosonth is a small but mighty pump. Do not let the small size fool you; this pump can reach up to 130 psi and works with both Presta and Schrader valves so you can use it for both road and mountain bikes.

This pump features threaded valve adapters that allow for quick and secure connections, while the telescoping design allows for more air pressure per stroke than other mini-pumps may offer. You also get a mount to allow you to attach this pump to your bike frame easily, so you are always prepared.

Editor’s Rating: 4.1/5

Pros:

  • Threaded valve adapter compatible with Presta and Schrader
  • Can inflate up to 130 psi
  • Sealed pump reduces air leakage during use

Cons:

  • Requires careful removal from Presta valves to avoid removing the stem
  • Needs a lot of action to reach higher psi

Brief Introduction to CO2 Inflators

Some road cyclists swear by their inflators, these quick and easy-to-use inflators use small cartridges filled with compressed carbon dioxide. We decided to give you a quick rundown on the advantages and disadvantages of these inflators, in case you were considering picking one up.

Why CO2 inflators work great in a pinch:

  • They inflate a tire extremely quickly
  • They are small enough to fit in a pocket or seat bag.
  • They are lightweight
  • Refill cartridges can be found at many hobby shops.

The big downfall of using these inflators:

  • They are not a great option for regular use.
  • The cartridges are not refillable.

This means that if you find yourself with a flat and an empty cartridge, you are stuck. Regularly purchasing replacement cartridges can become costly in a very short time.

We recommend if you want a CO2 inflator that you only use it for emergency inflations when you need to get back on the road fast. For regular air, use another pump. Also, keep in mind that cartridges expire and lose their pressure over time and most do not have gauges to keep the size compact. You do not want to be stranded with no air to be had.

Additional Considerations for Choosing a Bike Pump

Obviously, not every pump will work great for each individual. Taking the time before you purchase a pump to consider your unique needs may help you to avoid buying a pump that you have difficulty using. We’ve put together just a few of the things to think about that may help you further determine which pump is the best option for you from our amazing list.

Floor or Hand Pump: Do you have any trouble with your grip, or perhaps you tire quickly when using a hand pump. Hand pumps and floor pumps work very differently.

  • Individuals who can easily operate a floor pump will likely find that they generally work more quickly than hand pumps, allowing you to use more traditional movements to fill the pump.
  • Many avid cyclists have both a mini hand pump, usually attached to their bike, and a floor pump to use just before they head out as well as when they need to install a new tube and need to reach enough pressure to seal the tube properly.
  • For occasional riders or those who stay in more urban areas, you may find that a hand pump gives you enough air to make it to the local air hose.

PSI: We have covered that the maximum psi is important to consider. In general, road bike tires are inflated to a higher psi, such as 90 or higher. Mountain bikes, however, are often left at pressures lower than 90 psi. This is why you will want to consider the type of tires you will be using, well beyond the type of valve stem.

  • Riders that use higher psi to ride will want to make sure that their pump can adequately provide the level they need.
  • While many pumps can provide up to 120 psi or more, often reaching higher pressures with a manual pump can become difficult and cause increased fatigue.
  • In some cases, riders will also purchase a CO2 pump for sealing their tubes and reaching higher pressure.

You will also want to make sure you inflate your tires to the proper level. There is a handy chart provided by Cycling Weekly. Here is an example of the information you’ll find in that resource:

Tire Width Frame Weight (kg) Frame Weight (lb.) PSI
23c 60 kg 132 lb. 7 bar / 100 psi
  85 kg 187 lb. 8 bar / 115 psi
  110 kg 242 lb. 9 bar / 130 psi
25c 60 kg 132 lb. 6 bar / 87 psi
  85 kg 187 lb. 7 bar / 100 psi
  110 kg 242 lb. 8 bar / 115 psi
28c 60 kg 132 lb. 5.5 bar / 80 psi
  85 kg 187 lb. 6.5 bar / 94 psi
  110 kg 242 lb. 7.5 bar / 108 psi


You will likely adjust your tire pressure slightly, depending on where you ride. Be sure to keep this in mind when shopping for a pump

Pressure Gauge: Depending on how often you ride and need to inflate your tires, you may easily find it tedious to use a separate pressure gauge to check your tire pressure. Although we recommend every bicyclist should have a traditional gauge to check their tire pressure on a regular basis, you will save time and energy if you have a pump with an attached pressure gauge.

Price: In a perfect world, we could all purchase the things we want and need regardless of the price. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case.

Road bike pumps come in all price ranges. In most cases, you will get what you pay for, so you may want to avoid purchasing one that seems too good to be true. However, you also do not have to buy the most expensive on the market to find a good quality pump.

All of the pumps that we have included have shown to be dependable over a period of time. We not only used our own information but carefully considered verified customer reviews in case they experienced issues that we did not.

Presta or Schrader: Remember that you will need to make sure that the bike pump you purchase is compatible with the valve your tires have. If you do not know what type of valve you have, check out this great article that explains all of the ins and outs, including the visual differences, with pictures, between a Presta valve and a Schrader valve. You will quickly see there is a big difference.

Final Thoughts

Now that we have covered a ton of information about road bike pumps, we hope you have found this article helpful in choosing which pump may be best for you. No matter which pumps, or pumps, you decide to purchase, you will know that you are choosing a pump that has been thoroughly examined and tested by real bicyclists of all kinds.

Related articles:

You may also like

Leave a Comment