Gone are the days of bicycle floor pumps, requiring us to bend over small handles with our foot at the base, pumping up tires by hand slowly and laboriously then catching your knuckles on the concrete ground as you vigorously work the bicycle pump. We are now in an age of automation and convenience and our bike pumps are no exception.
Electric bike pumps, also known as electric air pumps, or electric air compressors, are the efficient, accurate, and simple to use pieces of equipment that suit a variety of cyclists and cycling needs. The electric air pumps are convenient for recreational bicyclists, amateurs, professionals, and for people who are not able to pump up bikes themselves.
Electric bike pumps offer the amenity of electricity to do the pumping for you, but there’s a lot to choose from on the market. With the amount of pump variability, it’s hard to choose one that suits you the most. Don’t buy an electric bicycle pump without first considering what it is you need. Here are some things to consider when deciding on the perfect bike pump for your needs:
Be aware of the valves that your bike uses. Most bike valves are either a Presta:
Or a Schrader:
Schrader valves are most commonly found on mountain bikes, motorbikes, and some hybrid bikes whereas Presta valves are seen on hybrid bikes and road bikes. Just know that there can be some crossover. Electric bike pumps typically support both types of valves, but just be sure that the one you buy supports the valves your bike uses. If your pump doesn’t fit your valve, you might need to buy an adapter so that your pump is usable.
Ask yourself if this electric pump will be used just for your bike tires or for general use. While it’s nice to have versatility in your pumps, understand that general use pumps can overinflate your bike tires, damaging them. If the pressure is too high in the tires it can cause blowouts and even hinder performance because it doesn’t allow tires to adjust to road imperfections. You can avoid this by being conscientious of your bike pressure every time you pump, but still be cautious of the power of the bike pump you use.
Where do you plan on doing most of your bike pumping? If you plan on just commuting to and from work, your home power outlet will do. But if you plan on going camping with your bike, you may need to find alternative areas to get energy. For those on the go, some electric bike pumps can plug directly into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. Consider how you will get electricity to your bike pump on most uses.
The size of your bike pump means how truly portable it is and whether or not you can keep it around in your car or backpack. Consider how much space you have to store your bike pump or what the max weight you want to lift is when using the pump.
Depending on how lavish you want to go, electric bike pumps are more generally expensive than manual bike pumps. Most bike pumps range between $50 and $70, so it won’t break the bank but can be a concern for those trying to budget. Just know that most electric bike pump manufacturers will offer a 2-year warranty on your pump, so it can be worth the investment if you are a committed cyclist.
This goes hand in hand with cost. Generally, the more metal your electric bike pump has, the more costly it will be. However, a costlier design will mean increased longevity for your pump, making it less susceptible to breakage over time. Put simply, you get what you pay for. You may be fine with the cheaper plastic bodies, but consider the construction of bike pump before purchasing to be sure that what you get is what you want.
This is for those that want to get an exact measurement of the pressure in your tires, which will probably be for those into competitive or professional cycling. Most electric bike pumps give you an estimate of the pressure in your tires while the more expensive ones provide more accurate readings.
This will depend on the type of bike you have. Generally, a higher volume pump will require fewer strokes to pump up your bike but will be at a lower pressure. Mountain bikes have a large volume of air at a low pressure in their tires, and tubeless bike tires will do best with higher volume pumps. But every bike tire requires a different amount of volume to keep it inflated, so know what you have and what you need to do for your tires before purchasing an electric bike pump.
If you want your electric bike pump to be an investment for the future, make sure that you can buy and replace parts on your pump as it ages. Don’t buy pumps that don’t offer spare parts, as this will be cumbersome and cause your bike pump to decline in performance over time. Having to buy a new bike pump after shelling out money for the first one is an inconvenience for you and your wallet, so keep this in mind when buying your electric bike pump.
Certain bike pumps have fancy features that may be what you’re looking for or may be something that you don’t want to pay extra money for. Some bike pumps have a feature of being pre-set to the desired pressure and shutting off once bike tires get to that PSI. This is good for those who want to multi-task or simply don’t want to wait around while their tires are pumping. Alternatively, maybe this just doesn’t sound useful for you.
Find what features are available and what will be something you’ll actually want to use. There you go. Those are our tips for you when you consider your electric bike pump purchase. Even once you’ve considered your bike pump needs, be sure to read the professional reviews on the specific electric bike pumps you choose before purchasing. Only then can you have long lasting, rock hard bike tires for commuting, exercising, or adventuring.