A good bike pump is the one thing we all have to have and many cyclists have a range of pumps to cover their different needs.. In this guide I will take you through our range of the best bike pumps 2023. There are floor pumps and mini floor pumps that are our daily workhorses for pressure maintenance; these are sturdy and inflate the tires rapidly with a flexible hose and include an accurate pressure gauge.
There are also the mini bike pumps that are our “always available” emergency tool which gets us back on the road rapidly, they are lightweight and also frame mountable. Now we also have the super micro pumps that will fit in a jersey pocket and the CO2 inflators that are the easiest way to inflate tires.
Most of us will have at least two of these types of pump and in this article I will run through the updated features for some of the newer models as well as covering the basic knowledge as a reference for you all.
First A Note About GIYO – We are not Just a Brand
Many of you will have seen our brand in stores in your country, but you probably don’t know much about us. We are a designer and manufacturer of bike pumps and all of our products are made at our own factory in Taiwan.
We also make pumps for many international brands so we have a wealth of experience in this area and have been one of the leading bike pump manufacturers for over 20 years. We are now starting to sell our own pumps direct to you from our Amazon store and there will be links to many of those products later in the article.
Floor Pumps & Mini Floor Pumps – The Same But Different
Floor Pumps – Every Home Should Have One
Floor pumps are freestanding pumps that have a long hose and barrel that can deliver a lot of air to your tires very quickly and they are something that every cyclist should have at home. We mainly use these for pressure maintenance before a ride or when we are changing wheels and tires as they get the hard work of inflation done very quickly.
Floor pumps are the largest pumps and are certainly not portable but they are the workhorse that bike shops and cyclists have depended on since forever. If you don’t have one then you need to buy one.
Mini Floor Pumps – Compact & Portable Pumps
Mini floor pumps are really designed to fulfill the needs of most riders in a single pump; they provide a higher air capacity than mini pumps and most also have a longer hose as well as a foot peg for stabilization during pumping.
These pumps have pressure gauges built in and these are fine for rapid inflation although if you need super accurate pressure then a full size floor pump may be your best option. The difference with the mini floor pumps is that they are all frame mountable (Unlike floor pumps) so you can have the extra pumping power available whenever you need it.
For maximum compatibility most of the mini floor pumps are Presta and Schrader compatible so you can use them with a wide variety of tires. If you are a commuter or high frequency rider, having a mini floor pump on your frame is really useful and will let you handle most pressure situations rapidly and without too much effort.
Mini Bike Pumps – Our Portable Life Savers
Mini bike pumps are the ones that we should all be carrying with us day to day, especially if we use our bikes for commuting or on the trails where punctures and pressure issues are common.
Some of the mini bike pumps also have pressure gauges and usually have a T handle to help make pumping easier. The mini bike pumps are small and are usually attached to the frame next to a water bottle for convenience.
Hi Pressure / Hi Volume Switchable Pumps
One of the new features that we have added to some of our pumps this year is the ability to handle a wide range of tires by including a double cylinder in the design. This allows you to choose between high volume or high pressure mode so that you can handle everything from the smallest and narrowest high pressure road bike tires, right through to the widest fat tires without too much extra effort.
If you are a cyclist with multiple bikes of different types, or you love being able to help out your friends when in need, then this style of pump is the best choice for most people.
Super Micro Pumps – When Smaller is Much Better
The super micro type bike pump is something that came out of the need for an emergency pump for road bikes that was so small you could still conceal it even when you are wearing a set of skin tight shorts and a Jersey.
We originally designed these to fit into a Jersey pocket or even a small saddle bag, so they are less than 6 inches in length and only weigh 140g. This means that they won’t make a significant difference to the weight of your ride.
The difference between our super micro pumps and others on the market is that ours have a telescopic barrel. This means that we can almost double the effective length of the cylinder for pumping and provide a surprising amount of air from this tiny pump. We cover both Presta and Schrader valve requirements with our special valve setup.
We have two models in this range: the GM04LT which is a higher pressure rated pump (120 psi) and is designed for road bikes, then we have the GM043LT which is a lower pressure but higher volume model (80 psi) and is designed for MTB.
When you have an expensive road or mountain bike bike you really don’t want a cheap looking pump and in this area we have you covered. These models are all made from a special aluminum alloy with a gray paint finish that won’t clash with the colors of your ride.
- The lightest pumps
- GM04LT for Road Bike (120 psi)
- GM043LT for MTB (80 psi)
- Under 6 Inches in length
- Weight around 140g
CO2 Inflators – Pumping on Steroids
CO2 inflators are the backup pumping solution that you cannot beat for size and pressure. These inflators are tiny, smaller than our super micro pumps even when they have the gas cylinder installed.
CO2 inflators are still slightly contentious in some groups as they are using throwaway CO2 cartridges which are not that environmentally friendly. But when you consider that most bikes are made of rather unsustainable aluminum alloys or carbon fiber, a few CO2 cartridges could be viewed positively as carbon dioxide sequestration!
Seriously though, CO2 inflators are the kind of thing that every cyclist should carry as they get you out of a tight spot in a hurry when time is of the essence.
There is a safety issue with CO2 inflators which we have addressed in our design. With most models on the market, you screw in the cartridge and use the cartridge as the means of controlling the air flow during inflation.
The problem with this is that the cartridges do get dangerously cold and so touching them during operation is not something that is advisable. Many manufacturers solve this problem by including a rubber sleeve for the cartridge, but these do not cover the whole cartridge so contact is still an issue.
Our solution to this problem is to only screw in the cartridge once before inflation, we then have a separate metal valve which is in the body of the inflator that we use to control the gas flow. This means that you have much better control of the inflation process and you do not need to handle the cartridge so much either.
Bike Tire Valves
There are essentially three types of valves that we might come across on bike tires in 2023, Presta, Schrader, and Dunlop. Most of the bikes we now buy will probably have Presta valves, but we are covering all three types here so that you can identify them and know when you are likely to come across them.
Presta Valves – Narrow Valves for High Pressure Tires
Presta valves are also sometimes known as French valves, were invented by Frenchman Etienne Sclaverand and the name “presta” means “fast, hurry, or immediately”. Presta valves are usually found on high pressure road bikes and most modern mountain bikes. Presta valves have a nut which allows the valve to be opened for inflation and then be securely closed again to maintain pressure.
The main advantage of the Presta valve is that its very slim design allows for very narrow tires and rims to be used which would not be easily achievable with the Schrader valves. It is for this reason that the Presta valves have been so commonly used on road bikes. Also the fact that the valve screw remains on the valve body even when open, means it cannot be lost and when the protective cap is added it is then completely protected from dirt and debris.
Schrader Valves – For Automobiles, Motorbikes and Inexpensive Bikes
Schrader valves are the most common valve type around as they are used almost exclusively on all motorbikes, scooters and automobiles as well as many inexpensive children’s bicycles. These are also the oldest type of valve as they were first designed in 1891 in the USA by the Schrader company.
These valves have a spring loaded central core with a sprung poppet valve that only allows air to flow in either direction when it is depressed. The central core of the valve can be replaced if it becomes damaged or contaminated.
In addition to their use in automobiles and motorcycles, this type of valve is also commonly seen in other commercial products such as air conditioners and cooling systems as the valve for the coolant. This valve makes these systems standardized for repair technicians, making keeping us all cool in summer a little easier.
We also frequently see Schrader valves in hospitals and in sports such as scuba diving where they are used to control the buoyancy compensator (BC) and in other equipment where we need to be able to connect and disconnect the air supply without losing any air.
Dunlop Valves – Yes, That Dunlop
The older cyclists amongst us from countries other than the USA may well remember the Dunlop valves as they were the most common type of valve at that time for children’s bicycles and a whole range of other pneumatic sports products.
Dunlop valves were mainly suited to “standard” commuter bike tires and featured a screw on connection for inflation. The modern type of dunlop valve is as easy to inflate as a Presta valve, but due to the requirements for narrower tires, they have fallen out of use in many areas now. Unless you have a very old bike indeed you are unlikely to come across this type of valve very much these days, but if you do we still have you covered.
Pump Heads – Which is best?
Clever Valves – The Smart Choice
Clever valves are the patented name that we have at GIYO for the pumps that have a special valve design that will fit both Presta and Schrader valves without the need for any adapters or reversible heads.
For most cyclists this type of valve is probably the most convenient choice as it covers all of your inflation needs and those of your friends and family too. You just need to position the pump valve over the tire valve and then they come with a lock lever that creates an airtight fit when engaged so that you can start pumping. When you have finished, you just need to release the lock lever again to remove the pump.
Clever valves are also useful because they are space savers so you will find this type of valve arrangement on our mini pumps where size and weight are an important factor in the purchase decision.
Reversible Heads – Easy Screw Down Pumping
Especially for pumps with hoses, double sided, reversible heads are a great solution for a secure seal and easy pumping. The screw down seal is very easy to use and each side is clearly marked to make sure that you have the correct one to fit your valve type.
These are also often made of metal rather than plastic which makes them highly durable and a great choice if you are someone whose pump tends to get bashed around a bit on the trail.
Secure Fit – Keeping up the pressure with a lock lever
For all of our products a secure fit is vital so with the clever valves you will see a valve lock lever in plastic or metal that will keep the pump valve securely in place while you inflate your tires. The other option is the screw down valves which are reversible and are easy to install and remove on the tire in comparison to the Clever valves.
I hope that you found this guide ot the best bike pumps 2023 article useful. Please check out the range of GIYO pumps here on the website or even buy one at our Amazon store here.