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Best mini pumps for cycling

Cyclist magazine
24 May 2021

The finest tiddly tyre inflators a cyclist can treat their bike to when it all goes wrong

There’s no more sure way to summon a puncture than to leave home without a mini pump. However, if you pick a quality one and remember to take it with you each time you leave the house, getting a flat needn’t be too much of a hassle.

Neater than a full-sized frame pump, greener and more reliable than disposable CO2 canisters – as the name suggests, a mini pump should be svelte enough to pop in a rear pocket.

At the same time, once put into action it should pack enough puff to get you out of a roadside pickle without excess exertion.

Here we run through a selection of the best…

Here are the best cycling mini bike pumps

 

1. Zefal Air Profil FC03: The best all-round mini bike pump

Made from weight-saving aluminium, this has a nice ergonomic feel as soon as you pick it up. The handle features a knurled ring around its business end, allowing thumb and forefingers plenty of purchase when pumping.

The rubber hose is squirrelled away inside the pump’s barrel, beneath a durable plastic cap, and slips out easily enough to reveal a short but flexible pipe topped with a reversible head that can easily be screwed off, flipped and screwed back on the other way to accommodate Presta or Schrader valves.

Each end is even clearly signposted for each valve type so there’s no danger of you trying to use the wrong one.

At 18cm long and weighing just 103g it’s capable of whacking out a maximum 116psi. All in, an effective, light and well-designed solution.

2. Crank Brothers Klic Hp Hybrid CO2 Pump: The best CO2 combo mini bike pump

The USP of the Crank Brothers Klic Hp Hybrid CO2 Pump is that it combines CO2 and traditional mini-pump inflation options in one elegant package.

With its CO2 hat on, you unscrew the head from the mini pump’s hose, attach it to your valve (it’s both Presta and Schrader compatible) and then simply screw your CO2 canister into it and inflate.

In pump mode, it operates exactly as you’d expect a high-pressure road pump to, with the short rubberised hose housed in the aluminium shaft of the pump.

A rubberised handle flips to provide a non-slip T-shaped grip for when you’re pumping the decent length telescopic mechanism. Allowing you to generate a maximum 120psi, you'll need to stock up on CO2 cartridges first if you want to take the sweat out of your next puncture. 

3. Lezyne Carbon Road Drive: The best lightweight mini bike pump

By far the lightest here, Lezyne’s carbon-constructed tiddler still manages an incredible maximum of 160psi.

Its tough rubber hose, which lives in the pump’s body when not in use, has a double-ended head that’s compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves, while a wee button releases the pressure from the pump once your tyres are up to the required pressue.

Lezyne claims this reduces potential damage to valve cores when removing the hose. The trade-off for all that petiteness is the need for a little more oompf.

Available in two lengths, this 180mm long version weighs 73 grams, while the 216mm version will be slightly faster to inflate and still only comes in at 83 grams. Both are perfect for the marginal-gains roadie who’s after a quality pump that won’t prove a drag.  

How to change an inner tube reseat the tyre

4. Cube Race Dual Pump: The best dual-volume mini pump 

Letting you choose between pressure and volume, the Cube Race Dual pump’s two stage system allows you to switch between the two. Helping you to quickly and efficiently fill the tyre, a twist of its base allows it to swap modes for a more efficient final few pushes.

A second benefit of this system is it’s more efficient at filling the larger tyres beloved of gravel and cyclocross riders. With a maximum pressure of 120psi and a low weight of 171g, it’s a design that’ll suit a broad range of riders.

Made using a CNC aluminium construction, it’s a tough feeling piece, while the quality analogue clock-style gauge ensures accurate inflation. Pushing directly onto either Presta or Schraeder valves, it’s a no-nonsense bit of kit that nevertheless packs in two very clever features.


5. Topeak Road Morph G: The best upright mini bike pump

The smallest Morph fills both fat and skinny tyres with ease, with the fold-out foot pad offering hassle-free inflation – the Topeak Mini Morph G is probably the closest thing you’ll get to carrying around a miniature track pump.

At a full 35cm long, it’s fairly hefty and isn’t the most stylish pump here, but what it lacks in lightweight design it makes up for in ease of use.

It made inflation a lot easier while out on the road. With the in-line gauge, there’s no need to guess how pumped your tyres are – and we got all the way up to 140psi!

6. Topeak Micro Rocket CB: The best truly tiny mini bike pump

This tiny carbon fibre mini pump is barely bigger than a multitool. Yet it’s supposedly capable of inflating tyres up to 160psi. While that might be a bit of stretch, we’d happily rely on it to get them well over a hundred.

Given its small size, you’d be forgiven for thinking this would take ages. But with a quality push-on head, there’s little leakage, while the small stroke is easy on your arms. The result is it’ll outperform many much larger options. Like all Topeak pumps, service parts are also easy to come by.

At just 160mm long and weighing 55 grams, it’s ideal for strapping to a spare tube if you’re building a minimalist tool kit. Unlike some ultralight kit, it’s also not too outrageously priced.

7. Silca Pocket Impero: The best money-no-object mini bike pump

Want to know what a mini-pump costing over one hundred quid looks like? It looks like this. It may not be the smallest or lightest, but this Silca model exudes quality. For a mini pump, it’s also a rather handsome-looking thing.

We can try and justify it by saying it genuinely will last a lifetime, or at least the 25 years it’s under guarantee. It’s also infinitely serviceable. Using a leather gasket, and the sort of mirror-finished internals you’d expect to find inside a high-spec engine and not a bike pump, it glides through its stroke with a minimum of friction.

Pleasingly ergonomic in design, its ‘Slide-Lock’ silicone insulating sleeve improves grip and stops your hands sweating when building to higher pressures. With no max pressure listed, it aims to strike a balance between volume and speed.

Still able to hit 100psi, it’s the easiest on your arm of any pump we’ve tried. Still, costing over a ton you’ll be praying for punctures as an excuse to get it out.

Read our guides on how to change a bike tyre without levers, best winter tyres and inner tube sizes

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