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The best cycling track pumps

Joseph Delves
30 Aug 2021

A workshop essential that will keep your tyres at optimum pressure with minimum fuss

Mini-pumps are for taking with you in case of emergencies; track pumps are for every day. They are one of the first things you’ll need to buy alongside your road bike, and most riders will use them to pump up their tyres before every single ride. This means it’s soon obvious which will go the distance and which will end up in the recycling after a single season.

Required volume or pressure per square inch (psi), serviceability, and extras like bleed valves for fine-tuning pressure are all deserving of consideration before you buy. Some clever pumps will now even allow you to seat tubeless tyres via a blast of air provided by an additional accumulator chamber.

Unsurprisingly for something used so regularly, the quest for the perfect pump elicited some strong opinions among the staff in the Cyclist office. However, we promise you won’t go far wrong with one of the those listed below...

The best cycling track pumps

1. The best all-purpose track pump: Topeak Joeblow Sport 3

The Topeak Joeblow Sport 3 scores a perfect balance between reliability and price. This latest version introduces an enlarged three-inch chronograph-inspired gauge and a new hammer style Twinhead DX pump head. 

A great pump to start with, all the spares you might need to repair it are widely and cheaply available. We especially like its simple one-side-for-each TwinHead design, which covers both Presta and Schrader valves.

Providing serious pressure quickly, it’s a workshop favourite with a moderate price tag.

Buy now from Halfords for £36.50

2. The Beto Echo

Although we’d typically push for the security of a metal construction, this lightweight plastic pump from Beto should be robust enough if you treat it correctly. Plus, there’s no need to make adjustments when swapping between valves, thanks to a clever head that included presta and Schreader fittings. A simple dial-style gauge rounds of a decent budget option. 

Buy now from Tredz for £13.99

3. The best heavy-duty track pump: SKS Rennkompressor

Largely unchanged notwithstanding forty years of service, the venerable SKS Rennkompressor is a design masterpiece. Its cast steel base, wooden handle and brass connectors make it instantly apparent what a serious bit of kit this is.

Capable of creating pressures of up to 230psi, it’s practically indestructible, infinitely serviceable, and extremely efficient. With a series of four different heads available, we’re fans of the old school push-on style – a top-tier pump. 

Buy now from Wiggle for £69.99

4. The best track pump for overall value: Zefal Profil Max FP60

Combining a number of the fancy characteristics found on more costly floor pumps, this excellent value model from Zéfal is an ergonomic treat, with a wide beechwood handle and a large and easily readable display measuring 70mm in diameter.

It even has a magnifying segment to aid accurate inflation, which is excellent news when you’re in a hurry to get out for an early, bleary-eyed ride.

The head has a smart switch built in that enables it to work with both Schrader and Presta valves. Rated up to 170psi, it quickly copes with the requirements of most modern tyres, in part thanks to the aluminium alloy barrel and strengthened plastic base.

What’s more, it’s made in France, should that sort of thing is important to you. Either way, it's a top value, fully featured pump with the magnifying section in the gauge being a particularly nice touch.

Buy now from Amazon for £29.99 

5. The best digital display track pump: Lezyne Alloy Digital Drive

Retro wooden handle. Modern digital gauge. No more squinting at difficult-to-understand clock face style dials, this pump will give you an accurate numerical readout. Inflating up to a stout 220psi, the most recent version features Lezyne’s ABS1 Pro chuck.

Made of aluminium alloy and brass, this flips to receive Presta or Schrader valves. Screwing straight onto the valve, it leaves scant chance of either losing pressure as you remove it or having it jump off mid-stroke. 

Buy now from Halfords for £64.99 

6. Best track pump for tubeless tyres: Bontrager, TLR Flash Charger

A standard track pump with an accumulator tank for seating tubeless tyres attached to its back. Flip a switch, and instead of inflating your tyres, the pump will fill up the tank.

Drop the lever on this, and the accumulated pressure will be released at a speed sufficient to pop tubeless tyre beads into place on the rim. Far more effective than messing about with CO2 cartridges and infinitely cheaper than a compressor, it's a required item for tubeless fans and aspiring mechanics.

Buy now from Trek for £99.99 

7. The best looking track pump: Birzman, Maha Push and Twist III

With an ergonomic slant and solid three-footed base, the Birzman is a joy to pump with. Using a unique snap-on head it’s also instant to switch between Presta and Schrader modes, and can even be set to work pumping up low-volume air suspension systems.

A bleed valve on the back allows for precise inflation. With a wooden handle, the rest of the construction consists of polished metal elements, resulting in a sturdy and attractive-looking product. Nice enough that I leave it in the living room and not the garage anyway. 

Buy now from Tredz for £69.99

8. The best money-no-object track pump: Silca SuperPista Ultimate

If you set out to build the greatest pump conceivable with no concern for the cost, this is what you would end up with. Very cool, but also slightly silly, it’s a long-lasting and phenomenally well produced and put together product.

Its gasket is made of Italian leather; its handle is rosewood, the race-car-worthy gauge is produced to medical-grade accuracy. The hose and push-on fixing are perfect.

Do you need it? Probably not. Still, it’s reassuring to know it exists out there somewhere.

Buy now from Silca for $450 

9. The best budget track pump: Lifeline Essential (currently out of stock). 

Our pick of the budget pumps. Straight out of the Lifeline stable – internet bike shop Wiggle/ChainReaction's own range of tools – Lifeline products aim to be good-quality, everyday all-rounders that won’t break the bank. Given this pump's economical cost, you certainly won’t find us disputing the last point. And in use, it proves to be flawlessly reliable at doing the job expected of it.

With more than a passing resemblance to one of the other pumps here, Lifeline has given it a dual-action head so there is no swapping needed. 

The steel barrel is sturdy, as are the reinforced plastic feet and handle, while the top-mounted gauge is comfortable to read and goes all the way up to 160psi. It all goes to show what you can do when you go directly to the factory and buy in bulk. The Lifeline’s incredibly low price makes it hard to justify not having a track pump in your workshop.

Buy now from Wiggle for £14.99  


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