Why Do You Need Both a Floor and a Mini Bike Pump?
As you can see, there are some great options available when it comes to bike pumps today. However, you might be debating as to whether you should get a floor pump or a mini bike pump. Both have their pros and cons. To be honest, though, there isn’t a question here. Instead of choosing just one type, you should have one of each. This will ensure that you can cover all of your bases. Let’s look a little closer at what each of these can offer, and you will be able to see why both are a good choice.
The floor pumps are larger and are suitable for the garage or to keep in your vehicle with you if you take your bike out to visit different locations to ride. The floor pump has a freestanding base, which you will stand on when you are inflating it. You can use two hands on the handle to ensure that you have the best possible control. The larger size of the bike floor pumps also means that you will be able to inflate your tire in less time than you could with a mini pump.
The floor pumps will also typically have a large hose that you can use to get into places that are difficult to reach. They also can reach higher pressures. Having one of these available at home will ensure that you always have a fast and convenient way of pumping your tires. Since they often come with other attachments, they are also used to inflate other items that you might have.
However, they do have one drawback. They aren’t good at being portable. While they might be relatively small and lightweight, you wouldn’t want to strap a floor pump to your back as you are heading out for a ride. This is where the mini pumps will come into play.
You want to have a pump that you can carry along with you when you are out on a ride since you never know if you will need to add more pressure to your tires. They are lightweight and small enough that they can often be put into a pocket or a bag. Others can mount right to your bike. Most of the mini pumps will attach directly to the valve, but some also have a hose included.
They are essential for any rider and should certainly be a part of your gear. They can help you out of some rough situations, so you don’t have to carry your mountain bike out of the woods because there is no air in the tires. They are highly convenient for trails and roads.
By having a larger pump at home and a small mini pump that you can carry, you are going to get the best of both worlds. They are affordable, and they can last a long time, so it tends to be a small expenditure for a lot of convenience.
Related: Best Mini Bike
Understanding Valve Types
You will have noticed that there are a couple of different types of valves that are commonly used for bikes. Namely, they are Presta and Schrader, although there are also Dunlop valves. The Dunlop valves are similar enough that they can usually be inflated with a Presta valve. Dunlop valves are more commonly used in Europe and Asia, but there may be some in the United States who have them on their tires.
The Schrader valve is often used on mountain bike tires, as well as kids’ bikes. The valve is wider than the Presta valve, and it will usually have the same circumference from the tip to the rim. These valves are covered in rubber and threaded at the end. They have a pin at the center of the valve. This is depressed to add or release air. When it is not being used, there is a spring in the pin that keeps it in place and ensures that there is not a leak. Car tires use the same type of valve, which means that you could inflate your bike at a gas station if you have no other option.
The Presta valve is made from metal. It is long and thin, and it is often threaded along its entire length. There is a knurled nut at the end of the valve. You will need to unscrew the nut to add or release air into the tire. You will often find this type of valve on performance bikes and road bikes. This is because they can hold more pressure than a mountain bike.
You will find that modern pumps are built to accommodate Presta and Schrader valve types. However, they may do so in different ways. There are twin heads that will have two different ports. One of the ports will be for Presta, and the other will be for Schrader. Also, there are swappable pumps, which means that you reverse the internal parts of the head. It does not require any tools to do so, and it generally takes only a few seconds. There are also adjustable pumps that can adjust automatically for the different valves.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Bike Pump?
Now that you have a list of options from which you can consider, and you know a bit more about the pumps, it should be a bit easier to have an idea of what you should need. Keep in mind that you will likely want to have both a floor pump and a mini pump. However, there are certain things that you will want to keep in mind when making a purchase, regardless of the type of pump.
First, you will want to make sure that it will work with the type of bike tires you have. Fortunately, the options that are on the list above can work with the types of valves you will encounter. They should work well whether you have a mountain bike, a kid’s bike, a road bike, or a touring bike. However, you will want to consider how the valves are accommodated. Does the pump have twin heads, are they adjustable, or are they swappable? You will want to choose the one that you find to be the most convenient.
Always make sure that the pump is made from high-quality materials. You want to avoid cheap plastic and poor construction to ensure the longevity of the bike pump. Also, look at the special features that the pump might have. Do you prefer a simple CO2 option? Are you looking for a pump with an indicator on the gauge? Determine what will make your life easiest and then choose the pump that fits.
Taking Care of the Bike Pump
It is also essential that you make it a point to take great care of the bike pump if you want it to last. This means that you not only need to read the instructions and learn how to use it properly but that you need to be aware of what you are doing with the pump when it is not in use. Rather than just putting it in a dark corner of the garage when you aren’t using it, make sure that it has a place where it will remain safe. You will also want to keep the valves safe and clean. Simply wiping them down on occasion is all you will need to do.
You should also make it a point to keep track of the needles and other valves that come with the pump, as well. Few things are as frustrating as tearing apart the garage when you need to find the needle for your bike pump so that you can add air to the basketball.
Find Your Pump
With the tips above, as well as all of the great pumps that are available, it is time for you to find the bike pumps that will work best for your needs. Don’t get caught with an underinflated tire and no way to fix it.