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Basic Guide to Floor Pumps

A good floor pump is an essential item for any cyclist.

A good floor pump is an essential item for any cyclist. They make it easy to maintain proper tire pressure, which helps slow tread wear and decreases the risk of punctures. Most floor pumps can easily inflate high pressure road tires to the standard 120psi, an almost impossible task if all you have is a hand pump. Here are some key attributes to look for in a floor pump.

Handle:  Look for a handle that fits your hands and is easy to grip. A little cushion or padding is an added bonus when pumping up high-pressure road tires.

Gauge: Look for a gauge that reads at least 10psi above the highest pressure you’ll need. Gauges mounted near the top of the pump are easier to read. Rotating bezel indicators on the gauge let you quickly determine when you've reached the desired pressure.

Head: There are four types: convertible, multi, smart and screw-on. Convertible heads require the rearrangement of internal parts to switch between Presta valves and Schrader valves. Multi heads have separate valve holes for each valve type. Smart heads interface with either valve type. And screw-on, such as those offered by Lezyne, literally screw on to the valve head, resulting in a secure, leak-free seal that yields more accurate pressure readings.

Barrel: Large diameter barrels inflate large volume off-road tires quicker than small diameter barrels. But smaller diameter barrels make it easier to inflate high pressure road tires. Choose the one that best fits your needs. Some barrels have a steel casing for increased impact resistance, and a plastic liner for a smoother pump stroke.

Base: Look for a large base that’s stable and easy to secure, even when you’re wearing cycling shoes. A folding base makes your pump easier to store and transport.

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