Bicycle Pump – Hand Bicycle Pumps

This category includes two basic types: tubed and integral hand bicycle pumps.

bicycle pump 53The tubed type requires a separate tube to connect the pump to the valve. This type of pumps have the advantage of being very cheap, are suitable for those who are looking to conserve space, but are inefficient compared to other pumps.

Frame pumps are the longer hand pumps (about 20 inches) and can be mounted to the frame of the bicycle. Lighter and shorter hand pumps (about 10 inches) are called mini bicycle pumps.

bicycle pump 51Some of the most efficient pumps are double action pumps. By sealing the piston in the cylinder at both ends they can force air into the tire on both strokes.

How does a hand bicycle pump work? One hand is used to hold the pump and the other to push the plunger. Hand pumpsare light but less efficient. The pump cylinder is shorter and narrower than a floor bicycle pump’s so less air is compressed with each stroke.

bicycle pump 52Hand bicycle pumps can be rated to 90 or 120 psi, but maximum achievable pressure might be 40 to 60 psi depending on the strength of the each individual. Even if it is possible to reach higher pressures, it can take many minutes of hard pumping.


* Small and light, often 1/4 to 1/2 pound. Can be carried at all times.


* Slow and requires more effort. Full tire pressure might not be achievable.
* Unless a flexible hose is used, the pump is fixed directly to the tire valve. If the pump is not held steady when pumping, it is possible to damage the valve stem with too much movement.

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