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The best bicycle pump for high-pressure tyres

November 29, 2022 — BarryK

I own an electric bicycle, for which the recommended tyre pressure is 65psi. Purchased a couple of years ago and used occasionally to get around locally.

Maybe I'm getting weaker in my old age, but I find it a struggle to pump the tyres to 65psi with my floor pump. I get to 60psi and decide that's good enough.

The pump has a 45mm diameter tube. I don't know anything about bicycle pumps, but I reasoned that a pump with smaller diameter tube would be easier to pump to higher pressure. Less air per plunge, but less effort. I don't know what law of physics would apply, but that reasoning did seem rational.

So, looked around, and chose one with the smallest diameter tube. Bought this off ebay, with 29mm diameter tube:

Here are the two pumps, showing clearly how much narrower is the tube of the new one:


But then hit a snag; the header, the part that goes onto the tyre valve, didn't work. It refused to pump air into the tyres. The tyres have schrader valves, same as car tyres, and the header is a multi-purpose type with a single hole that is supposed to also work with schrader valves.

Lifting the lever, that clamps the header onto the valve, seems to be also blocking air flow!

Bare in mind I know nothing about tyre pumps, headers, and so on. Was I somehow putting the header incorrectly onto the valve? Tried and tried, but no joy.

Anyway, decided to buy a header that has two holes, one of them dedicated to fit a schrader valve. Bought this:

Very interesting, the lever works the opposite way to many other brands:


...and I find that to be preferable. It is an easier action to pull the lever down toward the inlet tube.

So, put this new header onto the NIxeycle floor pump, and works great. And yes, very easy to pump to 65psi. In fact, effortlessly went to 70psi and released a bit of air.

Knowing what I now know, if I was in need of a floor pump, I would buy one somewhat cheaper, such as this one with 32mm diameter tube and with dual-hole header:

The pump I now have works great, no need to buy anything else. Just posting this info in case it helps someone else who might be wanting to buy a bicycle pump.   

Tags: general