What to Look For
Several companies manufacture bicycle floor pumps. Many cyclists believe most pumps exist as equals; however, several factors mark standout bicycle pumps. Bicycle pump manufacturers construct pumps and pump parts using plastic, rubber, metal alloys, wood and even leather. Less expensive pumps use plastic constructions with rubber fittings. Nicer pumps mix plastic and metal alloy construction with rubber fittings. High-end pumps often use metal alloy constructions with wood handles and leather and rubber fittings. Most quality pumps feature replaceable hoses and allow for the replacement of worn parts. Many department store pumps offer non-replaceable components.
Common inexpensive pumps often work few cycling seasons, typically have no air gauge or inaccurate air gauges and cannot receive repair. Many quality bicycle pumps exist costing only a few dollars more for a product likely to last considerably longer. Many cyclists believe air pumps mounted near handles are preferable to those mounted near the base. Often pumps with base-mounted gauges contain fewer parts, resulting in less necessitated repairs. Most bicycle pump tubes need grease to remain airtight. Most pump servicing requires nothing more than the dismantling of the tube and handle joint, then greasing the inner pump tube.
Where to Buy
Most local bicycle shops, many department stores and several online retailers stock bicycle pumps. All cyclists need a bicycle pump at some point in time, states Galt, an online technology review site. Most mechanics, like Jim Langley, recommend carrying a portable pump in addition to a floor pump kept at home. Many pumps sold at bargain prices or stocked in big box stores last only a short while before needing replacement. Many quality pumps, even inexpensive pumps, found at dedicated bicycle retailers may last more than a decade if properly maintained and not exposed to extreme heat differences.
As of 2010, inexpensive bicycle pumps with non-replaceable parts often sell under $20. Quality bicycle pumps utilizing plastic construction materials often retail for $20 to $30. Bicycle pumps featuring metal and plastic components and larger air gauges often range from $35 to $75. Quality pumps assembled using time-tested materials such as metal, wood and leather, may cost in excess of $250, depending on brand, material quality and country of origin. Pump replacement parts often cost under $10, many under $5. Pump hoses and attachment parts utilize a variety of thread sizes and diameters. Many companies build pumps using proprietary pieces not readily available.