Bike pumps

It's inevitable that you'll need to pump your tyres up after a mid-ride puncture at some time or other. The puncture fairy can strike at any time and  no matter how good your tyres or tubes are at resisting punctures, you need to be prepared.

Hand pumps
There are two types of hand pumps - high pressure or high volume. High pressure ones are suitable for road bike tyres where you'll want to put in over 100psi. High volume pumps are for mountain bikes for example where you might only need 50psi. Most hand pumps will require you to have serious stamina to pump your tyres up properly. The nearer you get to the target pressure, the harder it will get.

Some pumps will fit directly to the valve. This can put a lot of force against the metal valve and in some cases you can find yourself damaging it or snapping it clean off!
It may be worth looking for a pump with a flexible hose or even one of the more stamina friendly mini floor pumps.

CO2 Pumps
These work by having a sealed cartridge of compressed carbon dioxide. The cartridges are replaceable and cost around £1 each. They may seem expensive but are a godsend, especially in cold weather when you don't want to be hanging around getting cold. CO2 is expelled into the tyre so fast that you can pump it up in just over a second. Most pumps come with cartridges suitable for road bikes, hybrids and 26" mountain bikes. If you are using a 29er mountain bike you may want to consider using two cartridges or getting a bigger 25g one.

Hybrid hand pumps
Park Tools track pumpThese are the best of both worlds. They are normal hand pumps but with the ability to fit a CO2 cartridge. That way you can pump of most of the tyre by hand and when the going gets tough, you can use the cartridge to top it up. That way your cartridges go further. Some of these don't have flexible hoses so you could still damage the valve if you overdo it.

Track pumps
Also known as stirrup pumps, these are what you keep at home for your regular maintenance. They can pump to the highest pressures with ease and as they have a long plunger handle you can get good leverage and pump your tyres up in no time at all. Most have a pressure gauge so you can be sure you've put enough air in and also that you've not put in too much.

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