If you have ever been struggling to pump up a bike tire, you’ve probably been wondering why it takes so long. I have had this too many times to count with road bike tires and often it is simply down to how good your bike pump is at producing the required pressure you need. But how much pressure can a bicycle pump produce? Find out in this guide.
If you want a quick answer…
Bike pumps can produce anywhere between 90 to 200 PSI, with the actual amount depending on the type of pump you are using. Smaller hand pumps tend to be on the low end, with floor pumps producing the highest PSI.
Want to learn more? Then read on…
How Much Pressure Can a Bicycle Pump Produce?
Whether you’re a recreational biker or a professional racer, there is always the risk of having your tire go flat. For this reason, it’s important to fully understand how much pressure can be generated by a bicycle pump and, more importantly, what the correct pressure should be.
When looking for a bike pump for your fat bike, there are two things to consider when thinking about the tire pressure for your bike pump, air volume and tire pressure.
Air volume refers to the amount of air output per “pump” of the bike pump. For larger tires, such as fat bike tires, having a pump with a higher volume will help to inflate the tires quicker. However, this will make fine-tuning the pressure more difficult as you might struggle to get the smaller amount of air you need.
The pressure a pump can output refers to the pounds per square inch (PSI), which results in how firm your bike tire is. For road bike tires, you will need a pump with a higher PSI, as firmer tires are better. For fat bikes, you don’t need a high PSI as these tires aren’t usually ridden as firm as other bike tires.
The amount of pressure a bike pump can output varies significantly from brand to brand, however, there is a difference between the types of pumps available. The below table is a guide of the max PSI you should expect from each type of pump:
|Bike Pump Type||Bike Pump Pressure|
|Floor Pump||220 PSI|
|Compact Pump||160 PSI|
|Micro Pump||90 PSI|
|Foot Pump||120 PSI|
Is It Possible to Inflate a Car Tire with A Bicycle Pump?
Yes, it is possible to inflate a car tire with a bicycle pump, however, you will probably be there a while. Whilst car tires don’t have a very high PSI, they require a lot of volume. Your bike pump can’t output a lot of volume on each pump, meaning you could be at it for over 15 minutes. Using a compressor pump is the better way to inflate your car tires as this will be much quicker than doing it manually with a bike pump.
Can I Pump up My Bike Tires at The Gas Station?
Many people do not understand the difference between a bicycle pump and a car tire pump. Car tires need to have a higher pressure than bicycle tires. If you try pumping up your bike tires at the gas station, it may be difficult to fill them past the pressure limit on the pump when you move over to air up your tires.
You also have the problem that the gas station pump will have a higher volume of air output, as car tires require more air. This will increase the likelihood of overinflation of your tires and potentially exploding the inner tubes.
Do You Need a Special Pump for A Fat Bike?
In recent years fat bikes have grown to become a popular winter hobby for many, but it can be confusing to know which pump is best suited for your bike. Whilst you don’t need to buy a special pump for your fat bike, you should get one with the right adapter for the type of valve you have, but no matter what you’re riding, you’ll want a pump with a pressure gauge.
Hopefully, you are now a little more informed when it comes to bike pumps. Knowing how much pressure your pump should produce depends on the pressure you need to get on your bike for a comfortable ride.
Andy is an avid cyclist who enjoys nothing more than a ride out in the hills. Competing in track, road, time trial and mountain bike events in the past, he prefers slower rides out with his family these days.