The best high-pressure suspension pumps for your mountain bike tried, tested and rated by our experts, plus what to look for in a shock pump.


If you’ve got a mountain bike with suspension, then a shock pump is an essential piece of kit that you’ll need to ensure it performs perfectly. Most mountain bike suspension systems run on air-springs, so to get the fork or rear shock set up or adjusted, you need a pump that can add air at a high enough pressure. A high pressure suspension pump is designed specifically for this purpose. 

Just getting started or looking for a quick guide? Our fundamentals of suspension set up is a good place to begin. To complete your DIY air inflation requirements, you’ll also need a good quality tyre floor/track pump for home use and portable mini-pump for emergency use in case you puncture on a ride. 

Photo of the Lifeline Airblast Pump

LifeLine’s Airblast is all most riders need.

1. LifeLine Digital Shock suspension pump

Best budget shock pump

Weight: 207g | Contact: | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to use
  • Accurate and reliable readings
  • Good value for money

Reasons to avoid:

  • Stock battery has short life
  • Small volume

LifeLine’s Digital Shock Suspension Pump is our top pick because it’s one of the cheapest around, but functions as well as many more expensive models. This is because it is basically the same pump used by the likes of RockShox and Fox, just with a different sticker and a lower price.

It is accurate and easy to read, and it’s reasonably comfortable to use. There’s a bleed valve to get rid of excess pressure and a long enough hose to get into awkward spots. On the flip side, the stock battery doesn’t last long (replacing with a quality brand should fix this), there’s no ‘off’ button, and it can get turned on accidentally in a bag or toolbox. The volume is also fairly small – we counted 100 strokes to get to 81psi in a fork (although it depends on the fork and travel).

Read our full test review of the LifeLine Digital Shock suspension pump

Photo of the Lezyne Shock Drive suspension pump

The Lezyne Shock Drive pump is our choice for the best shock pump on the market today

2. Lezyne Shock Drive

Best for big volume forks and shocks

Weight: 171g | Contact: | Rating: 10/10

Reasons to buy: Looks top quality

  • Efficient
  • Smooth action
  • Accurate gauge
  • Compact size

Reasons to avoid:

  • Can trap fingers on handle

Lezyne’s ShockDrive impressed us with its efficiency. 100 strokes got us all the way to 90psi in our fork, 10psi more than the LifeLine. The big rubber dial is easy to hold onto, and while it’s not as easy to read the pressure as big digital display, there’s no battery to run out.

The ShockDrive also boasts a pressure range that goes all the way to 400psi, which is useful for heavier riders and some shocks. It’s possible to get your fingers pinched under the handle, but as long as you’re careful how you hold it, this won’t be a problem. We also like the compact dimensions, that make it easier to carry in a hip pack for trail-side fettling.

Read our full test review of the Lezyne Shock Drive suspension pump 

Photo of whole pump next to close up detail of the pump handle of the lezyne shock pump

Lezyne know how to make a good looking pump

3. Lezyne Digital Shock Drive suspension pump

Best compact digital shock pump

Weight: 108g | Contact: | Rating: 9/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Slim shape easily fits in a pack
  • digital gauge ensures accuracy
  • easy to use

Reasons to avoid:

  • Unusual battery
  • Price

Another great shock pump from Lezyne, with this model being particularly suitable for anyone that likes to ride with a shock pump for mid-ride tweaking. That’s generally us, as we’re always setting up new test bikes. But other riders looking for that perfect set-up and performance edge will appreciate its packable dimensions.

The digital display is quirky in that it reads vertically, so it’s a bit weird when you first turn it on, but we soon got used to it. Rated up to 350psi, it’s surprisingly efficient and comfortable in use, and we like the lockable chuck that minimises air loss when attaching and removing the pump. Our main gripe is that it uses the less common CR1220 battery, and it’s expensive for what will probably end up being a second shock pump. 

Read our full review of the Lezyne Digital Shock Drive pump

Photo of the Topeak Pocket Shock Digital mountain bike pump

4. Topeak Pocketshock Digital

Best shock pump for overall quality

Weight: 196g | Contact: | Rating: 8/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Braided hose
  • Pressure Rite connecter means no air loss when disconnecting
  • Accurate digital reading

Reasons to avoid:

  • Pressure only goes up to 300psi
  • Short battery life
  • No spare battery

Topeak’s Pocketshock Digital shares the same digital pressure gauge unit as the LifeLine, packaged in a higher quality chassis. There’s a better finish and a noticeably smoother action, but you pay a premium at the checkout. We like the braided hose and the Pressure Ride connector that means you lose less air when removing the pump.

There’s a bled valve to tune the pressure but it only goes up to 300psi, which may not be enough for some riders and certain shocks. Overall, Topeak’s Pocketshock is well made but does cost more than the equally effective LifeLine.

Read our full review of the Topeak Pocketshock Digital shock pump

Photo of the Truflo Mini/Shock suspension pump

5. Truflo Mini/Shock Pump

Best dual-purpose suspension and tyre pump

Weight: 176g | Contact: | Rating: 8/10

Reasons to buy:

  • Presta adapter means this pump works on tyres and suspension
  • High pressure and high volume modes
  • Neat design
  • Frame clip included
  • Compact size

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not comfortable to use
  • Hose a little short

Carrying a separate shock pump and mini-pump is too much for most riders, but the Truflo Mini/Shock Pump combines both duties into a single, surprisingly effective unit. Basically you set the dial to high pressure for shocks and high volume for tyres. And it works with presta valves for tyres and Shrader valves for shocks.

As you’d expect, it’s not as good as either the best mini-pump at inflating tyres, but it’s actually pretty effective as a shock pump. This is because you can start off in high volume mode, then switch to high pressure as the stroke gets harder. We got to 70psi in our fork in just 20 strokes. Sadly the Truflo isn’t the most comfortable to use, but as a dual purpose solution, it has plenty of merit.

Read our full test review of the Truflo Mini/Shock suspension pump

Close-up photo of the digital gauge and analogue gauge on mountain bike shock pumps

Analogue gauge on the left, digital gauge on the right

How we tested

We undertook some comparative testing to gauge efficiency, which involved inflating a Fox 38 fork from 0psi counting a 100, then 200 strokes and recording the pressure. We also made a note of comfort during this procedure because some of the handles don’t have a particularly ergonomic shape and holding the pump at the front is often round the gauge. We also bled off 10psi at the end to test ‘bleed valve’ functionality.

What to look for in a shock pump

If you’re looking to find the best shock pump for ensuring your suspension runs smoothly, then there are a few factors and features to consider.

Digital or analogue

Digital pumps are more accurate, but the battery life is an issue because the pump can turn on accidentally when it’s rolling around in your toolbox. Although plenty have an auto-off button that kicks in after about 90seconds.

Bleed Valve

You can purge air from the fork or shock using a small bleed button on the head of a shock pump, ideal for fine tuning your suspension setup.

Hose length

The longer the better, especially on bikes with complex shock placement and hard-to-reach shock valves. Most should have some form of management to secure the hose.

Handle Shape

Look for a flat or button handle, which is not going to leave a red welt on your hand when squeezing in those last few PSI during a shock inflation.

Compact Size

If you want to take a pump with you on a ride, you have a couple of choices. You can downsize to a mini-shock pump, which can be stashed easily in a bum-bag or you can mount the pump on your bike using a frame clip; there are both options here.

Detail photo showing the a long and a short hose on two different MTB shock pumps

Some shock pumps have longer hoses than others

Do I need a shock pump?

If you have a bike that has forks or rear shock that use air pressure, which is most of them, then the answer is yes.

Firstly because rear shocks and forks will naturally lose a little of their internal air pressure over time, so will need to be topped up. Secondly, because to get the best performance out of your bike you’ll need to ensure the suspension is set up correctly for you and the terrain you’re riding on. Things like adding heavy backpacks or riding on rougher ground may require a change in the internal pressure of your suspension shocks, and to make those changes, you’ll need a shock pump.

Coil shocks don’t require a shock pump for obvious reasons, as they use the properties of the coil spring to control the suspension.

Collection of several mountain bike shock pumps lying on table with pink background

mbr tested the best high pressure suspension pumps to find the best performers

How to set up mountain bike suspension: forks and rear shocks

What’s the difference between a shock pump and a tyre pump?

While the mechanism for each of them is the same – pumping air manually from a chamber through a valve into a receptacle, eg tyre or shock – the main differences are related to the differing volume and the pressure of each.

Tyres have a high volume but run at fairly low pressures. Shocks have a low volume but run at very high pressures, and are extremely sensitive to minute changes in that internal pressure.

So to pump up a tyre you need a pump that can add a lot of volume per pump, and to add air to a shock you want a low volume pump that can add air at high pressure without letting it escape, and in small increments so it can be carefully controlled.

Shock pumps will also often have a small pressure release valve, button or nipple which allows small amounts of air to be let out of the shock in a controlled way.

Using the same shock pump ensures consistency

Best floor pumps and tubeless tyre inflators: no stress, just success!

Can I use a shock pump on my tyres?

As a general rule, no. This is because most shock pumps will be designed for a Schrader valve which is used on suspension shocks, and not the Presta valve that is most common on mountain bike tubes and tyres.Also because shock pumps work on high pressures rather than high volumes.

There are some exceptions, such as the Truflo Mini/Shock which is a combined mini-pump and shock pump. These types of pump will have Presta valve adapters, and are able to switch between high-pressure and high-volume modes. However, they’ll still take a long time to inflate a tyre compared to something like a traditional track pump.

Best mini-pumps; portable and powerful puncture-savers