The task of converting to tubeless can leave you feeling deflated — the best floor pumps and tubeless tyre inflators make the process totally stress-free.
These are the very best floor pumps, track pumps and tubeless tyre inflators to help you ensure your mountain bike tyres are properly inflated, and get your tubeless tyres seated and sealed. We’ve puffed and panted our way through the latest options on the market to ensure these products deliver on their promise to going tubeless a stress-free experience.
While you’re here, it’s worth checking out these guides too:
- Buyer’s guide to the best tubeless sealants
- Buyer’s guide to the best mini-pumps
- Buyer’s guide to the best tubeless repair kits
Best floor pump for mountain bikes
Weight: 3,486g | Rating: 10/10
Reasons to buy: Easy to read gauge. Long hose. Stable base. Quick to charge and seats most tubeless tyres
Reasons to avoid: Slight handle flex when really adding pressure
We gave the Topeak Joe Blow Booster top marks when we first tested it two years ago but it has gone up in price since then. It’s essentially a standard JoeBlow floor pump with a secondary air chamber bolted on. There is a bezel on the gauge, which you turn to select either Charge or Inflate. It took 40strokes to boost the chamber to 160psi.
The Joe Blow Booster has a really long 150cm hose, which means you can easily charge tyres with the bike in the workstand. On the end of the hose is Topeak’s latest SmartHead with the removable DX3 connector and an air bleed button for precise pressure setting. The head easily slots onto Presta or Schrader valves and is secured by a solid metal locking lever.
We’ve had a Topeak Joe Blow Booster on the go for about two years now and we’ve never had a tyre we couldn’t seat; it worked first time seating our awkward Continental test tyre. It’s also relatively easy to charge, has a comfortable handle and feels extremely stable even when you’re going hell for leather.
Best budget floor pump for mountain bikes
Weight: N/A | Rating: 10/10
Reasons to buy: Solid and stable, storage in handle, good price.
Reasons to avoid: Bit of handle flex, no bleed valve.
The Bontrager Dual Charger floor pump is one of the best floor pumps on the market at a price that won’t break the bank. With its steel barrel and base, it feels really solid but the plastic handle does flex a bit once you start inflating.
It has a comfortable profile though and on either end are two removable covers, so there’s space for a patch kit and the adapters. The Dual Charger has a dual function, letting you toggle between HV (high volume) and HP (high pressure) settings by just flicking the switch on the base with your foot.
It has a smooth action, feels solid and stable, has an easy-to-read gauge and can be switched easily between the two settings allowing you to get your MTB tyre inflated quickly and easily.
Easy to read gauge
Weight: 1,887g | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Big volume, rapid inflation rate, great value, large stable base, large easy-to-read dial.
Reasons to avoid: Uncomfortable plastic handle.
Cannondale’s Essential floor pump is surprisingly good, because it has a big volume and will shift a lot of air. It’s roughly 1psi per stroke – when I put 20 strokes in a test tyre the gauge read 21psi (19psi when I double-checked it with my Accu Gauge) and 30psi (27psi) after 30 strokes. It has a 130cm long hose, so it can reach the valves even if your bike is in a workstand, and it’s good value at only £40.
The icing on the cake is the huge dial. It’s really easy to read. It’s rated in PSI and BAR, but you also get different pressure zones – MTB is in the blue zone at 0-30psi, gravel is 30-70psi and road bikes are 70-120psi.
Best floor pump for ease of use
Weight: 2,980g | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Loads of grip. Stable. Opportunity to customise. Charges quickly. Dumps loads of air. Long hose
Reasons to avoid: Tall handle might not suit shorter people
The unique feature of the Blackburn’s new Chamber pump is the handle, it’s effectively a mini handlebar fitted with a couple of rubber grips. Blackburn says that you can actually fit your grips of choice because the 22.2mm diameter is identical to regular bar and in theory you can also fit a wider bar too, due to the centre clamp being 31.8mm.
The Chamber has one of the longest hoses on test, which means you an easily inflate a tyre with the bike in a workstand. With the handle at full extension, the pump is also one of the tallest, but it only took 37 strokes to get the pressure up to 160psi. It does have an easy to read gauge and an ‘Anyvalve’ pump head works for both Presta and Schrader valves. There’s a thumb lock to hold it securely in place and you can drain any built-up pressure via an air bleed button.
The Charge Switch is easy to operate and the big blast of air seated our test tyre first time.
Best combined floor pump and tubeless tyre inflator
Weight: N/A| Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Solid construction, low pressure gauge, rapid inflation, easy-to-read dial, sturdy and stable, smooth action
Reasons to avoid: Needs extra air for stubborn tyre beads
The Specialized Air Tool MTB is a floor pump that doubles as a tubeless tyre inflator, and thanks to a number of features performs impressively in each of these roles.
The best thing about the Air Tool MTB is the low-pressure gauge – it’s easy to read and accurate, you could easily do half PSI adjustments. It was about 3psi out but once you’ve worked in your optimum pressure you can pre-set the tiny bezel on the dial. There’s also a bleed button on the head so you can easily release some pressure from the tyre if you’ve gone too far.
Overall it has a butter smooth action and gets air into the tyre really quickly.
Best value tubeless tyre inflator
Weight: 2,881g | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Great value. Easy to use charger handle. Stable
Reasons to avoid: Gauge is not the easiest to read. Not the smoothest pump action
The Bontrager TLR Flash Charger was one of the first booster pumps on the market and it still remains unchanged. It combines a high-pressure alloy pump with a secondary chamber and charging the tyre is done by flicking down the large red switch on the top of the pump – it’s intuitive and easy to operate.
It has a decent length 105cm hose and comes with a top-mounted gauge, which is close to the user but the numbers are quite small, so are not that easy to read. The handle is not the most comfortable either, when it flexes for the final few charging strokes, and there’s also a slightly cheap metallic feel to the pumping action.
The best thing about the Flash Charger is the Auto-select head – it fits both Presta and Schrader valves and clamps solidly to the valve stem. The Flash Charger produces a good blast of air and seated our test tyre first time. Due to the slightly smaller charging chamber the pressure in the tyre averaged around 30psi, which does mean you have to bleed off air rather than add strokes. There’s a release valve on the side but this only bleeds off air in the hose and main chamber.
If you’re only fitting tubeless tyres occasionally, the Flash Charger is easy to use and great value; the original and still one of the best.
Best portable tubeless tyre inflator
Weight: 486g | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Cheaper than a blaster pump. Portable
Reasons to avoid: Falls over. Hose isn’t very long. No pressure gauge
The Airshot is secondary air chamber that’s charged using a high-pressure track pump. It was one of the first tanks on the market and we’ve tested it several times. In only features a 50cm hose with a simple Presta fitting on the end but a Schrader adapter is available for £2.99.
Airshot also sells a Valve Core Adapter, which slots into the valve stem allowing for increased air flow, handy for the hard-to-seat tubeless tyres. Our test sample actually came with this adapter fitted, as well as the £5.99 Bottle Sock, which stops scuffs and minor dents. Charging the Airshot to 140psi (the recommended pressure) took 53 strokes, but it does offer a really powerful blast of air that seated our test tyre first time. You can top the tyre up by leaving the track pump attached, but we only needed a couple strokes as the pressure usually settled at 22-23psi.
Compared to the inflation tanks from Specialized and Giant, which have stands, handles and smart heads, the Airshot is pretty basic but it has some really nice details – like the Presta charge valve, which means you don’t have to swap your pump internals, simple valve core adapter and it’s a quarter of the weight.
If you want a portable inflator that packs a punch, this is the best out there.
Best multi-purpose tubeless tyre inflator… and water bottle
Weight: 239g | Rating: 10/10
Reasons to buy: Cheaper than a blaster pump. Portable. Doubles as a drinking bottle.
Reasons to avoid: No hose – direct connection only.
The Milkit Booster hat tips early home-brewed attempts to build a booster pump using an old fizzy drinks bottle by modifying a familiar aluminium flask into a portable charging station.
As such there are two sizes to choose from, 0.6L and 1L, depending on how great you or your tyre’s thirst. Each bottle comes with two caps – a standard bottle top, for using with your favourite cold beverage, and a special thread-in inflator.
As a challenge, we tried it on a variety of large volume 2.8in and 3.0in tyres. Our 1L bottle, inflated to 140psi, seated the bead every time, although we still needed to top up the air to get the tyre to ping into place fully and bring it up to a useable pressure.
How we tested the best floor pumps and tubeless tyre inflators
When testing the pumps and air tanks we wanted to know how many strokes it took to fully charge the air chamber, did the blast of air seat our test tyre (which for the purpose of this test is a two-year old Continental fitted to a narrow Shimano rim) and how much pressure did the pump/tank get into the tyre. We also looked at the ergonomics, like handle comfort, valve fittings and hose length. We then factored in the price to pick winners in both categories.
What to look for in best tubeless tyre inflators
What type of pump/inflator you choose ultimately depends on what type of pump you currently own. If you don’t own a floor pump already, then buying one of the all-in-one booster pumps makes a lot of sense. However, if you have a floor pump already, then something like the Airshot is cheaper and means you’re not doubling up. Of course something like the Airshot is a lot more portable than a floor pump, so if space is at a premium in your vehicle, then buying one to leave in the car is smart option. You can even leave it pressurised and use it to top up your tyres before a ride.
What is a smart head?
A smart head automatically works with the two main valve types – Presta and Schrader. It doesn’t unwind the removable valve core found in tubeless vales and offers a secure, leak free connection without having to flip any internals.
Do I need a long hose?
A long hose is not crucial, but it’s definitely handy for inflating your tyres when the bike is in a workstand. It also loops round the handle for storing or carrying the pump.
What’s the most portable tubeless booster pump?
A lightweight cannister, like the Airshot, takes up very little room and can be pre-charged and used to seat a tyre at the trail head.
Do I need a high pressure pump or a high volume pump?
Mountain bike tyres are low pressure and high volume compared to road bike tyres, so a high volume pump is best. That way you push a lot of air through with each stroke. However, for a booster pump, or to charge a cannister such as the Airshot, you need to pressurise it to well over 100psi. Which makes a high pressure pump the right tool for the job. Some floor pumps let you switch between the two types.