A great-value pump with plenty of plus points and only a few minor issues
I used to think if you’re going to buy a track/floor pump then it makes sense to invest in a tubeless charger version, but I’ve changed my mind. That’s because they’re expensive and they’re a pain to use day-to-day. That’s because the pump part is usually high pressure/small volume and so it takes more strokes to inflate your tyre.
What you really want for mountain bike tyres is a big barrel – high-volume/low-pressure – so you can shift a load of air and get your tyres to the correct pressure quickly.
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. Add a charger canister for seating tubeless tyres (under £50) and it’s still cheaper than most all-in-one options.
There’s also a smart head, which works with either Presta or Schrader valves, although like most it can leak air when you push it on initially. I’m also not sold on the plastic handle – it has these ridges underneath that don’t feel particularly comfortable – but I’m a massive fan of the huge base. This pump just doesn’t topple over.
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. This is a bit of a gimmick, but it at least gets you in the ballpark.
- Best mini pumps for mountain bikers
- Best tool kits for home mechanics
- Best UK mountain bike routes for riding in the rain and bad weather
For tubeless inflating the Cannondale EFP doesn’t shift air like the test-winning Bontrager Dual Charger, but it’s about 20% cheaper and more stable, making it a fantastic first-time buy.