A flat tire on the road is not the end - assuming the rider is prepared for the situation. No matter if road bike, trekking or mountain bike, amateurs and professionals keep a mini pump as part of the absolute basic equipment next to their tube and/or puncture repair kit. Manufacturers such as Contec, Zefal or Crankbrothers know this and therefore offer a wide range to choose from. Yet one mini pump is not the same as another mini-pump and even here there are key differences.
Race, trekking, MTB: this is what the pump must handle
Depending on the purpose of the pump it must satisfy various requirements. A road bike pump is usually designed for Presta/Sclaverand valves, often however, the models also provide combination valves or valve adapters for auto valves. Because racing bikes often ride on high air pressures of up to 10 bar, the pump must be able to compress air accordingly. Many MTBs contain auto valves, as such the MTB mini pumps are equipped with combination valves. They usually reach up to a maximum pressure of 6 bar. Since a mountain bike pump usually comes into contact with dirt and moisture, the valve opening is in most cases protected by a cap.
This is what the various materials provide
Both MTB and road bikers enjoy pump models which are particularly small and lightweight. Lightweight and shockproof pumps are made of aluminum, and even plastic models are robust and widespread.
CO2 pumps and special equipment
Pumps with CO2 cartridge pressure are used where time is of essence. Unlike traditional hand pumps, they release their content within seconds into the tube. To check the air pressure, a built-in pump pressure gauge is helpful. Models from Airace feature an extendable valve head which makes working with the mini pump more comfortable.
Mini pumps must be part of the basic equipment. If you need to store your pump in a jersey pocket, then a particularly small one should suffice, however a high quality holder is needed for a mounting frame. Road bikers often prefer CO2 cartridge systems because they save valuable time. Important: Road bike tires must be checked for the suitability of high air pressure!