Carrying around a full-size floor pump for my mountain bike is ridiculous but I still need something to fill up my tire when I get a flat on the trail or just need to fill up on the go. This is why I have decided to look into getting a mini pump to add to my “trail kit”.
What is the Best Mountain Bike Mini Pump?
The best mini pump, in my opinion, is the Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump. This mini pump accommodates both Presta and Schrader style vales. The pump can also quickly change from being a high-volume pump to being a high-pressure pump. This means it can pump up to 120psi! With its lightweight, compact, design this is the most functional mini pump I have been able to buy.
Preferred Materials for a Bike Mini Pump
The Vibrelli mini mountain bike pump is engineered from a special aluminum alloy for a sturdy structure, while maintain a lightweight design. The alloy the Vibrelli company decided to use was the 6061-aluminum alloy. This did not mean anything to me either until I researched it some more and found out that this is actually the same metal that is used to make many airplanes. I assume they decided to use this alloy because of its impressive structural capabilities even in lightweight designs. Something you can imagine would be imperative in the construction of an airplane.
What this all means for you as a mountain biker is that the Vibrelli mini pump will last you a long time. It also means that when you throw it in your bag or mount it to the frame of your mountain bike, you are not even going to notice it is there.
If you’d like to check out the mountain bike pump I recommend I’ve included a link to Amazon for the VIBRELLI Mini Bike Pump.
Best Size Mini Pump for a Mountain Bike
As I mentioned, the Vibrelli mountain bike mini pump sports an incredibly lightweight design. Coming in at only 5.3oz and 9 inches long this mountain bike pump is perfect to throw in a “trail kit”. Moreover, the Vibrelli comes with a mounting adapter included in the box. This means that when mounted to your bikes frame you will always have a mountain bike pump with you.
How to Attachment the Mini Pump to Your Mountain Bike
This mountain bike mini pump has what Vibrelli is calling their “Super Fit Clever Valve”. All advertising jargon aside what this means is that without changing anything about the pump itself you can use this with both the Presta and Shrader style mountain bike tire valves. No valve changes necessary! Also, it means that with both styles valves the mini pump will connect snuggly as to prevent any leaks.
Additionally, included in the box, as a bonus which really impressed me, is a needle adapter for sports balls. Having the capability to become an extremely high quality sports ball pump simply by twisting on a needle adapter is something that really adds functionality to this mountain bike mini pump.
A Mini Pump Needs to Be Usable
Using the Vibrelli mini mountain bike pump is extremely simple. Due to the “Super Fit Clever Valve” no matter what style valve you have, all you need to do is attach the pump, push in the thumb lock located on the back of the pump head, and begin pumping.
To switch from the high-volume capability of this pump to the high-pressure capability is also very simple. This mountain bike pump has a feature which Vibrelli is calling its “expandable telescope”. This means that, after fully extending the pump, you can twist the black ring with the arrows on it to unlock the pump and extended it even further for high pressure tires. It is recommended that you only use this high-pressure functionality after filling the tire most of the way up with the high-volume capability.
What are other Folks Saying about the Vibrelli Mini Pump
Reviews for this mountain bike mini pump are overwhelmingly positive. At the time of writing this, on Amazon, the Vibrelli mini pump has a fantastic rating! With a over 2300 customer reviews contributing to that rating this is quite the accomplishment by Vibrelli.
The picture below links to AMAZON if you’d like to check out the reviews and price.
The negative reviews this mini pump received, however, all seem to come from either improper use by the customer or a misunderstanding on the use case of a mini pump. Many people complain that it takes a while to pump air into the tire and is not as efficient as they expected. What they don’t realize is that the hope is that you will never need to use your mini pump. A mountain bike mini pump is something that is used only in the scenario where you get a flat while on the trail and just need something, small and lightweight to carry around, which will pump up the tire until you can get it home. As I said before, a mini pump will not replace a regular floor pump and, therefore, will not fill a tire as efficiently.
What Additional Parts Come with the Vibrelli Mini Pump
While I have already talked about the included needle adapter for filling sports balls, which again is extremely convenient, another bonus which is included with this mountain bike mini pump is a patch kit. This patch kit is completely glueless and perfect for on the trail emergency situations. It comes with a small carrying case that does not attach to the mounting adapter and will need to be carried separately either on your person or in a pouch. This mountain bike tire repair kit is pocket-sized and perfect for someone who needs a lightweight way to ensure they can repair their bike in worst case scenarios.
Other Uses for a Mini Pump
As I explained before, this is not meant to be the only air pump you own. The number one use-case for this, or any, mountain bike mini pump is an emergency. Having this in mind, I know a lot of people use these for many other emergency case scenarios than mountain biking and getting a flat tire on the trail. Many people like to keep these in their baby strollers, those which use air filled tires anyways.
Some use cases in which I would absolutely not recommend trying to use a mini pump are those which require a high volume of air. Some examples include use with: motorcycle tires, car tires, commercial or residential lawn equipment tires, and pretty much any tire that is not on a mountain bike. This is because a mountain bike mini pump can only output small volumes of air by a single pump and therefore can cause pumping to take a long time even with something such as a mountain bike tire. Usage with the above-mentioned tires would take an unimaginable amount of time to complete.
Other Recommended “Mountain Bike Trail Kit” Items
Some other items I always try to have on me whenever I go mountain biking include…
- A Multi-Tool for making on the go adjustments or repairs.
- Chain lubrication for if my chain is locking up or is difficult to turn.
- A tire lever (Note: many multi-tools will come equipped with one but I have found them extremely difficult to use and also quite fragile)
- A spare derailleur hanger. This is the most common part to break while on the trail and can be quickly fixed on the trail.
- A spare spoke with nipple. This is also a very common part to break so it is always a good idea to have one on you just in case.
- Chainring bolts. While less common to break as a derailleur hanger or spoke these do occasionally get rattled off if you are riding particularly aggressively. Keeping a spare set can stop your ride from being cut short.
- A Master Link. A master link can fix broken chain links and give you a quick fix until you can get home and properly repair or replace your mountain bikes chain.
Read about the full on-trail mountain biking gear I recommend in this article. Ultimate Tool Kit for Mountain Biking
Another Kind of Portable Mountain Bike pump to Consider
Many mountain bikers nowadays carry with them what is called a CO2 inflator. This is a compact tire inflator that works by using pressurized CO2 cartridges to quickly inflate your mountain bike tire in an emergency situation. The only problem with these types of inflators is that you have to keep buying CO2 cartridges as they are only usable for one inflation and then must be thrown away. Additionally, most of these inflators can only be used for one of the two types of valves. In contrast, a mountain bike mini pump can always be used and is always available for use when you need it, with most mini pumps being compatible with both types of valve styles.
Be ready for those flat tires, carry a patch kit, an extra tube and a way to inflate your tire. I recommend the Vibrelli Mini Tire Pump (Amazon link) because it has rescued me out on the trail.