Shock pumps are essential for maintaining the proper air pressure in your shocks. This is essential for all types of mountain bike riding and especially for downhill riding.
With so many shock pumps on the market, it can be confusing to figure out which one is the right model for your shocks.
Analog or digital gauge?
Which type of design is better?
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If you’re in the market for a MTB shock pump, then read on.
Here are the 8 best mountain bike shock pumps in the market today.
Rockshox High Volume Shock Pump
There are enough bike-related items to spend your hard-earned money on. Spending a lot of money on a shock pump may not be in the budget, which is why this affordable shock pump from RockShox is such a great deal.
This high volume shock pump features a maximum 300 psi with an analog gauge. A bleeder valve helps you adjust to the desired pressure. With RockShox behind this pump, you can rest assured it will help you attain the just-right amount of pressure in your shocks.
It may not have the high-quality all-metal build of other more expensive shock pumps, but it offers a great value.
Topeak Pocket Shock DXG Fork & Shock Pump
Ensure your shocks are always set to the right pressure level with this sturdy pump from bike accessories giant Topeak.
Its compact design is small enough to throw in your pack, ensuring that you can fine-tune your shock pressure wherever the need arises. It measures just 8.5” long.
This pump features a durable aluminum tube construction for durability and will reach up to 300 psi. It features an analog gauge and an internal check valve that prevents air from escaping the shock when removing the pump head from the valve. An air-release valve allows you to dial in precise air pressure.
Blackburn Honest Digital Shock Pump
Get durability and precision with this shock pump from Honest Digital. It features a digital readout for exact psi measurements.
A thread-on design keeps the head tightly attached to the valve during inflation. The head also features a zero-leak cut-off that prevents air from leaving the shock while disengaging the valve.
A long 130 mm hose provides enough slack for positioning the pump while still keeping the digital readout in view. The Blackburn Honest Digital pump also includes an air bleeder allowing you to get to the exact psi you need.
This pump is also collapsible down to 8.25”. At a weight of about 9 oz, this pump is compact enough to carry in a hydration pack or even a shirt pocket, allowing for mid-ride suspension adjustments.
Specialized Air Tool Shock Pump
Get plenty of air pressure with quality materials from this shock pump from Specialized. Specialized is known for quality, and it doesn’t disappoint with this shock pump. It features durable construction with an aluminum barrel, handles, and a valve head.
A 300 psi capacity ensures you’ll get your shocks to the right pressure. With its compact design, it’s easy to take on the trail with you. An air bleeder valve allows you to fine-tune your pressure while an easy-to-read analog gauge enables precise pressure settings.
The large T-handle allows you to get a good grip on this pump. A flexible hose enables easy positioning, so you can read the gauge while pumping.
Lezyne Digital Shock Drive Pump
For serious gravity riding and downhill courses, you need a good shock pump on hand to ensure your shocks stay properly inflated during all the work they’ll be doing. But you don’t want to burden yourself with a bulky pump.
This compact digital pump from Lezyne is easy to carry with you. It breaks down to just 8.5″ with a hose that conveniently threads into the handle for storage. It’s also durable with machined aluminum construction, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged.
Lezyne doesn’t compromise on precision either. A digital readout makes pumping to precise settings a breeze, and it pumps up to 350 psi.
Syncros SP2.0 Shock Pump
In order to properly pump up your shocks, you need a shock pump that gives you accurate readings that you can easily see. Syncros provides a large analog gauge, making hitting precise psi levels an easier task.
This pump also features durable construction with an alloy barrel that produces up to 11cc of pressure with each pump. This pump is also compact at just 9.5”. The pump handle doubles as a hose lock, keeping everything neat and tidy for transport.
And, at just 220g, this is a shock pump you won’t mind carrying in your hydration pack or shirt pocket.
A rotating knob allows you to bleed air from your shocks to reach that perfect psi level, while a zero-leak Schrader valve prevents air from escaping when removing the pump head from the valve.
Birzman Zacoo Macht Shock Pump
Birzman, a Taiwan-based company that specializes in bike tools, offers a durable and lightweight shock pump designed for portability. It features a simple machine aluminum design with a short pump hose.
The entire pump measures just 9.5” long and weighs just 84 g. An easy-to-read analog gauge enables you to reach exact psi levels while a threaded head screw easily onto a Schrader valve, preventing the head from coming loose while pumping.
A release valve on the back of the gauge allows for convenient pressure adjustments. An air-lock feature prevents air from escaping when the head is disconnected from the valve. This pump has a pumping capacity of 300 psi.
Having a shock pump is nice, but if you don’t know the right pressure to put into the shocks then the pump may not do you much good. Quarq Shockwiz solves that problem.
This little device connects to your fork or shock’s Schrader valve. As you ride, it begins recording air-pressure data to the tune of 100 times per second. It then uses that data to determine what adjustments should be made to the air pressure, compression, air spring ramp, and rebound in your shocks to maximize performance.
Once your ride is over, use the Quarq app on your smartphone to analyze the data, so you can make the proper adjustments for your next ride.
4 Things to Consider Before Buying a MTB Shock Pump
In this section, we’ll discuss the things you should consider before buying a shock pump.
Analog vs Digital Gauge
Deciding between analog and digital gauge shock pumps is really a matter of preference.
Digital displays allow you to read the gauge more accurately, allowing you to achieve exact pressure levels; however, they require batteries, are more expensive, and are typically heavier.
Given that accuracy is the big selling point for digital gauges, how important is accuracy when it comes to a shock pump gauge?
While being a few psi off may not make much of a difference, it is nice to know the pressure you’re setting in your shocks.
Pump Barrel Materials
The air pressure in a set of shocks is twice as much or more what a standard floor pump for tires can deliver.
In order for these pumps to generate the 300 or more psi needed to inflate shocks, they need to be made with durable material.
You’re creating a lot of air pressure with a shock pump, which means you need to be able to get a good handle on the pump while you’re using it.
This becomes a balancing act with shock pumps as many are designed to go with you on the trail. If the handle is too big, the pump becomes more difficult to carry. Too small and it is difficult to operate.
Some shock pumps will use the tube-shaped handle design similar to frame-mounted bicycle tire pumps, while others will use an easier to grasp t-style handle.
Pump Hose and Head Design
Pump hose designs vary from pump to pump.
Longer pump hoses are easier to use but are more cumbersome for portable pumps, whereas shorter pump hoses are better for portable models but aren’t as easy to use.
Pump heads are threaded to ensure a tight seal to the shock valve. Most pump heads also feature an airlock feature that prevents the air from escaping the shock when being disengaged from the valve.