best mountain bike shock pumps

10 Best Mountain Bike Shock Pumps Reviews 2019 – Cyclist Daily Needs

A shock pump is an absolute necessity of every mountain bike owner. This is especially true if your bike an air fork or a rear air shock. You cannot use a standard bike pump to adjust the pressure in your shock or fork. This is because such pumps can't get enough pressure (without a struggle). A shock pump is essential for fine-tuning the bike's suspension.

Unfortunately, finding a shock pump is no easy fit. The market is full of dozens of products. Each seller or manufacturer makes fantastic claims about their shock pump. To an average buyer, this creates for a confusing situation. This is precisely why we created this guide. Our goal is to simplify your shopping experience by telling you what to look for.

Having examined dozens of shock pumps on the market, we have selected the top 10. These are the ones highest rated by mountain bikers. A great mountain bike pump should be precise, easy-to-use, accurate and durable. It should also have some key features (see our buying guide below).

mountain bike shock

These top 10 products provide the best combination of performance, durability, and value-for-money. They aren't presented in a particular order. Whatever your needs, we are confident that you can find the perfect shock pump among these 10 products. So, let's get started.

Comparison Table Of MTB Shock Pumps

Fox Racing Shox Shock Pump 027-00-007

Despite its rather cryptic name, the Shox 027-00-007 packs quite a punch. It is a robust, well-built and ergonomic shock pump. The thing which immediately catches your eye is the over-sized pressure gauge. This means you won't have to squint your eyes to read the gauge.

The hand grip of the pump is ergonomic. This makes pumping a breeze. The hose is also long and flexible. It also swivels in all directions and so can be easily attached to your air shock. The shock pump comes with a bleed valve which releases air in bursts of around 5psi. You can, therefore, fine-tune your air pressure to your preferred levels.

All these features come in a product with a solid build. You can rest assured that the Shox 027-00-007 will last you a while. The only downside of this shock pump is the maximum of 150psi. This means that if your air shock goes beyond that, it won't help you much.

Things we like:

  • It has a large pressure gage which makes it easy to monitor while pumping.
  • It has a bleed valve for releasing excess air.
  • It has a thick, flexible hose which swivels 360 degrees.
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    It has a large ergonomic grip.

Things we don't like:

  • It has a maximum pressure capacity of 150 psi.

RockShox High-Pressure Shock Pump (300 psi max)

This can be considered mid-range in the line of RockShox High-Pressure shock pumps. Its 300 psi maximum capacity is dwarfed by its cousin which reaches a whopping 600 psi. This shock pump is also a comparatively new to the market compared to its counterparts. Still, it is a rock solid product.

This shock pump is efficient, accurate and easy to use. The pumping mechanism is consistent even as the pressure increases. You don't have to exert greater energy at higher pressure levels. The shock pump is also quite lightweight – compared to its counterparts. The only downside is that it loses pressure (around 15 to 20 psi) when detaching the valve.

Things we like:

  • It has a maximum pressure of 300 psi.
  • It is small and lightweight (weighs 208 g).
  • It is strong, durable and easy to use.
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    Its pressure gauge is accurate and easy to read.

Things we don't like:

  • It loses about 15 to 20 psi when detaching the valve.
  • It has a plain rubber hose (not braided) which is not as strong as braided hoses.

Topeak Pocket Shock DXG

Lightweight, precise and durable, the Topeak DXG is a product even a pro biker would be proud to have. This shock pump seems to back everything a biker needs. This shock pump reaches absolute accuracy – with a gauge that is easy to read. It has a bleed valve for fine-tuning the suspension to exactly how you need it.

The standout feature of the Topeak DXG is the Pressure-Rite' connector. This uses a two-part connection mechanism with separate attachments for the needle and valve. The end result is almost no air loss during pumping – a fact which makes this pump extremely easy to use. This ease of use is boosted by the rotating hose. This makes it easy to attach to the rear shock valve. 

Things we like:

  • It is small, lightweight (170g/0.37lb) and portable which makes it easy to move around with.
  • It is constructed out of high-quality materials and is thus durable.
  • Has a pressure-rite shock valve which minimizes air loss during pumping.
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    It has a color-coded gauge which simplifies tracking your pumping efforts.
  • It can deliver air pressure up to 300psi (20.7 bars).
  • It has a bleed valve makes it easy to fine-tune the pressure by releasing excess pressure.

Things we don't like:

  • The location of the bleed valve makes it easy to accidentally press.

Fox High Pressure Shock Pump

This shock pump is considered somewhat a classic. Experienced bikers know the Fox High Pressure as one of the first to introduce the low volume cylinder. Most bike pumps use high volume cylinders. These are great for low-pressure applications, however, for high volume applications, they are difficult to pump. They get harder as the number of psi increases. Low volume cylinders make it easy for pumping high pressures.

The Fox is also among the first to introduce bleed valves and pressure levels of up to 300psi. With this pump, you get a product which is loved and trusted with bikers. Despite shock pumps with more advanced features entering the market, the Fox High Pressure Shock Pump still remains a best-seller on Amazon.

Things we like:

  • It has pressure levels of up to 300 psi.
  • It uses a low volume cylinder which makes it easy to pump in the high pressure situation.
  • It contains a bleed valve for fine-tuning the amount of pressure.
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    It has a solid built and is therefore robust and durable.

Things we don't like:

  • The coupler nut spin is limited. This means that to fully attach it to a valve, you need to turn the whole unit. This is quite inconvenient and can get awkward in a bike with cables in the way.

RockShox High-Pressure Shock Pump (600 psi)

This shock pump is built to handle the highest capacity air shocks available on the market. At 600 psi maximum capacity – it is the undoubted king of shock pumps. Well, it certainly reigns supreme in terms of capacity.

In other respects (build, strength, and performance), it is similar to the RockShox High Pressure (300psi). However, its hose is very detailed (naturally), and the pump is amazingly accurate even at lower temperatures.

The shock pump has a bleed valve which makes it great for fine-tuning. Its hose is flexible and is connected via a swivel joint. This makes usage very easy. The entire pump is coated in matte black – which makes it quite cool.

Things we like:

  • It has a maximum pressure of 600 psi which means it can handle all air shocks out there.
  • It has a bleed valve which simplifies fine-tuning.
  • Its hose has a swivel joint which simplifies usage.
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    Its gauge is detailed and accurate.

Things we don't like:

  • The pump is quite long. Its folded length is 340mm which makes it not very portable compared to its counterparts.
  • The pressure gauge is quite small for its range. Taking readings isn't very easy.

RockShox High Pressure Digital

The standout feature of the RockShox High-Pressure is pumping in the high-pressure ranges. In most cases, shock pumps become harder once you go above 150p psi. The higher you go – the harder it gets to pump. This shock pump has no problems. The amount of energy you exert remains uniform. This makes it easy to attain high pressures without breaking a sweat.

The digital display is, of course, a bonus. It means you can keep track of the pressure at a glance. This product is also on the low-end of the digital product range. And yet its quality matches that of its higher-priced counterparts. It is thus a great choice for someone looking for a digital shock pump.

Things we like:

  • It has a digital display.
  • It has relatively high accuracy.
  • It is quite cheap.
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    It bleeds little air at the point of detachment.

Things we don't like:

  • The readings can fluctuate widely if not properly attached to the air shock.
  • Needs to be tightly screwed in order to work well.

Fox Racing Shox 300 PSI Digital Shock Pump 027-00-010

Digital shock pumps are generally easy to read. All you need is one glance to know the pressure. The Fox Racing 027-00-010 is no exception. With a maximum capacity of 300 psi, this pump will serve most purposes. The pump is also quite robust and easy to use. Essentially, it is a great product for anyone looking for a shock pump.

However, this pump has some major weaknesses. The biggest one is the battery. The digital display is powered by a battery. Unfortunately, the battery is inbuilt without a cover for opening it easily. To access the battery, you need to unscrew and open up the entire unit. This is extremely inconveniencing – given that the battery runs out after prolonged use.

The pump also doesn't have a press-release valve. You have to unscrew it to release excess air. This is of course inconvenient. An inbuilt press-release system would have made the unit more user-friendly. Fortunately, there's a newer version of the Fox Shox digital which fixes these problems.

Things we like:

  • It has a maximum capacity of 300 psi.
  • It has a digital pressure gauge which is easy to read.
  • It provides accurate readings.
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    It is easy to use.

Things we don't like:

  • It leaks air when unscrewing from the valve.
  • It has an inbuilt battery without a mechanism to easily remove it.
  • It has no bleed valve.

Rambo R107 Buzzy's Pollinator 300 PSI Shock Pump

The Rambo R107 is the kind of shock pump a typical biker would love to have. This is because it comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect in a shock pump. For starters, it has a maximum pressure of 300 psi. This makes it great for most air shocks and forks on the market.

This pump is built to maintain ease-of-use even at higher pressures. This means you can attain maximum pressure without breaking a sweat. The head has an anti-leak cuck which minimizes air loss during inflation. It also has a pressure-release valve (bleed valve) to release excess pressure. The bump has an inflation needle which makes it adaptable for other purposes e.g. inflating balls.

The entire unit is built to simplify usage. It comes with an ergonomic grip for easy pumping. It also has a large pressure gauge which is both easy-to-use and accurate. The gauge can be detached from the pump and parked separately during travel.

Things we like:

  • It has a maximum capacity of 300 psi.
  • It has a large, easy-to-read and accurate pressure gauge.
  • It has a detachable pressure gauge for easy storage during travels.
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    It has an anti-leak chuck which immunizes air loss during pumping.
  • It comes with a bleed valve for fine-tuning the pressure levels.

Things we don't like:

  • It is inaccurate for measuring very small pressures (0 to 10 psi). The needle doesn't move until the pressure reaches 10psi.
  • Some users complain that the pump is too long for pumping suspension locks which makes it awkward to operate.

Fox Racing Shox Digital Pump

This is the newer version of the Fox Racing 027-00-010 (#7 above). As such, it is an improvement on the former. The greatest improvement is that the battery is much easier to replace. The other features are pretty much the same (i.e. 300 psi, a digital gauge and ease of use).

The major problem with this pump arises when you want to read the existing pressure. Simply attaching it will not work. You need to give the pump 2 or 3 pumps before it syncs with the shock and reads the pressure. This is of course quite inconveniencing. The good news is that once it can read the pressure, the readings are very accurate.

Things we like:

  • It has a maximum capacity of 300 psi.
  • It has a digital pressure gauge which is easy to read.
  • It provides accurate readings.
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    It is easy to use.

Things we don't like:

  • It leaks air when unscrewing from the valve.
  • It has no bleed valve.
  • It requires a few pumps to read existing pressure.

Zefal Z Shock 360 PSI Bicycle Pump

At first glance, the Zefal Z seems to check all the right boxes. Its maximum capacity of 360 psi places it slightly ahead of most shock pumps on the market (which max out at 300psi). The pump is produced by Zefal – one of the top brands in bike accessories market. The pump has a rotating hose, pressure regulator (bleed valve) and a large pressure gauge. Essentially, it seems to offer everything a biker would want in a shock pump.

The problem seems with execution. Testing the pump reveals flaws in the build. For starters, the head doesn't fit snugly on most shock valves. This means that there is plenty of air leakage during pumping. In fact, the pump can mysteriously suck all the pressure out of your air shock. Why it does this is totally unexplainable. You simply attach it and within seconds, the gauge is reading 0psi.

Things we like:

  • It boasts of a maximum capacity of 360psi.
  • It has a rotating hose and bleeds valve.

Things we don't like:

  • Its head doesn't fit snugly on most valves.
  • It leaks a lot of air during pumping.
  • It can leak all the air out of an air shock after being attached.

Why do we need bicycle shock pumps?

You need a shock pump to fine-tune your mountain bike's suspension. This is important when you have an air fork or rear air shock on your mountain bike. You cannot use a standard bike pump because it doesn't go up to enough pressure. A shock pump is what you need for attaining the required psi.

A bike's suspension helps to improve comfort, control, and traction on rocky terrain or potholed roads. It works sort of like shock absorbers on a car – protecting you from to bumps on a rocky terrain. This not only protects you, but it also enables you to enjoy your ride.

The suspension is fine-tuned by using compression and rebound adjustments. This controls how much the rear wheel moves. The amount of pressure in the air shock determines the amount of compression and rebound. You need different settings depending on the terrain you will ride in, your weight and riding style.

A shock pump is what helps you to fine-tune the suspension adjustments. It does this by enabling you to either add pressure or remove pressure – depending on your needs. The end result is that your mountain bike is set exactly the way you want it. You can then hit the road and have a great time.

The Buying Guide (How to choose a mountain bike shock pump?)

The market is full of scores of mountain bike shock pumps. And each manufacturer or seller makes fantastic claims about its product. How do you choose the right one? Well, the answer is simple. You need to know what to look out for. There are five major components of a mountain bike shock pump. When shopping for a shock pump, these are the things to consider:

Pressure Gauge

The Pressure gauge is also referred to as a precision gauge. This is what used to measure the air pressure in the rear shock. You use this to adjust the pressure by either pumping in the air or bleeding air from the shock.

shock pump gauge

There are two major types of gauges i.e. analog gauges (which look like the face of a clock or compass) and digital gauges. The analog gauges usually have a needle or arm which moves to indicate the amount of pressure. The digital gauges display the pressure in the form of digits.

Whether you choose digital or analog is a matter of preference. There is no performance difference between the two. Some prefer digital displays because they're easy to read. The analogs may be trickier to read – especially if you're a novice. Even then, it doesn't take long to get used.

When choosing an analog pressure gauge, you need to consider the maximum number of psi displayed. A good gage should display up to 300psi. This will make it robust enough to handle all other possible pressure settings.

The Handle

The handle (also known as the T-handle) is the grip for handling the pump while pumping. The grip needs to be large and well-cushioned enough for you to pump easily. This will depend on the size of your hands. A small handle can be a pain to pump with – since you cannot exert maximum strength while pumping.

mountain bike handlebar

Hose

This is also called the air hose. It channels air from the pump to the air shock. There are two things that matter in a hose i.e. flexibility and length. A good hose should be flexible enough to adjust to the placement of the valve. This will enable you to pump from different positions. The hose should also be long enough for you to pump comfortably

shock pump hose

The Head

This is what you use to attach the shock pump to the air shock valve. There are two things which are important in the head. The first is flexibility. A head which can turn 360 degrees makes it easy to attach to the shock valve. Any degree of flexibility is better than no flexibility.

bike pump head

The second thing is a zero-loss connector. This is designed to prevent air loss during pumping and detachment. Not all pumps have such a connector. For those which don't have, you can hear air escaping even during pumping. This means that it takes longer (and more effort) to pump up enough pressure.

Bleed Valve

This is also called a micro-bleed valve. It is used to remove excess pressure from the air shock. This is important for fine-tuning your air shock compression/rebound settings.

shock pump bleed valve
bleed valve

Final Verdict

One product which ticks all the right boxes is Topeak Pocket Shock DXG. It is robust, durable, accurate, and has all the features you need to fine-tune your bike's suspension. To further sweeten the deal, it is small, compact and portable. Basically, it is the mountain shock pump you would need on your biking adventures. Basically, unless you need a psi capacity beyond the 300 that Topeak Pocket Shock DXG offers, you will not find a better product on the market.

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