The Blackburn Core Pro is one of the Best Bike Pumps available
Testing bike pumps in Minneapolis; photo credit: Kurt Barclay

The Best Bike Pumps of 2021

One of the most unappreciated pieces of gear for any cyclist is the humble bike pump. You can have the lightest bike, the most bomber shocks, and the sickest racing shades, but without air in your tires, you’re not going anywhere.

Despite its relegation to some forgotten corner of the garage, bike pumps are always there when you need them. The best bicycle tire pumps are reliable, fast, and, in the case of mini bike pumps, easy to carry with you if you get a flat on the road. While they seem simple, the best bike pumps come with features that make filling your tires easier and faster.

We’ve looked at a variety of pumps with high-capacity barrels, pressure gauges, and varying pump settings to find you the best bicycle pump for however you ride. What follows is the best of the bunch.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the category you’re looking for:

For more help choosing the best bike pump, check out our buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions at the end of this article.

The Best Bike Pumps of 2021

Best Overall: Topeak JoeBlow Sport III

topeak joeblow sport iii

The JoeBlow Sport III ($50) pump from Topeak wins the top spot on this list thanks to its combination of versatility and durability. This pump not only works with Presta, Schrader, and Dunlop valves, but it also includes adapters to fill sports balls and air bladders.

The hose dock keeps the hose attached to the pump and the head off the floor when not in use. This keeps the head safe from being stepped on or run over as you pull your car into the garage.

A rotating connection keeps the hose from tangling and lets you fill your tires at different angles. The oversized dual-density polymer pump handle is easy and comfortable to use.

The gauge is fixed at the base. At 3 inches, it’s easy to read and sports a chronograph-style face. There’s also a pressure indicator, so you can pump your tires with precision. On top of that, the steel barrel and base are extremely durable, making this the best bicycle floor pump we’ve seen.

  • Type: Floor pump
  • Max psi: 160
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 11 oz.

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Runner-Up: Blackburn Designs Core Pro Floor Pump

Blackburn Pro Core Bike Pump

This pump is sturdy, stylish, and hard-working. The 29-inch alloy barrel is the largest in Blackburn’s lineup and makes pumping more efficient. The AirTap head fits Presta, Schrader, and Dunlop valves, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility.

We’re also big fans of the extended hose. With a length of 51 inches, you can easily air up while your bikes are still loaded in the truck or favorite bike rack.

We found the gauge on the Core Pro ($100) to be accurate and easy to read. It has a max psi of 180, and the inline air-release button makes it easier to quickly hit the right pressure.

All in all, this is an incredibly durable and reliable bike pump. It’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the quality and durability make it a worthy investment for regular riders. Not to mention, it looks great and will easily add a bit of bike mechanic chic to your garage.

  • Type: Floor pump
  • Max psi: 180
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 13 oz.

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Best Budget: BV Ergonomic Floor Pump

bv ergonomic floor pump

For the price, it’s hard to go wrong with BV’s Ergonomic Floor Pump ($31). The star of this pump is the dual-sided head.

It works with Schrader valves on one side and Presta and Dunlop valves on the other. The head provides a secure, tight seal and minimal air loss when you remove the head, so the psi you read on the gauge is what you’ll have in the tire when you ride.

The steel barrel provides durability, and it sports a 34-inch hose. The pump also comes with a needle for filling sports balls and an attachment for inflatable devices like rafts and pool toys. Both of these are attached to the hose. This allows for easy access and helps prevent misplacing these small pieces.

The low price comes with some costs, however. The small pressure gauge is hard to read, so be ready to squint while you pump.

Also, the head’s tight fit comes with a stiff locking mechanism that is difficult to secure. The base is also relatively small, which makes it more unstable than other floor pumps on this list.

  • Type: Floor pump
  • Max psi: 160
  • Weight: 2 lbs.

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Best Portable Bike Pump: Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump

pro bike tool mini bike pump

For a good blend of price and portability, it’s hard to beat the Mini Bike Pump ($30) from Pro Bike Tool. This slick-looking pump features a removable flexible hose with a Schrader valve fit on one end and a Presta valve on the other. The hose also features an integrated pressure gauge.

At 7.5 inches long and under 5 ounces, it mounts onto a bike frame easily without adding a lot of weight. It will also fit easily into a pack or jersey pocket.

The CNC-machined aluminum body is durable and grooved for a solid grip while pumping. The multiple color options will blend in with any bike.

Despite its small size, the pump can reach up to 100 psi with a good number of pumps. The rubber and the thread-on air chucks prevent air loss. It performs well with high-pressure and high-volume tires, although the hand pump resistance increases greatly at higher pressures.

The only real complaint we’ve found with the Mini is that the integrated gauge limits the hose flex a bit. Besides that, the Mini is a perfect blend of price and utility, making it the best mini bike pump we’ve seen yet.

Type: Portable

Max psi: 100

Weight: 4.5 oz.

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Best Portable Floor Pump: Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital

 

lezyne micro floor drive digital

If you’re looking for the most pumping power out of a portable pump, Lezyne’s Micro Floor Drive Digital is your pick. At $85, it’s on the pricier side of micro-pumps, but it provides the power of a full-size floor pump.

It fits easily into a hydration pack and at under half a pound, you won’t even notice it’s there. Until you need it, that is. If you ride through a goat head thorn patch and you need to do a quick repair, this pump will get you back on the trail in no time.

The small kick-down foot pedal lets you put your weight into your pumps. Most mountain bike tires will be filled up in roughly 100 pumps.

The digital pressure gauge is accurate to about 1 psi, and the air bleed system lets you dial in the perfect pressure in your tires. The hose features a 360-degree swiveling base to prevent twisting or binding up.

The Micro Floor Drive Digital is bigger than most micro pumps, so you’ll want to carry it in a hydration pack or backpack. But if you hit some gnarly trails and you usually ride with a pack anyway, this is the pump for you.

  • Type: Portable/Floor
  • Max psi: 160
  • Weight: 7.3 oz.

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Best Fat Tire Bike Pump: Topeak JoeBlow Dualie

Topeak JoeBlow Dualie Fat Tire Bike Pump

Can’t get enough time on your fat tire bike? This could be the pump for you. Designed specifically for high-volume tires, low-pressure tires, fat bike tires, and midrange mountain bike tires, the JoeBlow Dualie ($70) is a feature-rich pump.

Most floor pumps have a 30mm barrel diameter, but the Dualie clocks in at 44.4 mm. This extra space allows for a larger air fill (meaning fewer pumps).

The dual gauges have also proven super useful. One gauge reads from 0-30 psi for airing up the fat bike. And the other ranges from 0-75 psi for standard mountain bike tires.

It’s worth noting that many road bike tires require 100+ psi, so this pump is not well suited to that use. But for fat bike tires, it can’t be beat.

This floor pump has a plastic base and a comfortable bike grip handle. We also like the extra-long hose. It has a TwinHead valve connector and air release button.

Editor’s note: The Dualie is temporarily out of stock, but will be restocked soon.

  • Type: Floor
  • Max psi: 75
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 3 oz.

Check Price at Topeak

Best of the Rest

Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Digital

lezyne classic drive floor pump

There’s a lot to like about Lezyne’s Classic Drive Floor Pump ($69). At first glance, the aesthetics are some of the best we’ve seen.

Gone are the plastic components and bright neon colors. Instead, the Classic sports a machined aluminum base, varnished wood handle, and steel barrel with an understated paint finish.

The ABS 1 Pro Flip-Thread Chuck head is compatible with Presta, Dunlop, and Schrader valves. Its threaded connection is a huge plus as well. It provides an airtight seal, so no air is lost with any pump.

It also prevents the head from flying off the valve if you get too ambitious with your pumping. The head also features an integrated valve core removal tool. The pressure gauge is mounted on the base, but the large 3.5-inch base makes it easy to read.

The aluminum base features a clip for the head. When not in use, the hose wraps snugly around the top and attaches at the base. This prevents tangling and keeps the head safe from errant feet or tires when not in use.

Running it over might not be an issue, though. With a pump that looks this good, you might want to display it in your living room.

  • Type: Floor pump
  • Max psi: 220
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 12 oz.

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Crankbrothers Sterling Bike Floor Pump

crankbrothers sterling bike floor pump

Made of corrosion-resistant lightweight aluminum throughout the body, the Sterling Bike Floor Pump ($70) from Crankbrothers combines versatility, strength, and light weight.

The smart valve automatically adjusts for Presta and Schrader valves. It also contains needle and plastic adapters, so you can pump up sports balls and flotation devices as well.

This versatility really makes the Sterling stand out among floor pumps. Besides the self-adjusting valve, it also features a foot-activated switch. This switch changes the pump from a high-volume pump to a high-pressure pump. This is a great feature for cyclists who ride different bikes.

The three-footed base is incredibly stable, which is great for cranking down and getting up to a higher psi. Additionally, the analog pressure gauge sits about a third of the way up the body for an easier view.

  • Type: Floor
  • Max psi: 160
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz.

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Bontrager Dual Charger Floor Pump

bontrager dual charger floor pump

The Dual Charger Floor Pump ($70) from Bontrager is another pump that is ideal for cyclists who go back and forth between road and mountain bikes. The quick-flip switch on the base lets users select high-volume inflation (for MTB tires) and high psi (for road bikes).

It also includes a ball needle and nozzle attachments. Likewise, the high-pressure setting works for basketballs and footballs. The high-volume setting will inflate rafts and other inflatables faster. Adding to the Dual Charger’s versatile nature is the autoselect head, which instantly fits both Presta and Shrader valves.

The wide tripod base adds stability and prevents tipping over. A large 4-inch base-mounted gauge is easy to read.

The steel construction is durable, and the internals are replaceable. So, if any parts wear out, you can replace the pieces, rather than buying a whole new pump.

  • Type: Floor
  • Max psi: 160
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 11 oz.

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Silca Tattico Mini

silca tattico mini 

For such a small pump, it’s impressive to see how many features that Silca managed to fit into the Tattico Mini ($55). The first thing you’ll notice is the inverted design.

The hose and valve are hidden inside the inner chamber (as opposed to the outer cylinder). This unique design adds up to 10% more air per stroke than pumps of similar length.

Also, the Tattico uses a rubber cup seal instead of an O-ring to seal the pump. O-rings lose effectiveness as heat builds up and the cylinder expands. The Tattico’s adaptable rubber cup seal grows with the tube, ensuring a tight seal and solid efficiency even as temperatures rise.

Silca also added temperature control designs. A heat sink hidden at the end of the barrel absorbs the heat you generate as you pump.

Additionally, the handle features an insulating air gap to help keep hands cool. Not only is it more comfortable, but it also minimizes hand sweat. These features, combined with the knurling on the aluminum alloy barrel, help you keep your grip as you fill your tires.

  • Type: Portable
  • Max psi: 100
  • Weight: 5.4 oz.

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Bike Pump

Secure Attachment

For the most part, when you’re fixing a flat, you’re already in a frustrating situation. Having a pump that’s a pain to work with only makes things worse. When you’re choosing a bike pump, it pays to have one that is reliable and easy to use.

The first step to that is to find a pump that offers a secure fit onto your tire’s valve. Many pumps have hose heads that you just push on to the tire valve. This often works, but you can lose air if it’s not secure. It can also lead to disconnection while you pump.

A loose connection can let air escape as you pump, requiring more pumps to fill your tire. Losing air between the valve and the head of your pump also adds to the time it takes to fill it up. That leads to more time spent pumping away and less time on your bike. Nobody wants that.

Even worse, a loose connection can lead to the pump head popping off the valve of your bike. This means you need to stop pumping and reapply the hose. After this happens three or four times, you might be ready to chuck everything into the bushes and walk home.

When you consider shopping for bike pumps, look for a pump with a threaded connection. This means that the head of the hose actually screws on to the valve. This provides a secure, airtight seal between the pump and the tire.

Ease of Use

A pump that’s complicated and difficult to use is not going to help your situation. You don’t need your hands slipping off your pump or the hose popping off the valve while you try to fill your tire.

Mini-pumps are what you’ll be using when you do field repairs. As there’s no foot pedal for extra torque, your hands are doing all the work.

Mini-pumps usually take at least 100 pumps to fill a tire. So, it’s likely that your hands will be tired and sweaty by the time you fill it up. Look for a mini-pump with a solid grip. Many pumps have knurling on the edges, which helps your hands keep a solid grip on the pump.

Also, some mini-pumps are designed to minimize heat buildup. This not only minimizes hand sweat but also keeps the pump from breaking down over time. If you usually ride with a pack, there are some mini-pumps with foot pedals available. Take a look at the list above for some of the best options.

Floor Pumps

If you’re looking for a pump for your garage or shop, there are a few other things to consider. Floor pumps need to be stable, so look for a pump with wide or long footpegs.

Most floor pumps come with two footpegs, but some come with a third peg for more lateral stability. This comes in especially handy when you’re bearing down on the pump to hit that higher psi.

The handle is also important when it comes to comfort. Larger, longer handles are generally more comfortable when using a bike pump. This is mostly because larger handles don’t dig in as much.

We’re also fans of the feel of wood handles on floor pumps. If you’re looking for more comfort, some floor pumps feature padded handles.

Speed of Inflation

The speed of inflation depends on the amount of air you can move into the tire per pump. So, it makes sense that if portability isn’t an issue, floor pumps are the fastest way to inflate your tires. The larger body takes in and expels more air per pump.

Because you don’t have to worry about carrying it on your back or mounting it on your bike, floor pumps can be built with bigger bodies and carry a higher volume of air. This is a huge issue, especially when it comes to mountain bike or fat bike tires. Some pumps are built specifically for use with high-volume tires like these.

The bigger bodies pull more air in and compress that air on the downward push. Often, these high-volume pumps have a switch somewhere, usually on the base.

This switch allows the pump to change from high-volume pumping (for MTB and fat bikes) to high-pressure (for road bikes). These are a great option for cyclists who ride a wide variety of bikes.

Mini-Pumps

Because they have smaller bodies, mini-pumps take longer to fill a tire than a floor pump. Their portability requires smaller bodies, which means far less volume per pump than floor pumps.

When referring to mini-pumps, the speed of inflation depends largely on how easy it is to use. Look for a mini-pump with a solid grip, as your hands will be doing most of the work. A mini-pump with textured handles or knurling machined onto the grip will work well for maintaining a solid hold.

Guaranteeing a tight seal between the hose and valve is also a factor. A good screw-on hose head can minimize the loss of air when you pump. This lowers the number of pumps (and the time) that it takes to fill your tire.

best bike pumps
Photo credit: Amazon

Stability

When it comes to floor pumps, stability primarily comes from the base. As pressure builds in your bike tires, pumping becomes more difficult and you must bear down on the pump.

When you apply this weight, there is an increased chance of the pump tipping over. This can result in frustration, damage to the pump or yourself, and if anyone else is around, hilarity.

Most pumps combat this by making longer, wider footpegs to create a more stable base. If stability is your priority, look for a floor pump with three legs. This creates a stabilizing tripod effect and helps prevent tipping. Take a look at our list above for some three-legged options.

With the vast majority of mini-pumps, you’re holding it in your hands as you pump. The base isn’t the issue, as these pumps generally don’t have one.

For mini-pumps, stability refers more to grip and the hose’s ability to stay on the valve. Hose heads that screw directly onto a valve ensure a stable connection, which prevents the hose from popping off while you pump. This is especially important with mini-pumps, as they have much shorter hoses.

As a result, it’s a lot more likely that you’ll accidentally tug on the hose as you pump. A screw-on hose head keeps your hose secure if you accidentally pull it away from the valve.

Stability also refers to a mini-pump’s grips. A textured grip provides a stable grip on the pump’s handles as you pump away. This prevents slippage and wasted pumps — and it gets you back on your bike as soon as possible.

Comfort

Grip is also a huge part of comfort when it comes to mini-pumps. The aforementioned grip features increase friction on your pump, so you don’t have to squeeze as hard to hold it. Look for a pump with rubberized or textured handles for a better grip.

When it comes to floor pumps, there are a few more handle options. Handles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are even padded handles for extra softness.

Some people can find padded handles a bit excessive, but we are fans of wood handles. Wood handles provide a warmer, slightly softer feel than plastic or metal. They also give the feel of working with wood tools, which some find soothing.

Durability

Strong materials make for strong gear. When you’re shopping for a floor pump, look for strong materials like steel or machined aluminum in the body. This helps the body hold fast in the face of strong pressure buildup within the pump.

The hose head can also be a weak point, especially if it gets stepped on or run over in the garage. If this is a concern for you, look for a hose head built with strong material.

No matter how well-built or how strong the materials are, pumps can eventually break. Many companies sell replacement parts online. This is helpful, as you won’t have to buy a whole new pump if a piece breaks down.

Bontrager’s Dual Charger Floor Pump has replaceable internal parts as well. This way, pretty much everything on the pump is replaceable.

Mini-pumps are smaller and tend to be more delicate. Look for a mini-pump made with strong materials like aluminum. Aluminum is a great material for mini-pumps, as it combines strength with light weight. So, it won’t add too much to your bike if it’s attached to your frame.

blackburn design core pro floor pump
An easy-to-read gauge is a useful feature; photo credit: Kurt Barclay

Portability

Ease of carry is an important feature for mini-pumps. Mini-pumps generally have two carrying options. The first is the frame carry, in which the pump is mounted directly on the frame.

Most mini-pumps come with a mounting bracket. The bracket attaches to the pump as well as to the top tube (or wherever you can fit it).

Frame mounting is useful for several reasons. First, if it’s always attached to your bike, there’s no chance that you’ll leave it at home. Second, it saves room and weight in your pack. Or, if you prefer to ride without one, it doesn’t require a pack at all to carry.

For another option, these smaller pumps can fit in a jersey pocket. This also goes for medium-size mini-pumps. All but the biggest mini-pumps should fit well in a jersey pocket for quick accessibility.

Larger mini-pumps have more features and a higher air volume per pump. Their larger size comes with a trade-off, however. The biggest mini-pumps are too long to sit in a bike frame. Many are also too large to fit into a jersey pocket.

If you choose to buy a bigger mini-pump, be prepared to carry it in a backpack or hydration pack.

Value

As with many things, there is generally a trade-off between features and price with bike pumps. You can easily get a solid floor pump for well under $100.

However, you can expect to pay more if you’re looking for additional features and durability. More expensive pumps offer more durable materials and features that make them easy to use.

If you only have one bike and you only use your pump occasionally, an inexpensive pump will do. And at a lower price, you can replace it without breaking the bank.

If you ride several types of bikes and take them out often, you may want to look at some pricier options. Look for a floor pump that works well for both high-volume and high-pressure tires. Many pumps have settings that can switch to a high-volume mode for mountain bike tires and a high-pressure mode for roadies.

Consider your needs and weigh them against your budget to find the best pump for you.

FAQ

What Is the Best Bike Pump?

The best bike for you varies depending on your needs. If you own one bike that you ride occasionally, you are not likely to be using the pump very often. A low-priced floor pump will serve you well.

Do you have a variety of bikes that you ride often? You may want to spring for a higher-end model.

The same goes if you are serious about bike maintenance. Higher-end floor models offer features like high-visibility gauges and air bleed options. These help you make sure that your bike tires are filled to the optimal level for peak performance.

A mini-pump is considered optional by some. But if you ever get a flat during a ride, it seems anything but. If you’re not sure what kind of mini-pump to get, focus on portability.

High-end features are great, but mini-pumps are like spare tires: you hope you never have to use them. Since you’ll (hopefully) only use it once in a while, opt for one that you can easily take with you.

A frame-mounted pump is great for this use, as you can put it on your bike and forget about it until you need one. If you regularly ride over tire-popping terrain or are keen to tweaking your tires’ psi, you may want a higher-end mini-pump.

A great setup would be a mid-to-high-range floor pump combined with a frame-mounted mini. The floor pump helps you dial in your tire pressure before every ride, which can minimize the odds of you getting a flat during your ride. If you do get a flat, that frame-mounted mini will be there to get you home.

How Do I Know Which Bike Pump to Buy?

First and foremost, you’re going to want a floor pump. Their higher volume and stability make them the best choice for filling your tires in general. For most cyclists, a mid-to-low-end floor pump will do for the initial tire fill and occasional topping off.

Road cyclists should look at pumps that are capable of higher psi. People who ride mountain bikes or fat tire bikes should consider high-volume pumps.

As the name suggests, high-volume pumps fill those larger tires faster. If you ride both, some pumps can switch from high-volume to high-pressure to accommodate MTB and road bikes.

If you already have a floor pump, a mini-pump is also advisable. Mini-pumps are essential when you’re out on a ride and find yourself with a flat tire. Most cyclists don’t have flats often, so a good midrange frame-mounted mini-pump will work in a pinch if you get a flat.

If you ride often or ride long distances, you may get flats more often. In this case, a higher-end mini-pump would be a good option.

Mountain bikers who often ride in rough terrain may want to consider one. This particularly goes for those who tend to ride with packs. A larger, higher-end pump can fit in a backpack and will fill your tire faster.

What Is the Best Mini Bike Pump?

It depends on how you plan to use it. If you ride occasionally, a smaller, frame-mounted mini-pump is a good option. Occasional riders can use a mini-pump the same way drivers use spare tires. You can stow it and forget about it until you need it. It’s basically an emergency device.

On the rare occasion that you get a flat or a leak, you can do a quick repair and fill it up. If you don’t have a repair kit or spare tube, a mini-pump will fill a tire with a slow leak and help you get home.

If you ride in a way that entails longer distances or sketchy terrain, you may use a mini-pump more often. Look for mini-pumps that have features like longer hoses and textured grips. These features not only fill your tire faster, but they can keep you comfortable while you do it.

Are Bike Pumps and Ball Pumps the Same?

Not necessarily. Most ball pumps are not designed to handle the pressure required to fill up a bicycle tire. And many bike hand pumps do not come with the necessary adaptors to fill a sports ball or inflatable device. That said, you can use a bike pump to inflate balls, but most ball pumps don’t fill bike tires.

Bike pumps are capable of filling balls and rafts with an adapter. Needle or inflatable adapters are available on most sporting goods websites and are low in cost. Many bike pumps come with the adapters included.

If you’re looking at an all-around pump, choose the floor pump you want. Then check online and see bike pump reviews to see if the adapters are included with your purchase.

Do Bike Pumps Work on All Bikes?

As long as it has an adapter for the different types of valves, bike pumps should work on every bike. Most bikes come with either Shrader or Presta valves. Occasionally, you will find a Presta valve pump or another specific type.

But a good bike air pump will either have an adapter for both or have a hose head that will fit either valve. That said, some pumps work better than others for specific bikes. Higher volume pumps work best for larger tires like mountain bike or fat bike tires. A high-pressure bike pump is great for road bikes.

How Long Does a Bike Pump Last?

Minus a catastrophe (like running it over with your car), a good bicycle air pump can last for years without issue. Most companies offer replacement parts. This way, if something does break down, you should be able to replace the part without having to buy a whole new pump.

This usually entails a new hose or nozzle, as these are the parts that tend to break down. Bontrager goes a step further with its Dual Charger Floor Pump. The company also sells internal parts, so if the main body of the pump breaks down, you can repair it.


Have a favorite bike pump? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out for future updates to this article.


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Billy Brown
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Billy Brown has a problem sitting still. His constant search for the next challenge has him doing everything from running ultramarathons and climbing 14er’s to gaining 40 pounds to compete in powerlifting, breaking several state records and growing a killer beard in the process. With over a decade of writing under his belt, his work, covering action sports, gear, and beer, can be found in a variety of publications. He lives with his wife and their two cats in Sacramento, California.