How To Pump a Bike Tire
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Now that you have bought the best bicycle pump, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use it properly. Most users complain about the products they have bought because they don’t understand the technical aspects of using these pumps correctly.
Below are the steps you need to follow to get the best service from your bike pump:
How To Use A Bike Pump?
A low or flat tire emergency is the most frustrating situation you can find yourself in as a biker. It diminishes the smoothness of your ride and puts you at risk due to poor bike control. If you have a flat tire, you need a high performance and portable bike pump.
- Step 1: Determine the pump you need. Your pump should be compatible with the type of tube valves. These can be Presta Valves for road bikes or Schrader Valve for mountain bikes. Some pumps come with versatile valve heads or adapters allowing easy use with all pumps.
- Schrader valves: These are the wider valves similar to the ones you find on your car tires. They have an outer chuck which is threaded to accept a valve cap or pump head. There is a spring loaded check valve controlling flow of air in and out. They are designed to only let air flow in one direction. The pin at the center requires pressure to let air in.
- Presta valve: This is a narrow metal valve which is threaded and tapers slightly at the top. Unlike a Schrader valve, there is no check valve but seals entirely depending on the pressure in the tubes. They are common on high end bikes and road bikes. These are more preferred as they require a smaller hole on the rim and hence don’t affect strength of the wheel. It is a high pressure valve and can easily be extended with an adaptor.
Checking these valve features helps you determine the type of pump you require. However, some of the pumps in the market now are not valve –specific and can be interchanged. Some have smart valve heads which automatically switch to fit any type of valve required. Other bicycle pumps require an adaptor to use with different valves.
- Step 2: Remove the cap off your tire valve and keep it safely for later use.
- Step 3: If there is a lock, make sure the pump head is in the unlocked position. The lever should be pressed down for it to be in a parallel position with the hose.
- Step 4: Presta valves require unscrewing the nut anticlockwise until you can’t move it any longer.
- Step 5: Confirm required tire pressure. Some pumps allow you to check current pressure before inflation to determine the volume of air needed.
- Step 6: Pump the valve head straight onto the tire valve and lock it in position tightly.
- Step 7: start inflating the tire by pulling and pushing the pump handle up and down as you read the tire gauge. Once done, unlock the pump head and quickly remove it. Secure the nut clockwise for Presta valves and screw the cap back. Always check manufacturer’s manual for any special instructions.
- Step 8: Keep The Pressure Up, once you are done inflating the tires to desired pressure, make sure the pressure stays up by constantly checking it. For CO2 inflators, you need to inflate your tires again within 24 hours because CO2 evaporates quite fast. Make sure you clean your tires after riding to remove debris and constantly check the condition of the valves. Remember changes in temperature affect pressure and you don’t have to wait till you suffer a flat to inflate the tires.
How Can I Inflate A Bike Tire Without A Pump?
With a CO2 inflator. It is a compact, lightweight and portable alternative to a pump for those bikers who want to ride light. It is ideal for flat tire emergencies when you don’t have your bike pump. The technique for using a CO2 inflator is as follows:
- Step 1: Check the tire for damage in case of flat tire emergency. If there’s no puncture to repair, your CO2 inflator will come in handy.
- Step 2: Remove the cap off the compressed air inflator by turning it counterclockwise by hand. Retrieve from the inflator tube the CO2 cartridge and inflator fitting.
- Step 3: Unscrew the valve cap from the bike’s tire valve and carefully thread one end of the inflator onto the valve stem. Tighten by hand.
- Step 4: Carefully insert the neck of the CO2 cartridge into the inflator fitting and turn clockwise till you hear the compressed air flow.
- Step 5: With the cartridge in place inflate the tire and turn your cartridge counterclockwise till air stops flowing. Check the inflation level of your tires and turn the cartridge clockwise for more air if need be. CO2 dissipates quickly and you will need to replace the air regularly.
- Step 6: Once done, unscrew the cartridge from the connection and the inflator fitting form the valve stem. Return the cartridge and inflator fitting into your inflator tube and replace the valve cap on the tire.
How Much Air Should Be In A Bike Tire?
The importance of correct bike air pressure cannot be overemphasized. While most bikers think about upgrading their bikes to the latest models, they miss one of the most crucial factors that can enhance their riding experience even more; right tire pressure. Poorly inflated tires are risky to use as they cause poor handling, poor braking, uneven tire wear and also cause an uncomfortable ride. To detect if you don’t have enough tire pressure, assess the fell of your bike over bumps; your bike wallows slowly over the bumps. It is also difficult to make turns.
To find out the recommended air pressure for your bike tires check out the tire sidewall. Here you will find the recommended PSI, which can be different depending on the bike model and the tire size.
Tires naturally lose pressure over time even without a puncture and this is caused by temperature changes among other factors. A leaky valve stem, damaged rim or debris in the valve will also accelerate pressure loss.
The question most bikers ask is about the right pressure. The guideline to follow in determining ideal tire pressure should be the manufacturer’s manual and not the sidewall psi level. However, tire pressure will also be determined by weather changes and riding conditions (muddy or rocky tracks). The changes in tire volume will also affect the tire pressure required. Thicker tires require less adjustment of pressure downwards to avoid a bouncy ride.
For bumper rides, low pressure is ideal for better control while for smoother trails, you need higher pressure. You also need to consider your weight in determining the right air pressure.
Best Bike Pump Brands
Lezyne is renowned for its high quality bike accessories and the Lezyne Steel Floor Drive Pump defines how far the company has come in terms of innovation and design.
This is a top rated steel floor pump idea for recreational and serious bikers alike. It is base mounted and offers good stability for the user making it more convenient to use. It is highly recommended by outdoor enthusiast due to its nice yellow, black or red metallic sturdy look and feel. The solid machined steel barrel and varnished wood handle pop at you when you first see this pump and the fact that the piston is also made of steel assures you of its durability and performance.
If you are looking for the best bike pump the Lezyne floor pump is exactly what you need. It is compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves thus cutting the cost of buying different pumps for multiple applications. There is no plastic used in this pump and this is one of the most outstanding features.
For a longer life, the CNC-ed aluminum pump has both ends protected with rubber caps to protect against debris ruining this high quality pump. It also comes with a hose which connects the pump to the valve. The ABS2 (Air Bleed System) air chuck is among the best in the market and the easy-to-read gauge reaches an amazing 220 psi.
Topeak bike pumps are renowned for their incredible construction, innovative design and high performance.
The Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump and Topeak Joe Blow Sport II are among the company’s top products and evaluating them gives you an idea of the brand’s consistency. With these two pumps, the brand is seeking to redefine the manufacture of compact and lightweight bike pumps. The Topeak Road Morph G Mini Pump is another versatile bike pump suitable for both professional and amateur riders. Like with all products from the brand, these pumps are tested to the highest standards to ensure quality and durability.
Topeak makes portable on-the-go bike pumps which come with comfortable well-padded handles to protect your hands. Flexibility is a key consideration in the brand’s products and that includes in providing a flexible air hose, foldout footpad for enhanced strength, extra-long and durable barrel and multiple use by all types of bikes including road cycling and MTBs.
Their products are compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves which saves bikers money to buy multiple pumps for use with different pumps. The brad is renowned for high-utility, high-style products backed with over 25 years of innovation. They have won different awards including the Reddot design award, EuroBike award, Taipei Cycle Design Award among others.
The Serfas TCPG Bicycle Floor Pump probably best represents what this brand is all about. This is among the bestselling floor bike pumps in the market today and for many good reasons. The pump features a unique universal valve mechanism compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves and users are guaranteed of secure locking through its flexible screw system. While Serfas is not big on advertising their brand, their products surely make up for this. Buyers rate the company’s high quality pumps and the brand’s clarion all to Bring Cycling to Life for over 24 years rings true in their products.
They have now integrated their latest E-LUME light technology to make products such as the TCPG Bicycle Floor Pump, FP-classic bike pumps, women’s bike floor pumps among others. All their high-quality cycling accessories are highly rated by customers and they keep raising the bar higher with products such as the FMP 500 bike pump. All their bike tire pumps are ideal for high pressure pumping and the durable construction of the product guarantees buyers of a long life of their purchase. The brand has gone ahead to provide the easiest to use product warranty if anything goes wrong. The company continues adding more products to its lien making it possible for all types of bikers to find a suitable item to use.
4. Pro Bike Tool
If you are looking for the best bike pump, one of the major brands you should lookout for is Pro Bike Tool.
In fact, this should be the first company you check out for the most versatile bike pumps in the market. On any review listing best bike pumps in the market today, you will most likely find a Pro Bike Tool product. The company is made up of avid cyclists who know the business of delivering high quality biking accessories having been in the industry for a long time. Among their amazing product are high pressure bike pumps with accurate pressure gauge, the most flexible mini floor bike pumps, and tire pressure gauge among others.
Pro Bike Tool bike pumps are compatible with both Presta and Schrader valves making them a versatile choice for all bikers. Users save a lot of money that would have gone into buying different pumps for different valves. This means their pumps can be used for Road, Mountain and BMX Bikes. The company has also refined their floor pumps by adding accurate pressure gauge to help users inflate tires quickly and correctly.
Their durable, compact and lightweight pumps are made from Superior quality CNC machined aluminum alloy for strength and durability. They are also leak-free products guaranteeing faster and effective tire inflation. The brand’s Refund or Replacement warranty proves how confident the company is about these biking accessories.
Vibrelli is one of the most recognized biking accessories brands in the world. Their bike pumps and CO2 inflators including the popular Vibrelli Mini Bike Pump are top sellers on most online marketplaces.
The sports and cycling brand has refined its products by adding incredible features. Their Vibrelli Floor Pump with Glueless Puncture Kit for instance features on all top reviews due to its flexibility, fast inflation and durability. This floor pump is compatible with all valves with its innovative RAPID T-VALVE allowing quick switch from Presta valve pump to Schrader valves.
The bonus glueless emergency puncture kit also comes in handy for bikers who suffer punctures on the trail. This pump inflates to 160 PSI in no time and like all other products, there is a 15 years warranty. Customers who are looking for a more lightweight alternative have the Vibrelli Mini Pump to use which reaches 120 PSI capacity and has an ingenious Advanced “Telescope” Functionality allowing switching between high and low pressure pumping with just the flick of a switch.
The company also has the Vibrelli Performance CO2 Inflator a portable alternative to a pump which is made from precision machined aluminum alloy to guarantee durability. These products reflect Vibrelli’s commitment to delivering cutting edge solutions to bikers. Their bike accessories are flexible, durable, and compatible withall bikes. They also come with amazing warranties.
Schwinn has to be one of the most established brands in the biking industry. They not only specialize in bikes’ manufacture (mountain, road bikes, electric and hybrids) but also make some of the most amazing biking accessories including bike pumps, saddles, locks and lights.
They are a one-stop shop for bikers. Today, they are best known for their innovatively designed bike floor pumps. With more riders discovering the high efficiency of portable floor pumps, their popular Schwinn 5-in-1 Floor Pump has become a top seller across all online stores.
This is without doubt one of the most flexible bike pumps in the market with its multiple function giving buyers more value for money. This ingeniously designed pump reflects the brand’s tradition of pushing boundaries in innovation. This is not only the best tire inflator but also an invaluable tool for every home; the floor pump is compatible with all types of valves including Presta, Schrader, or Dunlop valves, balls and other inflatables. This is a stable, sturdy, flexible product which user rate highly due to the multiple functions.
Schwinn boasts over 100 passionate years of cycling heritage, and expertise and this is obvious through the high quality products they launch every time. The brand fuses aesthetics, minimalist design, latest technology and durability in all their biking accessories.
The AerGun X-1000 is one of the products from AerGun and it is one of the best floor pumps in the market.
It is the perfect statement for one of the emerging brands in the biking industry. AerGun promises the coolest and the best bike pumps you can get around and it doesn’t disappoint both in design of its products and in their performance. Looking at the reviews on Amazon and other marketplaces, it is obvious that the AerGun X-1000 has won the hearts of bikers across the globe. The AerGun mini pump also delivers quite a punch for a small bike pump allowing users to get back on the road in no time.
The AerGun® Bike Pump brand was created out of frustration using available pumps in the market. For most bikers, many of the premium bike pumps end up being rubbish and yet there is nothing much they could do about until the AerGun® Bike Pump brand happened. Customers now have a versatile pump which can be used with both Presta valves to Schrader valves.
Unlike other brands which promise and don’t deliver, this small brand is keen on details and this is the reason its products have received rave reviews all over because of a simple commitment to make all customers 100% happy.