Bike pumps seem easy to operate, however, not knowing how to use a bike a pump properly is something that could have you confused.
Using a bike pump could be an annoying task. Whether you’ve just dragged your bicycle for a ride only to find out that your tires are deflated and soft or have flat tires, you would rather be out of riding instead of trifling around using a pump.
However, if you’re one of the many individuals who is having a hard time using their bike pumps, then we are here to guide you.
Here, we will teach you to how to use a bike pump correctly so that your tires are always full of air and ready to go. Aside from that, we will also tackle other relevant information including:
- What are the different types of pumps?
- How does cycle pump work?
- Do you need a bike pump to pump your bike tire?
- How to use a foot pump for a bike?
- How to remove a bike pump without losing air.
Now that you already know the highlights of this content, then let’s begin this content by identifying the different types of pumps.
What Are The Different Types of Bike Pumps?
In this section, we will be discussing the different types of bicycle pumps that are commonly used today and their difference.
- Floor Pump
A standard bike pump the bicycle owner should have in their home. Floor pumps offer higher pressure air which more portable and smaller pumps can’t.
This pump, on the other hand, is ideal for offering quick and quality pump. Moreover, it is capable of inflating tires that have higher pressure with comparative ease.
Nevertheless, if you’re planning to invest in this type of pump then check out these best bike pumps that are currently available on the market.
- and Pump
Hand pumps are portable that you can utilize for occasional or emergency use. These pumps sport a small size making them ideal for traveling.
Even though hand pumps don’t offer higher air pressure as compared to floor pumps, they are a convenient substitute when you need to fix your punctured or flat tires immediately.
Either way, if you’re wondering how to pump a bike tire with a hand pump, using this type of pump may put pressure on your bike’s valve. Thus, you can see pumps that have an attached hose to minimize the air leakage and lessen the strain on the valve.
On the other hand, the process of how to use a hand bike pump may offer lesser air flow and somewhat tedious.
- Stand Pump
This multi-functional pump is commonly utilized on vehicles. However, it’s not suitable for inflating tires that require higher air pressure.
Meaning to say, it is designed for tires that only need lower air pressure.
- CO2 Inflators
Typically, they contain carbon dioxide and offer a sufficient amount of airflow in just a short period.
This type of bike pump is very efficient and very fast unless you have to inflate more tires.
- Frame Pump
It is a slender and long pump that usually fits beside the top tube of your bike to inflate flat tires while you’re on the road.
Its advantage over the other types of bike pumps is that it only requires lesser strokes as well as reach a high-pressure air.
How Does Cycle Pump Work?
Bicycle pumps compress air. As soon as the cylinder flattened, air is pressed down the tube of the bike pump through the tires thru the valve that is involuntarily opened by the air pressure.
Once the handle is dragged again, the valve automatically shuts off so that the air will not outflow from the tires and new air is involuntary back towards the cylinder thus the procedure can be reiterated.
However, some bike pumps come with a gauge which displays the pressure of the air being enforced to the tires. When that tires are at the right pressure, the bike pump valve can be detached the tire.
However, some bike pumps perfectly fit both kinds of valve, while others don’t. But there are available adapters which let the bike pump fit into any valve.
Do You Need A Bike Pump To Pump Your Bike Tire?
Obviously, the answer is a big YES, unless you know another way to fix your flat tire. Inflate a flat tire using a pump only requires a few minutes.
However, if your tires are damaged severely, there is a higher chance that bike pumps can’t help you in solving this kind problem. Better yet, change your tires with a new one.
How to Use A Bike Pump?
Things You Will Need
- Tire Gauge
- Bike Pump
Step 1. Determine What Type of Pump You Need
Checking your bike tires’ valve will let you determine what type of pump you’ll need.
As what we have said earlier there are two types of tire valves, the Presta which is a skinny and a tall valve that has a small nut on top and Schrader a black valve that looks like a car tire valve.
Step 2. Choose the Right Pump
Utilizing the wrong bike pump is one of the common mistakes made by most bike owners who are pumping their tires.
To avoid the same mistake, you need to choose the right pump head which is compatible with the type of valve you’ve determined in the first step.
Note: Each valve needs a different pump head.
Some bike pumps come with a modifiable or dual pump head for both kinds of valve, whereas other models are valve explicit.
However, if you are not certain, attach the pump to your valve and inflate the tire. If it does not work and you have completed everything else right, you’ve selected the wrong bike pump.
Step 3. Remove The Tire Valve’s Cap
Removing the valve’s cap is very easy. For Presta valves, you can rotate the nut counterclockwise.
When you have successfully removed the cap make sure to place it in a safe place so that it will not roll and get lost.
Step 4. Attach The Bike Pump to the Valve Properly
This step is very easy to do. However, there are some essential things that you need to be aware of.
Once you have taken off the cap and loosened the core, you have to ensure that the nozzle is firmly pressed down on the valve.
If you notice that your tire is not expanding when you pump or the air is dodging from the interior tube, it means, the pump head is not attached properly.
Just simply remove and reattach to fix the seal.
Step 5. Pull & Push the Pump Handle
Once you’ve attached the head properly, pull and push the handle of your bike pump to inflate your tires.
Step 6. Inflate To The Optimum Pressure
Check the tire gauge to figure out how much air is in your tire. Also, check your tire’s wall for recommended tire pressure then pump up to the given number.
However, if your pump doesn’t have a gauge, you can touch the tire to determine if it’s properly inflated.
How to Use A Foot Pump For A Bike?
Similar to other types of bike pumps, foot pumps, on the other hand, is also easy to use. As the name implies, you can use your foot to operate this pump to give your flat tires the right amount of pressure.
Either way, here’s how to use a foot pump for bicycles.
- First, unlock the pump by pressing it down a little. At first, your foot pump will look like this. (See the image on the right side). After removing the lock, your pump should look like the image below.
- Second, remove the cap of your tire’s valve and attach the pump’s head properly.
- Third, step on the pump so that it will give your tires the right amount of pressure. If you notice, that air is expelling out from the foot pump; then the head isn’t attached to the valve properly. Make sure to remove the pump head form the valve and attach it again perfectly.
- Forth, if you’ve already reached the pressure you want, simply remove the pump head and return the valve’s cap as fast as you can to avoid losing air.
Note: Most foot pumps for bikes come with user’s manuals. Therefore, we are advising you to read this carefully.
How to Remove A Bike Pump Without Losing Air?
Once you have inflated your tires to your desired pressure, simply flip the switch on the head of your pump.
After which, immediately tighten the locking nut and then cover tire valve as fast as you can to avoid losing air.
However, there are times that your tires will be losing some air after removing the pump from it and that is normal.
How Often Should You Pump Up Your Tires?
Your tires will lose pressure naturally after using it for several times. Always check them as well as preserve them topped up to make sure your ride is efficient and smooth.
However, as a universal rule, we are recommending you to check your tires every week.
On the other hand, if you’re using your bicycle a lot, then you should check it more often. But, if you drive less, you might not have to check your tires as often.
Having enough knowledge on how to use a bike pump is very important and beneficial especially when you’re riding your bike, and your tires deflate out of the blue. Not only that you will also save money because instead of going to a repair shop you can fix your tires on your own.
Either way, we hope this comprehensive guide gives you a better understanding of what are the different types of pumps and how to use them, how does a cycle pump works, and how to remove the pump without losing air. And most importantly, how to use a bike pump properly.