- Sports and Recreation
Instructions for How to Pump a Bike Tire
You have your flat bike tire and you have your bicycle pump. The rest should be easy. But you're standing there in the middle of the street, hoping that no one sees how foolish you like as you try to pump up your bike tire and don't get anywhere. Don't worry; you're not alone. Once you get the hang of pumping up your bike tire, it won't be difficult at all, but you need to know what you're doing before this ease can come.
The first thing that you need to do to pump your bike tire is figure out what kind of bicycle pump you have. There are several different types of bicycle pumps and they all work a little bit differently. It's possible that you have one that isn't even the best one for you or for the bike that you have. So learn your basics and get the right bicycle pump to start off on the right foot.
Here are some of the basic bicycle tire pumps that you might encounter:
- Frame-mounted pumps
- Foot-operated pumps
- Floor pumps (also called track pumps)
- Double-action pumps
- Hand pumps
The floor pump is the one that most people have lying around the house. However, if you're an avid bicycler, you might have a different type of pump that's more portable than the floor pump. Know what kind you have and read what you can about using it properly. It's best if you still have the instruction manual. If not, get your hands a manual for a similar type of pump. Each different brand has its own little quirks.
In addition to knowing what kind of pump you have, you need to know if it's compatible with the type of bicycle that you have. The most common reason that people have trouble pumping their bike tires is that they're using a good pump but the wrong head for the valve that they have. There are basically two different kinds of valves. Your bicycle tire pump may be for both of these or it may only fit one. If the bicycle pump isn't fitting correcntly in the valve, you may need to get an adapter.
If you've got a pump that you understand and a valve that's compatible, you're all set to pump up that bicyce tire. Hold the tire firmly. You can hold it with your hand firmly on the top of the tire with the tire upright or you can flip the bike upside down and pump it that way, depending on the type of pump that you're using. Attached the pump to the valve and use the hand or foot action required to get air into the tire.
Be careful that you don't overpump the tire. Over-pumped tires are prone to damage and can be a saefty risk. Many pumps come with a tire pressure gauge. If yours doesn't, you're going to want to pick up an inexpesnive gauge so that you can see what pressure your tires are at. Consult your bicycle owner's manual or your local bike shop to find out what the right tire pressure is, as that varies by tires and bike types.