Bike Tire Pumps
Bike Tire Pumps: Don't Leave Home Without One
Properly inflated tires are important on a bicycle. Safety and comfort are both at stake. Keeping your tires inflated is easy with a quick check at home before leaving and a pump along in case of disaster.
You can see the various types of bike tire pumps and CO2 inflators on this page. We even have some video instruction for those who are new to the process of checking their bike tires or changing a flat.
Inflating Your Bicycle Tires: The Options
Before you go out on your bike or load it up to take it somewhere, it's a good idea to check your tire pressure. In this situation, a floor bike tire pump works well. They're sturdy and can move quite a bit of air. Foot pumps are another type of floor model.
Of course, it's also wise to take something along to add air to your tire or to inflate a new tire in the event of a flat. There are a number of more portable bike tire pumps that will easily fit in a bag or attach to the bicycle frame. Pumping a tire up by hand (or foot) can take some time if you're starting with a new tire. For this reason, some bikers like to use CO2 inflators. These devices come with a CO2 cartridge that contains enough CO2 to inflate a single tire. The advantage is that they eliminate the pumping. You simply attach them to your tire and squeeze the trigger. Of course you have a bit of added expense as the "air" isn't free; you have to buy new cartridges to keep on hand.
Keeping Your Bicycle Tires Inflated Properly
It's important to keep your bicycle tires inflated properly. Tires that have adequate inflation obviously make the ride more comfortable and the bike easier to pedal but they can also assure you get good traction and reduce the risk of damaging both the tires and the rims.
Before you purchase a bicycle tire pump you should be sure you know what kind of valve stem is on your bike. Some bike tire pumps can accommodate both Presta valves, the skinny valves that usually have a brass type cap, or Schrader valves, the fatter threaded valve with plastic/rubber caps.
When inflating the tire it's important to take notice of the recommended tire pressure indicated on the side of the tire. For kids and smaller people, the lower end of the range is usually sufficient, but for larger people the higher end of the recommended tire pressure range may be better.
Look below for some more specific instructions.