how to put air in bike tires

First, make sure that the valve of your tire is compatible with the pump head. The valve of every bike inner tube has a different size. There are four kinds of valves: Schrader (the most common), Presta, Woods, and Dunlop. Some pumps have different adapters for each kind of tire/tube valve to work for pumping air in bike tires.

Then, make sure that your pump is compatible with the valve of your tire. Make sure you have all the adapters on the pump if needed. One way to check this is by removing one of the adapters and placing it into the pump head where you think it should fit. It’s usually pretty obvious which fit goes where, but if you’re still unsure you can check the product manual of the pump.

how to pump air in bike tires

When everything is set, place your pump on a solid surface and push it straight down with some force to create a seal and the valve will be pushed into the head of your pump so you can pump air in bike tires through it. You probably don’t want to do this directly on a table, because the pump head has a spring inside that will be pushed against the valve of your tire/tube and might break. You can also make do with a hard surface, but if possible place the pump on something soft like grass or carpeting where you won’t get any scratches on it.

Make sure to not use too much force while pushing the pump down. If you’re using a floor pump, this will be less of an issue because it’s more stable on the ground than a mini pump, but still, keep your eye on both your feet and the pump so you don’t slip or bump into something with either of them.

Carefully remove your pump after you push the valve in. Don’t take it out all at once to avoid dirt getting inside the head of your pump and keep an eye on where you put your pump so you don’t lose it.

Finally, place a finger or two on both sides of the valve opening and then start pumping air in bike tires again until it feels firm.

After the air is in, you can add a little more if needed by depressing the valve with your fingers and then releasing it while still holding down one side of the opening with your fingers. This will allow some air in but won’t let any out.

If you’re using a mini-pump without a pressure meter, it’s helpful to be able to hear the air going in so you know how much you’ve added.

Once the tire is filled, listen for the hissing sound of the escaping air and then remove your fingers from the openings on both sides of the valve. You can now press down on your tire with one hand while holding it steady with the other, and then quickly remove your hand. This will help to prevent air from escaping as you remove the pump.

Make sure the pump head is firmly connected to your tire and then remove it by slowly pulling it upwards, keeping an eye on where you’re going so you don’t hit anything or injure yourself.

Try to keep track of which kind of valve your pump has so the next time you get a flat tire, you won’t have to do so much trial and error.

For Schrader valves, it’s always best to use a pump head with an adapter that has a plastic/rubber sleeve on the inside of the metal hook that will cover the side of your valve with no opening in it. While this will not stop air from escaping as you’re pumping, it will keep dirt from getting in between the head of your pump and the valve on Schrader valves, which results in a better seal with less air loss.

This is also true when using a floor pump, but not as important because the ground supports your tire/tube more than it would be supported by your hand or pack while you’re pumping air in bike tires.

For Presta valves, you’ll generally be using the standard head of the pump and it’s always best to use a Schrader adapter so there will be enough space between the metal hook of your pump and the valve on your tire/tube. This way there won’t be any risk of dirt getting in between them and compromising how well your tube is sealed.

If you have tubeless tires, do not use an air compressor unless you are certain it can work with them. Even if they are advertised as being compatible, they might still damage the rubber of your tire.

It’s always best to make sure your air pressure is between what’s stated on the sidewall of your tire and what’s recommended by the manufacturer. If it isn’t, deflate your tire/tube a little bit to get it into the right range or inflate it until you reach that range. Remember that if you’re using tubeless tires, they can handle more pressure than regular ones and if you’re using the latter, make sure you don’t go over the maximum PSI written on the sidewall.

If your pump can stop automatically when it reaches a certain pressure, remember to be careful around small children and animals if you have them because they might get hurt punching or step on something that’s filled with air at that high of a pressure.

When using a mini pump, keep in mind that it takes more strokes to put air in bike tires if the pressure is low. It’s always best to try and inflate it until it feels firm enough before you stop pumping.

Security wrenches are made for Presta valves only because of their small size, but they can be used on Schrader valves too. If your pump doesn’t come with one or you’ve lost it, carefully use a small screwdriver instead.

If your tire loses air over time, try rotating the valve stem in the opposite direction of which you might have turned when deflating your tire to take the tube out. This will ensure that both sides of the stem get pushed into the rim at equal force and you won’t end up with a wobbly or crooked valve stem.

It’s best to keep your pump outside of your pack because it will get in the way less that way even if you’re carrying a lot of weight. However, don’t expose your pump to moisture or extreme temperatures if it isn’t weather resistant.

Always check the PSI of your tires before you leave on a trip and make sure to check them again after two or three days to ensure they haven’t lost pressure due to heat, cold, or moisture.

When closing the valve on Presta valves with no security ring, use a toothpick to hold the closing pin inside the valve while you turn the nut. When opening a Presta valve with a security ring, use pliers or some type of tool that will allow you to grip it better if your fingers can’t do it by themselves.

When pumping air into Schrader valves before going on a long ride, it’s best to check the pressure every so often because it will lose a bit of air. Make sure you get down to at least half of the PSI for safety reasons and get rid of extra air beforehand if possible.

If your pump has been used in dusty or dirty conditions, make sure to clean it before using it again by spraying it with WD-40 or some other lubricant. This will prevent it from corroding and ensure that everything works properly without any leaks.

If you’ve used your pump for tubeless tires, make sure to check the assembly of your wheel again before using it again just in case there was damage was done that would compromise how you’re able to put air in your tires.

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