How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (2023)

It might be a basic thing, but being able to pump up your bike’s tyres is an essential skill for any cyclist.

A lot of you will already know how to do this, but for those who don’t, the different valve types, pumps and, more importantly, what pressure to pump your tyre can be a bit overwhelming. Let us guide you through the process.

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Why do I need to pump up my bike tyres?

Pneumatic tyres were invented to get over the bone-jarring ‘ride-quality’ of solid wheels.

The air inside acts as a spring, providing suspension for you and allowing the tyre to conform to the terrain providing better traction and grip.

Pumping up your tyres is a quick job that can easily improve your enjoyment while riding. Running the wrong tyre pressure will negatively affect the way that your bike rides and can also make your bike more prone to punctures.

How does my tyre hold air?

If you’ve never repaired a puncture before, you might not have considered how your tyres hold air inside.

The vast majority of bikes will use an inner tube. This is a doughnut shaped airtight tube that sits inside the tyre, with a valve for pumping it up that you see on the outside.

The tyre, when inflated by the tube, is what grips the ground and provides protection from punctures.

You may have heard of tubeless tyres, which forgo a tube and use a special rim and tyre to seal air without the need for a tube. These usually require tubeless sealant inside, which is a liquid that plugs any points where air is escaping.

Tubeless tyres are more commonly found in mountain biking, but the technology is migrating to road bikes.

The tubeless sealant also plugs punctures, and no tube means a much lower risk of pinch flats – that’s when your inner tube is pinched by the rim, causing a puncture. Tubeless tyres can, therefore, be run at lower pressures than those with an inner tube setup, for improved comfort, speed and traction.

At the very high end, you also get tubular tyres. This is essentially a tyre with the tube sewn into it, but they are rarely seen or used outside of professional racing.

Tyre pressure

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (1)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Running your tyres at either too high or too low a pressure can be potentially dangerous, as well as negatively impact the handling of your bike.

We’ll discuss later what the correct pressure is, but for the moment let’s look at possible problems.

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (2)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

If you run your tyres at too low a pressure, the tyre can wear prematurely. Excessive flexing in the sidewall can lead to the casing cracking and the tyre becoming fragile. This could eventually lead to a blowout.

Excessively low pressures also increase your susceptibility to punctures and may even result in your tyres literally rolling off the rim if you corner at speed (the pressure inside is what holds your tyre on the rim).

Damage can also be caused if the tyre deflects all the way down to the rim. This can result in dents or cracking, potentially compromising your wheel and resulting in an expensive replacement.

Conversely, running too high a pressure could result in your tyre blowing off the rim with explosive consequences. That pressure can also squeeze the wheel because if it’s too high the compressive force on the wheel can be too high.

In terms of handling, a low pressure can result in compromised handling with the tyre squirming under load. Your bike will feel difficult to control, slow and sluggish.

On the other hand, too high pressure can result in reduced grip and a harsh ride, leading to fatigue and in turn impacting handling.

Why is my tyre flat?

There are two likely reasons why your tyre is flat. Either you have a puncture or your tyre has just deflated over time.

If you have a puncture, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to fix a puncture.

Glueless patches are great for a quick fix, while a more traditional kit is a versatile option when you have a bit more time.

(Video) How To Pump A Bike Tyre

All tyre systems will leak air slowly because tubes aren’t completely airtight. For example, standard butyl tubes hold air fairly well compared to lightweight latex tubes, which leak comparatively quicker. Even tubeless setups will slowly leak air.

Old tubes will leak more air than new ones, so if yours haven’t been replaced in a while they may be worth looking at. Less likely, but also a possibility (especially on older tubes), is that the valve is no longer sealing properly.

The best way to check what’s going on is to try pumping up the tyre. If it holds air then there’s likely nothing more you need to do. If it doesn’t, then you likely have a puncture.

If it leaks air slowly overnight, either you have a slow puncture or simply an old tube that needs replacing.

What valve type does my bicycle have?

The first thing you’ll need to know before pumping up your tyre is what valve type is fitted.

The valve is the key part that keeps air in the tyre, but also lets you inflate (or deflate) the tyre.

Schrader valve

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Schrader valves are more common on lower-end bikes and, in the past, mountain bikes. The same valves are used on car tyres.

The valve assembly is a hollow tube with a sprung valve that closes automatically and screws into the external body. A pin extends up from the valve and is usually flush with the end of the outer tube. This pin can be depressed to let air out.

The dust cap on Schrader valves is an important part of the design that can help fully seal the valve if it is not completely air-tight. It essentially provides a secondary ‘backup’ seal.

The sprung design of the valve is a little susceptible to contamination from dirt or grit so it’s important to protect it too.

Presta valve

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (4)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

You will only find Presta valves on bicycles.

They originated on road bikes where the narrower valve (6mm vs 8mm for a Schrader) meant a smaller valve hole (typically the weakest part of a rim) on narrow road wheels.

Nowadays they are seen on both mountain bikes and road bikes. Rather than use a spring, the valve is secured with a nut that holds it closed, though the valve itself is sealed ‘automatically’ when pressure inside the tyre pushes it shut.

With a Schrader valve, you can simply press the pin to release air, but with a Presta valve you first have to unscrew the little locknut. Don’t worry about the nut coming off the end of the valve body because the threads are peened to stop that happening.

There seems to be a myth that Presta valves deal with high pressures better – this probably isn’t true considering there are Schrader valves that can withstand many hundreds of psi (way more than you’ll ever need in your tyre).

Presta valves are definitely a little more delicate than Schrader valves, though. It’s quite easy to knock the threaded internal valve body and bend or break it, so a bit more care needs to be taken. However, valve cores are easily replaceable with standard tools.

In comparison, on Schrader valves, this requires a proprietary tool.

Presta valves may come with a lockring that secures the valve body against the rim. This can make them a little easier to inflate. The dust cap is not essential to seal it, but helps keep the valve clean.

Dunlop/Woods valve

The only other type of valve you may come across is a Dunlop (also known as Woods) valve. This has a similar base diameter to a Schrader valve, but can be inflated with the same pump fitting as a Presta valve.

These are very popular on town/upright bikes in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but you’re very unlikely to come across one in the UK or in the US.

Tubeless valve

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (5)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

(Video) How To Pump A Presta Valve

Valves for tubeless setups are attached directly to the rim, rather than being part of an inner tube.

More often than not, they are Presta-type, but Schrader ones do exist.

How to pump up a bike tyre (Schrader valve)

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (6)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

If you’ve got a Schrader type valve, such as the one shown above, then the first thing you need to do is remove the dust cap (if there is one in place).

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (7)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Simply unscrew the cap anticlockwise to reveal the valve.

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (8)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Now attach the head of your pump.

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (9)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Inflate the tyre to a value between the minimum and maximum stated on the tyre sidewall and remove the pump. You’re done!

How to pump up a bike tyre (Presta type valve)

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (10)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

If your bicycle has a Presta type valve such as this one then you will first have to remove the plastic valve cap (if fitted).

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (11)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The plastic cap will reveal another threaded cap to the valve.

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (12)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Unscrew the thread but be careful to not damage it in the process.

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (13)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Now attach the head of your chosen pump to the open valve and inflate the tyre to a pressure that’s between the minimum and maximum stated on the tyre’s sidewall.

Inflate the tyre to the desired pressure and remove the pump.

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (14)

Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Finally, close the valve by screwing it clockwise and reinstall the plastic valve cap.

(Video) How To: Pump Up Your Bike Tires

Tubeless considerations

If you have a tubeless setup, or tubes setup with sealant inside, then it’s worth taking a few extra steps to avoid gunking up your pump.

Turn the wheels so the valves are at the bottom and leave for a few minutes so any sealant can drain out.

Turn the wheels so the valves are at the top and pump up your tyres. The same goes when deflating tyres to prevent goop spraying everywhere.

  • Best tubeless sealant
  • Best tubeless pumps and inflators

What type of pump do I need?

We’d say that, if you can only own just one type of pump, get a track pump for home use because it’s efficient, quick and easy to use.

However, there’s no doubt that having an additional mini-pump for when you’re out on the road is rather useful – otherwise you risk being stranded at the roadside in the event of getting a puncture.

We’ve already got a guide on choosing the best bike pump for your needs, but here a few recommendations for you to consider.

Track pump

The sky’s the limit with track pumps. They basically all do the same job, some with a more premium feel than others.

From a budget Park Tool PFP8 to the absurdly expensive Silca Pista Plus, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.

Mini pump

Mini pumps work but are a lot more frustrating to use. Again, there are lots of options available from mini track-style pumps to tiny pumps that will fit in a jersey pocket. We tend to prefer mini pumps with a hose because that reduces stress (and potential damage) on the valve.

Two of our favourites have been the Truflo TIO Road and the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HP.

CO2 inflator

One other possibility for your inflation needs is a CO2 inflator. These use compressed carbon dioxide in a small cartridge to inflate or top up a tyre really quickly. Not something you would want to use on a regular basis, but perfect for an emergency repair.

  • Best CO2 inflators

How to use your pump to inflate a bicycle tyre

The first thing to do is to attach your pump to the valve.

Remove the valve cap, and regardless of valve type, we find it’s good to release just a little hiss of air to ensure the valve isn’t stuck and opens and closes cleanly. Either thread-on the chuck or push it on and lock it.

If your tyre is completely flat it may initially be a bit of a struggle to fit the chuck because the valve has a tendency to push back into the rim. Simply hold the valve from behind by pushing on the outside of the tyre so that you can lock the chuck on properly.

The lockring on Presta valves (if fitted) can also help, preventing the valve from disappearing by holding it in place for you.

The connection to the valve should be air-tight. A little escaping air is normal when attaching the pump, but shouldn’t continue for long. If it does, remove and reattach the chuck. If it continues to be a problem it may be worth checking the rubber seal in the chuck to see if it is worn out and needs replacing.

Remember to be gentle with the valves – they’re delicate. That’s especially the case if you’re using a mini pump without a hose.

Make sure to brace the pump with your hand wrapped around the spokes or tyre to avoid transferring too much of the pumping force to the valve, which could lead to damage.

When you start pumping make sure to use the full stroke of the pump. You’ll find that the majority of the stroke is taken up compressing the air to the point where it will then be pushed into the tyre.

If you don’t use the whole length of the pump, the air won’t be pushed out of the bottom – you need to generate overpressure in order to move the air from the pump to the tyre. Instead, you’ll just end up with the shaft bobbing around doing nothing.

With a track pump, don’t just use your arms, use your body weight for the downstroke and pumping will become a lot easier.

You may sometimes find that the pump doesn’t seem to hold pressure, especially when inflating the tyre from completely flat. This may especially be the case with an older pump where seals may be slightly sticky.

We find it helps to pump vigorously initially, to generate enough back-pressure (i.e. pushing back from the tyre side) in the system to ensure that valves are actuated properly and seal up, in turn inflating the tyre. Keep on going until you get the right pressure.

When removing the chuck from the valve there is usually an audible hiss of air being lost. This is usually from the pump rather than the valve side. Pressured air in the hose and chuck is just escaping.

How does a pump work?

A pump gets the air in your tyre. The operating principle is simple; you increase the pressure inside the pump until it exceeds that inside the tyre. This ‘overpressure’ forces air into the tyre, increasing its pressure too.

A pump is just a manually actuated piston.On a pump’s downstroke, acheck valve (allows air-flow in one direction) seals the piston chamber, resulting in air being pressurised as the pump is compressed. That pressure increases until it exceeds that inside the tyre.

At this point, a second one-way valve will allow air to flow from the pressurised pump chamber into the tyre. You extend the pump again, the check valve opens to refill the chamber with air and you repeat the process.

To prevent the pressure in the tyre leaking back out, the second check valve at the base of the pump closes. If it wasn’t there, the pump would just shoot open again.

Presta valves will close automatically, but the sprung Schrader valves are usually held open by a pin in the pump valve attachment (this means you don’t need any extra effort when pumping to overcome the pressure exerted by the spring.)

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (15)
(Video) Presta Valve

Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media

The chuck is the part that attaches the pump to the valve and forms an airtight seal over the valve. One of two designs exist: threaded or push-on with a locking lever. Most pumps nowadays are also adaptable to either Schrader or Presta valves.

They will either feature two different attachment points or an adjustable chuck that can be changed to suit both types.

For larger pumps (and many mini-pumps too) the chuck is often on a hose, preventing your pumping force from damaging the valve.

Pumps will often include a pressure gauge to check the pressure inside your tyre.

What pressure (psi) should my bike tyres be?

The right tyre pressure is perhaps one of the most contentious subjects, but there are definitely a few guidelines that you can use.

As a general rule, your tyre should be solid enough to prevent the tyre deflecting all the way to the rim, though compliant enough to provide some suspension – after all, the beauty of a pneumatic tyre is that you don’t have to have a bone-jarringly hard ride.

  • Mountain bike tyre pressure | Everything you need to know

Most tyres will have a minimum and maximum pressure rating printed on the side. It’s advisable not to go under or over those limits because manufacturers have specified them for a reason. Of course, that means there’s still a lot of room to play with pressure and what works for you.

Traction

For mountain bikes the problem is relatively easier, with the usual aim being to improve traction, cornering and shock absorption.

As a general rule, riders try to run as low a pressure as possible without having it so soft that the tyre squirms under cornering load or deflects enough for damage to occur to the rim.

Rolling resistance

For road bikes it becomes a little more complicated because along with traction and comfort, rolling resistance (how efficiently a tyre rolls) is a major consideration as well.

Contrary to what many assume, the new school of thought seems to suggest that harder is not necessarily faster.

On all but the smoothest of surfaces, a hard tyre will not have as much suspension, and instead of the tyre being able to deflect and conform to irregularities – keeping the bike moving forward – you will get bounced around.

On all but the flattest of surfaces softer tyre pressures can provide more comfort and be more efficient.

  • Best road bike tyres: everything you need to know
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The most comprehensive research into this was underatken by Frank Berto, who put together a tyre pressure inflation chart.

This testing determined that a 20 per cent tyre drop (the amount the tyre compresses when load is applied, measured by the height from the ground to the rim) was the optimum balance.

Incidentally, some manufacturers recommend a similar level of tyre drop, though the figure is open to some debate.

This value does provide a good starting point to experiment with tyre pressures. The chart looks at individual wheel load – i.e. your and your bike’s weight on each wheel (40 per cent front / 60 per cent rear is a good starting point) – and calculates the pressure for each accordingly.

How often should I pump up my tyres?

How to pump up a bike tyre | Everything you need to know about pumps, valves, pressure and more (17)

BikeRadar / Immediate Media

It’s a good idea to check your tyres before each ride. Usually, that just involves giving them a squeeze by hand to check the pressure.

No, it’s not super accurate, but you’ll quickly get a feel for the pressure in your tyres and be able to tell whether they need pumping up or not.

If you start to get really nerdy about it, you may end up investing in a pressure gauge, which can read the pressures in your tyres very accurately.

That’s especially helpful for mountain bikes where a few psi can make a large difference to handling and grip, but equally applicable on a road bike to find the exact pressure that works for you.

(Video) Pumping up bicycle tyres - valve problems

FAQs

What pressure should I pump my bike tires to? ›

Pump it up.

Proper tire pressure lets your bike roll quickly, ride smoothly, and avoid flats. Narrow tires need more air pressure than wide ones: Road tires typically require 80 to 130 psi (pounds per square inch); mountain bike tires, 25 to 35 psi; and hybrid tires, 40 to 70 psi.

How do you pump up high pressure bike tires? ›

Pump. Most pumps have a lever attachment like this you can pull the lever up to lock it in some of

How do I know how much to pump my bike tires? ›

It seems like a simple question the recommended pressure is usually printed right here on the side

How do I pump up my road bike tyres? ›

Place both feet on the rests to stabilize the pump. Open the pump fully at the start of each stroke.

How do you pump up a bike tire with a Schrader valve? ›

And the Dunlop valves for this for the Schrader we're using the one with the bigger end and all we

How do I know if my bike tire has enough air? ›

Most every bike tire lists its recommended pressure right on the edge of the tire's sidewall. It's usually a range, say from 35 to 80 psi (that stands for “pounds per square inch”). The only way to know how much pressure you have is by using a pressure gauge — squeezing your tire isn't accurate enough.

What's the correct TYRE pressure? ›

What Should my Tyre Pressure be? Your tyre pressure should be a numerical value, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) or BAR pressure. Most passenger cars have a recommended PSI between 31 and 35 when the tyres are cold.

How do you fill a tire with a Presta valve? ›

How to Use a Presta Valve to Fill Your BicycleTires - YouTube

Can you pump a Presta valve without an adapter? ›

If the gas station you go to has a pump that can inflate both Presta and Schrader valves, you don't need an adapter.

What are the two types of bike tire valves? ›

Tubeless valves come in two types: Schrader and Presta. Found on all motor vehicles as well as bikes with wider tyres, the Schrader valve is user-friendly.

Is 40 psi good tire pressure? ›

Specifically, the level of 40 psi can be suitable for passenger cars or sports cars. But this is too high for small cars with a recommendation below 35 psi, while 40 psi is too low for large trucks. The recommended level for the tires of famous sports cars and passenger cars is between 32 -40 psi.

How do you use a bike pump? ›

How to Inflate a Bicycle Tire – How to Use a Bike Pump - YouTube

How often should I check my bike tire pressure? ›

If you're a frequent road bike rider, a good general rule is that you should pump your tires at least once or twice a week. But if you don't go out that often, before every ride is probably a good idea.

What are Schrader and Presta valves? ›

Schrader is the same type seen on cars, so it makes pumping tires easy on any gas or service station. They're more commonly seen on inexpensive bikes. Presta valves are tall and slim, and designed specifically for bicycles. They're usually fitted on more expensive bikes. Here are the main differences between the two.

How do I know if I have Schrader or Presta? ›

The visual differences between the two are obvious, with the Presta (pictured above) being slimmer, lighter and having a lock nut to close that you can see on the top. Schrader valves are wider, more robust and have a spring mechanism on the inside to keep the valve closed, rather than a screwable top section.

What is a Presta valve on a bike tire? ›

Presta valves are a type of valve used to control the airflow into and out of the inner tube of a bicycle. They're long and narrow and are found on the majority of modern bikes. Invented by Frenchman Etienne Sclaverand Presta valves are often fittingly referred to as the French valve.

How do you get air out of a Schrader valve? ›

All you really have to do to let air out through the Schrader valve is press down on the valve core. To do this, you can use the back of a barrel style air pressure gauge, or just the tip of something pointy. A key will work just fine.

Why can't I pump air in my bike tire? ›

You may be using the wrong head on your pump for your valve stem style, you may have the pump fitted incorrectly, you valve stem may be damaged, there could be a puncture in your tire, your pump may be damaged, or if you are going tubeless it is possible your bead may not be set correctly.

What does a Schrader valve pump look like? ›

How to Pump a Tire with Presta & Schrader Tubes - YouTube

How do I check my tire pressure without a gauge? ›

How to Check Your Tire Pressure Without a Gauge - YouTube

Should bike Tyres be rock hard? ›

Whether you ride a Road Bike or a Mountain Bike, your bike tires are meant to be stiff enough to absorb the blow from most obstacles. Since most of your weight is held towards the back of your bike, it is especially important to have enough air pressure in the rear bike tire.

Why does my bike tire look flat when riding? ›

It shouldn't be a significant difference over the course of days or weeks, so if your tires are looking especially low, it may be a sign of a bigger problem like a leak. This is why it's important to check your tire pressure before every ride, even if your tires look fine at first glance.

What happens if tyre pressure is too high? ›

When a tyre contains too much air, there's a smaller area of contact with the road. This creates a loss of traction and uneven wear. Over-inflated tyres can affect handling (especially when cornering at speed), braking, tyre noise and ride comfort.

Does tyre pressure need to be exact? ›

You don't need to be 100% exact, but you should be aiming for the optimal PSI numbers in your car's owner's manual, rather than the general recommended PSI written on the side of the tire. Don't expect all of the tires to be the same.

What tyre pressure is too low? ›

Anything below 20 psi is considered a flat tire, and driving on it can damage your car. If your tires are this low, you should add air. Recommended tire pressures usually range between 32 psi and 35 psi. A 10-degree temperature change will change your tire pressure by about one psi.

What pump do I need for a Presta valve? ›

To inflate a Presta valve you'll need a regular air pump and a special adapter. These can be purchased for about a dollar at your local bike shop.

How do you check tire pressure on a Presta valve? ›

Push the chuck of the pump nozzle or the pressure gauge down on the valve far enough to cover part of the straight section of the outer valve. Make sure you do this vertically so that you don't bend the valve core. Read the pressure directly off the gauge, if you are not using a pump gauge.

How do you pump a flat bike tire with a Presta valve? ›

How to Inflate a Presta Valve Tube. - YouTube

Why are Presta valves better? ›

Presta valves can hold more pressure and do it more reliably because the air pressure itself seals them tightly. They are also lighter and improve the wheel's rolling resistance. Plus, Presta valves are easily extendable with adapters, so the same valve or inner tube can be used on different types of rims.

What can I use if I don't have a Presta valve adapter? ›

Check out these tips about inflating a Presta valve without using an adaptor.
  • Trainer's pump. If you lack the Presta pump or connector, you can use trainer's pumps. ...
  • Compact pump. ...
  • CO2 Cartridge. ...
  • Minibike pump. ...
  • Bike tire inflator. ...
  • Car or truck tire inflator. ...
  • Air compressor.
3 Jun 2022

What is the air valve on a bike tire called? ›

Also called an American valve, the Schrader valve is the familiar valve found on most pneumatic tires used on cars, motorcycles, and on many bicycles throughout the world. It is named after the company owner who developed it, August Schrader.

How does a bike valve work? ›

Bike valves- everything you need to know - YouTube

Do bike pumps work on all bikes? ›

As long as it has an adapter for the different types of valves, bike pumps should work on every bike. Most bikes come with either Shrader or Presta valves. Occasionally, you will find a Presta valve pump or another specific type.

Does 2 PSI make a difference? ›

So, when filling your tires, the recommended tire pressure is the best compromise between handling, comfort, fuel economy and safety. But it's certainly fine to go over the recommended inflation by a psi or two. And going over is always better than going under.

Is 35 PSI too high? ›

Most passenger cars will recommend 32 to 35 psi in the tires when they're cold. The reason you check them cold is that as tires roll along the road, friction between them and the road generates heat, increasing tire pressure.

Is it better to over inflate or Underinflate tires? ›

When a tire is under-inflated or over-inflated, it loses stability, negatively affecting handling, cornering, and stopping. Eventually the tire will also start to wear unevenly. Under-inflated tires tend to show wear on the outside edges of the tread, while over-inflated tires show wear down the middle of the tread.

How do you use a 2 valve bike pump? ›

How to Use a Floor Pump - YouTube

How does a dual valve pump work? ›

Dual Valve Pump Head - How Does It Work? Whats Inside? - YouTube

How do you pump two holes on a bike? ›

Most floor pumps will have two nozzle holes–one for a Schraeder valve, one for a Presta valve. The big hole is for a Schraeder, the little hole is for Presta. Press the appropriate nozzle hole down onto the valve until it's firmly on the valve. A little air may escape from the tire while you're doing this.

How long should bike tires hold air? ›

How often you need to pump your tires depends on the size of the tire and how much pressure is required. High pressure road bike tires should be pumped up at least once a week, hybrid tires every two weeks, and mountain bike tires at least every two to three weeks.

Do tires lose air when not driven? ›

You may find that your tyres lose pressure or start to slightly deflate over time while the car is immobile. This is because rubber is porous, and while it's not enough to cause an issue normally, air molecules can make their way through the rubber slowly over a period of time.

How do you check air in a bike? ›

Tire Pressure - YouTube

What are the different types of bicycle valve stems? ›

There are three types of valve stems on bicycles, Schrader, Presta and Woods (“Dunlop”).

How do you pump a bike tire with a French valve? ›

How to Pump Up a Bike Tire With Presta Valves || REI - YouTube

How does a Presta valve work? ›

Presta Valve - YouTube

What's the difference between a Presta valve? ›

The Difference Between Presta and Schrader Valves - YouTube

How do I remove a Presta valve core without a tool? ›

A number of tools that you are likely to have lying around can be used to remove the core. Pliers, such as needle-nosed pliers, can be used to perform the job. Vice grips will also work. However, the best solution to remove a Presta valve core without the tool is a chain tool or a number 11 spoke key.

Do Presta valves come in different sizes? ›

Inner tube valve lengths

Presta valves come in different lengths too. With deeper section rims becoming more common, it's important to make sure that your valve is long enough to protrude through the rim and let you attach a pump to it.

How do you put air in a Presta valve tire? ›

How to pump a tire with a Presta valve
  1. Unscrew the valve cap.
  2. Loosen the brass nut at the top of the stem. ...
  3. Put the smaller opening of the pump head on the valve. ...
  4. Flip the pump head's lever to close off the Schrader opening and attach the Presta opening to the valve.
  5. Pump until the gauge registers the desired PSI.
1 Apr 2020

How do you fill a tire with a Presta valve? ›

How to Use a Presta Valve to Fill Your BicycleTires - YouTube

What pressure should my bike Tyres be? ›

Lighter riders may opt for lower around 20psi, while 30psi is a good starting pressure for heavier riders and e-bikes. Tubed set-up: Start at 30psi. If you're a lighter rider, you may choose lower around 25psi but there's a greater risk of punctures.

How do you pump up a Schrader valve on a bike? ›

Inflate A Bike Tyre With A Schrader Valve Or Auto Valve - YouTube

How do you release air from a bike tire? ›

To let air out, press down on the tip, which opens the valve. Also, before inflation, press down to make sure the valve is open. For Schrader valves, to release air, press something into the valve to depress the valve core (the little pin inside the valve). To inflate, simply attach the pump and get to work.

How do you get air out of an inner tube? ›

How To DEFLATE an Inner Tube: EASY WAY - YouTube

What are the two types of bike tire valves? ›

Tubeless valves come in two types: Schrader and Presta. Found on all motor vehicles as well as bikes with wider tyres, the Schrader valve is user-friendly.

How do you pump up bike tires? ›

How To Pump A Bike Tyre - YouTube

How much should I pump my bike tires? ›

Narrow tires need more air pressure than wide ones: Road tires typically require 80 to 130 psi (pounds per square inch); mountain bike tires, 25 to 35 psi; and hybrid tires, 40 to 70 psi. To find your ideal pressure, start in the middle of these ranges, then factor in your body weight.

How do I know if my pump is Presta or Schrader? ›

A Presta-only pump has a rubber gasket in the head, or chuck, that will fit snugly around a Presta valve but not a Schrader. A Schrader-only pump has a pin in the center of the chuck to depress the Schrader stem's check valve.

What is the standard bike valve? ›

The Schrader valve is the most universally used and known valve variety. They've been used most motor vehicles and bicycles since their invention in 1891, courtesy of August Schrader. A Schrader valve has a wide valve stem, into which a small valve core is inserted.

Is 40 psi good tire pressure? ›

Specifically, the level of 40 psi can be suitable for passenger cars or sports cars. But this is too high for small cars with a recommendation below 35 psi, while 40 psi is too low for large trucks. The recommended level for the tires of famous sports cars and passenger cars is between 32 -40 psi.

What psi should a 26-inch bike be? ›

If you're inflating 26-inch tires (common on comfort and off-road bikes), you may find that the pressure range is wider, say "35 to 60 psi." This is because these tires can be used on and off road. For the former, 60 psi is about right because it rolls optimally on pavement.

How many psi should a 26-inch bike tire have? ›

Inflate these to 30 to 50 psi. Hybrid or road style 26-inch tires are less than 2 inches wide and have little to no tread to minimize rolling resistance and increase speed. You can inflate some models of these tires up to 95 psi, but 60 to 80 psi is a more common recommendation.

What psi should a 20 inch bike tire be? ›

20-inch bike tires would generally use a PSI between 30 and 50.

What is a dangerously high tire pressure? ›

Here are some ideas to know if the tire pressure is too high for your vehicle: Small cars should not reach more than 35 PSI. Passenger cars and sports cars can have tire pressure not more than 40 PSI. Large trucks can reach more than 40 PSI.

What happens if TYRE pressure is too high? ›

When a tyre contains too much air, there's a smaller area of contact with the road. This creates a loss of traction and uneven wear. Over-inflated tyres can affect handling (especially when cornering at speed), braking, tyre noise and ride comfort.

What happens if PSI is too high? ›

Tire Damage and Wear

Excessive air pressure can also distort the shape of the tire, leading to decreased traction and increased wear and tear down the center of the tire. Depending on the circumstances, repeatedly overinflated tires could wear out more quickly.

Why does my bike tire look flat when riding? ›

It shouldn't be a significant difference over the course of days or weeks, so if your tires are looking especially low, it may be a sign of a bigger problem like a leak. This is why it's important to check your tire pressure before every ride, even if your tires look fine at first glance.

Can you use car air pump bike? ›

The long answer: The reason you can sometimes use an automotive air-pump on a bicycle tire/tube is because they share an identical valve. (See: Schrader valve/Schrader tube in the Terminology Index). If you have this type, you will definitely be able to get air into your tubes in a pinch.

What bar should my bike Tyres be? ›

The tyre width and surface are important factors for optimum pressure. Mountain bike tyres should be inflated to a pressure of 2 to 2.5 bar for cycling on natural terrain. Narrow racing tyres require a pressure of 5 to 9 bar on asphalt surfaces. Conventional e-bikes have a tyre pressure of 3 to 5 bar.

Should all tires have the same pressure? ›

It is not true that all 4 of your car's tires should have the same tire pressure. However, all the tires you buy for the same vehicle will require the same tire pressure, regardless of the tire manufacturer – the PSI specified in the car's owner's manual.

How do you check tire pressure on a Presta valve? ›

GODESON Presta Valve Tire Pressure Gauge - YouTube

How do you fill a Presta valve? ›

How to Use a Presta Valve to Fill Your BicycleTires - YouTube

What psi is BMX? ›

Tire Pressure for BMX Street

Unlike park riding where you know pretty much every surface will be smooth and every ramp is dialled in, street riders thrive on the complication of riding anything and everything. For this fact, I advise having a slightly softer tire, around 55 - 75 PSI.

What are the types of bike tire valves? ›

The three main bike tire valves available are Schrader valves, Presta valves and Dunlop valves (Woods valves). These three bike tire valves are easily identified by their unique appearance and are all operated differently.

Does temperature affect bike tire pressure? ›

If you read about tire pressure changes due to temperature changes, you will find that people say for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit, tire pressure will change approximately 2%. That means if you start at 70 degrees fahrenheit and increase the temperature to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you will increase the tire pressure 2%.

Videos

1. How to Inflate Road Bike Tires
(ehowhealth)
2. How to Pump Up a Bike Tire With Presta Valves || REI
(REI)
3. How To Inflate Your Bike Tyres | Basic Maintenance For Cyclists
(GCN Tech)
4. Bike Tire PSI: How Much Air Should You Put in Your Bike Tire? || REI
(REI)
5. How to Inflate a PRESTA Valve at a Service Station
(DIY Mountain Bike)
6. Japanese Bike Tube Valve & How to Pump Up Your Tire | aka. English Valve, Dunlap Valve or Woods
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