How To Pump Up a Bike Tyre – Attaching and Detaching

We have covered the set up process in of how to use a bike pump, now we wanted to discuss how to pump up a bike tyre, covering both the attaching and detaching process. Knowing how to do this is a incredibly useful skill for any cyclist and a basic element of cycle maintenance and repair. Whether you have a Presta valve or a Schrader valve, we have you covered. So with that being said let have a look at how to pump bike tyres.

How To Pump Up a Bike Tyre- Attaching: 

Step 1:

If you have a presta valve, first unscrew the brass washer and depress it a bit as it sometimes seizes especially if it hasn’t been used for a while. If you have a Schrader valve, nothing needs to be undone on the valve. 

Step 2:

For the presta valve, push the connector on as far as you can. This is important as if the pump isn’t connected properly then the air isn’t getting into the tube. At this point air might start escaping, but don’t worry about this. When using the Schrader valve. push the pump head onto the valve as far as you can. Again, air might start escaping, but don’t worry about this at this point.

Step 3:

If there is a lever on your pump, move it now so that the pump adapter grips the valve.

Step 4:

Now you can start pumping. 

How To Pump Up a Bike Tyre- Detatching:

When you have finished,  release the lever if you have one.If you have a schrader valve, you need to remove the pump as quickly as you can, otherwise you may be losing air pressure. The time between releasing the pump and the pip inside the valve sealing is the split second that it can take for air to escape from the tube.  The quicker it comes off, the less air is released.

We wanted to share with you a quick tip about Presta Valves and pumps. Many people find presta valves a source of frustration. This is because the brass screw at the end of the valve is very thin and relatively delicate.  Removing the pump at an angle can cause the brass screw to bend or even break. If it does break or bend too much then the tube is useless.Our tip for this is to practise removing the pump adapter with a sharp downward movement and if it is a constant source of irritation then buy a pump that works better for you.

What are the two types of bike pumps?

You can have portable pumps or track pumps. There are also two types of bicycle valves, the presta valve and the Schrader valve. The type of pump you have will depend on the type of valve you have, although you can get adapters to ensure your pump suits either valve type.
different types of bike pumps and pump heads

Is my pump Presta or Schrader?

There are some key differences between a presta and a schrader pump Firstly, a presta only pump will have a rubber gasket in the head that fits snugly around the presta valve and not the schrader. A schrader only pump should have a pin in the centre which is used to depress the schrader stems check valve. If you tried to use the wrong pump on the wrong valve, it wouldn’t fit. However, you can buy adapters to make your pump universal. 
Bike Valves

Overview of how to use a bike pump

We hope our article has helped you to better understand how to use a bike pump. To find out how to set up a bike pump, please read our previous article. We also have created a YouTube video to help explain how to use a bike pump whilst demonstrating how. 

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