Inflating your tires is one of the most common tasks you perform on a bike. It’s also an important one, as proper tire pressure will help you ride more smoothly, with less chance of flats and other mishaps.
In this post, we’ll show you how to pump road bike tires and make sure they are properly inflated for maximum performance. We’ll also recommend some top-rated pumps that can make the process easier!
How To Pump Road Bike Tires: 10 Steps
- Select Your Bike Pump
- Determine Bike Tire Pressure
- Determine Valve Types
- Remove the cap from the valve
- Place the pump over the valve
- Bring the pump lever up
- Inflate the tire
- Remove the pump from the valve
- Check If its overinflated
- Close The Valve
1. Select Your Bike Pump:
There are a few different types of bike pumps. The most common is the hand pump, but there’s also an electric option. Hand pumps will take more time and effort than an electric one, which can be especially useful when you’re in for long rides that require frequent tire inflation checks.
2. Determine Bike Tire Pressure:
Only use a pump with an accurate pressure gauge. If you don’t have one, make sure your tire is at the indicated pressure recommended by its manufacturer – typically on the side of each tire’s sidewall or in the owner’s manual.
3. Determine Valve Types:
The type of valve on the tube determines how to inflate. How To Pump Road Bike Tires?
Schrader valves are found on cars, motorcycles and some bikes – their stem looks like a car tire nozzle with an arrow pointing up.
Presta tubes have threads that fit only presta- style valves, which are found on higher-end bikes. Fit the head of your pump over the valve and unscrew it to release air pressure
4. Remove the cap from the valve:
Remove the cap to add your pump head to the valve. Tighten your pump’s head over the valve. Tighten it by turning it clockwise until you feel resistance.
If you have a Presta valve, unscrew the lock nut in addition to removing the cap then turn it several rotations before attaching the pump.
Be sure to store the plastic caps somewhere safe so that dirt or debris do not get into the valve threads.
If you have the schrader style, unscrew the lock nut and press down on the head to release air pressure before attaching your pump. Be sure not to over-tighten or overtighten as this could damage your tire and tube.
5. Place the pump over the valve:
Now place your pump over the valve. Based on your pump style, unscrew the either the presta or schrader valve cap by turning it counterclockwise.
To remove air from your tire and inflate it for a better ride every time, attach your pump to the valve opening before pressing down on its head with moderate pressure in order to release any pressure that is still inside.
6. Bring the pump lever up:
Now, press the lever on top of your pump down and bring it back up again. Ensuring to do this at least ten times for a completely inflated tire.
7. Inflate the tire:
For a bike tire, the best way to test for proper inflation is to use your thumb. Once you have reached a point where your thumb can no longer press on the top of the inflated tire, this means that it has been sufficiently pumped up and will offer optimum performance when in use!
If there are any other issues with the bike tire, such as a punctured tube or worn out rim strip. Take the time to fix this before using your bike again!
The optimum bike tire pressure will differ depending on the type of tire you are using. For a standard bike tire, it is best to inflate it until your thumb cannot press down anymore.
8. Remove the pump from the valve:
Once you have finished pumping your tire, be sure to remove the pump from the valve after an additional two or three pumps.
This will ensure that air is not being released from inside of the tire due to over-inflation and a deflated ride!
If using a plunger style pump, it may require more than one push to remove the pump.
9. Check If its overinflated:
If your bike has a gauge, you can check the air pressure of each tire.
This is an optional step for those riders who are looking to ensure proper inflation and ride comfort!
Note that many gauges have different scale levels; use caution when comparing readings on various bikes.
For example, most mountain bikes will require higher levels of air pressure than road bikes.
If your bike does not have a gauge, you can estimate the inflation level by observing how high it is off of its rim.
If you are using a digital gauge, make sure that your tire valve stem and pressure sensor are clean before pumping air into the bike’s tires.
The accuracy will be affected if there is any dirt or debris present on these surfaces!
10. Close The Valve:
Now that your tire is at the right pressure, close the valve by pushing down on it.
Then hit your lever to release air and keep going until you hear a hissing sound from the tube.
This will remove any excess gas that could cause over inflation next time!
If you are using a Presta valve, close the head of the pump by pushing it in.
If your bike has Schrader valves, unscrew and remove the pump from its shaft to close off air flow.
How To Inflate Road Bike Tires Presta Valve
This is the same as normal bike tire inflation, but you will need to use a Presta valve pump. To start, select the right type of bike pump for your tire size and inflate it as needed with air.
Opening the Presta valve and inserting your pump head is a key part of pumping up your tires. How to insert the pump head:
Make sure your pumping head is reversed and open the top of the stem by unscrewing it. When inserting, go in at an angle until seated but not squeezing too hard, which could cause damage.
How Much To Inflate Road Bike Tires
Proper tire inflation is often overlooked and can lead to one of the following two problems
- Either your bike will feel too hard
- Bounce a lot, or it might feel too soft.
The best way to avoid this is by checking your tires before every use.
- Check your manufacturer manual for the recommended tire pressure.
- Check your tire pressure with a gauge.
- If you don’t have a gauge, the best way to check your tire pressure is by using your hands.
If your tire pressure is below the recommended level, add air and repeat as necessary until you reach it.
To find out how much air is in your tire, insert the pump nozzle into the valve. If you can hear hissing or see bubbles coming from the tube when pumping it’s a good indication that there isn’t enough pressure.
The opposite will be true if you have too little pressure- no sound and/or no more than one bubble per second (which would indicate an overinflated tire).
You can use GAUGE -ON-A-PERSISTANT VALVE (GAP) to determine tire pressure.
The front and rear tires should be the same psi, so if one is at 75psi and the other is 80psi you are likely running too high of pressures for your bike’s weight capacity.
If you have a dual chamber pump with an analog gauge on it, use that to find out what your tire pressure is! Read more on how long do bike tire last?
How Often To Pump Road Bike Tires?
For road bike tires, pump at least every two weeks.
Before every ride, you should check the tire pressure with a digital gauge.
In order to avoid flats, it is important to keep your tires properly inflated. Tire pressure should be checked when the bike is cold-meaning before riding.
For racing bikes, it is important that the tire pressures are checked before each individual race. Then adjusted as needed-usually higher than usual because of how fast they go when in a race situation.
Tire pressure will change as they heat up, so be sure to measure with your fingers every few minutes after riding for the first minute or two.
How To Pump Bike Tires With Hand Pump
This is the traditional way of pumping up a bike tire, and it’s pretty straightforward.
Step 1: Find a place to stand that is on even ground and in an open area. Place your bike vertically, with the tire you want to pump up facing away from you.
Step 2: Place one foot securely in front of the other for balance as well as stability when pumping. Hold onto or wrap your fingers around the handlebars if necessary so that they are out of the way while pumping.
Step 3: Do not hold onto them tightly or it will be difficult to inflate correctly without slipping off base during use. The handlebars should be pointing up and away from you, so that the tire has enough room to inflate.
Step 4: Attach the pump nozzle directly onto the valve stem on your tire (it will either have a Schrader or Presta valve).
Step 5: Attach it as securely as possible for maximum efficiency while pumping. Do not twist or turn the nozzle in an effort to fit it onto your valve! You may damage yourself if this happens.
Step 6: Hold firmly onto both handles of the pump by wrapping them around each one with all four fingers, but do not hold too tightly. you’ll find out why soon enough.
Now start pumping! It’s important that you always use a strong downward motion when rolling down on each stroke . This will ensure that you are pumping the air directly into your tire.
Can You Pump Bike Tires At Gas Station
The answer is yes. It may not be the most ideal situation, but if you find yourself in a bind and need to inflate your tires for an upcoming ride, then it is better than nothing.
Step 1: First locate the air compressor hose at the gas station (it should have arrows pointing towards or away from it).
Step 2: Attach one end of the hose to its corresponding fitting on your bike tire valve stem, making sure that all connectors are tight so there is no leakage. The other end goes into the pump nozzle attached to a wall outlet somewhere nearby.
Step 3: Push down firmly on the handle of the pump wrench until you feel resistance and continue pushing while compressing this lever.
Continue this process until the desired pressure is reached.
The pump nozzle should automatically disconnect from the tire valve stem and retract back to its original position, but not before you check for any leaks at all connections (if they are accepting air).
This is how you pump your tires at gas stations.
How To Pump Up A Tubeless Bike Tire
A tubeless bike tire is a type of bicycle tire that does not require the use of inner tubes. These tires are inflated using air pressure, and they can be filled with sealant to help prevent punctures while riding your bike.
Step One: Buy or borrow an air compressor and appropriate size of inflator head with valve core remover. The purpose of this accessory is to allow removal of the valve stem core by unscrewing it from inside the inflated tube without letting any air escape.
Step Two: Position the head of your inflator over the valve stem. Make sure to align it properly so that you can unscrew or screw on a new core when finished, according to what size is needed for your bike tires (typically 11mm and 16/18 mm). Apply pressure by squeezing hard with both hands until air begins flowing out at an even rate.
Step Three: Once tire inflation becomes difficult, remove the valve core from inside the tube using one hand while holding onto it tightly with your other hand (or vice versa). Which will deflate all remaining air in seconds if done correctly; then reinstall a fresh valve core before use.
If you don’t have a remover tool handy, use a small key or coin to unscrew the core. Replace it with one of your own so you can easily inflate tires in the future without carrying an additional item for this purpose.
Always inflate tires to their maximum recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) before each ride, not after!
1. How To Pump A Road Bike Tire by Adam Magaña
2. How To Inflate A Bicycle Tyre by Global Cycling Network
3. How to Inflate Bike Tires By Wikihow
We’ve provided a step-by-step guide on How To Pump Road Bike Tires. As you can see, there are many things to consider when pumping up your tires. But with the right pump and a little bit of patience, it’s easy for anyone!
We recommend using one of our top-rated pumps because they make the process much easier.
Is 40 Psi Good Tire Pressure?
Yes, 40 psi is a good tire pressure for bikes. Because normal bike tire pressures are between 35-50psi, the 40 psi should be a comfortable pressure for you.
What Pressure Should My Bike Tires Be?
A good tire pressure for bikes is between 35-50 psi. It’s important to check and adjust your tire pressures before riding.
Do You Need A Special Pump For Presta Valve Tires?
No, a standard bike pump is all you need for Presta valve tires.
Can You Pump A Presta Valve Without An Adapter?
Yes, you can use a Presta valve without an adapter. There are several types of presta valves with different threading which is why there are varying pneumatic fittings for them.
What is the best bicycle tire pump?
The best bike tire pump is the one that fits your needs. Some people want a super small and lightweight pump whereas others need something more heavy duty to fill up their MTB tires or inflate an air mattress.
Do Road Bike Tires Need A Special Pump?
No, road bike tires do not need a special pump. Based on the valve you may need a valve adapter for Presta valves, but standard bicycle pumps work well with both Schrader and Dunlop.
How often should I check my bike tire pressure?
It’s a good idea to check your bike tire pressure at least once a week. If you can, it is wise to do so before every ride and if possible after each ride as well.