It is best to figure out how to use a bicycle pump in the comfort of your home rather than on the side of the road. There are a multitude of bicycle pumps available from the familiar floor model pumps to the mini pumps you attach to your bike frame for emergency use. Luckily, all bicycle pumps basically work the same way. The only thing you have to know beforehand is whether you have a Schrader or Presta valve. Some pumps come with an attachment that allows you to pump both valve types but some do not. Better to solve that mystery at home instead of on some trail out in the middle of nowhere.
To use a bicycle pump, you will need:
- Bicycle tire
- Schrader valve pump. To use a bicycle pump on the standard Schrader valve, unscrew the cap and put it somewhere safe like in your pocket. If your pump has a lockable nozzle attachment, make sure it is unlocked. Place the nozzle over your tire valve and lock it in place if that is the type of pump you have. Now, pump the tire and when you are done, unlock the nozzle if necessary and remove it quickly. Remember to put the cap back on your valve.
- Presta valve pump. To use a bicycle pump on a Presta valve, remove the valve cap, put it in your pocket and unscrew the Presta nut counter clockwise until it stops. Like before, if your pump has a lockable nozzle attachment, make sure it is unlocked. Place the nozzle over your tire valve and lock it in place if that is the type of pump you have. Pump the tire and when you are done, unlock the nozzle if necessary and remove it quickly. Screw the Presta valve nut clockwise until it stops, and put the cap back over your valve.
- Pressure. You have to be careful not to over-inflate your tires when you use a bicycle pump. Most bicycle tires will have the suggested pressure displayed on the wall of the tire. If your pump has a gauge attached to it, fill the tire until the suggested pressure is achieved. If you are unsure of how much pressure is needed, fill the tire until it is firm and you can barely squeeze the sides.
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