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Bike pumps: how to use them correctly

Bike pumps: how to use them correctly

Use correctly the bike pumps It will allow you to inflate the tires efficiently and correctly and, consequently, be able to guarantee a smoother and less tiring ride.

Unfortunately, however, we realize the usefulness of bicycle pumps when it is too late. Maybe you are at the beginning of a nice journey and you have suddenly realized that your bicycle is not moving as smoothly as it did last week. And you're not cornering or on particularly rough terrain either

In this scenario, before assuming you've lost all your cycling skills, it's good to do one thing: check the tire pressure. It might be appropriate to inflate them a little and, in this case, the usefulness of the bike pump comes into play.

In fact, remember that, just as with car and motorcycle tires, even those of bicycles need the right amount of air to work optimally, and getting them to the right pressure efficiently and without errors can require the I start a good deal of skill.

In any case, no fear: we are here to come to everyone's rescue and, therefore, understand how to correctly pump the tires of your bike so that you can continue to turn with ease, confidence and comfort.

Choosing the right bicycle pump

The first thing to do is choose the right bike pump. A common mistake that many novice (but also experienced) cyclists make when pumping tires is trying to use any bicycle pump, without however reflecting on the fact that there are several models, and that not all of them may be able to satisfy yours. needs.

Without getting into excessive technicalities, remember that there are two main categories of valves: the Schrader valve, which is wider and flatter at the end, and the Presta valve, or French, narrower and with a locking nut, which can be loosened to add or release air.

If you're not sure which valve you have or which pump to buy, it's always a good idea to ask someone from your local bike shop. Furthermore, when it comes to pumps, not only is it good to go without fail with the right model for your needs, but it is also advisable to try to buy a model that makes the operation easier. For example, newer models also have a display that allows you to get a more accurate pressure reading, as well as having more robust materials and even easier pumping.

How to prepare for inflation

Introduced the above, we can take a step forward and prepare for inflation.

First, remove the plastic cap that could cover the end of the valve (sometimes these caps get lost, and it's not a drama if it's missing). Then, unscrew the tiny locking nut. Do not be shy, considering that the nut will not fall, and therefore there is no need to worry about unscrewing it too much. To make sure it moves, you can also give it a few taps: if the operation is successful, you should feel some air come out.

Of course, this step only applies if you have a Presta valve, while if you have a Schrader valve you can skip this step.

Read also: Bike helmets, features and choice of the best

Know the pressure you need

Before pumping the air into the tires, check the sidewall of your bike. It should list the pressure the rubber can safely handle. Remember that there is, however, no exact number in absolute terms. Much will also depend on your personal preference, your weight and your driving style. So try to find the right balance to be able to reach a pressure that is able to make your bike easier and smoother to ride.

Once this is done, mount the pump head on the valve. The pumps will have a switch that lowers or raises, or an internally threaded screw cap. Both systems serve to keep the head in position when you start pumping, ensuring that the air actually enters the valve instead of escaping while you do this.

Therefore, if the air seems to come out of the pump and not enter the tires, it may be necessary to slightly adjust the pump head. Simply detach and reattach the head to restore the seal.

How to get the perfect tire pressure

Using the pressure gauge on your bike pump, let in the air until you reach the optimal pressure. Of course, the inflation activity will be carried out differently depending on the type of bike pump you need.

For example, it may sometimes be necessary to use your upper body, working your arms and abs to get the job done. Other times, however, bicycle pumps are equipped in such a way that the feet and legs have to do the work.

Very often, finally, bicycle pumps are organized in such a way that you can do both activities, leaving you the preference to understand whether it is better to act with the "pedals" or with your arms.

Try it on the road

Once you have pumped the tires to the desired pressure, simply turn the switch on the pump head so that it comes off, and tighten the lock nut again before replacing the valve cap.

Once this is done, there is nothing left to do but try the bike on the road and see how it goes!


Video: Presta Valve (October 2021).