Every biker, both veterans and beginners, should be well-acquainted with the essential tool of the bike pump. The important actions for successfully pumping tires are quite easy but there are some details that everyone should know. While veterans probably know the ins and outs of using bike pumps, this article will also cover some minutae about bike pumps aimed at veterans who want to brush up on their existing knowledge, or see it as covering the basics to help the new bike enthusiasts.
How to Use It
The first thing you need to do is prepare the valve by uncapping it. These plastic caps usually keep your valve away from specks of dust that might cover the valve, but even then it does not present any danger to pumping tires, so it is primarily a part of the bike’s appearance rather than something important.
The next thing is attaching the pump correctly. Some pumps have a switch at the top to lock themselves to the valve and prevent any air from escaping, while others automatically latch themselves to the valve. After placing the pump to the valve, you just need to pump the air, put the cap back on, and you are done.
Valve and Pressure Information
Now, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty, here is some important information. Firstly, there are different valves, with the three most common being Schrader, Presta, and Dunlop, with the main difference being the appearance.
The Schrader is the most universal and common one, it has a little spring that holds the valve closed, and it is the easiest to operate, as the only thing you need to do is depress the spring and attach the pump.
The Presta is another common although more expensive type. They usually are long, narrow, and lightweight, making them ideal for modern competitive bicycles. If you have this type of valve, you will need a special Presta pump, which can be considered a downside.
The third most popular is the Dunlop valves, however, they are mostly widespread in Europe, and are rare in the US. If you somehow managed to buy a bike with this valve, Being rare in the US, you just have to know that they are heavier and more robust than the others, and require a Presta-compatible pump.
As for the tire pressure, you can feel by touch if the pressure is good enough, although you should always check the gauge. Here are the values you should value: regular road bike tires should be around 80 to 130 psi, hybrid bikes should be around 40 to 70 psi, and mountain bikes should have 25 to 35 psi.
In conclusion, some valves require pumps with special attachments, so be sure to check your valve before buying a pump.
Is it difficult to pump a tire?
No, it really is not. The act itself is easy but there are some details that you have to take into account, just to avoid unnecessary and tedious problems.
I have bought a bike with a Dunlop valve, what should I do?
Dunlop is just a rare valve, you simply have to buy a Presta pump and you will be alright.
Do I need to watch closely at the pressure gauge when pumping tires?
Not really, although it is recommended. You can utilize the touch test, but you should keep an eye on the gauge if your pump has one.