Both professional and amateur bike riders should routinely monitor the air levels in the tires as part of regular maintenance. This is the only way to make sure your tires are at the recommended pressure level; otherwise, simply pump in air as needed.
Understanding how to pump your tires correctly will also come in handy when you happen to get a flat tire on the road, with no one to help you out. Read below how to do that, and go to http://www.pumpsforbikes.com/how-to-pump-a-bike-tyre/ for more information.
- First, you will need to know the type of valve your bike has. If you don’t know that already, have a close look at your bicycle and determine whether the valve is wide (a Schrader valve), or long and slender (Presta valve). Schrader and Presta are the most common valve types, with the former typically found on mountain bikes, and the latter on road bikes. The slender, high performance Presta valves require high air pressure.
You will need a pump that fits your type of valve, which shouldn’t be difficult since most pumps nowadays are compatible with both types. Whether it is a regular floor pump or a portable hand pump, it will help you get the correct amount of air into your tires; some types require minimal effort on your part, while others might take some time to get the job done.
- Secondly, carefully attach the pump to the valve by pressing it down tightly to prevent air from escaping. Otherwise, you will soon notice that the tire is not inflating, which means you will have to readjust the pump.
Presta valves demand extra care, as you will first have to remove the screw that covers the valve before attaching the pump. Moreover, avoid damaging the fragile pin in the center, or you will have to replace the tire altogether.
- Finally, you can get to the pumping proper. Tires that are underinflated or overinflated are always a problem, so check that you are getting the correct air pressure into them. More specifically, check the sidewall of the tire for the PSI (pounds per square inch) recommended for your bike. Generally, the optimal air pressure for road bikes is 85 – 130 PSI, and 30 – 50 PSI for mountain bikes. Just don’t go over or below the recommend range; you will be fine pumping air in the higher end of the range.