How Does a Bicycle Pump Work?

How Does a Bicycle Pump Work?
All the millions of cyclers, including Lance Armstrong, have to keep their bicycles in decent condition to continue going those extra miles. And all those bike commuters, mountain bikers and recreational riders have one thing in common: they all use a bike pump to keep their tires from going flat. But how does a bike pump work?

Pump Types

According to REI, the three main types of bicycle pumps are mini, frame-fit and floor pumps.


Valve Types

According to, the Presta and Schrader are the two valve types. The pump connector needs to match the valve type to fill the tire with air.

Parts of a Pump

The cylinder holds air. The handle moves air in the cylinder when pressed. The connector connects the cylinder with your bike's tire valve. The locking lever locks the pump on the valve.

Preparing to Pump

Connect the valve of the pump to the bike tube and flip the locking lever. Pull the handle to fill the pump cylinder with air.

Filling the Tire

Press the handle to push the air from the cylinder into the bike tube. Keep pushing and pulling the handle until the tire is inflated. Release the locking lever and remove the bike pump.



Article Written By Jason K. Chun

Jason K. Chun is a Seattle writer in the cardio fitness category for Chun has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public communication from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a certificate from the Institute of Children's Literature.

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