How to Use a Mini Bicycle Pump

How to Use a Mini Bicycle PumpWorse than actually making a flat bike tire repair on the road is having to spend precious time pumping it up with a tiny mini-pump. The mini-pump is a great device when you're aiming to shed ounces off your load, but using one can be a tedious, wrist-burning experience. But when faced with a flat, your only choice is to dive in and get it done.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mini bike pump
Step 1
Spin the wheel so the valve is at the bottom. Take the cap off the valve. On a Presta valve, open up the nut on top by turning it counterclockwise until it stops.
Step 2
Face the pump so that it's perpendicular with the tire valve and lower the head down onto the valve. If there's an open/close valve on the pump, close it. If not, simply hold the head firmly on the valve.
Step 3
Cup the end of the pump with your nondominant hand so that you're applying pressure with your thumb while holding the end in place with your fingers. Pull the pump piston out and begin to pump. This is where the mini-pump separates true cyclists and mountain bikers from those that just like to take a ride. Filling your tire with a mini-pump is going to be a lengthy, wrist-burning experience. The smaller and sleeker the pump, the more difficult it will be.
Step 4
Establish a rhythm. While a mini-pump will take a while, it helps to establish a pumping rhythm so that you maintain a fast, steady and efficient pumping motion.
Step 5
Check the tire pressure with a tire gauge or simply pump it so that it feels consistent with the other tire--you can perfect it with a floor pump and gauge when you get back home. If you don't have far to ride, pump it up enough so that the tire is firm enough to ride on.
Step 6
When finished, open up the pump valve, pull it off the tube quickly and close the valve. Put the cap back on the tube.

Tips & Warnings

Be sure you have the right pump--Presta or Schrader--to take on your ride. Don't wait until you get a flat to find out: buy the right pump, test it ahead of time and understand how to use it.
If your pump is compatible with both valve types, be sure you know how to switch over before you ride. Read the instructions for your pump.
If you feel any air escaping as you pump, refit the pump head onto the valve.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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