How to Fix a Bicycle Pump

How to Fix a Bicycle Pump
Bicycle pumps push air into the tire tubes through a sealed and enclosed chamber. When the handle is moved up and down, air is forced out of the chamber through a hose and into the tire tube. Various areas of a bicycle pump erode over time necessitating the need to repair the pump. Get the make and model of your pump to get the needed replacement parts for adequate repairs to the pump. Find the model number and serial number for pumps under the feet of the pump.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spray on dry lubricant
  • O-rings (sized for your pump)
  • Replacement pump hose
  • Replacement Schrader valve nipple
Step 1
Pull up and down on the pump handle. Feel for sticky, gritty or dry action between the pump stem where the piston/rod comes up out of the pump tube and the pump tube. If present, hold the handle up all the way and spray the dry lubricant onto the piston rod.
Step 2
Push the handle up and down to work the dry lubricant into the pump mechanism. Try the pump handle again and see if the lubricant removed the stickiness.
Step 3
Grab the tube nozzle at the end of the bike pump hose. Unscrew the nipple cap by turning it to the left until it comes off. Remove the plastic valve nipple -- a black plastic piece with small holes in it. This is the Schrader valve nipple. These erode after many uses and may need to be replaced.
Step 4
Look into the empty nozzle and find the small black rubber O-ring along the inside edge. Pry that out and replace with the new O-ring. Screw the cap back on.
Step 5
Grab and inspect the pump hose. Look around the fittings where it connects to the pump tube. Look for dry-rot and cracking. If present, pull the tube out from the pump tube and unscrew the whole valve nozzle unit on the opposite end of the hose. Push the new hose onto the tube connection; then slide the hose clamp over and push to the connection. Tighten the hose clamp down with the screwdriver. Place the valve nozzle on the other end of the new hose.
Step 6
Pump the handle up and down several times to prime the tube chamber with air and to get the new hose and parts working.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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