How to Put Air in Bicycle Tires

How to Put Air in Bicycle Tires
A flat tire can be a major annoyance. But it doesn't have to be, because putting air in bicycle tires is easy. In fact, it can be accomplished in less than three minutes.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Standard bike pump
  • Standard bike pump
Step 1
Make sure that your bicycle is in a stable position. This may entail turning the bike upside down and resting it firmly on its handlebars and seat. Either way, you want to be able to act hands-free when the actual pumping begins.
Step 2
Find your tire's air valve and unscrew the air valve's cap. The cap looks like a small rubber thimble protruding about a centimeter out from the tire's inner rim. Set the cap aside, but be sure to remember where you put it; they are extremely easy to lose.
Step 3
Insert the bicycle pump needle into the tire's air valve. In the center of the valve is a small hole--this is where the needle goes. Make sure the needle is inserted all the way. If the needle includes a screw-on piece, as many do, be sure to firmly screw the piece on to the air valve, thereby holding the needle in place in a far more hands-free manner.
Step 4
Use the hand-action (or, if you have a standard foot pump, the foot-action) to pump air into the tire. Try to pump once a second second so that 10 pumps are performed in 10 seconds. Every 20 seconds, check your tire's firmness. Once the tire feels firm and full, you're finished.
Step 5
Unscrew the needle's screw-on piece, pull out the needle, then replace the tire's air valve cap.

Tips & Warnings

If your pump has a pressure gauge, use it to pump the optimum amount of air into your bicycle tire. Check the user's manual for your bike or tires to find the ideal pressure for your particular tires.
Don't keep pumping after the tire feels firm. Over-pumping a tire can lead to safety issues later on--as your tire, stretched thin and filled with pressure, can more easily burst.

Article Written By William Jackson

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.

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