How to Use a Bike Pump

There are few things more frustrating than being out on a bike ride and getting a flat tire. Sometimes, you might be lucky enough to have a friend with you who can change your tire for you.

But other times, you might be out riding by yourself and have to change your own tire. If you don’t know how to use a bike pump, changing your tire can be even more of a pain.

Luckily, we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to use a bike pump in easy steps. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be an expert at using a bike pump and changing your own tire!

  1. First, find the valve on your tire. There are 2 types of valves—Schrader valves and Presta valves. Schrader valves are the most common type of valve and look like the valves on car tires. Presta valves are narrower and look like thumbtacks sticking out of your tire.
  2. Once you’ve found the valve, unscrew the cap that’s covering it. If there’s no cap, proceed to the next step.
  3. If there’s a knobby ring around the base of the valve, unscrew that too.
  4. Take your bike pump and line up the nozzle with the valve opening. Make sure that the nozzle is fully inserted into the valve opening; otherwise, air will escape as you’re trying to pump up your tire.
  5. For Presta valves: Now that the nozzle is inserted into the valve opening, push down on the nozzle while still holding it in place (see photo). This will open up the valve so air can flow through it. Then proceed to step 7.  For Schrader valves: The valve should already be open; just proceed to step
  6. Begin pumping air into your tire until it reaches its recommended PSI (pounds per square inch). Most mountain bike tires should be pumped up to between 30-35 PSI; most road bike tires should be pumped up to between 80-130 PSI. Note: If you’re unsure of how much PSI your particular tires need, consult your bicycle’s owner’s manual or look for maximum PSI information on the side of your tires themselves.
  7. Once your tire has reached its recommended PSI, remove the nozzle from the valve opening. Make sure that when you remove it, you do so slowly; otherwise, all of the air might come rushing out of your tire again! For Presta valves: You may need to depress the knob at the base of the valve again in order to close it off completely. For Schrader valves: The valve will automatically close when you remove the nozzle from it; no need to do anything further!
  8. That’s it! You’re all done using your bike pump! Be sure to screw all caps back onto their respective valves before heading out on your ride again.

And there you have it—some easy steps for using a bike pump! remember these tips next time you get a flat so changing your tire will be a breeze!


We hope that this blog post was helpful in teaching you how to use a bike pump! Don’t let a flat tire ruin your next ride—now that you know how to use a bike pump, changing your own tire will be no problem at all! Thanks for reading!

Allen Joe

Allen is an adventurous and creative individual who loves to explore the open road. An avid cyclist, Allen is always pushing himself to new limits. When he's not cycling, you can find him using his writing talents to share tips and tricks for biking on his blog.

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