How to Properly Pump Your Tire

Full tires are the easiest way to have the best ride. While pumping up tires seems pretty intuitive, there are some tips and tricks, not to mention a good refresher on how to tackle this task so you can get riding as soon as possible.

Your bike has either Presta or Schrader valves. Presta valves are the skinny ones with twist off nipples while Schrader valves are the thicker ones that you’ve probably seen everywhere else. Most pumps service both, and be sure to check that any pump you get can do both just in case you need to pump up a friend’s tires.

We really recommend a floor pump due to its efficiency. It’s fast and not as taxing as hand pumps, and certainly worth the extra change.

To start the pumping process, remove the tire’s cap and place it somewhere easy to find. Next, if you have a Presta valve, open the nipple and give it two purges by pushing down towards the tire. Then, connect the pump. Most pumps have a locking mechanism like a switch, though we’ve seen some that you can twist on and off.

Before you begin pumping, look at the side of the tire for the psi range. The range differs for types and brands of tires. We recommend that you pump 10-20 psi below the top number of that range.

After you know your target range, pump away. Breathe in while pulling up and exhale on the way down. We like to think of this as a little core exercise for our staff members.

Then, get on and go! We always recommend you check your tires before and after your trip with just a squeeze of the thumb. It’s always better to be on the safe side and pump so that you will work less hard as you pedal. Happy riding!

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