Buy a bike, they said. It’ll be great, they said. And it was… right up to the point your tyre deflated, you looked at the valve and you realised that you had absolutely no idea how to pump it back up again.
The chances are this made you feel stupid, but it shouldn’t, as how to pump up a bike tyre is something that every cycling newbie struggles with.
- Before you even think about pumping up your tyre, you need to make sure it hasn’t got a puncture
- Once you’ve identified that the tyre just needs pumping, the first thing you need to know how to do is open the valve.
- There are generally two types of bike valve, Schrader (looks like the valve on your car wheel) and Presta and they work slightly differently to each other
- Make sure your pump is compatible with type of valve your bike has
Total Women’s Cycling expert Jenni Gwiazdowski suggests a good rule of thumb is to pump up your tyres every 2 weeks with a track pump – one with a gauge, so that you can see what pressure you’re getting. Even if you don’t have one at home, bike shops tend to have them outside and will let you use it for free
But if you still aren’t sure, help is at hand in the form of these handy video guides. First, Peter from the Madison Bicycle Shop talks you through the different types of bike-tyre valve, and how to use them.
Schrader Valves, Presta Valves and Presta Valve Adapters by Madison Bicycle Shop
Next, you’ll need to know what pressure your bike tyres should be and in this video, Mark from Performance Bicycle reveals how you can find out. Big hint, the manufacturer imprints the pressure range on the side wall of the tyre for easy reference. Mike shows you how to spot it.
Correct Road Bike Tire Pressure by Performance Bicycle
Finally, Jonathan Youngman of Franklington CycleWorks reveals how to inflate a bicycle tyre including how to remove the different types of valves, what pressure your tyre should be pumped up to and how to use a pump to make sure you and your tyre are ready to hit the road again with minimum stress.