How To Inflate A Tire

The easiest way to keep your bicycle running well is regularly checking tire pressure. Properly inflated rubber rides best, lasts longest and resists flats. For high-pressure skinny road tires, check before every ride. For fatter rubber, such as what's on most off-road bikes, once a week is about right. But DON'T head to a service station and use the car-tire compressor! (They can explode a bike tire in seconds.) Do it with your "floor" (home) pump. Here's how:
Not all Presta valves have threaded shafts as shown; some are mostly rubber.
  • Presta valves come in different lengths. Match the length of the valves that came on your wheels. The deeper your rims are, the longer the valves need to be.
  • Schrader valves are the same as automobile valves.
  • Valves usually come with plastic caps. These provide a little protection and a "finished" look. But, many cyclists choose not to ride with them because it's easier to inflate tires when the caps are already removed.">
    Not all Presta valves have threaded shafts as shown; some are mostly rubber.
  • Presta valves come in different lengths. Match the length of the valves that came on your wheels. The deeper your rims are, the longer the valves need to be.
  • Schrader valves are the same as automobile valves.
  • Valves usually come with plastic caps. These provide a little protection and a "finished" look. But, many cyclists choose not to ride with them because it's easier to inflate tires when the caps are already removed." data-width="352px" data-height="218px" data-thumbnail="/images/library/site/maintenance_howtoinflateatire_valves_lg.jpg">
  • Step 1: Know your valve type
    (photo). Tip
  • Don't pump too vigorously. Slow and steady gets the job done quickly and prevents pump damage (it's possible to harm the gauge by pumping too quickly).">
    (photo). Tip
  • Don't pump too vigorously. Slow and steady gets the job done quickly and prevents pump damage (it's possible to harm the gauge by pumping too quickly)." data-width="280px" data-height="319px" data-thumbnail="/images/library/site/maintenance_howtoinflateatire_attachpump_lg.jpg">
  • Step 2: Attach the pump
    Step 3: Inflate the tire