FAQ: How To Pump Road Bike Tires?

Do you need a special pump for road bike tires?

We recommend that every cyclist should have two bicycle pumps, one that’s carried on rides to repair flat tires (commonly called a “frame” or “mini” pump), and another for checking and topping off tires before rides (called a “floor” pump).

How do you pump a bike tire with a Presta valve?

How Do I Pump Up a Bicycle Tire With a Presta Valve?

  1. Remove the black cap from the Presta valve stem.
  2. Turn the lock nut on top of the stem counterclockwise until it is loose enough to allow airflow.
  3. If your pump has a lever to hold the valve, flip it down.
  4. Pump the air until the tire is properly inflated.

What pressure should I pump my road bike tires to?

Pump it up.



Proper tire pressure lets your bike roll quickly, ride smoothly, and avoid flats. Narrow tires need more air pressure than wide ones: Road tires typically require 80 to 130 psi (pounds per square inch); mountain tires, 25 to 35 psi; and hybrid tires, 40 to 70 psi.

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Which is better Presta or Schrader valve?

Presta valves are easier to pump than Schrader, because they have no valve spring to overcome. In narrow rims, clincher tires also leave insufficient space between tire beads for larger Schrader valves. In contrast Schrader valves are more robust, universally used, and have an easily removable core.

Do you need a special pump for a Presta valve?

To inflate a Presta valve you‘ll need a regular air pump and a special adapter. These can be purchased for about a dollar at your local bike shop. The adapter effectively converts your Presta valve to a Schrader valve so that you can use a traditional air pump to inflate it.

What is a good bike pump?

  • Our pick. Lezyne Classic Floor Drive. The best floor pump for bikes.
  • Budget pick. Planet Bike ALX 2. A reliable option with better-than-most features.
  • Upgrade pick. Specialized Air Tool Pro. For frequent riders.
  • Also great. Lezyne Pressure Drive. Our favorite handheld bike pump.

Can you pump bike tires at gas station?

You can purchase one from your local cycle shop. When using a gas station pump, ask the attendant for a pressure gauge and inflate your tires in small bursts, checking the pressure after each one. Gas station pumps are extremely high pressure, and you can pop your tires if you‘re not careful.

What does Presta valve look like?

Presta: About half as wide as a Schrader valve and made entirely of metal. They taper slightly toward the top, and some are threaded all the way down. The valve stem opens by unscrewing a knurled (textured) nut at the top.

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Why are Presta valves so difficult?

The only time it has been difficult is when the valve stem was too short for the deep rims I have, so there was no enough stem for the pump head to clamp onto. Solution was to buy a valve extender. With my floor pump, you can easily tell when you have a good connection.

Can you pump up a Presta valve without an adapter?

If you don’t have a bicycle pump that accommodates Presta valves (most allow both nowadays), you could just screw on an adapter and inflate it using the pumps at the gas stations. This way you could pump it using your local gas station or any pump that pumps up Schrader valves.

Is 40 psi good tire pressure?

Higher pressure generally is not dangerous, as long as you stay well below the “maximum inflation pressure.” That number is listed on each sidewall, and is much higher than your “recommended tire pressure” of 33 psi, Gary. So, in your case, I’d recommend that you put 35 or 36 psi in the tires and just leave it there.

What happens if you put too much air in your bike tires?

The higher pressure makes the bike feel fast but may actually be slowing you down! If the tire is too hard it will have a tendency to vibrate and bounce which increases rolling resistance and makes for an uncomfortable ride.

What the lowest tire pressure you can drive on?

If you have standard passenger tires (ninety percent of vehicles do) the lowest tire pressure you can generally drive with is 20 pounds per square inch (PSI). Anything under 20 PSI is considered a flat tire, and puts you at risk for a potentially devastating blowout.

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