How to Use a Floor Bike Pump

Updated November 21, 2016

A floor pump is a design of air pump often used to inflate bicycle tires. The floor pump stands upright and features a long pump shaft, which produces the generous quantities of air needed to inflate bicycle tires. A floor pump can be used to maintain air pressure before and after a ride, or to fill a tire following a flat.

Rotate the tire until its valve is easy to access and is not obstructed by the bicycle frame. Unscrew the cap atop the valve and set it aside.

Check the tire sidewall for recommended tire pressure. Both minimum and maximum recommended tire pressures will be given. Larger riders, 81.6 Kilogram or more, should consider inflating the tire to maximum recommended tire pressure. Smaller riders, 49.9 Kilogram or less, are safe inflating the tire to minimum recommended tire pressure.

Determine the type valve used on the tire. A Presta valve has a narrow stem and locking nut at the tip. By comparison, the Schrader valve has a wider stem and no locking nut.

Unscrew the locking nut on the end of the Presta valve. Schrader valves do not require this step.

Unfold the base of the floor pump to allow it to stand upright.

Attach the end of the pump hose, called the 'chuck', onto the valve. If the chuck is too wide for the valve, a Presta valve adaptor is required. Simply screw the Presta adaptor onto the valve before fitting the chuck onto the adaptor.

Close the lever on the pump chuck to seal the chuck onto the valve.

Straddle the floor pump with both feet on its base, which will keep the pump rooted to the ground during operation.

Grab the floor pump shaft handle with both hands. Raise and lower the pump shaft as many times as is needed to inflate the tire. A pressure gauge at the base of the pump will register the current tire pressure.

Unlock the lever on the pump chuck and detach the chuck from the valve. Close the locking nut at the tip of the Presta valve. Screw the cap back onto the valve.

Things You'll Need

  • Presta valve adaptor (as needed)
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