In order to use a bicycle pump, first look at the side of the tire for a listing of the range of optimal tire pressure. Learn about different stems for different bike tires with help from a professional endurance coach in this free video on using bicycle pumps.
Hello, I'm Stephen Taylor, coach for cycling, triathlon and personal training. Today, we are going to talk about how to inflate the tires on your bike. In order to do this, you will need a bicycle with tires and a bike pump, preferably one that has a pressure gauge on it. If you are going to ride a bicycle, it's important to know that when you inflate tires they do not remain at that same inflation level. So, if you pump up the tires two days ago or a week ago or months ago, you are going to need to reinflate those tires. To determine how full to fill the tires, look on the sidewall of the tire. It will list a range of optimal tire pressure. That's where the pressure gauge on your pump comes in. That way, you can ensure that you're pumping the tires up to the correct level. Bicycle tires come with two different stems, it comes with either a skinny racing style stem or a wider, more standard, bicycle stem. The stem is where you inflate the tire. In our demonstration, my bike has the more skinny, racing-style stem. And, if this is the kind of tire that you have on your bike, you'll need to be sure to unscrew the center of the stem before you inflate the tire. Place the nozzle of the pump firmly over the stem. Make sure that you really push it down, so it's fully seated on the stem. Usually, there is some sort of a lever or locking mechanism to firmly clamp the pump onto the stem. Once this is in place, you can start pumping away until it's fully inflated. With the kind of stem that I have on my bike, the narrow racing stem, sometimes you may be pumping air into the tire, but it doesn't seem like the air is going from the pump into the tire. If that is the case, remove the nozzle of the pump and let just a little bit of the air out. That opens the seal, and now you will be ready to inflate the tire with ease. Once the tire is fully inflated, quickly, but smoothly, remove the pump nozzle from the stem. Tighten that center piece down if you have the racing-style stem, and if you have a cap for the valve stem, just screw that on and you are ready to ride. Happy cycling.