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Inflating Tubes

From Bike Collectives Wiki

The first step in inflating a tube is getting the valve ready to be pumped. Read about Tube Valves.

Using Compressed Air

Using a Pump

Pumps on shop ceiling at Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

Hand pumps are fairly standard and inexpensive, but they work well.

Pump Levers

Flip the lever up after you put it on the valve.
Properly on the valve.

When you put the pump onto the valve, you will need to operate a lever on the pump to engage it with the valve. Sometimes you need to pull the lever down, and sometimes you need to push it up.

  1. Pick a pump.
  2. The lever should be folded down parallel to the hose.
  3. When you put it on the valve, you will bend the lever upward so that it's parallel to the valve.

When they are off the valve, the lever near the pump head lays up against the pump hose. When you put one on, flip the lever up.


Bead sliding up over the rim.

Once the valve is on, start pumping. If you can hear the air whistling out of the pump and nothing is going into the tire, tap on the pump valve while pushing down on the lever - this will get the pump to work. As the tire gains pressure, pay careful attention to the area where the tire meets the rim. If the tube isn't seated correctly, it may be pushing the tire bead off of the rim. If you see the bead sliding up, detach the pump and let air out of the tire to avoid a blowout.

Checking inflation

You should check tire inflation periodically with a tire gauge. Be careful not to overinflate the tire, especially on older rims. A few of the co-op's pumps have gauges built it, which will allow you to monitor the pressure as you pump. You can find the correct pressure for your tire on the sidewall.

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