How to Put Air in Bicycle Tires – For All Valve Types

Are you looking for a quick and easy tutorial on putting air in bike tires? Well, look no further because we have covered everything you need to know about how to put air in bicycle tires.

While pumping air in bike tires isn’t the most challenging task, it can become a real hassle if you don’t have the right tools or you’re not using the proper techniques. Luckily, we’ve devised a step-by-step guide on how to put air in road bike tires in under 10 minutes.

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to put air in bike tires at a gas station or home, all you need to do is follow our instructions and get the job done in a breeze.

So, let’s get started!

Equipment Needed for Putting Air in Bike Tires

The first step for learning how to put air in bicycle tires is gathering the necessary tools to do so. The essential tools include a compatible pump, a pressure gauge, and a Presta adapter.

Here we get into detail about the specific instruments and what purpose they serve.

Floor Pumps

Floor pumps are relatively massive in their size and are mostly used at home. Their enormous size allows them to pump more air into the tires at a time.

By using floor pumps, you can save yourself a lot of time; however, their massive size makes them a not so travel-friendly option.

Bike Mount Pumps

If you’re a cyclist biking up and down mountainous terrains, bike mount pumps are the right choice for you. These pumps are compact and can be carried around anywhere.

The only downside to bike mount pumps is that it will take longer for you to fill up the tires.

While each type of valve requires a different kind of pump, you can easily find multi-purpose pumps that come with detachable nozzles.

Pressure Gauge

This is a necessary tool that you will require if you’re filling up your tires at a gas station. This tool will enable you to check the pressure levels within the tires while you’re pumping air.

This tool helps in preventing the over-inflation of tiles that could lead to the tire bursting.

Presta Adapter

Presta adapters are detachable caps that can convert the Presta valve into a Schrader valve. You will require this if you’re pumping in the air at a gas station.

Now that you have the tools and equipment ready for inflating your bike tires, you can proceed to follow the rest of the steps on how to put air in bicycle tires.

What’s the Optimum Tire Pressure for Bikes

Having the right pressure within your bike tires is vital so that you don’t underinflate or over inflate your bike tires. While there is no set PSI measurement you should adhere to, there is a range in which the optimum bike tire pressure lies.

To figure out the right pressure range for your bike tire, you should take a look at the sidewall of the tire. There you will find the maximum and minimum values of pressure that are ideal for your specific bike tires.

How to Put Air in Bicycle Tires with Different Valves

Now we will move onto discussing how to pump air in bike tires with different valves. While they’re all similar to one another, their unique nozzles call for other techniques.

How to Put Air in a Schrader Valve

Schrader valves are popular in mountain bikes or cost-friendly bikes. This kind of valve can be identified through its wide diameter, stout appearance, and threaded stem.

You can pump in the air in these tires through these steps:

  1. Unscrewing the rubber cap: First, spin the valve cap in a clockwise motion to undo it. When it finally comes loose, put away the cap in a safe place as you will need it after inflating the tire.
  2. Check the recommended pressure levels: Be sure to check the range of pressure that’s ideal for your bike tires to prevent over-inflation.
  3. Find the suitable bike pump: The right pump has a nozzle that can accommodate the kind of valve accurately. In the case that you don’t find the right pump, you can easily use other pumps at the gas station. However, you need to be vigilant with these pumps and utilize the pressure gauge. We recommend filling up the tires with small bursts of air.
  4. Pumping air in the bike tire: Carefully put the pump in the valve and examine the pump beforehand to check the nozzle’s condition. Then pump in the air and keep checking the PSI readings. Release the pump after the inflation is done.

How to Put Air in a Presta Valve

You can find Presta valves in high-end road bikes, and they’re longer in appearance with a narrow diameter. Their surface is entirely threaded with an outer valve stem and cap.

You can inflate through Presta valves by:

  1. Turn the Presta valve: Firstly, turn and remove the valve cap and put away the cap in a safe place as you will need it after inflating the tire. Press on the valve stem, and if you get a hissing sound, you’re good to go.
  2. Check the recommended pressure levels: Be sure to check the range of pressure that’s ideal for your bike tires on its sidewalls.
  3. Find the suitable bike pump: You can find the right pumps or any bike store. Attach the Presta adapter to convert the valve into Schrader at the gas station. We recommend filling up the tires with small bursts of air to prevent the tire from bursting.
  4. Pumping air in the bike tire: Plug the pump carefully into the valve and ensure that the nozzle is open. Then fill up the tires and keep it in the recommended pressure levels.

How to Put Air in Bike Tires with a Woods Valve

Woods valves are similar to the Presta valves and use the same mechanisms. They’re smaller in size and appearance than the Schrader valve.

Since their mechanism is the same as Presta valves, you will need to follow the same steps as taken for the Presta valves.


We hope that through this article you’ve effectively learned how to put air in bicycle tires. Be sure to keep an eye out on the optimum pressure levels and use the right equipment, and you’re good to go!

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out doing about every kind of biking and experiencing the occasional tumble. Ready to share the ride with you.

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