How to inflate bicycle tires, tips and precautions

You should inflate your bicycle tires with the correct bar value. You should also check the bicycle tires regularly and especially inflate them after they have stood for a long time. In this practical tip, we show you what you should consider.

Note the correct bar information on your bike

Bicycle tire has a different bar specification, which you must adhere to.
You can find this bar information on both the front and rear tires of your bike. The lettering is usually on the edge. There you can see a minimum and maximum number of bars.

You must comply with this specification because it specifies the required air pressure. Do not exceed this number when inflating. However, you should not fall below them either.

With trekking, city or mountain bikes you can expect a tire pressure of around 4 to 5.5 bar. With a racing bike it can also be 7.5 to 9 bar. In any case, pay attention to the manufacturer’s information, because this information varies depending on the tire type.

Inflate the bicycle tire with the correct pump

Depending on the bike tire you have, you may need to use a different pump.

Take a look at the tires and especially the valve. There are three types of valves:

  • French valves (Sclaverand valve), which were previously only used in racing bikes.
  • Classic valves (Dunlop valve), which are the most common on leisure bikes.
  • Auto valves (Schrader valve) that you can inflate using a car pump or at any petrol station.

It is important that you buy a pump that fits your valve. Otherwise air will only escape when you try to connect the pump. However, if you choose a bicycle pump with adapters, you can supply all valves with air if necessary. Even if you change the tire type, you are on the safe side.

It makes the most sense to choose a pump that has an indicator. There you can practically read the tire pressure. So you always know exactly how much pressure you have already pumped into the tires.

Make sure there is sufficient air when cycling

When you inflate your bike, you should always press the tire and see how full it is. Of course, you should never lose sight of the bar information (see point 1).

It is best to do a lap after inflating the tires. Then you should check again whether the tire pressure is sufficient.

Another person can help you with this. While sitting on the bike, the person can check how firm the tire is. This way you may already see whether the tire is leaking and losing air. While mountain bikes should give way to ensure suspension, racing bikes should be firm.

The ideal tire pressure always depends on your project. Many cyclists opt for less pressure when driving off-road, whereas more pressure is an advantage when driving on the road. The less pressure you have, the more the tire springs or gives way. As a beginner or everyday cyclist, however, you should tend towards more pressure.

Also make sure that the valve is down before inflating the tires. So the air pump sits firmly on the valve and does not slip out.


Author: Nabeel K

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