Though it is generally a basic and painless job to pump up bike tires, a cyclist must know the how-tos. As well as proper tools, you need to identify the valve type.
In this article, you will unravel the steps on how to pump up a bike tire with a Schrader valve. To make your learning easier, we have prepared a step-by-step guide. So let’s dig in without any further delay!
What Are Schrader Valves?
Commonly found on kids and lower-end bikes, Schrader valves are also found on car tires. These are wider and boast round openings at their top, featuring a central spring mechanism to allow airflow.
If not entirely kept air-tight, the dust cap helps to seal the Schrader valve fully. Furthermore, as its sprung design attracts dirt, you need to protect it from grit or dirt.
Now, it’s time to see why you need to pump up your bike tire.
Why Is It Important to Pump Bike Tires?
To get around the bone-jarring ‘ride-experience’ of solid wheels, pneumatic tires were devised.
The inside air performs as a spring, giving suspension and allowing the bike tire to adapt to any terrain. In a way, this offers better grip and traction.
If you want to enjoy your ride, get your tires pumped. Trust us, as this is the quickest way to ensure enjoyment. Running on the wrong tire pressure will affect your bike tires negatively, making them prone to accidents and punctures.
Wondering how you can put air in bike tires with a Schrader valve? Check out the steps below!
How To Put Air In Bike Tires Schrader Valve
Here’s the process for you.
Step 1: Prepare the Schrader Valve
Open your valve after unscrewing the dust cap that covers the end of the valve. Move it in an anticlockwise to reveal your valve. Do not worry if the plastic cap is missing, as these tend to get lost at times.
If the mountain bike valve stems haven’t been opened for a while, release a small hiss of air to check it’s not stuck. The same process, holding the valve open for longer, deflates the tire.
Step 2: Know About the Required Pressure
It’s important to check the recommended psi. Usually, checking the tire’s sidewall will show you the appropriate range the tires will safely handle.
Be careful not to let the psi drop lower than your tire’s lowest value. Generally, the recommended psi is the highest value. However, your riding style and weight will decide how much psi is actually needed.
Our tip would be to experiment and play around to come up with the best psi.
Step 3: Fit Pump Head Properly
The hose or pump connections will either be press on (also known as push on and lock) or screw on. The screw-on pump heads will boast a threaded end. On the other hand, a press-on pump head will have a lever arm.
Some push-fit connections lock with a cam lever.
A small amount of air is released when the connector goes on or off. Pull the connector off briskly, parallel to the valve, to minimize the air loss after pumping.
Step 4: Start Pumping!
It’s finally time to use the gauge on the pump to direct you. Now, your job is to pump the bike tires to the optimal pressure.
Keep using your core and upper body to pump. Keep in mind to monitor the pressure after every small burst.
Fully open and fully close the pump with each stroke. Place both your feet on the rest to stabilize your pump. Open the pump fully at the start of each stroke.
For all these, you need to build leg strength! It’s like a small workout, so let your abs or arms for the task for you!
Step 5: Brace the Connection Between the Valve and the Pump
It helps to brace the connection between the pump and the valve by hooking a finger or two around the tire or spokes. After that, put the feet and attempt to place yourself in a way that you are able to get the should behind piston pump.
Then, plant your feet and try to position yourself so you can get your shoulder behind the piston of the pump.
Step 6: Put Everything Back to Place
Firstly, you need to remove your bicycle pump. To do this, it’s important to flip your level back up.
Next, quickly attach the plastic cap to the valve. This time, rotate it clockwise to keep it in position. Secure it firmly to not let any air escape.
Now, these are the steps on how to pump up a bike tire with a Schrader valve. Follow them to pump your tires, as well as your skill!
How Often Does Your Bike Tires Need Pumping
It’s common for this question to occur in your mind. Depending on your usage, the condition of your tire and tube, and air temperature, the bike tires will gradually lose pressure.
One good suggestion is to examine your tire before every ride. Generally, it’s done by squeezing with your hands to check the bike pressure.
Even if it’s not exactly accurate, you can get the feel of pressure in the tires and know if they are up for pumping or not. If you are among the nerdy ones, you might invest in any pressure gauge that precisely reads tire pressures.
For mountain bikes, this is really helpful where only a few psi tends to make a big difference in grip and handling. But, it can also be used for road riding to find how often your bike needs pumping.
The final step is to go ride! You surely deserve a test run after knowing how to pump up a bike tire with a Schrader valve and implementing the steps.
What’s stopping you then? You do not have to worry about any punctures at all if you follow the step-by-step guide.
So lock in the pump, inflate your tires, and screw your cap. Finally, go shred!