Tech Tips from The Bike Barn: Checking Your Tires

The correct pressure for each tire is written on the sidewall. If a range of pressures is given, such as 40 to 65 psi, the lower pressure is for more stability on gravel or off road conditions. The higher pressure is appropriate for hard surfaced roads and groomed trails and will give you the ability to roll with less resistence.

Pump your tires by hand with a floor pump. A compressor may deliver air too fast and explode your tube, possibly damaging the wheel and/or you. Frame pumps are for emergencies because it is difficult to pump high pressure or lots of air.

Presta Valves

If your tubes have presta/French valves (skinny, metal valves) you will need an adaptor to use a normal tire pump. Here's how to pump your tires if you have presta valves:

  1. Remove the valve cover
  2. Unscrew the end of the valve gently until you feel the stop
  3. Tap the end lightly until you hear the psst that tells you the valve is open
  4. Screw on the adapter with the large end closest to the rim of the bike
  5. Pump up your tire to the desired pressure
  6. Remove the pump and the presta adaptor
  7. Screw in the end gently but firmly
  8. Replace your valve cover

Free Air

Your local bike shop probably will pump your tires for you. The Bike Barn offers free air with no additional installation charge.