basic - ? re: pumping up tyres

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basic - ? re: pumping up tyres

Postby ewan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:52 pm

hi. i'm dealing with french valves (thin, long with a little screw bolt/cap at the end) i think. these are very hard to pump up with a short hand held pump, yes??
to pump them up i am loosening the screw cap a bit then pulling on the pump and thumping away. is this correct?

is there an adapter to buy so i can use the car tyre pump at the local garage?

regards ewan
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by BNA » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:00 pm

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Postby sogood » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:00 pm

Garage pumps don't have the oomph to take it up to 100+psi. But yes, there are adaptors you can buy (do a Google). Some people use the garage pump to take it half way to save some energy.

Yet again, if your hand pump is decent, it shouldn't be too much trouble.
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Postby Bnej » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:48 pm

If you're doing it a lot with a hand pump and it's too much work, you might want a better hand pump. If it's a road bike you want a thin barreled pump so you can get the pressure up, if it's a mountain bike you want a fat barrel so you can pump extra air.

A floor pump is much easier if you are currently relying on a hand pump only.

As long as you are getting air into your tyres you're probably doing it right.
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Postby stryker84 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:21 pm

What others have said.

Adapter is available, do a search here or on Google.

Technique-wise, yep, what you've said. Unscrew, clamp on pump, and pump like hell. The type of valve won't make a difference, it depends on the tyre size you're using, and how much pressure you want. (Though typically Presta valves come on narrow 700c road tyres. Hand pump is doable, but it's a lot of effort if it's narrow road tyres where you ideally want to up around the 85+ mark (depending on width, weight, etc).

(Small tip with Presta ("french") valves: after loosening up the nut, give it a small push in to confirm you've broke the seal.)

Ideally a floor pump is best for regular pressure maintenance (easier and more accurate), and save the hand pump for emergencies.

Service station pumps (as opposed to a compressor) will not get up to the pressures you should be looking at for narrow tyres. And even for wide tyres, if the gauge reaches adequate pressure, I wouldn't trust them. They deliver large volumes per spurt, so increased chance of overpressure and a blowout.
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:02 am

My stepfather showed me a little trick to reduce frustration when topping up the air pressure.

Remove cap, ... unscrew locknut ALL the way, ... touch the locknut with finger [pssst] to ensure that valve is unseated, ..... then pump up tyre.

I have found a couple of valves that were pretty much stuck untill a little brute force unstuck them. If I had tried to pump without dislodging the valve from it's seat I would have been pretty well blue in the face trying to get the first puff of air in there.

Another point, it really is a proper high pressure pump you're using isn't it? One that clamps onto the valve stem, & not just a regular type with a flexi hose? The type originally designed for the old Woods/ Dunlop/ English valve will screw onto a Presta valve without difficulty.
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Postby ewan » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:59 am

Kid_Carbine wrote:Remove cap, ... unscrew locknut ALL the way, ... touch the locknut with finger [pssst] to ensure that valve is unseated, ..... then pump up tyre.



i think you've hit it on the head. i had not unscrewed the locknut enough or unstuck the valve. once i did i was getting air in there- not much with each pump but it's a tiny thing.

really it's a good thing i decided to practice fixing a flat at home. first, i decided to just pump up the rear as i also got a pressure gauge. well, finally got that done-- i'll do the fake fix tonight.

if i was outside i would have needed to call a cab. :roll:

re-the pump it's a little skinny Giyo. at the time i bought the bike i said i would also need a pump. so the asisstant said this will work. and that's how it came about...i can't complain cause i have no knowledge of what is best, worst etc.

it doesn't clamp on more a tight push down the valve? there were no how to use instructions just those on how to change the valve type bit..thingy..


thanks for the comments
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Postby Bnej » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:35 pm

ewan wrote:it doesn't clamp on more a tight push down the valve? there were no how to use instructions just those on how to change the valve type bit..thingy..


Some of the smaller/lighter road pumps don't clamp and you just have to hold them on as you pump. Most of the mid sized ones have a lever you pull out to clamp it onto the valve.
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Postby lukas » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:13 pm

I have a small Topeak rocket pump without a clamp, and it works fine.

My previous one was a Blackburn Airstick (I think), it had a clamp but it took SO much effort to get to a decent pressure.

IMO, a floor pump to have at home is almost essential.
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Postby big.birdd » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:19 pm

yeah, mine doesnt clamp all that well though, seems like a pretty cheap little lever
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Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:44 pm

ewan wrote:re-the pump it's a little skinny Giyo. at the time i bought the bike i said i would also need a pump. so the asisstant said this will work. and that's how it came about...i can't complain cause i have no knowledge of what is best, worst etc.


Best option IMHO is the Zefal hpx frame-fit pump

Next best is probably the Topeak Roadmorph, a mini pump that can work like a stand pump, and has a gauge.

I'm fascinated also by Cycleaire.

ewan wrote:it doesn't clamp on more a tight push down the valve? there were no how to use instructions just those on how to change the valve type bit..thingy..


If it is a 'push on' pump connection there should be a swivel adjuster to tighten onto the ruber seal washer... makes it clamp tighter on the valve stem.
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