How to Fix Bicycle Tires : Checking Your Bike’s Tire Pressure

How to Fix Bicycle Tires : Checking Your Bike’s Tire Pressure


Hi! I’m John Brown from High Road Cycles in
Wayne, Pennsylvania on behalf of Expert Village. Today we are going to learn about proper tire
inflation. To start the first thing and most importantly, is to figure out what pressure
your tire should be at. All tires on the actual sidewall of the tire will have written somewhere
its recommended pressure. So for instance, this tire here is recommending somewhere between
50 and 85 PSI or pounds per square inch. Different tires are going to have different pressures;
depending on their size, on their width and what their application is. They give a weight
range as far as pounds per square inch for the rider to determine on their own. The lower
the pressure a lot of times, the smoother the ride; however, the chances of a pinch
flat are increased greatly. The higher the pressure, the harder the ride; however, your
chances of pinch flat are greatly decreased. What we are going to do is put air in the
tire. Now there are two different types of valves. One which most of us is familiar with
something like this is a standard shrader valve or American Valve. It’s what you would
find on your car, find on most motorcycles or any kind of motor application. Other type
is what is called a Presta Valve or French Valve; something like this. It works slightly
differently. With an American Valve or shrader valve, the valve itself is held closed by
a spring. There is a little pin on the inside of the valve that gets depressed and that
allows air to go in and out. On a presta valve what is actually holding the valve closed
is air pressure. There is no spring, nothing mechanical in there to actually hold the pressure
closed. It relies on the tire itself, the pressure in it. The barrel on the end here
is simply a lock. Once opened, you are able to put air into the tire and take air out.
When finished inflating, you simply thread that lock down and you are good to ride. Any good floor pump should work on either
valves. How most floor pumps work is you simply take the head and there is valving on that,
put it on the valve of the inner tube and flip the lever at which point, you are able
to put air in and on some floor pumps, take air out. It works the same on the presta valve.
The only thing you need to do is make sure the barrel is open. Now checking pressure
is a little bit different. You are going to need a pressure gage. There are 2 different
types of pressure gages. There is the standard automotive style, looks something like this.
It will put this on the valve and it will extend this arm here and tell you exactly
how much pressure is in the inner tube or you can use something like a digital gage.
How these work is you will put these on the valve and it will give you a digital read
out of exactly how much air pressure is in there. These end up being more accurate but
also more expensive.