Bicycle Mechanics - Floor/frame Pump Woes
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02-16-04, 07:39 PM
Ok, I'm sure that this question sounds really, really dumb, but bear with me.
I have just purchased a frame pump and a floor pump. Prior to this, I was regularly stopping in at my LBS.
Neither of my pumps came with instructions, and I am no mechanical genius. Could someone kindly fill me in on how to use these two mind-baffling instruments? The main thing I am wondering about it what the lever thing is for, and how to put the pump on and off of the valve. Also, my frame pump doesn't have a gauge. How will I know when I have filled it with enough air?
Thanks a million!
02-16-04, 09:48 PM
Generally, when you put a pumphead on the valve you want the lever parallel with the pump body, then flip it up to lock it to the head. Pump away. If you have the thin threaded valve with the knob at the top(Presta) you will also need to unscrew the knob and tap it to loosen the valve.
Using the floor pump, pump up your tire to the correct pressure. Squeeze the tire, get a feel for how "tight" it is. Now when you pump up the tire with your frame pump you will know how the tire is supposed to feel. You just want to get it close, The frame pumpis for on the road repair not daily filling.
A lot of pumps have dual heads, one for presta valves, the skinny one with the
tiny screw and cylindrical "nut" on top and one for schraeder valves, the same
type found on cars. Some pump heads have internal rubber and plastic parts that can be removed, turned upside down and reinstalled to convert the head to one or the other. Dual heads are usually obvious on exam: the presta head is just a hole in a rubber donut and if you look at the hole as you activate the
lever back and forth you will notice that flipping the lever up makes the hole
shrink in size a bit. The other head will have some sort of central pin and is
larger in diameter for the schrader valve. Presta valves get sticky hence what
the Rev said about tapping the unscrewed valve is important. Attempting to
pump up a stuck presta will quickly run internal pump pressures to 180# or so
risking a gasket or seal blowout. As the Rev says, feeling the tires at various
pressures will educate your thumb as to how 90# feels versus 110# or 70#.
02-17-04, 04:28 AM
Thanks guys. That helps a lot. Tomorrow, the bike and I will try.
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