how to use a bike pump?
I know this is a stupid qustion but I have no idea how to use the pump in my bike. I have a Raleigh pump with gauge and I am trying to find some site with pictures to help me because I am very new to this bike thing and nobody I know knows anything about it. My bike's tires are almost empty and I tried to use the pump but it"s like rocket science for me... can anybody help me ? Thanks.
Dances a jig.
First see if your valve is a presta or a shrader valve based on the pictures here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/presta-schrader.html. Then configure the pump head for the proper valve. The pump should have come with instructions saying how. Make sure the lever on the pump head is folded down. Then, if you have a presta valve, loosen the locknut on the end of the valve. Then push the pump head onto the valve and flip the lever up. I have seen some pumps where the lever works the opposite way (lever up-open, lever down-closed) so if you can't get the pump head on try reversing the lever.
Ask the helpful folks at your LBS or local bike club member for a demonstration. Besides the presta/schrader difference, some pumps have levers to lock in place, but others turn. And you want to learn about the wrong things to avoid doing, so you don't damage the valve stem.