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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-23-07, 06:03 PM   #1
Stockton
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I'm ********: How do I put air in my tires?

I just got my bike last night and got it all put together but then I realized I've never seen a valve stem like this before.



The LBS guy sold me this:
http://www.topeak.com/2007/products/.../harpoondx.php

I can't seem to get air into the tires though... I know I'm ******** but help me out.
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Old 05-23-07, 06:10 PM   #2
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Not ******** at all.....I think everyone has trouble with
Prestas on their first try.

First , make sure you have the Presta adapter / side of the
pump out.
Unscrew the little thumb screw....Next PUSH the screw IN,
releasing about 5lbs of air....This is important !!! Lastly....
I think(?) on that pump you press the head on the valve
and pull the lever up to lock it on. I could be wrong but
you'll be able to figure that part out. When its attached...
pump away !!! Screw thumbscrew back in.
If you dont release a few lbs of air, or break the seal of the
valve, it wont accept air no matter how hard you pump.
Enjoy your new bike !!!

Last edited by -=(8)=-; 05-23-07 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 05-23-07, 06:10 PM   #3
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Those are called presta valves -- they're common with high-pressure bike tires. Unscrew the little nut at the top of the valve and give it a little tap to let some air out of the tire. Connect your pump, pump away, pull the pump chuck off. Screw the little nut back down. That's it!
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Old 05-23-07, 06:29 PM   #4
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Nevermind I figured it out.

I'm just exhausted from work today.

I didn't realize I had to unscrew the little nut thing, thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-23-07, 06:30 PM   #5
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Old 05-23-07, 06:31 PM   #6
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If that's the biggest problem you have with your new bike, you'll be right. Enjoy the ride

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Old 05-23-07, 08:09 PM   #7
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First thing you need is a good floor pump with a built-in gauge and a chuck for presta valves (standard). Pump your tires up before each ride to approximately the maximum pressure as shown on the sidewall of the tires. This is the first step to trouble free riding. That little hand pump is just for emergencies on the road.

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Old 05-23-07, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943
Pump your tires up before each ride to approximately the maximum pressure as shown on the sidewall of the tires. This is the first step to trouble free riding.
I totally don't follow this advice, at all. I pump my tires only when necessary (or when I think it's necessary, i.e. when noticeably deflated (but then, I notice the deflation very easily, as I have a strong grip)), and in fact, I never ever pump them to the maximum pressure. More in the middle-to low range. Maybe because I am light, and like a cushy ride. At any rate, I had 2 "outdoor" flats in my entire life. So, I guess, that advice doesn't necessarily apply to everybody. Oh yeah, never a snakebite, ever.

Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 05-23-07 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 05-23-07, 08:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
At any rate, I had 2 "outdoor" flats in my entire life.
Sounds like you need to ride "outdoors" more.

I always put 10 over the limit before a ride, and I've never, ever had an "indoor" flat. Ever!
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Old 05-23-07, 09:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
Sounds like you need to ride "outdoors" more.
I am the first one at work on our floor, to get a tan (and I tan really, really slowly) as I ride outdoors that much. I was, in fact, the only one in the entire building (I know from the state of the bikes parked in the inside parking place), who has cycled through the whole winter, out-crazying even all my finnish colleagues. So, I think I do plenty of riding outdoors. And none indoors, just for clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
I've never, ever had an "indoor" flat. Ever!
That's because you were not suckered into buying these cheap-ass, shoddy chinese manufacture tubes, my friend.

Look, I didn't say the advice was wrong, I said >I< don't follow it. It doesn't apply to >me<, probably because I am such a light person.
No need to get all protective about your 10%-above-upper-nominal-pressure pumping practices. If it works for you, great. I can get away with much less pressure, and my body says thanks.
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Old 05-23-07, 09:17 PM   #11
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Well for now the hand pump will do. The LBS wanted $70 for a floor pump and it didn't even have a guage.

I got the hand pump fo $30 and figured that would get me started and I'm gunna order a decent floor pomp online tomorrow.
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Old 05-23-07, 11:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
. So, I think I do plenty of riding outdoors. And none indoors, just for clarification
Sorry, just joshin' ya there. Actually, ... I'm jealous! I've probably ridden all of 40 miles in the last 6 months!
But to further clarify, what did you mean by an "outdoor" flat?
I've not heard that term before.
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Old 05-24-07, 12:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
I totally don't follow this advice, at all. I pump my tires only when necessary (or when I think it's necessary, i.e. when noticeably deflated (but then, I notice the deflation very easily, as I have a strong grip)), and in fact, I never ever pump them to the maximum pressure. More in the middle-to low range. Maybe because I am light, and like a cushy ride. At any rate, I had 2 "outdoor" flats in my entire life. So, I guess, that advice doesn't necessarily apply to everybody. Oh yeah, never a snakebite, ever.
Yeah, it doesn't apply to everybody, but it's pretty sound advice for a beginner. Someone on a club ride was observed with very low tire pressure causing it to bulge dangerously. When we made her stop to borrow one of our pumps, she admitted to doing the thumb test before each ride. The problem is, her tires lost pressure so slowly that it felt fine every time until she was down from 100 to about 50-60 psi over the course of a month and didn't realize it. Frog in boiling water.

That being said, I still use the thumb test for weekday rides and pump them up fresh every Saturday morning.
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Old 05-24-07, 01:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
I was, in fact, the only one in the entire building (I know from the state of the bikes parked in the inside parking place), who has cycled through the whole winter, out-crazying even all my finnish colleagues.
Isn't it always winter in Finland? It always is in Rochester NY.
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Old 05-24-07, 02:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
Sorry, just joshin' ya there. Actually, ... I'm jealous! I've probably ridden all of 40 miles in the last 6 months!
But to further clarify, what did you mean by an "outdoor" flat?
I've not heard that term before.
  • Outdoors flat: ride, ride, ride, oops, I've got a flat.
  • Indoors: pump up tire with brand new tube. Pump pump pump BLAMO!! Or: Pump pump pump OK, fine - next morning: flat!

If you really want to experience the indoors flat, I can send you one of these crappy chinese-made tubes one can buy in Biltema here in Finland. Make sure there are no children in the vicinity while you inflate them. Note to fellow finnish cyclists: if you ever think of buying those Biltema tubes... don't.
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Old 05-24-07, 02:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by redirekib
Isn't it always winter in Finland? It always is in Rochester NY.
Well, in the south where I live, it's winter only half the entire time, the rest is fine. This last winter was especially mild and short (ok, then may was somewhat crappy, but stil bikable). I decided that 6 cycling months out of 12 just wouldn't do, for me, so I whiteknuckle it through the winters. There's a whole set of special skills one needs to learn, which you most certainly have mastered
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Old 05-24-07, 08:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockton
Well for now the hand pump will do. The LBS wanted $70 for a floor pump and it didn't even have a guage.

I got the hand pump fo $30 and figured that would get me started and I'm gunna order a decent floor pomp online tomorrow.
What the hell! What LBS are you using? I know some people don't like the place, but Performance usually has perfectly servicable floor pumps with gauge and dual Schrader/Presta head for $20. You can probably get it online too.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:48 AM   #18
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Performance usually has perfectly servicable floor pumps with gauge and dual Schrader/Presta head for $20. You can probably get it online too.
Yes. Not only Performance. Even in ExpEnsIvE Finland, you can get one for EUR 22.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:12 AM   #19
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First get yourself a presta schrader valve adaptor



About a $1 at your LBS, they usually have a bucket of them at the checkout.

Then you can use a garden variety bike pump or Wally-World inflator. I find using a schrader valve setup much easier than the presta.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:36 AM   #20
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You should pump the tyre up to a certain pressure based upon the tyre size and your weight. Someone posted a formulae somewhere a couple weeks ago. When I weighed 245lbs, I used 110/120psi F/R pressure with 700x25c tyres. I'm down to 180lbs now and use 100/110psi with 23c tyres.
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Old 05-24-07, 10:04 AM   #21
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Get the little adapters that allow you to use a standard air chuck. Bike shops sell them for about 50 cents. Much easier than dealing with the presta pump heads unless you are used to them.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge
What the hell! What LBS are you using? I know some people don't like the place, but Performance usually has perfectly servicable floor pumps with gauge and dual Schrader/Presta head for $20. You can probably get it online too.
It's DJs Cycles in Belmar, NJ. I hate them. They're rude and waaay over priced which is why I wouldn't buy my bike there but I needed a pump and they're the closest place.

I think I'll get those adapters so I can use a regular pump or the air line at a gas station if I need to.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:50 AM   #23
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To quote Lauren Bacall ... "you just put your lips together ... and blow!"

Sorry, couldn't resist ....
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