Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When trying to inflate my bike tire, I pump maybe 5 times then it gets difficult for me to pump because the handle is hard to pump?

share|improve this question
4  
Some more pieces of information would be helpful. What kind of pump are you using? What exactly is your question? –  PattaFeuFeu Jul 23 at 18:23
    
Also, what kind of tires are you filling, i.e., road, mountain, hybrid? And what kind of valve? –  jimirings Jul 23 at 22:08
    
This could be really simple, but make sure the chuck (the part attaching to the valve) is all the way on. I do that sometimes and I end up with the same problem (and I've filled more bike tires than I can count). –  Aaron Jul 24 at 2:55

4 Answers 4

It sounds like your pump is not on the valve properly, so instead of inflating the tire you're just pressurizing the inside of your pump.

Does your bike have Schrader valves (the kind you see on a car) or Presta valves (skinnier, with a kind of pointy top)?

If it has Presta valves, make sure the top of the valve is unscrewed. There's a little nut that you can thread up, and you need to do that before you can put air in to the tire.

Also, try wiggling the pump nozzle around on the valve while you push down on the pump handle, you should be able to hear the change as air starts going in to the tire.

Image of a closed Presta valve:

http://greatbiycletallahassee.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc02731.jpg

Image of an open Presta valve:

http://practicalbiking.org/wordpress/files/2010/05/2010_05_01_Presta_valve_nut_loose_DSC_7554.jpg

Image of a Schrader valve:

http://velobikeshop.com/images/uploads/schrader.jpg

share|improve this answer
1  
And some times the valve is just plain stuck. I had a kids bike left in rain with a Schrader that I had to loosen with liquid wrench. –  Blam Jul 23 at 20:29
4  
On a Presta I always give the valve end a tap after unscrewing it, to make sure it releases a "pfft" of air. This loosens the rubber seal inside if it's stuck, and it makes sure you have the knobbie thing unscrewed far enough. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 23 at 22:54
    
I dont think wiggling the chuck is a good idea, especially if you're using a frame pump - you could damage the stem. I just tap on the presta valve one or two times after unscrewing it as well (since I always seem to lose my valve caps for Presta, sometimes the valve area gets a bit sticky). –  Batman Jul 24 at 3:26
    
@Batman caps on presta valves are against rule #60... although I also keep them on my bikes. –  arne Jul 24 at 5:28
    
I dismissed all "the rules" after I read rule 33. –  Batman Jul 24 at 14:15

Pressure is the ratio of force to the area over which that force is distributed, so if you want to use less force, solution may be a double-handle pump with a thinner cylinder. Pump with a large diameter cylinder can pump air faster but needs more force. Pump with a smaller diameter cylinder will deliver less air with a single stroke, but requires less force to pump, which may be what you need when you inflate high pressure tire.

share|improve this answer

Air is not going in valve. If Presta valve, the nut on top must be loosened. Then tap the end with your finger. You'll hear a little air escape. Connect the pump chuck and inflate. If a Scrader valve (like a car tire valve), the chuck probably is not pressed on far enough.

share|improve this answer

I've had that happen with schrader valves when I don't get the fitting on the valve stem all the way. There's a little pin that has to be pressed down in order for air to get into the tire, and if it isn't pressed down enough, it won't allow any air in no matter how much you pump. Make sure you press hard enough to fully seat the pump fitting onto the valve. If that doesn't help, your tire valve could be stuck closed, or the pump fitting (the thing you press over the tire valve) might be broken.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.