I haven't used my bike for almost a year and I need to start riding it again, but it appears I have a flat tire. I don't think there's something wrong with the tube cause I haven't used it for a pretty long time. It just won't inflate. The tire has a Schrader Valve. I use a pretty old pump so maybe that's the case? I'm not really sure.. So is there any way I could inflate it again without getting a new tube or tire?

  • Did you take the tyre off and inspect the tube for damage? I've found splits in a tyre I parked up for a few months inflated.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 11:16

3 Answers 3


You can easily inflate a completely flat tire (provided the tube is still good). Usually, when a tire is completely flat, you have to press the back of the tire so that the valve doesn't recess into the tire so your pump can be attached properly to it.

With a presta valve, you can use your mouth for this (well, on a clean tube, since the valve stem isn't spring loaded), but with a schrader valve you have to use a pump.

If it still won't inflate, check the tire and tube for damage and replace accordingly.

  • 2
    Yeah, rotate the tire until the valve is at the 3 oclock or 9 oclock position, then press your thumb against the tire very hard while pressing the chuck onto the valve. You need to force the valve out with your thumb pressure in order to get the chuck all the way on. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 12:16
  • Inflate the tube before you want to cycle, at least a day, so you can let the bike rest and check the pressure/replace tube or tube and tire before you set out.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 15:20
  • And do this after dinner if you expect to use it the next morning, as keeping it inflated overnight will let you know if there was something wrong with the tube or if was flat just because no one was using it.
    – super
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 22:26

Make sure the valve isn't stuck. If it's been sitting that long it probably is. Look at the valve and you'll see a pin in the middle. This pin needs to be depressed for the valve to open and allow air into the tube. Press down on it with a ball point pen, screwdriver tip or similar object to unstick it. Then follow the advice above about holding the tube in place while you attach the pump.


I had a similar problem and what worked for me was soaking the valve in white vinegar as you would a shower head for half an hr and then gently pushing the middle bit with an old ikea small allen key. worked perfectly.

ps i used a tissue soaked the tissue (cotton balls are better) in white vinegar, place them on the valve wrap in foil around tire and I let it sit for about an hr or 2)

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