3

I always use a bicycle shop's air pump about once a week because it is free and convenient however about a month ago when filling in I found that valve was leaking. I went in got it fixed- quick cheap type and then yesterday it happen again and they did a full replacement. The bicycle's valve is standard pin type on a puncture tough tire and the pump is cup shape where you simply take off the cap and place it over the valve (not screwed on) and it inflates the tube without any pressure indications and then take it off and put the cap back on. Can frequent use of this pump perhaps sometimes rushing to finish potentially cause valve damage? - the shop is right before some traffic lights on the way home from work. Should be always more careful or even do it less often and use a manual pump at home?

2 Answers 2

7

No, using a compressor will not affect the valve any more or less than using a hand pump.

Reasons for not using a a compressor are the pressures may be too high for a bike tire, which is small volume so they increase quickly. This is unlikely to be a problem at a bike shop.

1
  • The reason that air pumps at service stations (gas/petrol stations) say to not inflate bike tyres is that they dump a lot of air in quickly. So its possible for a bike tyre to go from flat to over inflated to burst fast. Modern forecourt pumps are a bit smarter but they're still able to deliver air fast.
    – Criggie
    Oct 24, 2021 at 20:03
3

If you have higher volume tires made to run at lower pressures, you could be over inflating them using the compressor (eg they could have set up for up to 90 psi for road tires, but you only need 60psi for 650b commuter tire - if you hold on too long you will over inflate your tire). The best way to check is to use a gauge on the valve. I recommend using a hand operated floor pump with a gauge. Make sure your tire pressure is somewhere within the manufacturer's recommendation, printed on the tire sidewall. Give your tires a squeeze before and after pumping them up manually, to get a sense of how they feel at different pressures. That will help you avoid over inflation with the compressor. Also, don't be shy to ask someone in the shop for help if you need to! They may have a floor pump you can use.

4
  • 2
    It would be strange indeed if an air compressor itself didn't have a gauge. Oct 24, 2021 at 15:46
  • Sure, there's a gauge. It's down in the basement, or somewhere else out of sight, with the compressor itself. Not everyone puts another gauge at the end of the hose.
    – Bicifriend
    Oct 24, 2021 at 21:44
  • @Bicifriend But everyone providing a compressor for bike usage should absolutely include either a visible gauge or at least clearly advertise the pressure at which the compressor runs. Recommended pressures for bike tires simply vary way too wildly (from below 2 bar to about 10 bar). Blindly applying some fixed pressure to all tires must lead to many heavily over/under inflated tires. With all the security risks that implies. No gauge reflects really badly on the shop. Oct 25, 2021 at 9:36
  • Not sure they know what the correct pressure is- they inflated all the tires themselves after the last repair and it felt the hardest it has ever been. Oct 26, 2021 at 22:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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