A pump is one of the basic things you must have for cycling.  You generally have to pump up your tires every time you ride, so not having one is not an option!  Fortunately there are many varieties on the market.  Find a good one that’s on sale at your local bike shop, that feels good to you and is easy to operate.  My preference for my 40-something eyes are the ones that have the gauge at the top of the pump, near the handle, rather than the bottom.  MUCH easier to read!


There are basically two types of tire valves – Schrader and presta.  Shrader valves are the same kind you have on your car tires.  Basic, simple – you’ve used them for years.  But presta valves are slightly different.  Apparently they cope with the rigors of high-pressure tires much better, but they are a little tougher to use.  First, you have to unscrew the top of the valve (you don’t really need a cap for this type) before you put any air in.  Second, you need a special pump to fill them.  Fortunately many pumps these days work on either Schrader or presta.  (note, gas station pumps will typically only do Schrader)  So, if you’ve got kids and/or a spouse who don’t ride high-performance bikes, then get a pump that adapts to both.  (both of my pumps will automatically adapt to either valve type, and I don’t have to adjust a thing!)


4 thoughts on “Pumps

    • Thanks, Richard – I’m slowly building up this web site, page by page, in no particular order. So please let me know what areas you’d like to know more about next!

  1. I am 54 yrs old and had a Motobacane Mirage in the `70s that I rode daily ( I put a racing sprocket on the back and it was FAST , WELL , I was also a teen back then ) I got old being that I had many kids and a job and all , so I didn`t ride anymore. I bought the same kind of `70s bike from a garage sale to fix up but then in the process also bought a Schwinn Varcity that requires ONLY a back tube. Well guess what ? I just learned from your site what the heck kind of stem that is that has a screw out thing in it !! I guess what I`m sayin` is thank you for this site as I`ve went to all kinda sites tryin` to get basic info on what I`m doin` and only if I knew already would I have probably been able to find out what it was that I didn`t know !! See what I`m sayin` ? I just wanna ride a bike sometimes again ( without going to technical school to do it ) lol ! I also read your review on tires and it informed me alot about what to watch for ( I have no idea how old these little skinny 700 x 23 Continintal tires are ) So thanks again for your site and if you could send me a link on my email I will visit again to find out more ( this is so I can find it again and assuming I don`t end up in a coma tryin` to ride again )

  2. Thanks, Perry. Sorry for the slow reply – I’ve been away from my site for a while, but I’m trying to get back to it again!

    I hope you were successful and are back out there riding? Please drop me a line any time and let me know what other subjects you’d like to see covered on this site!

    – Cody

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