How To Inflate Road Bike Tires? Step-by-Step Guides For All Riders

  • 10 Dec 2022 14:15
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How To Inflate Road Bike Tires? Step-by-Step Guides For All Riders

Maintaining proper tire inflation is the simplest method for keeping your bike going smoothly and avoiding flats.

The finest ride, most extended longevity, and resistance to punctures come from properly pumped-up tires. How to inflate road bike tires?

It's a simple task, but you must understand the basics and know the right skills. Let's dive into this article to learn the process!

How To Inflate Road Bike Tires?

Initially, it doesn't appear easy, but inflating your road bike's tires is significantly more straightforward with our guides!


Before starting this task, ensure you prepare the following essential tools:

  • A bike pump
  • Suitable pump heads

Step-By-Step Instructions

How to pump up road bike tires? Let's look through the guides below!

Step 1: Determine the valve type.

The type of the bike pump will vary, depending on your bicycle valve type. Therefore, you must determine whether it's a Schrader or Presta.

You can buy the right pump head for your tires. Here are some tips for novice riders:

  • Mountain bikes often come with Schrader valves. This type is relatively larger and uses a spring-based mechanism to maintain closure.
  • Presta valves are more lightweight and more compact than their counterparts. This type is common on high-end bikes and features a lock nut function.

Determine the valves
Step 2: Open the valve.

Of course, you must detach the tire's valve to add air to your bike tire. Typically, it begins by unscrewing the dust cover on both types of valves.

The Presta valve requires a lock screw to maintain air pressure rather than an integrated spring mechanism. So, it would be best if you manually detached it.

After that, you must push the nut to inflate or compress the bike tire flawlessly.

Step 3: Attach Your Bike Pump.

You can screw or squeeze the pump tip to add air to your bike tire, depending on the kind of valve it has.

Most Schrader valves don't require an adapter to suit the pump head. 

Push the pump nozzle to turn on the spring-based mechanism and adjust the knob to secure it. On the other hand, Presta valves need an adapter. 

Start inflating

Step 4: Pump Up The Tire

Start inflating after connecting the tire with the pump head. Ensure you select the right bike pump.

When the inflating process is over, use a pressure gauge to check the PSI level of the tire. What should PSI bike tires be? It depends on the body weight of the rider. Read the chart below for suggested pressures:

Rider body weight (pounds)

Road bike tires (PSI)


95 - 105


105 - 115


110 - 120


120 - 130


125 - 135


How Often Should You Inflate Road Bike Tires? 

The size of your tire and the needed air pressure for operation determine the inflating frequency. 

Generally, these tires require perfect air pressure to work correctly. Thus, it's best to pump them up 1 to 2 times weekly. 

It is advisable to bring a hand pump with you so that you may effortlessly inflate your bike tires if needed.

The frequency of inflating the tires

How Much Air Do You Need To Inflate Road Bike Tires? 

Several factors affect the air pressure for these bicycle tires, especially those connected to the kind being utilized in the machines.

The recommended air pressure for these tires is between 80 and 130 PSI. But that's not always the case. 

For instance, the ideal maximum pressure for tires on Carrera road bikes is about 90 PSI.

With Trek road bike tires, the situation is different. Most of the time, 60 PSI is sufficient, but 35 - 40 PSI is optimal.

However, any tires can explode from excess air pressure. That's why you must gauge the pressure whenever inflating. 

How Do You Know If Your Road Bike Tires Have Enough Air?

The best way to check the air pressure in your bike tires is to utilize a pressure gauge. If you don’t know which tool to use, let’s watch this video:

You don't have this device, do you? Don’t worry! Try the following tips!

Thumb Check

This age-old technique involves inflating the tire and pinching the position above the rim to gauge its tightness.

Puddle Trick 

Inflate the tire and ride through puddles to know the water height on the bike tire rim. If it's low, your tires have enough pressure. 

Feeling Test

You must add more air pressure if your bicycle seems slow and you often bash the rim.

On the other hand, you should release some air if your bike seems too bouncy or twitchy and you start to lose traction.

Tips for checking air pressure


How Much PSI Should I Inflate My Road Bike Tires?

These tires' ideal air pressure range is between 80 and 130 PSI. 

Why Do Road Bikes Use Presta Valves?

Here are the main reasons why Presta valves are popular on these bicycles:

  • They hold more pressure.
  • They are more reliable. 
  • They are lighter.
  • They enhance the rolling resistance of the wheels.

How Do I Pump Up A Presta Valve?

Follow these simple steps:

  • Unscrew the plastic dust cap and the lock nut. 
  • Engage the bike pump by pressing it in the screw. 
  • Inflate the tire with suitable pressure. 
  • Remove the adapter.
  • Close the Presta valve. 

Do You Need A Special Pump For Road Bike Tires?

The short answer is no! You can use any pump that fits the valve to inflate your bicycle tires. 

Can You Use A Normal Pump On A Road Bike?

Yes! As long as the head of the regular pump fits the tire valve, you can use it to inflate your bike. 

In A Nutshell

Whether you are an experienced or novice rider, knowing how to inflate road bike tires is essential. 

Remember to use the right pump for each type of valve so that you will effortlessly inflate the tires. 

Hopefully, our guides are helpful for your task. If you have any further questions, please comment below. 

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Sara Ryan By, Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan is a freelance writer for CampFireHQ and avid diver. She first discovered her love for diving while on vacation in the Caribbean and has been hooked ever since. Sara loves exploring new dive sites and observing the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. As a native of Colorado, Sara enjoys spending her free time hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She also enjoys writing about her adventures in diving and wildlife conservation.

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