You might be curious about the process of manually pumping a bike tire. In this article, we will try to show you how to inflate your bike tires with the aid of a CO2 cartridge and not an air pump.
It is almost a commandment that all cyclists keep to that, they must travel or ride their bikes while carrying around small bike pumps. But life is not perfect and there are times when you might get a flat bike tire and you will need a means of pumping up your flat tire without an air pump. Ordinarily, as a cyclist, you should have the necessary skills of knowing how to inflate a bike tire. This is important because you could develop a flat bike tire at any time and you need to know how to help yourself in such situations. So, what do you do when you are out in town riding and you develop a flat tire but you don’t have a bike pump around. What do you do then? It is possible to pump your flat tire without a bike pump. This is where a CO2 cartridge comes in.
You might need a little technical know-how for how to use the CO2 cartridge but once you can understand the process, it is pretty easy to pump your bike tires with it. An inflated bike tire is not to be joked with at all. It ensures that your bike is at optimal riding performance and improves the overall lifespan of your tires. An inflated tire also ensures that accidents will seldom happen on your bike. The traditional bike pumps usually come with a pressure gauge that allows you to check your bike tire’s pressure levels. But if you don’t have a bike pump, don’t worry. With this guide, we will show you how to go about pumping and inflating your bike tires without a bike pump.
We will show you how to pump using the CO2 cartridge and also, with your mouth. Let’s look at these methods one after the other. We will start with the CO2 cartridge method first, shall we?
CO2 cartridge method of pumping bike tires
A CO2 cartridge is a type of tool that cyclists use temporarily to inflate their bike tires. CO2 cartridges come in different sizes and depending on your type of bike, you might need different or varying amounts of tire pressure to achieve optimal performance. Basically, you can get a smaller size of a cartridge for your road bikes and normal bikes. But mountain bikes usually need a larger size of the cartridge. Also, bikes with fat tires or 29-inch tires will need cartridges of bigger sizes. There are two types of cartridges you can use to inflate your bike tires. They are the Threaded and Non-threaded cartridges.
So, let’s look at the step-by-step process you should follow to inflate your bike tires using a CO2 cartridge.
– 1st Step: You should start by turning the cap of the inflator anticlockwise using your hand and then removing the cap. Raise the other side of the inflator up and get the fitting for the CO2 cartridge and inflator from the inflator tube.
– 2nd Step: Locate the valve cap on the bike tire. Now, remove it. The valve cap is usually located on top of the valve stem. So, remove the valve cap from the valve stem. Put one side of the inflator to fit clockwise on the valve stem. Now tighten the fitting of the inflator and valve stem together.
– 3rd Step: Put the CO2 cartridge’s neck into the other open end of the inflator. Hold the inflator firmly with one hand and push the CO2 cartridge firmly into the fitting. Now, turn the cartridge in a clockwise direction until you start to hear the sound of compressed airflow.
– 4th Step: Hold the CO2 cartridge very firmly in place and then use it to pump your bike tire for a few seconds. Now, turn the CO2 cartridge in an anti-clockwise manner until you hear the airflow stop. Once the flow of air has stopped, you can check your tire’s inflation level by squeezing your tire in your palms. If the tire’s inflation level is not sufficient, you can turn the CO2 cartridge clockwise again and keep pumping more air into it.
– 5th Step: Once the bike’s pressure level is okay by you, go ahead to unscrew the CO2 cartridge from the bike inflator fitting. After removing the cartridge, also unscrew the inflator fitting from the bike stem too. Return the CO2 inflator and the inflator fitting into the inflator tube and then, put back the valve cap on the bike’s valve stem.
That is the process of inflating your bike tire using the CO2 cartridge without using a pump. The thing with CO2 gas is that it dissipates very quickly. So, in 24 hours, the CO2 gas will need to be replaced on your bike with normal air from an air pump. Like we said earlier, this is a temporary solution to your flat tire.
Manual Method of Pumping a Bike Tire
We mentioned earlier that you can also blow air into your bicycle tire to inflate it. Let’s see the process;
– Clean the valve on your bike tire with a cloth or napkin.
– Put your mouth on the valve and blow a small quantity of air into the tire. Make use of your tongue to keep the valve open as you blow it by tongue-pressing on the valve.
– Look at the wheel. Is the tire seated right on it?
– If not seated properly, adjust the tire onto the wheel properly with your hands.
– Continue to blow a small quantity of air repeatedly into the valve by mouth till you get a manageable pressure in your bike tires.
This process might be very tiring and time-consuming, but it is at least better than being stranded with your bike. Right?