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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    32

    Help - Tire Pressure / Floor Pump Issue

    I've just got a bike and am really looking forward to getting into cycling. I'm a complete beginner in that I haven't cycled since I was about 12, so my question may seem really obvious.

    Love this website btw. I think that it's hard to ask technical questions when you're a woman, as sometimes guys give you techie answers which are impossible to understand versus breaking it down into normal English!

    I've got a turbo trainer to work on my fitness when I can't cycle outdoors as I've promised to train for a ride later this year with my friends. My problem is that I'm trying to pump up my training wheel which my LBS put my training tyre on. I need to ensure that every time I use my turbo trainer it's at the same setting. I bought my bike from my LBS, so they recommended the training wheel and training tyre.

    On the training tyre itself, it says that the maximum pressure should be 120 psi. Other websites recommend only pumping it up to 110 psi, although the maximum is 120 psi. I'm going to pump it up to 110 psi and keep it at that pressure.

    I finally figured out how to use my Bontrager Recharger Track Pump with the Presta valve on the wheel after a lot of Googling. The tire wasn't completely flat when I pumped it. The problem is that when I pumped it to about 60 psi, I felt that the tyre felt as if it was at maximum inflation and the pump didn't seem to be adding any more air. I'm afraid to pump it any more as it feels like it will burst.

    I thought that the pump would automatically show what pressure the tire was at and that you would just pump it where you need it to be. I feel like I'm missing something so obvious. How do I manage this issue in the future? Surely cyclists don't empty their tires just to pump it up to the right pressure? Is there some gadget I'm supposed to buy that tells you the tire pressure and then if you're low you just pump the difference with your floor pump?

    Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Actually good questions. Tire pressure is dependent on rider weight, and tire thickness. A 23 mm tire with a rider who weighs 150 lbs pumps to about 105 psi. The wider the tire, the lower th pressure, but the more a rider weighs, the higher the pressure.

    Try this link for pressure guidelines.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=53582

    And this link, post number 6, has tire pumping tips. Basically you need to have no pressure in the pump when you start, and make sure all the valves are set correctly. Having the presto valve at 6 o'clock helps, too.
    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=44376
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-03-2015 at 12:13 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    While I'm at it, this thread has a link to a very good how to change a rear tire video,

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=42029

    As you can see, these questions are common; agree that men tend to take these types of things more for granted.

    Oh, and welcome to TE!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    32
    Thanks, Muirenn. That's very helpful.

    How do I know how much pressure is in the tire to begin with? Can I know this from my Floor Pump?

    Cheers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    There should be a pressure gauge on the floor pump. If your pump is a small one without a gauge, or a portable model, I'd invest in a better one. Oh, and you don't need to put the valve cap back on the stem. It's not necessary, and will probably fall off somewhere, anyway. Also don't keep the washer nut on the valve stem, if your tubes came with one. That can actually cause a leak around the stem.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    32
    Cheers, Muirenn.

    I actually have a pressure gauge on my pump. I got the same one that my LBS uses (Bontrager Recharger Track Pump). They recommended it. When I connect the pump, the current pressure doesn't show. The gauge says zero. It's only when I pump that the needle moves up. This is why I'm confused.

    Also, noob question here: what are valve caps on the stem and washer nuts?! I'm seriously technically deficient when it comes to biking. I'm trying to learn though. I've learned so much in the past few months since I first decided to buy a bike.

    I thought the stem was the bit the handlebars attach onto because when I got my bike my LBS said that they switched around the stem to give me a more comfortable reach. I'm 5' 3" but prefer the unisex model of the bike I got versus the WSD. With the WSD, my arms felt wrong - like they were too bent. With the unisex model, I felt like my reach was too far until the LBS switched around the stem. Then it felt fine.

    On my wheel, I only have a black cap which I take off the Presta valve. There's no other cap. I had to unscrew the silver round thingy to loosen it. I pushed in the silver round thingy in slightly to make some air come out and then fixed on the floor pump to the narrower hole (my pump can do Schrader valves too so it has a wider hole as well) and locked it in place. Then I pumped.

 

 

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