How to Put Air in Mountain Bike Tires – In 8 Easy Step

How to Put Air in Mountain Bike Tires

For a biker, it is very important that they know how to put air in mountain bike tires. In most cases, you need to do this by yourself.

Pumping up a bike’s tire is a much-needed skill if you’re a cyclist. Before taking a ride, you should always check if your bike’s tires are ready for the trip. If you are new to mountain biking, you should know how to put air in mountain bike tires.

How to Put Air in Mountain Bike Tires

To know how to put air in your mountain bike tires, first, you should know about the tire’s components and how they work. For example, you should know about the right amount of air a tire needs to function optimally. Once you get to know about its components, it’ll be easier for you to get the clear concept of pumping up your bike’s tire.

With proper knowledge, you can enjoy your cycling trip without any complications. This article will help you provide information on how to put air in your mountain bike tires.

Select the Correct Bike Pump

Two of the most common valves for a bike are Schrader and Presta valves. The structure of a Schrader valve is wide and flat at the end. On the contrary, the Presta valve is narrower and contains a locking nut at the top.

Check Out: Best Mountain Bike Floor Pumps 

Rookie riders often make a common mistake when they try to pump in a Presta valve using a Schrader bike pump. A Schrader bike pump will only work for Schrader valves. So, if you’re trying to put air in a mountain bike with a Presta valve, you should select a Presta-only bike pump.

A good bike pump usually has the following characteristics:

  • An accurate psi reading.
  • Is strong and solidly built.
  • Easier Inflation.

So, How to Put Air in Mountain Bike Tires

Step – 1: Ascertain the Tire Pressure your Bike Needs

Avoid over-inflating or under inflate your bike tires since it might severely harm your bike. You can determine the recommended tire pressure by checking the sidewall of your bike tire. Both minimum and maximum tire pressure are measured in psi.

The psi of a bike might differ depending on the type of bike you are riding. An average road bike tire usually requires a higher psi than mountain bike tires. Recommended psi for road bikes is 80-130 and 25-35 for mountain bikes.

Step – 2: Remove the Dust Cap from the Valve

There’s a plastic cap present in both Presta and Schrader valves. Before you put air in your mountain bike tires, first, you should unscrew the dirt caps from the valve you have on your bike. The dirt cap prevents any dirt or debris from coming inside the valve opening so you should store it carefully.

In the case of a Presta valve, unscrew the lock nut after removing the cap. Rotate the valve a few times to open it before attaching the pump. You can skip this step if you’re using a Schrader valve.

Step – 3: Set the Pump on the Valve

How to Put Air in Mountain Bike Tires
How to Put Air in Mountain Bike Tires

There are several types of bike pumps available in the market. You can easily refill your tires at home with a floor pump. Floor pumps usually have a higher capacity and have the capability to pump max tire pressure of 160 psi.

Hand pumps are great portable pumps that you can bring with you on a bike trip. They are lightweight and have the capability to pump high pressure to your bike’s tires. If you’re a regular rider or a mountain biker, a hand pump is a worthy choice.

Floor and Hand pumps usually have two nozzle holes allowing them to fit in both Presta and Schrader valves. To set the pump on the valve your bike has, choose the correct nozzle, and push it onto the valve.

Step – 4: Pull the Pump Lever Up

Now that you have set the pump on the valve, it’s almost time for pumping air on your bike tires. A lever is present on most of the bike pumps which needs to be rotated 90 degrees. This process might not be the same on all pumps so you should always check instructions before use.

Step – 5: Inflate the Bike Tires

Your pump is now securely attached to the bike tire’s valve which means you can start pumping. The next step is pretty simple and easy to do. If you are using a floor pump, you have to put your feet on each of the sides and pump with both your hands.

If you are using a hand pump, use a hand to hold the nozzle onto the valve and pump using the other hand. You should buy a hand pump with a pressure gauge to determine the accurate pressure your tire needs. Keep pumping till you reach the desired air pressure of your bike’s tires.

Step – 6: Detach the Pump from the Valve

Now, push down the lever you had to put up during pumping. Next, you have to pull the nozzle off of the valve. Removing the pump might result in a little amount of air escaping from the tire. This little amount of air won’t make a noticeable change to your tire pressure.

Step – 7: Deflate Tire in Case of Over Inflation

Just in case you overinflated your bike tires, you can easily deflate them in both Schrader and Presta valves. If you are using a Schrader valve, press on the valve with your fingernail until the required amount of air escapes. For a Presta valve, you have to unscrew the lock nut and press on the valve until enough air has escaped.

Step – 8: Close the Valves

If you have a Schreder valve, just set the plastic dust cap back on the valve. For a Presta valve, screw the lock nut tightly and put the dust cap back on. Cross-check your tires if they’re pumped to the required air pressure. If they feel firm and solid, you are good to go.


Always remember to check if your tires are inflated enough before a trip. Your bike performs the best when it is maintained well. With proper knowledge, you can understand the ways and the impact of putting air in your mountain bike tires properly before every trip.

In this article, we are providing you with all the information by researching through professional mountain bikers.

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