How to Pump a Bicycle Tire Without a Pump?

thumbnail how to pump a bicycle tire without a pump

A cyclist or a biker should be aware of possible emergencies on the road while riding a bicycle. Imagine having a flat tire while riding on the road and possibly alone. What would you do? Of course, pump your tire. And you are sure that you have your pump in your backpack. But bad news, you forgot it at home.

So, knowing how to inflate a bicycle tire without a pump is one of these challenges. Pumping your bike in the comfort of your garage is desired, but you are out of your comfort zone. What would be your reaction? In this article, you will find the answer to this question with some basic methods to pump a bicycle tire without a pump, which requires do–it–yourself skills and a little know-how. So let’s start with the first one.

Method 1: Using a CO2 cartridge

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As it is simple, light, and in small size, using a CO2 cartridge is the most popular method among cyclists to pump a bicycle tire when it is flat. Cartridges differ in size according to your bicycle’s brand. And cartridges are divided into two types; threaded and non-threaded.

According to the size of your bicycle, the size of the cartridges changes. So it should fit in the valve correctly and without leakage of air. Also, keep in mind that threaded cartridges can be screwed onto the inflator head, but non-threaded cartridges have to be pressed into the inflator head.

How to use a CO2 cartridge

  1. Remove the (dust) cap by turning it counterclockwise, then put it in a safe place. There should be a connection between the inflator head and the CO2 cartridge neck.
  2. If a threaded cartridge is used, it should be threaded until a point of resistance is felt. But if a non-threaded cartridge is used, it should be pushed until resistance is felt and shouldn’t be pushed further.
  3. Hear and notice the airflow. Hold the cartridge for a while according to the size of the tire.
  4. If the inflation is enough for your tire, then carefully turn and remove the inflator head.
  5. As the last step, retrieve the dust cap as you have removed it at the beginning. The tip of the dust cap should be tightened on the bicycle valve.

Method 2: Manually Pump the Bicycle

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Suppose you don’t have a CO2 cartridge with you on your bicycle, in that case, you can even pump your bicycle on your own. Manual pumping comes as the second method. This method may be referred to as the most unwanted way because it may seem to be non-hygienic but better than being stranded. You should try this method to continue your way while riding.

How to manually pump your bicycle

  1. As bicycle tires and valves get dirty easily, the first thing to do is to clean the dirt using a towel or a piece of cloth.
  2. When you are sure that the tire and the valve are clean, you can put your mouth onto the valve and start blowing some air into the tire. Use your tongue to press the valve to control the airflow.
  3. After some air, you should check the tire positioned on the rim. If not, do it manually.
  4. Once you reach the proper air necessary for your bicycle, put back the dust cap and cover the tip of the valve till there is no space left for the air to run away.

Method 3: DIY Tool Project

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If you can’t inflate your bicycle’s tire using the methods mentioned above, you may try the last method in our article, which necessitates creativity and some equipment. Before starting, you should provide the necessary gadgets with you.

Apart from the other methods, in this do-it-yourself method, the air is transferred from one bicycle tire to the other one. You should design a tool that transfers the air easily. That means you should make an inflating tool on your own. Here are the necessary things for your DIY tool.

Necessary equipment

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  1. A Siphon hose
  2. A pair of Schrader valves
  3. A clamp

Take a pair of Schrader valves to attach to both sides of the siphon hose. You will use the siphon hose to transfer the gas/air to the tire. While you are doing the inflation process, one valve should be a clip-on variety to be attached to another side of the tire.

Place the two valves at the hose’s two ends, and be sure to clamp it in place to keep it from coming undone. Therefore, by connecting the other side of the hose to the second tire on your bicycle, you can quickly transfer the air to the one that requires inflation. You can even attach it to the tire of another bicycle if you have a friend close by. You might find it simpler.


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As a result, in this article, you have read that there are other ways to pump a bicycle tire without a pump. You may try one of these methods, or you can find the nearest gas station and inflate your bicycle’s tire. Also, this may be referred to as the fourth method. 

While riding a bike, taking precautions and being careful with your safety are important. As always, safety comes first. In emergencies, one should keep calm and think about the possibilities that can rescue the cyclist on his own. To be sure, the safest ride is the one in which the cyclist has all the opportunities at hand. But under hard conditions, one should know what can be used for urgent events.

It is better to have a ride with a pump in case of emergency, but now you know how to pump a bicycle tire without a pump. We believe that you would do it on your own. Have a safe and nice ride!

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