Tire upkeep is an important part of every machine that is supported by wheels and electric bikes are no different in this regard. Keeping optimal pressure in a bike’s tires is a rather simple task these days since most of us have access to a portable electrical bike pump in our garage. The real test occurs when one has got no access to a pump and the bike’s tires are in dire need of some air. Such a scenario naturally causes anxiety, but luckily there are some ways to pump the tire without using an inflator.
Two of the most popular ways on how to pump a bike tire without a pump will be discussed in this article. But first, let’s talk about some basics:
How Many Types of Valves Are There on Ebike Tires?
Sorting out the right kind of valve is just as important as purchasing the right kind of air pump. Most of us are only familiar with one kind of valve that is used on all types of car & motorbike tires and is also a common sight in many mainstream bicycles. That type is known as the Schrader valve that is usually made to withstand only normal tire pressure.
The second kind that is rapidly being used in many modern bicycles & ebikes is the Presta valve. Presta valve is highly effective on tires that are inflated with high air pressure. The unconventional structure of the Presta valve is precisely designed to perform well in such situations.
Lastly, there’s no need to panic in case your ebike’s tire is fitted with a Presta valve since the valve head can easily be converted using a cheap & readily available adaptor.
How to Put Air in Bicycle Tires?
Putting Air or inflating a bicycle/ebike tire is really a simple task. All you need to do is to connect the hose of the pump to the tire's valve and then press the button of the electrical bike pump and the pump will take care of the rest. Conversely, you will need to apply force through either your foot or hands in case you are using a mechanical pump.
Putting air in bicycle tires without a pump requires some know-how, which is discussed below:
Image credit: Road.cc
Method 1: CO2 Inflators
CO2 inflators or canisters are handy cans of compressed CO2 pressurized gas that have the capability of inflating bike tires in a matter of seconds. These inflators, sometimes also referred to as CO2 cartridges are a great accessory in case you are venturing into the wilderness and don’t have enough room to pack a mechanical pump. However, just like anything on the planet, these CO2 cans also have some pros & cons which are as follows:
Pros & Cons of CO2 Inflators:
Since CO2 inflators are an incredibly helpful accessory, therefore, it makes sense that we first discuss their pros:
The compact size & the lightweight of the canisters make them a great replacement for mechanical pumps. The importance of this feature increases manifolds when a rider is going on a long journey.
CO2 canisters are a quick and almost effortless fix.
The compressed air packed inside is ample to inflate a tire to 120 PSI.
CO2 tire inflators carry an affordable price tag; thus, riders of every income class can easily afford them.
The not-so significant cons of a CO2 cartridge are:
These cartridges are a short-term fix and thus are not ideal to be used as a long-term solution.
The main reason behind their inability to be used as a viable long-term solution is because CO2 dissipates quickly and thus, you'll probably need another canister in a day or so.
CO2 inflators are disposable, which is kind of obvious. But their disposability somewhat reduces their convenience since they can only be used once while pumps can be used infinitely.
How to Use CO2 Inflators?
Using a CO2 inflator is almost the same as using an electrical bike pump. The first step involves placing the inflator head onto the tire’s valve which is then followed by inserting the cartridge into the inflator head. The gas will start to flow as soon as the cartridge mates with the inflator head. Wait for some seconds and then press the tire to check if there’s ample pressure.
When done, remove the inflator by pulling it up. The inflated CO2 will comfortably last a day which means you can effortlessly hike to safety.
Method 2: Manual Inflation
Manual inflation sounds like a crazy idea to inflate a bike’s tire, but the method surely works. Since this method involves some serious effort, therefore, it should only be exercised as a last resort. Moreover, this method will only fill in a negligible amount of air that will only be enough to walk the bike to safety so try not to hop on the bike after you’ve manually inflated its tire(s).
Since bowing down to inflate a tire isn’t particularly a comfortable task, therefore, removing the tire would be a good idea that will alleviate some of the burden. Nevertheless, it won’t be an easy task as you will have to constantly blow into the tire for several minutes, and even then, it probably won’t be enough.
This article should serve as a good tutorial on how to put air in bicycle tires without a pump which would prove to be useful in many tricky situations. As with any other safety measure, some investment is needed here too, but it isn’t something that a bike owner can’t afford. The CO2 canisters should be enough to fulfill your needs in the majority of cases and there's a healthy chance that you won't ever need to resort to the manual method on your ebike/bicycle trips.