Inflation: Pumps and CO2 cartridges

One of the most important things you can do to keep your bike feeling awesome is to make sure your tires are regularly inflated to their recommended pressure. Somewhere on the side of the tire, usually stamped into the rubber although sometimes as part of a logo, the pressure is listed in PSI, kPa, and barometric ratings. Most people are familiar with the PSI (or pounds per square inch) measurements. The number is also frequently given in a range of pressures; for example, a tire might say “Inflate to min 40 psi max 65 psi.” This means you tire should have at least 40 psi in it, and you can inflate it to a maximum of 65 psi. Moving along to maintenance: all bicycle tires lose air slowly and steadily. The rate of loss varies based on size and pressure of the tires, but you should figure on checking and topping off your tires at least once a week, and maybe more like every couple of days if you have road sized tires. The best way to check pressure and do regular inflation is with a good floor pump. Unlike those small, frame-mounted pumps used for emergency, side of the road flats, a floor pump is larger, more efficient, and is gentler on the valves. They also commonly have a built in pressure gauge. Owning and using a floor pump can prevent the dreaded “pinch flat” as well as increasing the life-span of your tires. We stock a rotating supply of floor pumps at Joe Bike. Based on availability, we keep Topeak Joe Blow pumps, Park consumer pumps, and Planet Bike pumps. A good quality, basic floor pump starts at about $30, and can go up to around $60 or $80. Keep in mind that the more expensive pumps have more durable inner parts and will last longer and be more durable. We can also order pretty much any brand or style of pump you might be interested in. The other half of the pump world contains frame-mounted pumps and CO2 cartridge inflaters. We stock the Topeak Morph series, Blackburn and Planet Bike brands of frame pumps. We also carry CO2 inflaters and cartridges.