Many of us have a garage or stand pump that makes pumping tires at home a breeze. However, these pumps are not small enough to carry out on the boardwalk or the path with you. There are tiny, portable hand pumps that allow you to inflate electric bicycle tires when you're away from your garage pump in the case of a tire deflation problem.
These hand pumps are a useful item that you can connect to your ebike or put in a backpack without taking up too much room. While useful, pumping electric bicycle tires to full capacity with one of these when you are out in the woods takes a lot of effort, especially if the tire is flat! But we are not here to debate this; we are here only to tell you what to do to put air in e-bike tires without a pump, and if you are wondering how to pump a bike tire with a ball pump, we are also here to tell you that it is not feasible; but we have two other alternatives for you!
An Important Note About Valves
The first thing to understand about how to put air in an ebike tire is that e-bike tires have two distinct types of valves. There are Schrader valves, which are the same as those used on vehicle tires, and Presta valves, which are more popular on road bikes. Presta valves are ideally equipped for higher-pressure tires, whilst Schrader valves are better suited to lower pressure tires.
Both of these valves have distinct "heads," which means that a separate nozzle is required to connect them to every type of pump. Many ebike pumps come equipped with Schrader's heads, but with the purchase of an inexpensive adaptor, they can be converted to function with Presta valves.
The Pumping Options
There are two main methods considered when you want to pump your bike’s tires without a pump;
While hand pumps were formerly the most popular means of filling up an ebike tire on the trail, technological advancement has improved the world of the average rider by giving us lightweight, hassle-free CO2 inflators. These are lighter than hand pumps and take up far less room in your suitcase.
If you are seeking a quick and easy way to put air in electric bicycle tires, these tiny gadgets will assist you. They are made up of two parts: a CO2 inflator head, which resembles the top of a hand pump, and a CO2 cartridge. Both are available at e-bike stores and online.
Cyclists who follow the unwritten laws of cycling usually carry a pump, either connected to the frame or stored in a pannier. If you do not have a tiny portable pump, you may still use a CO2 cartridge to inflate low-pressure tires. These tiny cylinders take up little space in your seat bag and often contain enough air to fill both of your tires.
CO2 inflator heads differ slightly in design and maybe fairly expensive. These price variations are caused by several features. Some feature built-in valves that allow us to control the flow of CO2 considerably more precisely than others that are more "hook and run." When choosing a CO2 inflator head, make sure it has the functionality you want and that it fits the valve on your ebike.
The little CO2 cartridges hold gas under pressure, so while they appear small, they deliver a tremendous punch! This is how such a little item can fill an entire ebike tire. CO2 cartridges are available in two sizes: 16 and 20 grams. 16-gram cartridges are suitable for both road and standard e-bike tires, but 20-gram cartridges are better for fat tires and bigger, 29-inch regular tires. Cartridges can be threaded or unthreaded, and you should get the type that matches the CO2 inflator head you bought.
How To Use The Inflators
There are a few steps to filling a tire with a CO2 cartridge, and here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
NOTE: It is advised that you practice using your CO2 inflator at home first, rather than being stranded on the trail with just one or two cartridges, i.e. one or two efforts, to get you going again. In the absence of this, we have the manual approach, which we'll describe in a moment, but for reasons that will become clear, this is the preferred option.
Step 1: Securely attach the inflator head to the valve of the tire you wish to inflate.
Step 2: Place the CO2 canister in the inflator head. For threaded inflator heads, this involves turning the cartridge a few turns clockwise until you hear gas start to flow. For unthreaded inflator heads, this involves firmly inserting the CO2 cartridge into the inflator head to begin the flow of air.
Step 3: Allow the tire to fill for 1-2 seconds before removing the CO2 cartridge from the inflator head, either by rotating it anti-clockwise for threaded cartridges or simply pulling the cartridge out of the inflator head for unthreaded cartridges.
Step 4: Check to see if the gas is getting into the tire by inflating it slightly. If it was completely flat previously, now is the moment to check that the tire is properly positioned on the wheel rim. If everything appears to be in order, proceed.
Step 5: Screw the inflator head onto the valve and let it inflate the tire until it reaches the required pressure.
Step 6: After the tire has been sufficiently inflated, remove the inflator by pushing it straight up and away from the valve. This will prevent the valve from being severely damaged.
CO2 evaporates faster than air, and your tire might quickly deplete in 24 hours. It is thus recommended to take multiple cartridges with you and to fill your tire with air from a pump as soon as possible. As a consequence, while these CO2 inflators are not a long-term solution, they will allow you to fill your ebike tire and ride home without having to pump, puff, and pant along the way.
Manual inflation is your last option if you're wondering how to inflate an ebike tire without a pump. It will, however, bring you back home to your store-bought or handmade bicycle pump, allowing you to pump up your tire and repair any leaks that may be causing your problem.
Manually inflating your tire is similar to giving your tire mouth-to-mouth -or mouth-to-valve- and, due to the near closeness of your tire to the ground, we recommend rubbing the valve clean with a hand, a t-shirt, or any other clean piece of fabric before you begin this operation. It is also advised that you remove your bike's wheel to make this a much easier and less risky operation. Furthermore, manual inflation is most likely only achievable if your bike has a Presta valve.
After you have inflated the tire somewhat, check to see if it is correctly positioned on the rim. Adjust the tire as needed until it is in the appropriate position.
It takes a long time to inflate a tire using this approach. Do not give up, and be sure to check regularly to see if the tire is correctly sticking to the rim. Check the tire pressure by pressing the tire with your hand once you believe you have inflated it sufficiently.
How To Use This Method
Step 1: Place your lips over the valve and your tongue on the valve's centerpiece to hold it open as you begin to blow it up.
Step 2: Begin inflating the tire. This will take some time, so don't be disheartened if it doesn't happen right away. After a minute or two, check to see whether the tire is inflating and if all of your hot air isn't going to waste.
Step 3: You won't be able to attain the PSI levels that a pump or a CO2 inflator would, but it will be enough to get you home without damaging your tire's rim. When you've attained a high enough PSI for your riding needs, ground to a stop.
Step 4: Put on the dust cap, reconnect the wheel, and head to a pump!
Learning how to put air in bike tires without a pump is an essential skill for any cyclist. It will come in handy in an emergency, especially if you are riding your bike. The most important thing is to keep your tire properly inflated at all times for your safety and to ensure that your tire lasts longer than planned.
Now that you know how to pump an electric bicycle tire without a normal pump, you may be prepared to pump like anytime on the side of the road. Manually inflating a tire is the last choice, and CO2 inflators are inexpensive and simple to operate, especially once you have practiced with them a few times at home.