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How to Inflate Bike Tires Without a Pump

author image William Machin
William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.
How to Inflate Bike Tires Without a Pump
Loser kid wearing flip flops pushes his bike along a sidewalk after getting a flat tire. Photo Credit: champja/iStock/Getty Images

Essential equipment for a cyclist includes a floor pump in the garage and a road pump clipped to the bicycle frame or carried in a backpack. Bike shops inflate tires using an air compressor with a fitting and pressure gauge like the type found at service stations. For emergency situations on the road or at home, when no pump or air compressor is available, you can inflate bike tires quickly using a compact compressed air or C02 inflator designed for bicycles.

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Step 1

Turn the cap of the compressed air inflator counterclockwise by hand and remove the cap. Tip the other end of the inflator up and retrieve the CO2 cartridge and inflator fitting from inside the inflator tube.

Step 2

Remove the valve cap from the valve stem on the bike tire. Thread one end of the inflator fitting clockwise onto the valve stem. Tighten the fitting by hand.

Step 3

Insert the neck of the CO2 cartridge into the open end of the inflator fitting. Grip the fitting with one hand, push the cartridge into the fitting and turn it clockwise until you hear the compressed airflow.

Step 4

Hold the cartridge in place and inflate the tire for several seconds. Turn the cartridge counterclockwise until the airflow stops. Squeeze the tire by hand to check for inflation level. Turn the cartridge clockwise again and add more air if necessary.

Step 5

Unscrew the cartridge from the inflator fitting. Unscrew the fitting from the valve stem. Replace the cartridge and fitting into the inflator tube. Replace the valve cap on the valve stem.

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