Bike maintenance for dummies.

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8:13pm, 27 Jul 2014
2083 posts
Which bit might be stiff? The valve itself, the part that moves might be stiff. The valve might not seem impressive but it is a little machine and any moving part that does not get lubricated can get stiff - whatever you make it from.

The core (removable or not) has a moving part in it; when you push on the pump it creates an area outside the tyre with a higher pressure than the area inside the tyre, the valve is pushed open and air flows in. When the pump is removed it is the air pressure that holds the valve closed - we screw them up tight to prevent slow leakage(such as it being knocked open ever time you go over bump). This is different to some other types of valve that have a spring keeping the valve shut & so don't need to be tightened manually.

It sounds like you gave it bit more umpfh - so making greater pressure differential and overcoming whatever stickiness was in the valve. It might have had a bit of debris in there, or have been bent very slightly or it might have been something else.

bree - unless you go very very cheap I suspect almost all track pumps are ok. The ones up to £20 or £25 are pretty much disposable. The nice steel ones that cost more have spare parts available and can be rebuilt. Mine is a Blackburn Air Tower 2 - I bought it because it was the one the LBS handed me when I said I wanted to buy a track pump. It was about £20 if I remember, or maybe £15. When it eventually breaks I might get one of the Lezyne ones but that is because I covet the nice shiny objects not because it does a better job than an ordinary one.
8:16pm, 27 Jul 2014
1522 posts
Could it be that you're not pushing the pump head on far enough?
8:19pm, 27 Jul 2014
2084 posts
That could be it too - air pressure will open the valve but so will the pump head pushing the plunger in
8:46pm, 27 Jul 2014
15928 posts
Well, I pushed the pump really well on from the start. But then I also tried it not so pushed on in case it was pushing the valve head back on.

In the end I got it to work but not by doing anything noticeably different.
8:46pm, 27 Jul 2014
15929 posts
El Bee - yes it is a double header. Thanks for the link.
9:16pm, 27 Jul 2014
176 posts
The pumping up tyre problem:

I've found this an issue when "topping up" an already inflated tyre. I think the pressure inside is too great to allow more air in.
So, I tried letting a great deal more air out of the tyre, rather than the usual couple of toots. It works every time.

Try it.
9:32pm, 27 Jul 2014
2085 posts
Thinking more about the pump I have - I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy it. (Blackburn Air Tower 2). It is a good pump but has storage built into the underside of the handle and the cover for the storage comes off really easily - it can be pretty annoying. Nice in most other ways though; even a nice side by side 2 hole head design for different valve types.
10:04pm, 27 Jul 2014
15932 posts
Ta Tony. Will do.
8:27am, 28 Jul 2014
2929 posts
RS. I've had the same thing happen to me. Tony has the solution, although I'm still unsure as to what causes the problem. Possibly the valve is slightly bent or misaligned after the pump is put on, so the unscrewed nut bit is against the side of the pump and so can't be depressed.

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