Virtually all bike tubes use either Presta or Schrader valve stems. A third option, Dunlop, is rarely encountered in U.S. but can be found on some bikes internationally.
Bike pumps generally can handle either valve type. When shopping, just be aware that lower-priced pumps may require you to use an adapter to fit one of the valve types. Most others will adjust automatically to fit either Presta or Schrader valves—no adapters needed.
The correct tire pressure depends on a variety of factors: tire size and sidewall thickness, rider weight, riding conditions and more. In general, fully inflated tires are best for smooth conditions; slightly underinflated tires may be better for rough roads or trails.
Pounds per square inch (psi) is the standard US measurement; “bars” are the metric equivalent. An approximate guide to recommended tire-pressure range:
By Steve Tischler
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Last updated: 02/18/2014
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