Though a ball pump may not be the most conventional pump to use for a bike, you can indeed use it to inflate your bicycle tires if the nozzle of the pump fits your tire valves.
There are actually some pumps designed to be used on both balls and bike tires, so it is definitely possible to use a pump intended for inflating something else on your bike.
Using a ball pump to blow up your bicycle tires shouldn’t cause any damage to them, though you’ll want to use a pump of good quality designed by a trustworthy retailer.
It’s more efficient to inflate tires with a bike pump, but you can be proactive with a different kind of pump if you don’t have one available.
Can You Pump Up A Bike Tyre With A Ball Pump?
You can fully inflate a bike tire with a ball pump, so long as the two are compatible and the pump has enough strength to pump the right amount of air into the tire.
For a 16”-20” bike tire, you’ll need approximately 60-121 psi to fully blow it up.
Using this type of pump will be slower and more difficult because your bike has two tires that need inflating and a ball has a smaller volume than just one tire.
Though there are some pumps that might not fit your bike tire valves, the majority will because there isn’t much variation in nozzle size.
Remember that different bikes have different tires, so you’ll need to calculate how much pressure the tires you have will need.
For instance, a road bike can need up to 130 psi, whereas a mountain bike’s tires typically require a lot less pressure. You can use a ball pump on a bike, but getting the pressure needed takes time and energy.
How To Use A Ball Pump For A Bike
Before you even attempt to inflate your bike tires with a ball air pump, check the nozzle of the pump against the valves on your bike.
If they are not a match, don’t try to force the pump to fit because you could end up damaging it or the valves that hold air inside your tires.
As the process is more exerting, you don’t want to get tired halfway through blowing up the tires. If you feel this might be the case, you’d be better off using a foot pump rather than a hand pump, though both will work.
Once you’ve chosen your pump, figure out precisely how much pressure you need for your tires, then connect the nozzle of the fitting ball pump to the valve of the first tire.
Start to push down on the pump with as much strength as you can and ensure that the tire is visibly inflating. If it isn’t, the pump likely isn’t strong enough. If it is, continue to pump until the tire is full.
What Kind Of Pump You Should Use For A Bike
This is the best type of pump to use if you feel that your arms will quickly tire from pumping. Most ball pumps tend to be floor pumps because it’s much easier for inflating things.
The majority of bike pumps are also floor pumps, so though you’ll need to work harder to inflate the tires with a ball floor pump, it’ll be much more efficient.
You can typically pump a higher pressure with a floor pump as well, so you might see your tires inflating more quickly than if you choose a different type of pump.
You’ll exert your body less and be able to keep a closer eye on the inflation of your tires.
Recommended Product: LEZYNE Steel Bicycle Tire Floor Pump
A hand pump is much smaller than a floor pump and, as the name implies, you only use your hands to pump air, as opposed to the floor pump which requires you to stand on it at the same time.
You insert the nozzle into the tires valve, hold the pump in place with one hand and then pump the handle with the other hand.
If your tires don’t require very much pressure, you’ll be fine using a hand pump. Use your dominant arm to pump because it will require more energy than using a floor pump does.
As ball air pumps are already slower at inflating tires, a hand pump isn’t recommended if you need a lot of pressure.
Recommended Product: BV Mini Portable Bike Pump
Portable Air Compressor
A portable air compressor is very efficient and will get air into your bicycle tires without you needing to do any pumping at all. The compressor will supply compressed air into the tire once you attach its hose to the tire valve.
Portable air compressors are quite efficient, though their size does restrict them when compared to larger air compressors.
For inflating a tire, you might prefer a cordless portable air compressor because those are powered by batteries.
If your portable air compressor has a cord, you’ll need to attach it to something for power, like a car. This makes portable air compressors less convenient than a manual pump for bicycle tires.
Recommended Product: CYCPLUS AUTO Bike Tire Pump
Frequently Asked Question
Q. Does A Ball Pump Work On A Bike?
A ball air pump works to inflate any object that its nozzle fits with, including bike tires.
These pumps are smaller than typical bike pumps, so you’ll need to pump harder and for a longer period of time to be able to inflate the tires as much as required.
If you don’t pump enough, you won’t be able to fully blow up the tires. A ball pump will work just fine, though, and they are very easy to carry around with you while you cycle so that you can boost your tires when you need to.
Q. What Pressure Should My Bike Tyre Be At?
This depends on the type of bike that you have. For a road bike, aim for a tire pressure between 80 and 130 psi for maximum efficiency.
For a hybrid bike, you’ll want your tire pressure between 40 and 70 psi, and a mountain bike reaches the ideal tire pressure between 25 and 35 psi.
You need to closely monitor the pressure of your bike’s tires, especially if you won’t be using a traditional bike pump to inflate them, so that you can keep on top of inflating them.
Knowing your tires well makes things a lot easier when it comes to pumping them up.
Q. Can I Pump Bike Tires At The Gas Station?
You can pick up air at a gas station and inflate your tires easily if you are out and about cycling and notice that your wheels feel a little flat. Gas station air pumps are quite simple to use and usually not very expensive.
All you need to do is open the valves on your tires, fit the nozzle of the gas station pump into the tyre, and then the machine will do all the work of inflating it.
It is cheaper to use your own pump every time you need air, but a gas station pump is convenient when you’re riding about and does the work for you.
If you don’t own a bicycle pump and are considering using a ball pump instead, you can proceed with the knowledge that it won’t cause any damage to your bike.
Be prepared to exert yourself more pumping the air into the tires with a ball pump, but you’ll still be able to cycle on them like normal.
If a bike pump isn’t available, there’s no reason why a ball air pump can’t be used as an alternative.