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How to Put Air in Bike Tires Without a Pump

how to put air in bike tires without a pump

A cyclist or a biker for that matter needs to be alert and prepared in case of emergencies on the road. As a bike enthusiast myself, I have been looking for ways to learn different skills that will be useful if any problems arise during the ride. One skill that I have developed over the years is how to put air in bike tires without a pump.

This is a skill that will be helpful if and when you accidentally forgot your pump when doing any biking activities. Also, if you do not own a portable pump right now, then learning some of the methods below will certainly help you as a biker. However, please be reminded that most of the process requires some do-it-yourself skills and a little know-how. Please be guided accordingly.

Methods to Put Air on Bike Tires without a Pump

Putting the right amount of air in your tire is important in terms of your safety and getting the best performance of your bike. Having it inflated with the right amount of air will also increase the lifespan of your tire than what is expected.

But what if you need a pump in the middle of the ride and you do not have one in your position? You need to use one of the methods below to make your tire inflated properly:

Using C02 Cartridges

This method is arguably the most popular alternative to inflating your bike’s tire without using a pump. The best thing about C02 is it’s portable, comes in small size, and light which makes it easy to bring when biking.

But please take note that this is just a temporary solution to inflating your tire and should be used only for emergencies. The best way to inflate is still to look for a regular pump to put air in your tire. Here are the steps when inflating your tire with a C02 cartridge.

Step 1: Removing the Cap

The first thing to do is remove the cap of the cartridge. The right way to do it to turn the cap counterclockwise using your bare hands. Retrieve the inflator fitting and the cartridge from the tube by tipping the other side of the inflator up.

Step 2: Check your Tire

After opening the cap, you may proceed to check your tire if it is flat or not. You also need to check the tube if it is in good condition. Otherwise, if it is broken, you might end up with another flat tire just a few seconds of putting air into it. You can also adjust the tire so that it is position properly on the rim before putting the air.

Step 3: Filling the Tire with Air

Put the C02 cartridge into the inflator fitting by inserting it with your hand and pushing it clockwise until you will hear and notice an airflow. Hold it for a few seconds depending on the size of your tire. If the inflation level is enough, turn the cartridge counterclockwise to stop the air from flowing.

Step 4: Removing the Cartridge from the Inflator Fitting

Remove the cartridge off the valve by unscrewing it from the inflator fitting. Close the nozzle while pulling the nozzle away from the valve. The right way to do it is to pull it straight to avoid damaging the inflator tube of your tire.

Step 5: Replacing the C02 with Regular Air

The C02 is just a temporary remedy and should be replaced immediately as soon as there is a regular pump that is available. Since C02 disappears quickly, replacing it with normal air should be your priority.

Manually Inflating the Tire

how to pump a bike tire without a pump

It may not be the most popular way but if there is no other option, putting air to the tire manually is another way to do it. It may require a lot of effort on your part but this method can be done. But first thing first, you need to clean the tire and the valve before doing this method. Any piece of cloth can be used to clean the tire and the valve but make sure to clean it completely.

Once the tire and the valve are clean, begin the inflation process by blowing some air into the tire. After putting in some air, check the tire if it is aligned with the rim. If it is not, make sure to make the necessary adjustments to make it in the right position. After that, continue to blow into the valve until you put enough air into the tire.

For sure, this method will take time and need you to exert a lot of effort. But to be able to succeed, do not be discouraged. From time to time, check the alignment of the tire and the rim and adjust accordingly.

Make a DIY Inflating Tool

This method requires a lot of creativity and imagination on your part. Inflating a tire can be done without using a pump by using an inflating tool that is made by you. This method requires some Do-It-Yourself skills and your creativity to pull it off. To inflate the tire using this tool, you will need to transfer the air from one tire to the other.

In making the inflating tool, you will need a siphon hose which will be used to transfer the gas to the tire. Then, get a pair of Schrader valves which will be attached to both sides of the hose. One valve must be a clip-on variety so that it can be attached to another side of the tire while you do the inflation process. Insert the two valves at both ends of the hose and secure it with a clamp to prevent it from detaching.

So, how do you pump a bike tire without a pump through this method? You can attach the other side of the hose to the other tire of your bicycle with air and transfer the air to the one that needs inflation. Another way is to get the air from tires from other bicycles. All you need is some PR skills to do the trick.


Learning how to put air in bike tires without a pump is a much-needed skill to have as a biker. It will be a big help during emergencies, especially during your bike riding activities. The most important thing is to keep your tire with enough air all the time for your safety and to make your tire last longer than expected.

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