Idiot question re: track pump


Über Member
Hi everyone,

Not had my track pump very long but I'm having a big problem getting it to actually pump up the tyres... basically I have a presta valve on the bike, I'm using the presta end on the pump, so I unscrew the nut on the tyre a little bit then connect the pump...

...but the dial on the pump doesn't show the tyre pressure at all, it just shows it at 0 even though the tyre isn't completely flat, which obviously seems wrong. Then when I pump it up, I get to about 120psi and it physically will not go any higher - but none of that air has actually gone inside the tyre.

It used to work before, and I'm not sure what I'm doing differently, but any advice would be great as I've now got super soft tyres from all these failed attempts letting air out each time! Please help!
Are you using the Schrader side of the track pump by any chance?


no air is coming out the pump ? , try it on your thumb first to see if air is coming out !
I have that with a little airlock in the valve (I think). All the 120psi is in the head of the pump. Try @Eddy's suggestion, and then try bleeding a little air from the tyre and try again.

If all else fails, most bike shops will pump your tyre for free. Evans stores often have a pump in foyer, or out the front.

As above, unscrew the tip of the valve, push it in to let some air out, then try the pump.

Presta valves are known to stick occasionally.


The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
^ this. One of my valves sticks, the other doesn't - different brands. Do you get the problem with both tyres?


Rollin' along
Manchester way
Agree with the majority, sounds like the presta valve has stuck or you're not unscrewing the lock nut far enough for the valve plunger to depress in to let the air past.

The 120 psi is the pressure of the air trapped in the pump itself ( same reason you get a whoosh of air when you unlock a pump from a pumped up tyre) and that it goes like that is very clearly telling you the tube valve isn't open to let the air past.

Open the nut completely, give it a gentle little push down to see if it is moving freely, if so, you should be ok to pump it up, if not you could try to unscrew the whole valve piece and try to re-seat it and try to pump again or you might be as well just putting a new tube on for the sake of a couple of quid.


Puzzle game procrastinator!
Stuck valve!

Always unscrew the valve first, then do as suggested above and press the end in until it unsticks.

You can feel the air going into the tube - the pressure in the pump overcomes the valve and the pump grip becomes easier to push down. If you listen carefully while doing this, you can hear the valve making a clicking sound as it opens and closes.


Über Member
Thanks so much everyone, it was the valve sticking - I depressed it before starting to let some air out and lo and behold, it worked! Knew it had to be something simple :P Much appreciated!
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