Why Is My Bike Pump Not Working? (8 Possible Reasons)

If you are like most cyclists, you have a bike pump. And if you’re like most cyclists, you’ve probably had to use your pump at some point.

But what do you do when your pump isn’t working?

In this article, we will explore why your bike pump might not work and provide some solutions.

How does a Pump work?

The answer is pretty simple if you ask how a bike pump works.

There are essentially two main types of bike pumps: floor pumps and hand pumps.

Floor pumps are the type that you probably see most people using. They have a large barrel you press down on with your foot to pump air into the tire.

Hand pumps are more common for mountain bikers or people who travel with their bikes because they’re smaller and easier to transport. They work by pulling on the handle to create suction and then pushing it down to release air into the tire.

Possible Bike Pump Problems and Fixes

You may encounter a few potential problems with your bike pump, and knowing how to fix them can save you a lot of time and hassle.

1. The Pump Head is not in the Correct Position

There are many reasons a bike pump might not work, but one of the most common reasons is that the pump head is not in the correct position.

If the pump head is not in the right place, it will be difficult or impossible to pump air into the tire.

In some cases, the pump head may be positioned too high or too low, while in other cases, it may be positioned at an angle that prevents air from entering the tire.

If you are having trouble getting your bike pump to work, check the position of the pump head.

Ensure the head is attached to the valve on your tire and it’s turned in the right direction.

2. The Air Hose is loose

When you try to pump up your bike tires and the air just doesn’t seem to be getting in, one of the things you should check is the air hose.

If it’s loose, the air can escape from the pump, making it impossible to inflate the tire.

To fix this, ensure that the air hose is securely attached to the pump and the valve on the tire.

3. The Seal is Damaged

When a bike pump is not working, it might be because the seal is damaged. If the seal is damaged, air will escape from the pump, which means it will fail to inflate the tire.

There are several reasons why the seal might be damaged. One reason is that the dust cap might not have been adequately replaced after the pump was last used.

Similarly, dirt or debris that has gotten into the pump could result in a damaged seal. If this happens, cleaning out the pump before using it again is essential.

A third reason why the seal might be damaged is that the O-ring might have worn out. If this is the case, get a new O-ring and install it in the pump.

4. The Air Hose has Tiny Holes

This means the pump isn’t getting enough air to fill the tire.

If you’re having trouble with your bike pump, check to see if the air hose has any holes in it. If it does, you can try patching them up with some electrical tape or a sealant made for bike pumps.

Once the holes are patched up, the pump should work properly again.

5. The Valve is Broken

If you’re having trouble getting your bike pump to work, the most likely culprit is a broken or faulty valve.

Bike pumps work by pushing air into the tire, and the valve is what lets the air in and out.

If the valve is broken or clogged, the pump won’t be able to do its job. However, there are a few things you can do to try to fix a broken valve.

The first is to clean it. Use a piece of paper or a toothpick to clear any dirt or debris from the hole. You can also use lubrication, like WD-40, to help the valve move again.

If those fixes don’t work, you may need to replace the valve. There are a few different types of valves, so make sure you get one that matches your bike’s tires.

The bike pump’s valves come in two types: Schrader and Presta.

To determine your bike’s valve, look at the end of the air hose. If the end of the hose has a small metal pin sticking out, your bike has a Schrader valve.

If there is no metal pin, your bike has a Presta valve.

To fix this issue, unscrew the cap on the end of the air hose and screw on the appropriate adapter for your valve type.

For Schrader valves, use the adapter with a small hole in it. For Presta valves, use the adapter with a large hole in it.

6. The Main Seal is Dry

When the seal dries out, it can’t create a tight seal on the valve, which means air won’t be able to flow into or out of the tire.

If air leakage is the problem, you can try lubricating the seal with a bit of oil or silicon spray. You can also try using a different type of bike pump head that creates a tighter seal on the valve.

7. The Nozzle is Placed improperly

If the nozzle is not correctly placed in the tire valve, the pump will not be able to create a seal and force air into the tire.

You can try reinserting the nozzle into the valve several times to see if that fixes the problem. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to find a new pump.

8. The Pressure Gauge is Worn Out

Are you having trouble getting your bike pump to work? You’re not alone.

Many people find their pumps aren’t working because the pump’s pressure gauge is worn out. If this is the problem with your pump, there’s a straightforward fix.

All you need to do is replace the gauge.

To do this, you’ll need to remove the head of the pump. This can be a bit tricky, but it’s not too difficult.

Once you’ve removed the head, remove the old gauge and replace it with a new one. Ensure it’s properly installed, then put the head back on the pump.

Bike Pumps We Recommend

A bike pump is a handy device to have when you’re out and about on your bike.

But with so many different types and brands of bike pumps on the market, it can be hard to know which one to buy.

Here are some of the best bike pumps on the market:

1. Lezyne Classic Floor Drive

Lezyne Classic Floor Drive

The Lezyne Classic Floor Drive is a high-quality bike pump designed for both mountain and road bikes.

The pump has several features that make it easy to use, including a high-pressure barrel, an oversized piston, and an aluminum base.

It also has a pressure gauge on the side that makes it easy to adjust the air pressure in your tires.

Overall, the Lezyne Classic Floor Drive is an excellent bike pump that is sure to meet the needs of both beginners and experienced cyclists.

It is easy to use and has all the features you need to get your bike ready for a ride.

2. Planet Bike ALX 2

Planet Bike ALX 2

If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable bike pump, the Planet Bike ALX 2 is a great option.

This pump is made from durable materials and features an oversized barrel that makes it easy to inflate your tires quickly.

It also comes with a gauge so you can easily track your progress. Additionally, the ALX 2 is compatible with Schrader and Presta valves, making it versatile enough for any bike.

3. Vibrelli Bike Floor Pump

Vibrelli Bike Floor Pump

This pump is designed to make it easy to inflate your tires, and it comes with several features that make it an excellent value for the price.

One thing that stands out about this pump is its large pressure gauge.

This makes it easy to see when you have reached the desired pressure level, so you can be sure your tires are properly inflated.

Furthermore, this pump is made from durable materials built to last. It also has a comfortable handle, which makes it easy to use even if your hands are tired.


There are a few reasons why your bike pump won’t work: improperly positioned pump head, loose air hose, damaged seal, tiny holes on the air hose, broken valve, dry main seal, improperly placed nozzle, and worn out gauge.

Refer to our comprehensive guide on how to fix these bike pump problems.

If you have done all those fixes and your bike pump is still not working, don’t worry – plenty of replacements are out there.

Just be sure to do your research before buying a new bike pump to get the best one for your needs.


How do I know if my bike pump is working?

The most obvious way to tell if the pump is working is to see if the tire is getting bigger.

If you’re unsure if the tire is getting bigger, you can watch the pressure gauge on the pump to see if it’s moving.

Another way to tell if the pump is working is to listen for air escaping from the valve. If you hear air leaking, it means that the seal isn’t tight enough, and you need to tighten it up.

Finally, another way to tell if the pump is working is to feel for air coming out of the valve.

How do I remove the needle from the bike pump?

There are a few ways to remove the needle from the bike pump.

One way is to use a pair of pliers. Grip the needle with the pliers and twist it until it comes loose.

Another way is to use a wrench. Place the wrench over the nut on the end of the needle and turn it until it comes loose.

How long does a bike tire hold the air?

There is no definitive answer to this question since various factors can affect how long a bike tire holds air.

Generally, however, bike tires will hold air for several months before needing to be replaced.

Thomas Kersten

Hi, I am a passionate biker, and I have been riding for more than ten years and share my biking tips and tricks with the world. I've tested more than 300 bikes.

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