The recommended tyre pressure for a woods valve or dunlop valve is usually embossed on the tyre's sidewall, often as minimum and maximum figures rather than an exact target. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding how hard your tyres need to be.
A Woods valve opens and closes with a collar screwed on to the stem. This collar must be removed to put the valve through the hole in a rim. With the collar off, the valve core is free. Take care that it doesn’t fall out and get lost.
The hose or pump connection may screw on or press on. Some push fit connections lock with a cam lever. To check the correct operation of the connection look at the rubber washer and move the lever back and forth. The the ‘locked’ position squeezes the washer, the ‘on-off’ position lets the washer relax. The rubber washer in a pump connector wears out with use. It needs to be replaced when it stops gripping valves to give an air-tight seal.
A woods valve has the same fitting as a presta valve. The Woods valve is too short to readily accept a push-on connection, a screw-on hose or presta/schrader adapter works better.
Fully open and fully close the pump with each stroke. It’s important to press the piston right to the end of it’s travel to force air into the tyre. If you stop too soon the air in the pump will tend to compress rather than flow into the tyre.
Floor or Track Pumps
Place both feet on the rests to stabilise the pump. Open the pump fully at the start of each stroke. As you get to the bottom of the stroke you can use your body weight – rather than your arms – to force the last bit of air out of the chamber by softening your knees.
It helps if you can brace the connection between the valve and the pump by hooking a finger or two around the tyre or spokes. Plant your feet and try to position yourself so you can get your shoulder behind the piston of the pump.
If you’re not sure exactly how hard you want your tyres to be, inflate to the maximum recommended. If – when riding – you feel the road is shaking you about and bouncing you off the ground, it’s much easier to let a little air out than to pump more in.
Many modern pumps can be converted between Presta and Schrader fitting, by dismantling the connection and reversing the direction of parts.
Gustaf Håkansson – the 'steel grandpa' who won a 1,000-mile bicycle race bit.ly/1bD4P8R