Why Bike Pump won’t Push Down

You are getting ready to hit the road and as you get the bike out, you find out one of the tires is flat. You get the patching kits and a hand pump and get to work. when you start inflating the tire, you find out your pump is not working, the bike pump won’t push down.

How annoying it is when you’ve put everything together to inflate the tire and find out your bike pump is broken. We’ve all been there, so lets see how we can fix this problem. lets start with the reasons why the pump won’t push down.

Some of the reasons bike pump is not pushing down

The bike pump won’t push down because of the valve or the pump itself. Sometimes the hosepipe has blockage on it or the piston is too rusty, so it doesn’t move at all. I have also encountered situations where the pump is 100% fine but the valve on the tire is the culprit

Scroll down for further details on each

Bike Pump won't Push
  1. Rusty Piston: When you leave the pump unused for a long time, the inner wall and the piston get rusty. Thus, the piston can get stuck because of rust. If the piston is not moving at all, we can check for this.
  1. Blocked Head or Hosepipe: If the pump is lifting up but not pushing down, it could be that the head or the hosepipe has a blockage. Thus the air gets stuck inside the hosepipe, and the bike pump won’t push down.
  1. Faulty Valve: if the pump is moving relatively freely without being connected to the bike tire, it could be the valve. Sometimes the valve gets blocked because of dirt or dust. So, the air won’t penetrate inside the tire; it doesn’t matter how hard you push the pump.

You may be interested in must-have bike accessories once you have a good bike you want to keep for years.

Quick and easy ways to fix the bike pump

A quick fix bike pump won't push down

If the problem is rusty or stuck pump this quick and easy process should do the trick.

  1. Lubricate inside the pump: Open the upper cap of the cylinder. Then thoroughly apply a lubricant like WD-40 or Grease around the inner wall of the cylinder. Make sure the lubricant is spread evenly throughout. Wiggle the piston and see if it starts moving. Otherwise, go to the next step.
  1. Clean the Pump Head: maybe there migh be some debris stuck between the pump head and cylinder, so its time to clean the pump head. For that, get a tiny needle or pin. Then apply Degreaser to the pump head. Now use the pin to remove all the dirt from it. After removing the debris, the piston should be pushed down smoothly.

Pump Still stuck?

If the bike pump is still not moving, try the below 3 tips for bike pump repair.

Tip-1: Restore/Replace the piston

What to do if bike pump won't push down

Most of the time, the pump is stuck because of the piston. So, it either needs to be restored or replaced. Before it, observe the piston condition. Let’s dig in.

  1. Firstly, remove the top cap. It can be removed by rotating the cap. Or, if it features a screw, loosen it with a Screwdriver. After removing the cap, take the piston out of the cylinder. If it is not coming out, apply grease to it and try again.
  1. Secondly, check the piston. If it is in good condition, just restore it. If the gasket is broken or worn out, you will need to replace it.
  1. Finally, restore or replace the piston. For restoring it, unscrew the components. Then, clean or de-l.pgrease them. If the piston is damaged severely, get a compatible Plunger Gasket. After restoring or getting a new one, reinstall the components. Now, apply grease to the piston and insert it inside the cylinder. Lastly, close the top cap, and the pump is ready.

Tip-2: Fixing the nozzle

Fixing the nozzle is a bit tricky when it’s on the pump. So, take it out of the pump and clean it thoroughly.

  1. Firstly, unscrew the head from the hosepipe. Then separate the head components. If it has a screw-nut system, open it with a screwdriver. Otherwise, you will need an iron nail to separate the parts. Get a Small Hammer and push the pin gently with the nail. When the pin comes out, the parts will be disconnected automatically.
  1. Secondly, check the components. If any of them is damaged, get a new Nozzle. Otherwise, clean these small parts. Get a needle and clean the nozzle until it becomes an absolute hollow tube.
  1. Finally, put the parts back together. Then put the pin on to keep the pieces together. Lastly, reinstall the head, and it’s all set.

Tip-3: Swapping the hosepipe

One last thing to check is if the hosepipe is be blocked on the inside or broken. In either case, it’s better to replace it. But, you can also try to fix it. If the pipe is blocked inside, pour degreaser through it. I would suggest just get a new Hosepipe. It’s super cheap, and worth it.

Freaky Tips: One bonus tip for you! If the pumping valve is corrupted, restore or replace it with a compatible one.

Other reasons your bike pump is not working

Air Leaking Out

  • This could have been caused by leaky air hose, fixing this usually requires a new air hose.
  • Improperly Attached Nuzzle, make sure the nuzzle is attached to the tire valve correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bike Pump

How do I know if my bike pump is working?

If your bike pump features a pressure gauge, it’s easy to know if your bike pump is working or not. While pumping, if the pressure is increasing, then the pump is working well.
Besides, the pressure should stay stable while you stop for a while. Otherwise, there may be leakages in the pump.
Another way is to just pump the piston and feel the air coming out of the nuzzle.

What do P and S mean on a bike pump?

Before buying a bike pump, you have to make sure that the head is compatible with the bike’s tire valve. To make it easy, manufacturers print the letter P or S on the pump. Here P is referred to as Presta, and S indicates Schrader.

How do I remove the needle from the bike pump?

The needle along with the pump is used to fill air in a basket ball, soccer or footballs. to fill air in the bike you need to remove it. For that, unscrew the needle from the needle adapter. Then, remove the needle adapter from the nozzle. That’s it.

Do bike pumps wear out?

Bike pumps just like any other mechanical devices do deteriorate over time. Some moving parts in the pumps wear out faster than others due to friction.


Bike Pumps are essential part of any cyclist’s arsenal of equipment to keep the bike in running condition. But just like any mechanical equipment bike pumps do fail and sometimes stop working. Some simple steps can bring pumps back to working condition.

We discussed, some of the reasons for failure. hopefully we were able to solve your issue out. If not it might just be time to buy a new one.

I hope you enjoy carefree rides.