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As a football enthusiast, I'm often in need of a football to throw around for exercise or use to play games with my friends.
On many occasions, a ball may not be inflated to my liking, so I'll have to look for a pump to inflate it. There are many times when I'll look for a ball pump and not see one anywhere around, so I often have to look for a different kind of pump to inflate my football.
If you don’t have a ball pump, you can use a bike pump for a football. Bike pumps are great for pumping footballs since they often have longer pump strokes to put more air into your ball. Bike pumps can sometimes be pumped by foot, which can be much easier than pumping by hand.
My arms can easily get tired using a ball pump with my hand, so being able to pump with my foot makes me less tired most of the time. Since bike pumps can put more air in your football than a ball pump, you should avoid pumping too quickly and overinflating your ball.
Though most footballs I’ve owned are very durable and likely won’t pop with a little extra air, having an overinflated football could make it too stiff for regular gameplay. We’ll go over some tips for using a bike pump for a football and other items.
Is It Better To Use A Bike Pump Or Ball Pump For A Football?
There are many types of air pumps you can use to inflate a football.
Air pumps can be powered manually with your hands and feet, or with the electricity from batteries or a power plug.
You might even be able to use an air pump with a USB connection or solar power.
Whether you need to inflate a professional football or a children’s football, a bike pump should work as long as you have an inflation needle that fits in the air valve of your football.
Picking the right kind of pump to use for your football depends on several factors.
If you consider yourself to have strong arms and good endurance, pumping a football with your hands using a ball pump should be no problem.
The amount of time you’d save using a faster pump will probably be negligible.
Since some bike pumps are powered by electricity, the ball pump might be easier to get out and use faster.
You won’t have to look for a power source like an electrical wall outlet or a handful of batteries.
Using batteries can get quite expensive over time, so bypassing batteries and other electric power sources is a good reason to use a ball pump with your hands.
How Do I Use A Bike Pump For A Football?
When you think about the difference between a bike and a football, the differences are quite stark.
A bike is a large object with multiple materials like metal, rubber, and leather, while a football is essentially a few layered fabrics.
However, the objects being pumped with are on a bike are just the tires, which have similar internal structures as a ball.
If you know how to use a bike pump for a bicycle tire, you should have no problem using the pump for a football.
Compared to a bike with spokes near the air valve, a football has a valve integrated into a soft and smooth surface that won’t get in the way like spokes.
The only thing that might give you trouble is a dry needle on your bike pump.
If you don’t moisten the bike pump needle, it might be difficult for you to insert it in the air valve of the football.
Unlike a bicycle wheel, a football doesn’t have a cap you have to screw off and on, so you can just stick the pump needle in once you stabilize the football.
When pumping a football, you should be mindful of the recommended air pressure for your particular ball.
If you go beyond the recommended air pressure, you could damage the football or make it too hard for common football gameplay standards.
A standard football will typically need air pressure of about 13 PSI (pounds per square inch).
Be sure to look at the specific recommended PSI shown on your football in case it is much different from 13 PSI.
Since a bike pump is often larger than a ball pump, you should be careful to not pump air into it too quickly.
If you have an air pressure gauge with you, you should occasionally check the air pressure while you use the bike pump to ensure proper inflation of your football.
Is It Safe To Use A Bike Pump For A Football?
Though it might be disconcerting to use a bike pump for something other than a bike, it should be safe to use a bike pump for a football as long as you use it carefully.
Anything that deals with air pressure has the potential to be dangerous since too much air pressure can cause explosions if too much air is forced against something like a ball or tire lining.
However, since the amount of pressure coming from a bike pump is relatively low, it should be a problem to use it on a small object like a football.
Footballs also have relatively harmless materials that aren’t likely to cause much harm if they are torn and ejected due to an explosion caused by overinflation.
Can I Use A Bike Pump For Other Sports Balls?
A bike pump is essentially useless for certain sports balls like tennis and golf balls, but for balls that have an inflation valve for a pump needle, a bike pump can be useful for pumping balls quickly.
Even when a ball pump is available, I often prefer using a bike pump for sports balls since it can sometimes take too long to use a hand pump and require too much physical exertion.
Other sports balls I use with a bike pump include basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, and water polo balls.
All of these balls require a similar amount of air as a football, so a bike pump can be equally effective in pumping these balls.
What Else Can I Use A Bike Pump For?
Though a bike pump seems like a very specific piece of equipment with a specialized function, you can use it more than just pumping air into a bike’s tires.
Many items that require air can benefit from a bike pump due to its mechanical nature.
For instance, using a bike pump to blow air into balloons might be faster and more efficient than inflating balloons with your mouth.
Compared to other types of pumps such as ball pumps and car pumps, a bike pump strikes a good balance between fast inflation and portability.
Bike pumps also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to meet your personal needs.
If having a bike pump that is small and easy to carry is more important, you can find many options that fit those and other specifications.
You can find bike pumps that are operated manually with hands and feet, and ones that are operated in an automated way with electric power.
Electric bike pumps these days have even more advanced features than they did in the past.
Many electric bike pumps now have air pressure gauges that let you know when a sufficient amount of air has been pumped.
This can not only help to inflate bike tires properly, it can help to properly inflate any object that requires air, such as a football.