The easiest way to keep your bicycle running well is regularly checking tire pressure. Properly inflated rubber rides best, lasts longest and resists flats. For high-pressure skinny road tires, check before every ride. For fatter rubber, such as what's on most off-road bikes, once a week is about right. But DON'T head to a service station and use the car-tire compressor! (They can explode a bike tire in seconds.) Do it with your "floor" (home) pump. Here's how:
Get a "floor" pump with built-in gauge for checking inflation. Carry a portable pump for fixing flats on rides.