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Tyre Pressure - Coach Kate’s Endurance Sport Lessons

Why Tyre Pressure Is Important

  • Improves comfort & ‘smoothness’ of ride by absorbing imperfections in the road / trail

  • Helps avoid pinch flat punctures

  • Improved confidence & predictable handling in corners

  • Minimise energy losses through deformation of the tyre

  • Reducing rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is the force resisting the motion of your tyres rolling on the ground. If your tyre pressure is too high, the tyre will be so stiff your bike will begin to vibrate over imperfections in the road surface, negatively affecting comfort and wasting energy

Finding The Right Tyre Pressure

  1. Check the side wall of your tyres, there will be a range recommendation. Typically road tyres are 65-95 PSI, mountain bike tyres 15-25 PSI and gravel tyres 25-40 PSI. Never exceed the maximum limit.

  2. Select the lower end of the range if:

    1. You are riding in wet (reduce by at least 5 PSI)

    2. When riding on slippery conditions & need increased traction on the road / trail

    3. Your body weight is lighter than the average rider of your height

    4. You are riding on rough surfaces / roads

    5. You are riding tubeless

  3. Use an online tyre pressure calculator, refer to web sites below

When To Check Tyre Pressure

  • Before any ride where conditions are varied & changes may need to be made

  • At least once per week

  • After reinflating with a CO2 canister (CO2 will leak quicker vs Nitrogen & O2 in our atmosphere)

  • You are using latex tubes

How To Check Tyre Pressure

  • Using a floor pump is easiest, but can have inaccuracy up to 10-15 PSI

  • Best is to purchase a digital gauge specific to purpose

Specific Considerations for Mountain Biking

  • Increase pressure for super rocky and rooty trails or faster terrain where you will be riding at high speed. Higher pressures mean less tyre deformation when you hit a rock, and so less chance of it puncturing – though if pressures are too high, you may increase the risk of tearing your tyre on a sharp edge.

  • Decrease pressure if you’re riding at lower speeds such as mud, sand, rooty technical trails. Allowing the tyre to deform and enable better mould to the ground’s shape, enhancing grip.

  • Lower pressure in the front tyre to enhance grip for braking & cornering.

  • Higher pressure on the rear due to the rider weight being centred more on the rear wheel & receiving more ‘pressure’ from drops etc.

The Final Word

  • Follow the procedure for establishing a baseline tyre pressure in ‘normal’ conditions

  • Make slight adjustments if conditions change

  • Try different pressures and judge based on ride smoothness and comfort plus speed/power output

Group Cycling Triathlon Tyre Pressure


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