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
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.
Select the lower end of the range if:
You are riding in wet (reduce by at least 5 PSI)
When riding on slippery conditions & need increased traction on the road / trail
Your body weight is lighter than the average rider of your height
You are riding on rough surfaces / roads
You are riding tubeless
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