When it comes to enhancing your performance on the bike, we always consider upgrading to carbon wheels and better groupset. Well, some of us even upgrade to carbon frames, electronic shifting and what not!
Little do we realise, there are easy ways to boost your output on the bike. One of the most affordable and fastest ways to increase your performance and comfort is by achieving the right bike tyre pressure. The ideal tyre pressure will also reduce the cause of flats and roll like a pro!
So here are our expert tips for finding the perfect bike tyre pressure-
There’s nothing better than a bike that feels smooth, rolls quickly and doesn’t get punctured at all. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Keep in mind, narrow bicycle tyres need more air pressure as compared to wider ones.
Road tyres typically require 80 to 130 psi (pounds per square inch); mountain tyres, 25 to 35 psi; and hybrid tyres, 40 to 70 psi.
Now that you’re familiar with the tyre pressure for different types of bike tyre pressure, start in the middle of these ranges, then factor in your body weight.
Remember, the more you weigh, the higher your tyre pressure needs to be!
For instance, if your body weight is around 75 kgs, consider filling tyre pressure up to 100 PSI. If your weight is around 90 kgs, consider filling 120 PSI.
Also, never go above or below the recommended bike tyre pressure given on the sidewall by the manufacturer.
Check your tyre pressure regularly:
The most common mistake that we all do is fail to check the tyre pressure regularly. Over time, tyre leaks air. For as little as a few PSI a week to drastic drops overnight, tyres leak air. Even a 2-degree change in the temperature outside will cause the bike tyre pressure to drop.
Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressure before going out for a ride. If you fail to do so, your pressure is probably wrong most of the time you ride.
Find the sweet spot:
Finding the right tyre pressure as per your body weight is important. Over inflate the tyres and sacrifice your riding comfort and speed; under inflate them and become a victim of pinch flats. The right tyre pressure will also ensure that shocks and bumps are absorbed.
Also, keep in mind, on a new road/pavement your tyres might feel great at 100 PSI, however, on a rough road, they might roll faster at 90 PSI. In wet conditions, you might want to drop the bike tyre pressure down by 10 PSI for enhanced traction.
That being said, if you’re a mountain biker, your bike rolls well at 40 PSI on the road, but on a single track, 30 PSI is what you should be looking at.
Three Things You Need to Know About Getting Your Bike’s Tyre Pressure Right!
Overinflate and you’re dead:
The maximum tyre pressure limit on your sidewall is too high. So, overinflating your tyre is not always the best idea. If you’re filling the air in your tyres, you also need to consider other factors such as the terrain, rider size, wind resistance, temperature and so on.
So follow step three and don’t over-inflate your tyres.
Under-inflate and you’re calling for trouble:
Now that you know why you should not over-inflate, don’t under-inflate as well. With lower pressure, rolling resistance does increase, however, it only makes up a small fraction.
There’s not much of a difference in the rolling resistance caused due to tyre pressure, it depends largely on the actual tyre you’re using.
Adjust according to tyre volume:
Those of you who are switching their tyres from 23mm to 25 mm or 28mm, or from a 2.1-inch mountain bike tyre to a meatier 2.3, you’re significantly increasing tyre volume. Hence, you have to adjust air pressure downwards.
Roadbike Tyre pressure graph
MTB tyre pressure graph
5 Easy Things You Should Know About Tyre Pressure [Bicycle Hacks]
If you run tubeless, you can scale down even further, about 10 – 20 per cent in some cases.
Beware of the floor pump:
Enough talks about the air pressure, let’s emphasis on the equipment we use to fill the air- Floor Pump
There are plenty of floors pumps on the market for every purpose and budget. These floor pumps come with a gauge that’s probably not accurate.
Yes, you read it right! “NOT ACCURATE”!
The secret of floor pumps:
We often buy a floor pump with a gauge and fill the air in our tyres. We also assume that the floor pump gauge shows the correct reading.
Did you know, the floor pump is measuring air pressure inside the pump, and not inside the tyre?
Needless to say, these floor pump gauges are off by a few PSI or as much as 10-12 PSI. However, the good news is, most of the floor pumps are still consistent inspite of their inaccuracy.
So how can you fix this issue?
Get a separate gauge, that lets you measure tyre prelude accurately.
Play around with tyre pressure:
Whether it’s a motorbike, car or a bicycle, we are used to filling identical tyre pressure.
But do you realise that our weight is not divided 50-50 front to rear, especially on a bicycle?
According to a study at the University of Colorado, in most cases, for road cyclist, it’s more like 40% on the front and 60% on the rear wheel.
However, the range can vary from 33-67 to 45-55 across the athletes they tested.
So what does this tell us?
Tyre pressure depends on a number of things such as your riding style and the tyres you choose to install on your bike. However, one thing we are certain that we shouldn’t run both the tyres at the same pressure.
Start by experimenting with the front and rear bike tyre pressure and take note when you go on a ride.
Ideal bike tyre pressure will give you a comfortable ride and feel confident while cornering. Also, do keep in mind that the perfect tyre pressure is likely to change with conditions, terrain and weather. It will also change if you switch tyre sizes or brands.
So this is how we would go about achieving the perfect bike tyre pressure.
Now, let’s turn it over to you.
Which tyre pressure technique are you going to use first?
What tyre pressure are you riding your bike at the moment?
Either way, let us know in the comments section below.