How To Find Your Perfect Tyre Pressure | Hard Vs Soft Tyres

How To Find Your Perfect Tyre Pressure | Hard Vs Soft Tyres


– Are you worried or unsure
about what tyre pressure you should be running on your bike? Just got into the sport or
maybe lookin’ for a quick way to improve, well, here it is. (smashing sound) Right, understanding the grip
your bike has with the terrain and how tyre pressure
affects that will give you the confidence to make informed changes to your tyre pressure. This is a breakdown of what
your tyres are doing for you and the important things to think about, so you can understand the
feedback they give you. Plus, this is a big plus,
I’m going to direct you to finding that all-important
baseline pressure so you can start enjoying good grip, adjusting that tyre pressure
to make solid improvements when the terrain or weather changes. First off, let’s think about the basics of what the tyre is
doing and how it works. (jazz music) The contact point is how we
describe the ever-changing shape that each tyre creates at the
contact point with the ground. Simple enough to imagine,
it helps us understand what is going on. Freeze your riding at any
moment, and wherever the tyres are touching the ground, is
creating a stamp-like image of what’s happening beneath you. Let’s think about that
shape and how it helps us understand the basics of tyre
pressure and what that means about what the tyre is
doing underneath the bike. Okay, to illustrate, I have
done this incredible drawing that I’m very proud of,
and as you can see here, we’re looking up through
the ground as the tyres, it rolls down the trail, and
here, if you’ve got a hard tyre what you’re gonna see is the
contact point is really small. The tire’s standing up proud
’cause he’s got a lot of air there supportin’ it, and
you’ve just got this tiny point touching the ground, that’s
the moving stamp that’s going down the tread of a hard tyre. Now, the soft tyre is
really easy to understand is squashing out, there’s
less air supportin’ it. And the contact point
has grown dramatically. This equals much more grip, when you’re cornering
and when you’re braking. So this contact point is
a really important thing to consider when we’re
talkin’ about tyre pressure. (jazz music) Okay, let’s get a wheel. Take a look at what is happening
with our tyre pressure. A hard pressure on the ground,
if we look at this point here the tyre profile isn’t going
to change hardly at all, ’cause there’s so much air there. But the contact point’s very small. And as we lower the pressure,
the tyre squishes out and suddenly that contact point’s huge. Loads more tyre on the
ground, that means more grip. But let’s put that bike in a corner, I think about the forces
that’ll go through that tyre and what’s gonna happen. We’ve got a really low pressure, and we’re goin’ through the
corner, we’re banked over. The tire’s gonna squish down,
but it’s also the rim’s gonna push to the outside of the tyre like this. Now as you can see with a low pressure, the pinch on the inside
of the tyre just here starts to come really acute
and it starts to roll, so that’s what we don’t want, and that’s what we’ve gotta avoid with
a really low tyre pressure. So, the lower the pressure, the more likely the tyre
will roll, puncture, or if you’re using a tubeless tyre, you could lose air through
it burping out, excuse me, through the bead as it
comes under more strain. So all that information starts
pushing our tyre pressure choice back up, and as we
do, we start experiencing less rolling resistance
and seemingly faster pace until you go beyond that sweet spot and reach the contact
point that is too small and suddenly you don’t
have any grip for braking or carving through a turn. Next question: then how do we find the sweet spot of tyre
pressure, the Goldilocks effect of not too much and not too little? (jazz music) First off, you need a general
pressure to work from, and I can give you that. I’m gonna say 25 PSI. And I wish that was the final answer, too. If only it was that easy,
however, this suggestion is just the starting point
that we can work from and make adjustments
from, so either up or down to create your personal
go-to tyre pressure. So this general pressure is
just your startin’ point. The changes you will make
really depend on the combination of riding style, tyre
compound and tread pattern, plus riding terrain and the
weather on the day you’re riding Many variables, and that
last point about weather, really makes you realise
how important it is to get confident with
adjusting your tyre pressure, to see your days riding. (jazz music) To start experimenting,
choose a piece of trail that’s easy to do multiple
runs on, and start riding that trail with 25 PSI in
both the front and the rear. If possible, it’s best to
do this on a relatively standard weather day of
you’re local riding spot. After a few runs, let
some air out of the front, bringin’ it down to 23 PSI,
then do a few more runs. You’ll instantly feel the difference. The grip will be higher because
that contact point has grown Ask yourself if you like the difference. If you do, then maybe
try even less pressure, perhaps venturing down to 22
PSI and doing some more runs. The process of elimination is gonna find that sweet spot for you. Now with the rear, you do the
same, startin’ by goin’ down to about 24 PSI and do a few more runs. The difference in braking
performance will be noticeable. And you might notice a bit
of bob in that peddle stroke, as well, as the tire’s now more flex. So experiment with the
pressures up and down to find the right pressure for you. It will be the setup that feels
good, gives you confidence and consistency over multiple
runs on your little test track In the end, you’ll likely
end up with a lower pressure in the front than the rear. As a guide, unless you’re
riding very slippery conditions, then you probably won’t go
below 20 PSI in the front. And unless you’re a
sort of a heavier rider, you won’t be above 30 PSI in the rear. Play with it, and find your
general pressure, the go-to one. Only time and experience
will teach you more about why and when to alter
it, but enjoy doin’ it because the benefits are amazing. And this is a big part of
becoming a really good bike rider. Now if you have some experience
or knowledge on this subject then make sure you tell
us your general pressures in the comment section down below. You won’t believe how much
confidence you’ll be giving a new rider by sharing those numbers. Over here on GMBN, Doddy, for instance, is running 24 in the front, 28 in the rear as his kinda go-to numbers. Personally, I’d say 22 front,
24 rear, that’d work for me. Although Doddy is likely 20
kilogrammes heavier than I am, so right away you can
see how one simple factor like body weight creates an individual’s personalised general pressures. Have fun finding yours. Thanks so much for watching,
and I hope it’s helped. Stay with us now on GMBN by
hittin’ that subscribe button. And you can click here to
see how to setup your bike for an enduro if you’re feelin’ brave. Other than that, give us a thumbs up like, and we will see you next time.