Mountain Bike Suspension Parts & Maintenance : Mountain Bike Tire Pressure Tips

Mountain Bike Suspension Parts & Maintenance : Mountain Bike Tire Pressure Tips


So, it’s really important to choose the right
tire for how you ride and how long you want it to last, and all those important characteristics.
But choosing the right tire doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the right pressure inside
of it. Most of these smart people who make tires designed them to have a certain amount
of pressure in them. Sometimes, it’s written on the side wall of the tire, but usually
what you find on the side wall of the tire is a very general pressure recommendation.
So this says inflate between 29 and 58 PSI. That’s a huge, huge range. What you’ll find
is that there’s a specific pressure that a tire operates the best at. If a tire’s really
hard, like this one is right now, where it barely deforms, the knobs are going to flex
maybe too much. You need some deformation of the casing as well — what’s called tire
roll — to get the best sort of performance out of a tire. Also, for off-road applications,
if you decrease the amount of pressure that you have slightly, and more knobs are touching
the ground at any given time, you’ll get better traction and your tire will actually roll
a little bit faster because it won’t be bouncing off every little deformation — it’s like
another type of suspension. So, right now I happen to know that there’s 40 PSI in this
tire. And, through the grapevine and from checking with people who run these tires and
from my own experiences, I’ve determined that there’s like, about 32 to 35 PSI works best
for me. So, you can see, here’s how much it deforms at 40 PSI. Not very much. So, now
I’ll let out a few PSI, by, this is a Presta valve, so I just undid that nut and let out
air. So now this tire should be at about the pressure I prefer it at, and you can see how
much more deformation I get, whichever way I push it. So that increases your contact
patch, makes the tire roll a little bit more efficiently, and it’s one of those things
check out what type of tires you have, look around, get on the Internet, or at your
local bike shop, on your local group rides, ask people what sort of pressures they’re
running. What works for them is probably going to work for you, and it can save you a lot
of headaches and hassle. So, give it a shot.