Road Bike Maintenance : How to Inflate your Road Bike Tires


Because proportionately the tires are so much
smaller on road bikes, a few PSI of pressure is a lot more important. So, 99% of all road
bikes, use the Presta-style valve, which you may or may not have on your mountain mike.
But, as a general rule, the way they work is you unscrew that little brass knob, and
it lets air in and out. So, you don’t need a valve cover or anything on this. You can
just close up your valve and no air escapes. So, pressure-wise you want to be running between,
let’s say 90 and 115 PSI in most tires. Some tires that are really fancy and have a lot
of thread count per inch, allow you to run up to 145 PSI or so. That higher pressure
doesn’t mean that they’re a stiffer ride, it just means that the actual cotton and fabric
and rubber that the tire’s made out of, is a little bit more compliant. Generally, you
can run a little bit less pressure in the front wheel than in the rear wheel. And a
little bit less pressure’s usually going to give you better traction because it’s going
to conform better, just like on a mountain bike, it acts like suspension and conforms
to the road. So, you want to run as little pressure as you can get away with, so you
don’t pinch flat, so that your tire doesn’t squirm all over the place. And you want to
check your pressure quite regularly because an under-inflated road tire is going to be
a hassle, because you’re going to get a flat, or you’re going to have some sort of mishap.