Any cyclist, beginner or experienced, understands that enjoying riding a bike goes hand in hand with constantly maintaining your bike. Maintenance is not just about cleaning and lubricating, part of it is keeping your tires at the proper pressure, and it’s very easy to do.
We are going to reveal all there is to know about tire pressure. We’ve included a chart, some basic glossary, and a closing pro-tip for all of you.
The Correct Bicycle Tire Pressure
Maybe you’ve heard people mention a number you should keep your pressure at. Maybe you can’t remember that number. And as soon as you try to look for it online. It overwhelms you with all the information you can barely understand. So, what is the “correct” tire pressure?
Tire pressure varies. It depends on your tire width, your weight, and also your terrain. Before we get further into the discussion, check out this master bicycle tire pressure chart.
Body Weight & Bike Load
This is an easy consideration for you before deciding on your correct PSI. Look up your weight or bicycle load and get the exact pressure for your tire.
Have you ever noticed how the wheels on your car deflate a little as each person climbs in? Well, the same thing happens to your bike. Your tire pressure needs to deflate the correct amount to support you and yet still be balanced on your ride. Different people will need a different tire pressure to get the same biking experience. Somebody who is heavier will need that extra PSI.
Another basic consideration is your tire size. A wider tire with more volume can be ridden at a lower tire pressure and still be comfortable and safe for your rims. But a narrower tire will need a higher air pressure to keep it from ruining your rims.
Why You Should Master Learning About Tire Pressure?
You can easily determine your tire pressure with a gauge. But that is not what we mean by “learning about tire pressure”. Tire pressure is so much more than just measuring and filling in the air. It’s more to do with your riding experience and the balance.
Tire pressure in bicycles is much more high-maintenance than car tire pressures. You need to check it regularly and maintain the air inside the tires. All of which you can’t do if you don’t know what tire pressure you need.
The primary reason is for comfort and safety. You want your ride to feel comfortable in any type of road. You also want to make sure that your bike is safe, and so are you with the perfect roll in the wheels.
Learning about tire pressure, you also want to know more about your valve and your pumps. You want to have a good pump that will not tire you out and always ready to use. You also want to make sure that your pump is compatible with your valve. Essentially, if you truly are a bike enthusiast, there is absolutely no loss in learning more about tire pressure.
Finding The Balance
On a smooth surface, a high pressure tire will offer less rolling resistance. On a rougher surface, it’ll feel extra bumpy. A lower pressure tire will conform to bumps and offer more comfort while still supporting your speed. Bikers also tend to do a 40-60 of tire pressure for the front and back wheels.
That said, the perfect tire pressure will change according to the terrain, tire size and brand, weather, and road conditions.
You can always start off with the chart we offered earlier, but you can also explore the different pressure and find the best one for your route. Consider that biking is your lifestyle, and a lifestyle is about consistency and progress.
Try out different terrains, different bikes, different wheels, different tire pressure, different speeds, and you might just find the perfect one. But even then, you might still look forward to more experiments.
PSI vs. Bar
PSI and Bar is a different unit of measurement. PSI, or pound force per square inch, is pressure measure from a one-pound force over one square inch. Bar is the unit of pressure measured from a force apple perpendicularly over a unit of surface area.
- 14.5037738 PSI is equal to 1 Bar
- 1 PSI is equal to 0.0689476 Bar
Mountain Bike vs. Road Bike Tire Pressure
We already know that different types of roads or terrain will need to be approached with a different tire pressure. Generally, what you need to know is, mountain bikes will need a lower PSI. Remember to consider whether you’re using tubeless tires, if you are you will need an even lower PSI, maybe around 26 PSI.
If you’re riding a road bike, you want a higher PSI, around 87-115 PSI. Don’t forget to consider both the width of your bike and your weight.
Different weather will also need different tyre pressure. This is a minor example of why you should really learn more about tire pressure.
Other Factors To Consider
After you’ve mastered the basics of tire pressure, there are other factors to consider such as environmental factors and also a tubeless tire.
Ultimately, you want to be able to feel your tire pressure and adjust accordingly, but here are some basics on the other factors.
As your experience increases, you’ll find it easier to adjust your tire pressure according to the environmental factors around you. This applies whether you’re riding on smooth roads or gravel. Pro tip, a jagged rocky road will need a softer tire, that way, you will have more grip, and is less likely to be punctured.
If you’re a road biker, you want a higher tire pressure as we’ve mentioned before. You’re good to go with 120-130 PSI. But if your road is not the smoothest, you will be safer and still fast with 90-100 PSI. Be careful when wet, you want a lower tire pressure during the rainy season.
Tire Type (Tubeless)
Bike tires now come in all types and sizes. Another type to consider is tubeless. Tubeless is known for its ability to roll at a lower pressure. This is because tubeless doesn’t need an inner tube and that way you won’t need to worry about your tires pinch flatting. Very recommended for routes compatible with mountain bikes and gravel bikes.
Off To A Smooth Ride
Pick a suitable PSI for your starting line from our chart. Test it out, come back and adjust accordingly. Take into consideration all the different factors we’ve discussed. Remember to aim for a smooth, safe ride. After a couple of trials, you’ll be a pro in no time.