Tire pressure is something you will hear cyclists talk about all the time, and that is because it is so important. The correct tire pressure can be the difference between a good and a bad ride. In this article, we will tell you why it is vital and how to get it right.
Why does your Tire Pressure have to be correct?
There are so many reasons why the tire pressure has to be correct, and it doesn’t just come down to being faster.
It comes down to many other things, such as;
To avoid Pinch Flat and Blow Outs
Having too little pressure can cause you to get pinch flats, and having too much can cause your tires and inner tubes to blow out, so getting the correct tire pressures can help stop unwanted roadside repairs.
To protect your Wheels
Tires aren’t just about grip and speed. They are about protection. Having too little pressure can cause your rim to bottom out, and this can cause an awful amount of damage by cracking it. Having too much pressure can cause a blowout, breaking your wheel.
To go faster
Correct tire pressure means that your wheels can roll more efficiently and go faster. Having too much can slow you down, and having too little can too. The right amount rolls over small bumps and doesn't bounce off them. You need to find the sweet spot.
For better control
With the right amount of pressure, the tires have a better contact patch which gives you a much better grip, so when you're leaning over into the corner, it could be the difference between slipping and staying steady.
How to get the Correct Tire Pressure
Getting the correct tire pressure comes down to a few different things, and there are a lot of variables to think about. Firstly, you will have to think about the tires you're using. For example, you will want road tires between rough 70-120 psi, gravel tires 30-60 psi, and mountain bike tires you will want 15-30 psi.
You will then need to think about the roads you are riding on. If you're riding a gravel bike and the road is very lumpy, you might want to go for lower pressure. You might find a higher pressure more effective if you are on smooth roads. It would help if you also considered your weight. If you are heavier, you will need to compensate by adding a little more psi than if you were lighter.
It can also be very beneficial to have mixed pressures. Many riders run slightly lower pressure in the front for bumps where it’s closest to your handlebars and a higher amount in the rear where most of the weight is.
Where do you start?
The best place to start, in our opinion, is to go to an online calculator and see what they recommend. After that, you can make small adjustments to suit you later in time. SRAM has one of the best calculators on the market and has it as an app on your phone. Here’s the link below
Things to avoid
Before we go, there are a few things we have to mention to avoid when it comes to tire pressures. Firstly never go to the maximum psi on the side of the tire. It is always way too much and dangerous to be there. Secondly, check your tires before every ride as they naturally go down whatever and do need topping up often. Lastly, before each ride, always check your tires for flint and thorns to catch punctures before they happen.
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