In the world of cycling, one of the most important factors to look at is the condition of your tires, and more specifically, your bike’s tire pressure.
Though tire’s play such an important role, and there is new technology every day to help develop better versions of cycling tires, most cyclists tend to go for the less expensive tires.
They then pump them up to their ultimate highest pressure, but does this help or hinder the cycling experience? Let’s find out.
Manufacturers spend quite a pretty penny doing research and testing new products to come up with new innovations so that tires can be more efficient and better suited for the road, but most cyclists tend not to notice.
Professionals may be the only ones spending big bucks for specific tires, and there may be a rare few with a set of “race tires” for cycling events.
There may be some truth relating to better tires improving performance, according to a recent article, but without understanding the dynamics of the tire and its major functions, this information does us no good.
What is Tyre Pressure & Why does it matter?
Tyre pressure speaks to the level of inflation a bike’s tire has in accordance with the height and weight of the cyclist.
It is measured in psi (pounds per square inch) and can be easily adjusted by pumping or releasing air from a tire. The average for road tires are normally 80 – 130 psi, the average for hybrid tires are regularly 50 – 70 psi, and the most common for mountain bike tires are 25 – 35 psi. It is essential that you find the right tire pressure for you, to increase efficiency and ride smoothly, resulting in becoming a faster cyclist.
Tyre pressure matters for every cyclist to increase your likelihood of getting to your destination safely and on time. Adjusting your tire pressure to suit you will inadvertently result in a lot fewer flats and allow your biking gear to not only last longer but also to perform better. Getting the right tire pressure is not a one-time thing, but it is an ongoing issue of maintenance and upkeep for your tires.
HOW TO CHECK BIKE TYRE PRESSURE: Our Check List
1)A major part of maintaining the ideal psi for your cycling adventures is checking your tires on a regular basis to determine if they are fit for use, or if they need to be more inflated.
2) To check your tire pressure manually, squeeze the sidewalls of your tire between your thumb and your pointer finger to determine if it is dense or if it needs more air.
3)To check with a pump and a gauge, simply make a few pumps to open the valve and the gauge will give you a reading of the pressure in the pump, which will help you to estimate whether the pressure in your tire is ideal.
4)If you believe the tire pressure is too high for your liking and the tires are too hard and stiff, then let some of the air out, but if the tire pressure is too low and the tires are too soft for your liking, use your pump and add some air to your tires.
5) Adjust the pressure until it becomes ideal for you. If you have adjusted the pressure and you are still unsure of whether it is at the ideal level for you, take yourself for a ride and see how your bike holds up to the pressure.
Tips to take into Consideration Before adjusting your Tyre Pressure
There are some factors apart from your body weight or height that you need to take into consideration before you adjust your tire pressure effectively. These are:
● Your environment has a lot to do with how your tire pressure holds up. For smooth riding surfaces, the tires need to be harder while on more uneven riding surfaces, the softer your tires need to be. In wet and icy weather, less tire pressure can result in a peak in the level of tire surface that touches the ground.
● Faster and more experienced riders tend to naturally use a lot more energy and go faster, resulting in the tire surface hitting the ground more often. These riders should ideally use harder tires than a beginner or recreational cyclist.
● In tire pressure ratio, you need enough pressure to ensure that there is somewhat of an enduring cushion between the rim and the ground to prevent punctures.
● Soft tires can cause a compression puncture very easily, but this issue can be avoided or at least derailed by using fatter tires that provide a blanket of air, resulting in more cushioning for your tire.
● Bike suspension, separate from the air in tires, can cause tire pressure to increase and the tires to become harder.
Still not completely versed in the dynamics of your bicycle tires, here’s a youtube video explaining the entire process.
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Nathan Is a Semi- Professional Cyclist & Founder of Mybikexl. He own 2 bike shops and a full time passionate rider. When he is not in his shop fixing stuff, you will find him in the road or mountains enjoying himself with his bike.
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