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Bike Tire Pressure: Everything You Need To Know

Bike Tire Pressure: Everything You Need To Know

Are your Bike tires inflated just right, or are their pressure a bit low? What if your tires are too full? Neither situation is a good situation. Under-inflated tires can cause a series of problems.

These include some tires wearing faster than others, heat build-up in the affected tires, braking difficulties, and reduced fuel economy. In some cases, your tires may even fall off!

Over-inflated tires are not much better. You will feel uncomfortable when riding, because overfilled tires are handled differently. Your contact area is also reduced. In addition, although unlikely, an over-inflated tire may explode under certain conditions.

This is why having the right tire pressure is so important. This is not only for smooth riding, but also for safety. In this article, we will tell you exactly what you need to know about bicycle tire pressure.

What is the correct tire pressure for road bikes?

Let’s start by discussing the tire pressure of road bikes and mountain bikes. What is the correct tire pressure for road bikes? In fact, there is no specific answer.

This is why we recommend that you consult the bicycle user manual to understand the tire pressure range to follow. If you accidentally lose the user manual, you can always check this handy chart.

Tire width 60 kg / 132 lb 85 kg / 187 lb 110 kg / 242 lb
23c 7 bar/100 psi 8 bar/115 psi 9 bar/130 psi
25c 6 bar/87 psig 7 bar/100 psig 8 bar/115 psig
28c 5.5 bar/80 psi 6.5 bar/94 psi 7.5 bar/108 psi
32c 4.5 bar/65 psi 5.5 bar/80 psi 6.5 bar / 94 psi
37c 4 bar/50 psi 5 bar/72 psi 6 bar/87 psi

As you can see, road bike tire pressure is affected by many factors. These include the width and weight of the tire.

Since this is a British resource, the tire width is measured in centimeters. Suppose you have 23 cm or approximately 9 inches of bicycle tires. Your weight is 187 pounds. This means that your tire pressure should be 115 pounds per square inch (PSI).

Let us give another example. Now you have a larger bicycle with a tire width of 37 cm or about 15 inches. Your weight is 242 pounds. You need 87 PSI of tire pressure.

The larger the tire, the lower the PSI. Just check the chart above to confirm. Tire pressure needs will always increase with your weight.

 What about mountain bikes?

If you ride a mountain bike instead of a road bike, the tire pressure will not be the same. According to Mountain Bike Magazine, PSI will be different if you use tube or tubeless mountain bike tires.

If you use inner tube tires between 2.35 and 2.4 inches, the pressure of each tire should be 29 PSI. For a tubeless tire of the same size, the pressure should be slightly lower, only 26 PSI.

For larger tires, such as three-inch or larger tires, the PSI will increase. For this size tube tire, it is 20 PSI, and for tubeless tires, it is 18 PSI.

How to check your bicycle tire pressure

If your bicycle tires are not completely empty, they are at least under certain pressure. How do you know how much pressure is okay and whether your tires need to be inflated more (or even less)? You must learn to read the tire pressure of a bicycle.

If you have never tested the tire pressure of your bicycle before, we recommend that you use a tire pressure gauge. Although you can read it without a meter (we will show you how to read it later), it may be difficult if you are inexperienced.

First, you want to park your bicycle somewhere. Next, you want to figure out what type of valve your bicycle has. This is a good guide that we have compiled to help you identify the valve on your bicycle.

Once you figure it out, you need to connect the pressure gauge to the valve. Now apply some downward pressure. You should see the pointer of the meter jump up. The pressure reading you get is how full your tires are.

If your tire pressure is good, then you can get on the bike and continue riding. If the pressure is higher than your requirement, you will need to release some air. Depending on the type of valve you have, the way you do this will vary.

Each valve type is different, so you need to find the top of the valve and turn it. Now press the valve and you should hear air coming out. Do this step by step, checking the tire pressure as you deflate. You don’t want the tire pressure to be too low!

If so, you can refill the tires at any time. For this, you have several options:

CO 2 inflator
A mini pump,
Or floor pump

Can you check bicycle tire pressure without a meter?

No meter? no problem! If you forget your meters at home or don’t have one to start using, then you are not necessarily out of luck. There are also methods to read the tire pressure of a bicycle. Let us now discuss these methods.

The first one requires you to grasp the bicycle tire with your index finger and thumb. Squeeze the tire. If it feels a bit empty, you may want to fill up the bike. If the tire feels strong, the tire pressure may be too high. You should be able to pinch the tire slightly. This tells you that stress is good.

Another trick is to use puddles to your advantage. Go through the puddles and then reach the dry land. Does your bicycle tire drag a lot of water behind you? If your waterway is thicker, more tires will hit the ground below the puddle. This means you may be able to afford to inflate your tires a bit.

If you want a more scientific and reliable way to test the pressure of a bicycle without a pressure gauge, try using a calculator. The PSI calculator is a good choice. It can adapt to falling tires, which we will discuss in the next section.

Here is what you must calculate:

How heavy is your bike
Your weight (plus your bike weight)
Tire length (mm)
Bicycle weight distribution

Once you have all this information, you can start! The PSI calculator will provide you with the front and rear PSI of the bicycle tire. We recommend that you save the calculator link to your phone and open it when you are out and want to test the tire pressure.

If you are new to cycling and testing tire pressure, the PSI calculator is especially an excellent alternative to meters. It requires a lot of guesswork, and even beginner riders can ensure more accurate PSI readings.

Why do you need to check the tire pressure of your bicycle regularly

No matter what type of bicycle you have, whether it is a road bike, mountain bike or any other two-wheeled bike, tire pressure is not permanent. Once you know your tire pressure, it only really applies to that ride. Next time you go out on a bicycle, it is best to test the tire pressure again.

Although any slight fluctuations in your weight are unlikely to affect your tire pressure, there are many other factors that may affect your tire pressure. How long have you been riding? Using your bicycle will cause the tire pressure to gradually change.

When it comes to your bicycle tire pressure another major factor is where you ride. This is the chart that appeared in the “Bicycle Quarterly” to show you what we mean.

This chart is used to measure the so-called tire fall. This determines the impact of pressure and load on the tire, and it is determined that the amount of descent of the tire should be about 15%.

Since today’s tires are larger than the tires measured in the original chart, the tire drop percentage is no longer valid. Your tire may fall by more or less than 15%, but it won’t be significant.

Finally, one of the biggest factors that change tire pressure is the weather. When the outdoor temperature rises by 10 degrees Fahrenheit, your pressure will increase by at least one PSI. If the weather is cold and you are riding outdoors, and the temperature drops by 10 degrees, you will lose 1 or more PSI.

At this time of the year, when the weather is still very cold, you are more likely to lose tire pressure. This means that you can inflate the tires on Monday, and you must inflate them again on Wednesday, because the weather will make you lose pressure.

Also pay attention to safety in summer. After all, when you fill up the tires, you can get them to the correct pressure. All this heat and humidity will increase tire pressure, which puts you at risk of over-inflation. Test your tire pressure often!

In conclusion

The tire pressure of your bicycle is not a static number. It will vary based on your weight, bike weight, type of bike you use, and tire type. The terrain you ride and the temperature outside, hot or cold, will also increase or decrease the PSI.

This is why we recommend that you test your tire pressure frequently, at least every day before you ride. Whether you use a meter or a calculator to calculate the correct number, as long as you take care of the tires, they will take care of you.

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