In the world of cycling, one of the most important factors to look at are the condition of your tyres, and more specifically, your bike’s tyre pressure.
Though tyre’s play such an important role, and there is new technology everyday to help develop better versions of cycling tyres, most cyclists tend to go for the less expensive tyres.
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 tyres 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 tyres, and there may be a rare few with a set of “race tyres” for cycling events.
There may be some truth relating to better tyres improving performance, according to a recent article, but without understanding the dynamics of the tyre 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 tyre has in accordance to the height and weight of the cyclist.
It is measured in psi (pounds per square inch), and and can be easily adjusted by pumping or releasing air from a tyre. The average for road tyres are normally 80 – 130 psi, the average for hybrid tyres are regularly 50 – 70 psi, and the most common for mountain bike tyres are 25 – 35 psi. It is essential that you find the right tyre 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 tyre pressure to suit you will inadvertently result in a lot less flats, and allow your biking gear to not only last longer, but also to perform better. Getting the right tyre pressure is not a one time thing, but it is an ongoing issue of maintenance and upkeep for your tyres.
HOW TO CHECK BIKE TYRE PRESSURE : Our Check List
A major part of maintaining the ideal psi for your cycling adventures is checking your tyres on a regular basis to determine if they are fit for use, or if they need to be more inflated.
To check your tyre pressure manually, squeeze the sidewalls of your tyre between your thumb and your pointer finger to determine if it is dense or if it needs more air.
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 tyre is ideal.
If you believe the tyre pressure is too high for your liking and the tyres are too hard and stiff, then let some of the air out, but if the tyre pressure is too low and the tyres are too soft for your liking, use your pump and add some air to your tyres.
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 tyre pressure effectively. These are:
● Your environment has a lot to do with how your tyre pressure holds up. For smooth riding surfaces, the tyres need to be harder while on more uneven riding surfaces, the softer your tyres need to be. In wet and icy weather, less tyre pressure can result in a peak in the level of tyre surface that touches the ground.
● Faster and more experienced riders tend to naturally use a lot more energy and go faster, resulting in the tyre surface hitting the ground more often. These riders should ideally use harder tyres than a beginner or recreational cyclist.
● In tyre 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 tyres can cause a compression puncture very easily, but this issue can be avoided or at least derailed by using fatter tyres that provide a blanket of air, resulting in more cushioning for your tyre.
● Bike suspension, separate from the air in tyres, can cause tyre pressure to increase and the tyres to become harder.
Still not completely versed on the dynamics of your bicycle tyres, here’s a youtube video explaining the entire process.
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