What Tire Pressure to use for MTB

My tires have 35 psi on tires rated 40-60. I have excellent grip and feel on off-road trails at this level. I use tires with tubes. I would increase if riding on pavement.


With tubeless tire systems, you can run much lower air pressure. If your mountain bike tires are tubeless, then you will want to stay with lower tire pressure. The advised tire pressure for tubeless tires is between 30 and 40 psi. This is because tubeless tires experience fewer pinch flats and even rim contact occasionally is okay. This is why you can ride on tires with a much lower tire pressure than normal. If the tire pressure is too low, you will find that if you are cornering hard that the tire will roll under the rim.

By learning how to set the tire pressure, you can give yourself more control and help to make the ride down the mountain smoother. If the tire pressure is too low, then you will find that it is much harder to cycle and it can increase the chance of a flat, too. Tire pressure that is too high can make your ride very bumpy and out of control, as well.

Tire pressure can vary from person to person because it is dependent upon the personal preference of the bicycle, rider weight, the tire’s condition, and the terrain that you will be riding on. The tire pressure can be easily modified simply by using a pump. A tire pressure gauge is also an essential part of keeping your tires at the optimum pressure.

The manufacturer of the tire will have a recommended tire pressure written on the sidewall for your particular tires, and this is where you can start. You can then adjust the tire pressure as needed from there. It is best to use the same tire pressure gauge and pump when you check your tires, because you may get different readings depending upon the tire pressure gauge that you choose.

A good rule of thumb is to start with higher tire pressure for your bike. This means that you want to be around 40-50 psi (3-3.5 bar), and then lower the tire pressure a little at a time to find which tire pressure is best for your particular bike, terrain, and yourself. If you are a bit heavier, then you will want to use a higher tire pressure for sure.


Test Rides

Taking a test bike ride is the best way to check the tire pressure. You will want to notice how the tire behaves, how it rides on the terrain, how it slides down the mountain, and how it hooks in the corners. If you have too much tire pressure, then drop it in increments of 5 psi in both tires. If the bike gains grip and is more stable at this tire pressure, then you will want to keep it at this standard pressure. If not, then you will continue dropping the tire pressure in small increments and redoing the test until your bike rides the way you want and need it to.

If you want to determine the lowest possible tire pressure, then gradually decrease the tire pressure until you see how it feels when you ride on almost flat tires. This will help you to learn how it feels so that you can keep your tubes from getting damaged.

Another thing that you need to be on the lookout for is rolling resistance. The increased rolling resistance will take more effort, but it will offer you greater control and better traction to allow you to climb easier. For racers who race cross-country, they would rather have a more efficient bike versus greater control, so you have to take into consideration what kind of biking that you will be doing.

Using your hand to squeeze the tire will help you determine what the right tire pressure feels like so that you do not have to rely so much on the tire pressure gauge.

Your decision to buy a mountain bike cannot begin or end without paying special notice to the type of tires in the bike. Your choice of adventure, whether rough or paved, as a biker can largely help determine the type of tires you need to buy as well as the amount of tire pressure you may need to maintain in your mountain bike. All you need to do is keep this correlation in mind before as well as after you buy your mountain bike.

Mountain Biking adventures involve rugged, rough landscapes and unpaved roads. Sometimes paved roads and well-trodden bike trails are also preferred by some mountain bikers. The choice of adventure depends from biker to biker, and thus the choice of Mountain Bike will differ too. Before you decide on your choice of mountain bike, you should delve into certain important factors like the type of tires you will need and the type of trail you will be riding on. The importance of choosing the right Mountain Bike tires can be listed as below.


Tires; Wide, Narrow, High Friction, Low Friction

As already pointed out, the type of mountain biking adventure one prefers differs from biker to biker, and this very aspect should help you determine the type of tires you will need and the type of mountain bike you will have to purchase. Though you can purchase multiple sets of tires yet it is important to take a good check on the tires on the Mountain Bike you wish to purchase. If you are a biker who loves riding on rough terrains, your choice of mountain bike should have wide, heavy tires which are ideal for handling the friction and dangers of rough terrains.

Similarly, if your interest lies in mountain biking on pavements and well-paved paths, then narrow smooth tires are what you need. However, a point to remember is that even tires used for mountain biking on the paved road do need to have friction although on a lesser scale. Using tires with high friction on paved areas can cause you to lose speed so though high friction tires can be used, they should be preferably avoided.



Best pressure in tires

Having determined the type of tires you need for your mountain bike, you need to now focus on the tire pressure. The right tire pressure can give you a smooth ride and better control of your mountain bike. The effects on maintaining either low tire pressure or high tire pressure are easily evident. A mountain bike having high tire pressure can lead to a bumpy, uneven ride which can result in loss of control. On the other hand, low tire pressures can make riding difficult and increased possibility of tire punctures.

Nowadays, bikers also have the viable option of selecting tubeless tires for their mountain bikes. However tubeless tires require low tire pressure ranging from thirty to forty pounds per square inch, but the benefit would be lesser chances of facing a flat tire and the ability to ride on less than normal pressure in tires for various types of mountain bikes.

Bike tires, unlike car tires, lose their pressure on a daily basis, so its necessary to check their pressure daily and reinflate when necessary.

A few days ago, I was driving happily along the highway, heading home from a run to a store. A passing motorist honked at me and then pointed toward my car as if there were something wrong with it. I nodded and waved and slowed down, and they passed me. However, my car was behaving as it always had… there was no pull or rough riding to indicate that I had a flat tire. So, since I was only ten minutes from home, I just kept on driving – albeit more slowly.

My mind being what it is, as soon as I pulled into the driveway I forgot all about the reason why I had been driving slowly for the last ten minutes, and just walked into the house.

The next day, I got into the car and had driven out of my apartment parking lot toward the access road for the main drag, before remembering that there was supposedly something wrong with one of the tires. So I returned to the parking lot, got out, and looked at my tires. The rear left was as flat as a pancake.

I couldn’t have driven home with it like that – it surely would have affected the handling of the car. So yesterday the tire must simply have been low and continued going flat overnight.

But I learned my lesson from that little incident, and now I take a few seconds and check the tires before leaving.

In spite of my carelessness with my car tires, I always had and always will check my bicycle tire pressure before setting off on a ride. The more so because I have had a couple of flat tires with that bike over the five years that I’ve owned it.

Tire pressure is important for cars, because if a tire blows while the car is traveling at high speed that’s a heavy piece of machinery that will go out of control. But it’s just as important for bicyclists because since you have to use your own power to muscle along the bike, flat tires will affect your ride from the very beginning. And if you’re far away from home when the tire gives up the ghost, you could find yourself with a long walk home.

There’s no difficulty in knowing how many pounds of pressure needs to be put into your bike tires – the manufacturer puts those specifications on the side of each tire. Get yourself a tire gauge and always use it when you inflate your tires. However, although you won’t want to exceed the pounds per square inch that they recommend, there are reasons why you’d sometimes want to use less.

With a tire inflated to the correct pressure, your ride will be as smooth as the quality of your frame will allow it. If your tires aren’t inflated enough, it increases the chance of getting a flat tire, but more importantly, makes it harder to pedal. Too high of a pressure will strain the tire itself, not to mention making the ride too bumpy to be comfortable.

Bike tires lose their pressure on a regular basis, so before starting out on your ride, always squeeze both front and back tires to ensure that they are hard. Mountain bikers do like their tires “mushier” than other bikers, and if that applies to you just become familiar with what the appropriate tire pressure for you looks and feels like.


Setting Your Tire Pressure

Riding your mountain bike with the appropriate amount of tire pressure can make a huge difference in how much control you have over your bike.

Setting your tire pressure too high will make for poor contact with the ground and also make your bikeless controllable and have less give. Setting your tire pressure too low will make your tires unpredictable and also make them susceptible to pinch flats.

The appropriate amount of tire pressure in a mountain bike will vary between rider to rider and tire setup to tire setup. The conditions of your trail and the type of terrain your riding will also

greatly impact what tire pressure you should be using

in your tires.

The trick here is to find out exactly what mountain bike tire pressure works for you and your setup during normal conditions. After doing this, you can learn to adjust your pressure for different trails and types of terrain as needed.

You should start by finding a reliable pressure gauge or a pump with a pressure gauge. Then, use this same gauge or pump anytime you are making adjustments. A gauge can be very inaccurate, so if you switch around if you can make things much more difficult.

You should start with a higher pressure of around 40 –

50 psi. If you have a tubeless system, you should start lower, 30 – 40 psi. The more you weigh, the higher pressure you should start with. Try this pressure for a while and get a feel for how the tires

take corners and loose dirt.

Drop the pressure by five psi in each tire and get a feel

for how this new setup rides and how it compares to your

previous setting. You should notice some improvement

instability, and if you don’t, drop the pressure by

another five psi.

You want to find the lowest pressure you can ride with

without sacrificing pinch flat resistance. A pinch flat

occurs when your tire rolls over an object then compress

to the point where the tire and the tube get pinched

between the object and the rim on the wheel.

With tubeless tire systems, you can run much lower air

pressure, as you don’t have to worry about getting pinch

flats. If you start to dent your rims, burp air out

along the bead, or feel the tire roll under the rim

during hard cornering, you’ve taken the pressure much

too low.

Once you’ve found a comfortable setting for your tire

pressure, learn what your tire feels like when you

squeeze it with your hands. Once you know what your

tires feel like you can always get the right air

pressure – with any pump.

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