When a mountain bike isn’t performing well, many people are quick to conclude that it must be because it needs an advanced electronic shifting, a new set of wheels, or any other upgrade. However, oftentimes, the issue revolves around inappropriate tire pressure. To give the Fabien Barel a run for his money, and make that climb effective and seamless, you must begin by understanding your tire pressure.
Lucky for you, we have just the right information to point you in the right direction. If you forget everything else on this guide, always remember that the proper bike’s pressure allows for an easy rolling, a smooth ride, and prevents flats. So, what are some of the tips of getting your bike’s tire pressure right?
- Perform Regular Check-Ups
It is no secret: tires tend to leak over the course of time. A good pair of tubeless tires that utilize butyl tubes are often preferred since they leak less compared to lightweight latex tubes. That notwithstanding, air seeps out of these tires as well. The specific rate of loss goes up with outside temperature and the pressure of air in the tubes. Regardless of the method you choose to ensure regular pressure check-ups, be sure to stick with it.
- Find your sweet spot
You have probably heard that too high or too low bike pressure is catastrophic. The success is in finding the perfect spot that ensures a great balance between stability and grip. Higher pressure enhances stability and increases rim protection but when it becomes too much, it reduces traction and makes for a harsh ride. On the opposite side of the spectrum, low pressure improves cornering traction and increases grip but when your mountain bike runs on too low pressure, you risk damaging your rims and making your ride unstable. The right tire pressure provides enough rim protection while offering stability and great cornering traction.
- Use the tire volume to make adjustments
If you are upgrading from the conventional 23 mm to 25 mm tires, or from a 2.1-inch bike to a stronger and wider 2.3, you are looking at an increased tire volume. To make up for this change, you should adjust your tire pressure downward. If your road clincher measure 23mm, 25mm, or 28mm, consider utilizing pressures of 100 psi, 85psi, and 65-70 psi respectively.
- Check your floor pump
If you are using a floor pump to pump air into your tires, you might want to confirm is the gauge is accurate. Floor pump gauges measure the air pressure on the inside of the pump, not the tire itself. Most gauges are off by a few psi (up to 10-15). To avoid getting inconsistent mountain bike pressure readings, utilize a separate gauge that is accurate, affordable, and durable.
Contrary to common belief, inflating your mountain bike tires won’t make your climbs effective and seamless. Additionally, having an extremely low tire pressure doesn’t solve the problem either. Use the tips above to find your sweet spot where you avoid flats but allow your mountain bike to glide smoothly on all terrain.