What Air Pressure Should I Put In My Bike Tires?

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What Air Pressure Should I Put In My Bike Tires?

By David Alyea, QBike Editor
July 27, 2011

The right pressure is dependant on a lot of factors which includes the weight of the rider, the surface on which the person is riding and several other factors. To get started, we need to know the recommended pressure for the bike, which is mostly mentioned on the sidewall of the bike tire or in the manual. Find that recommended PSI( pounds per square inch). This usually lies in the range of 35-65 psi on a mountain bike and on a road bike, it would range to a maximum of 120 psi.

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When you are trying to inflate the tires, try to get as close to the maximum limit as you can. Now , the pressue is also dependant on the kind of surface. Road surface makes a big difference. The smoother the surface the more pressure you can run. This is because our tires are like spring , they compress and rebound whenever they hit an obstruction. If there is too much pressure in the tires, they will bounce at every small roadblock or obstacle, we donít want that. It will also lead to fatigure in your body as every little bump will be transmitted from your bike into your body. Ideally, we would want a lower psi for mountain bikes as we need them to absorb more shock of rocky and rough terrains . For road bikes, we can have higher pressue. The pressue is also dependant on the weight of the rider, for a person who is heavy would require a higher psi compared to a rider who is thin and weighs less.

Whenever possible, avoid using air compressors at service stations Ė they are designed to be high volume/high pressure pumps and can easily overfill a bike tyre to a point where it explodes off the rim. Pressure also depends on the kind of tires. For tubeless systems, we can put in lowe pressures as they donít run into the trouble of pinch flats. Occasional rim contact is fine, but one should not go low enough such that the rim starts denting, leading to leakage of air along the bead or rolling of tire under the rim.

So, all in all, drive your bike for a couple of times, you will figure out the ideal pressure for your bike, that will meet the requirements of your weight, and the surface of the road. Adjust your bike pressure if you are biking on a different surface than usual, based on the surface conditions.

-- Lovish Agarwal

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