To get the best performance out of your bike, you must maintain good bike tire pressure. Tire pressure can become the difference between a comfortable and an antsy ride.
Keeping your bike’s tire pressure at a suitable level for you and the ride will give a satisfactory performance from your bike.
You can improve your riding experience without spending a great amount of money only by maintaining your hybrid bike tire pressure.
Importance of Perfect Tire Pressure
Bike tire pressure affects the bike’s performance on two different aspects- a) The grip on the ground and b) The rolling resistance that affects the speed.
Tire pressure determines how much the tire will contact the ground due to the amount of air present in the tire. Different terrains require an extra level of contact with the ground for a comfortable ride.
The tire’s contact with the surface will be more if the pressure is less, and thus grip and rolling resistance rise. Similarly, the connection with the surface will be less if the pressure is more, and therefore grip and rolling resistance will decrease.
Factors like total load, bike type, and terrain have their effects on the tire. So, to have a good riding experience, you should maintain tire pressure as per the factors’ needs.
Tire pressure is measured in the psi unit. The bike will have more control if the psi level of the tire pressure is low.
As a result, you will have more control over the bike, and your ride will be plain sailing, but the bike will face difficulties while turning, and as a result, the rims can get damaged by this.
Whereas if the psi level is high, the bike will run faster, and you will get a bumpy ride, but there will be an increased risk of the tires getting punctured.
As rocky and hilly terrains require more control over the bike. So, while riding on hilly or rocky terrain, a low psi level is preferable. At the same time, plain landscapes require more speed while riding. So, a higher psi level is necessary while riding in the plain terrains.
Perfect Tire Pressure For a Hybrid Bike
Hybrid bike tires usually need 40 to 90 psi air pressure. The perfect tire pressure fluctuates between this range by considering factors like the rider’s weight, bike weight, the riding terrain, etc., along with the manufacturer’s recommended psi. The manufacturer recommended psi range is always written by the side of the tires. The psi of the tire should be kept inside this recommended range.
Suitable tire pressure highly depends on the weight of the rider. The more the weight of a rider, the more the tire pressure will be.
Hilly terrains unnecessary tire pressure in bike tires, whereas more tire pressure, is needed for a good experience in plain land. Along with these factors, another factor that helps determine the air pressure of your bike tire is the tire’s size. Generally, small tires require less tire pressure for a smooth ride, but this may vary with your body’s weight and the bike.
Some suitable tire pressure levels for different wheel sizes and rider weight are: In 700c wheel 80 psi for 60 kg, 85 psi for 85 kg, and 90 psi for 110 kg. In 26-inch wheel 70 psi for 60 kg, 75 psi for 85 kg and 80 psi for 110 kg. In 24-inch wheel 60 psi for 60 kg, 65 psi for 85 kg and 70 psi for 110 kg. In 20-inch wheel 45 psi for 60kg, 55 psi for 85 and 65 psi for 110 kg. Good tire pressure is not always some exact value, so you should always check your bike’s tire pressure at different psi and figure out which one will be more suitable for your ride.
Checking of Tire Pressure
A bike tire pressure is not a one-time done deal like replacing a part of your bike. The air inside the tire will always leak out even if you are not riding the bike. The air will be leak out more of the tire if you use it frequently. So, it is important to check the air pressure constantly and maintain it accordingly.
There are quite a few ways to check on a bike tire pressure. But using a gauge is the easiest one. By using a gauge, you will be able to get the perfect reading of the psi of your bike’s tire and will be able to determine how much air pressure the tire need.
At first, you have to check for the manufacturer’s recommended range of psi on the tire. Make sure that the psi of the remains inside the manufacturer’s recommended range.
With the help of a gauge, take the psi reading of the tire. Most gauges have long hoses and connectors to connect onto the tire’s aerial socket to get the readings. The reading of the tire pressure can be easily measured by pressing it down.
However, continually using a gauge and air pump has some drawbacks. Due to constantly plugging in and out of the gauge and air pump, a significant amount of air is being pushed out of the tire.
As a result, you won’t be able to get the perfect psi you were willing for. To mitigate this problem, there are air pumps with a built-in gauge. It will save you from the hassle of using an in-between gauge and air pump again and again. And will also help to give an accurate tire pressure.
Although using pressure-gauge is the only way of getting precise pressure reading of psi, it is not always possible to carry out a gauge and an air pump to every place. In that case, you can use your fingers to squeeze the tire from the side and decide whether to release air or pump some more. If you can squeeze the tire, then pump up the tire until they tend to feel very rigid and you are unable to press them anymore.
Frequency of Inflating Bike Tires
It is best to check the psi of tires before and after each ride and air them accordingly. This is especially important if you use your bike to commute daily or before heading out for a long ride.
Weather also plays a good role in the fluctuation of air pressure in the tire. So, checking the tire pressure considering the weather is also important.
The surface of roads tends to have different traction levels at different weathers. Depending on the weather, you will need to release or add air to the tire to improve traction. Please ensure the recommended psi range does not exceed, or else it may explode and cause some serious damages.
Use Different Pressures
It is common to have the same psi reading on both front and rear tires. But this will not help your bike to give the ultimate performance. Your body does not weigh the same way on both front and rear. As a result, two tires feel two different weights. To get the ultimate performance from your bike, you should consider this fact and pump your tires accordingly.
Generally, for a road rider, the weight distributes like 40 percent in the front and 60 percent in the rear tire. If you weigh 160 pounds with a 40-60 percent ratio, your front wheel will have 64 pounds of weight, and the back wheel will have 96 pounds of weight. But this also varies on different styles of riding the bike. So, you should try the 40-60 percent ratio of your weight first and if it doesn’t give the desired performance, then adjust the tire’s pressure according to your style by adding or decreasing some psi from the tires.
Things To Do
- Note the suitable psi readings for your bike.
- Use an efficient psi gauge meter.
- Check the manufacturer recommended psi range before inflating.
- Check the psi reading before every ride.
- If possible, use an air pump with a built-in gauge meter.
- Consider weight distribution while inflating the tires.
- Try to wear glasses before inflating your tires.
- Keep sharp objects like nails, knives, blades, etc., away from your tires.
- Do not use any gas to pump up your tire.
- Always check tire pressure before any ride.
- Make sure the gauge is working correctly and gives accurate readings.
- Always close the lid of the nozzle of the tire after pumping air.
- Don’t over inflate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most pro cyclists determine the pressure to use based onwhere the race is taking place and the terrain. For instance a race on the cobbles such as Paris, pressure should be reduced to 60 or 70psi. Racing in thick mud also requires a cyclist to reduce the pressure to 20 to 25 psi.
The recommended tire pressure is 33 to 35psi. However, high pressure is not dangerous. You can opt for high tire pressure if the bike is at the maximum loading rate. But when the weather is hot, you should avoid having your tires at maximum pressure since the ties can burst.
It is easy to determine the tire pressure of your bike if you are pro. The tire pressure will be determined by your weight, terrain and type of bike. You can know your bike’s pressure by pinching the tire or getting your mechanic to check the psi regularly.