Factors influencing pressure selection
Reference. Tire pressure is measured in bars, kilopascals and pounds per square inch (Psi) using dial gauges or digital pressure gauges, which are available both as separate devices and complete with a pump.
The manufacturer indicates the minimum and maximum pressure for which the tire is designed directly on its sidewall under the wheel dimensions, while the PSI values are usually duplicated in BAR and kPa.
The relationship between the units is as follows: 1 bar (atmosphere) equals 100 kPa or 14.504 Psi.
In order to properly inflate your tires, consider the following:
- bike type;
- terrain relief;
- the condition of the road surface;
- ambient air and coating temperature;
- weight of the cyclist (biker, rider, cyclist) and transported cargo;
- type, size and material of the tire;
- design features of the rim;
- cycling experience and driving style.
For other species
In addition to the well-known mountain and road bikes, there are also fat bikes (a subspecies of an SUV), BMX and trials (sports), hybrids, touring, children’s, women’s and cargo.
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For each of these types, tire pressure is selected according to the range indicated on the tire by the manufacturer, taking into account all factors: biker weight, terrain, season and road surface.
Mountain, city and touring bike owners often have to ride over rough terrain, as well as on various road surfaces.
When driving on country roads, dirt roads, forest paths or sand, it is better to keep the tire pressure close to the minimum value specified by the manufacturer.
For an asphalt city road, the tires are best inflated to medium.
If you have to overcome bumps and stones, it is better to raise the pressure to the maximum.
Depending on the type of tire
When choosing a tire pressure, the type of bike plays an important role, or rather, the size of the wheel, the width of the rim and the type of bike tire that is installed on it. It should also be borne in mind that on the bike, the tires of the front and rear wheels may differ.
- Slick (slick in colloquial English means smooth). these tires are characterized by a complete lack of tread or its very low height, and are designed for prepared tracks with good coverage. Due to the high internal pressure, they have minimal contact with the roadway, which allows them to develop maximum speed.
- Semi-slick tires can be classified as universal tires. Due to the tread, which is weak in the middle part and has lugs on the sides, these tires, when inflated close to maximum, can be used on asphalt roads. When driving over bumps and natural ground, you can get more contact with the surface by lowering the tire pressure to a medium level.
- Studded. designed for driving on dirt roads and off-road (mud, snow and sand). Their winter version can be with protectors in which metal spikes are installed for movement on ice. The pressure in such tires is selected individually for different soil and weather conditions.
Attention. All tires should be installed in the direction of the arrow (marked on the side surface), which indicates the direction of rotation of the wheel.
For mountain bike
Mountain bikes are the most popular for their versatility. But because of it, it is more difficult to find the necessary pressure at which it is possible to maintain a balance between coasting and grip.
Due to the large volume of tires used for SUVs, the pressure in them is not high, ranging from 2.4 to 4.1 bar. Therefore, when going on an off-road trip, it is advisable to inflate your tires slightly below average (about 2.6 atmospheres). This will ensure good traction and reliable handling of the bike. However, too low pressure when hitting a stone can lead to tire puncture.
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If you have to drive on asphalt, the wheels should be pumped up to 3.2 bar, which will increase the roll and speed. It should be borne in mind that increased pressure will not only reduce the comfort of movement, but also increase rubber wear.
Initially, equally inflated tires will sag unevenly under riders of different weights, with more pressure on the rear tire than on the front. Therefore, the pressure in the rear tire should be higher, and the optimal difference with the front tire should be about 10%.
Below is a table that shows the dependence of the minimum and maximum pressure in the wheels of a bike with a tire width of about two inches on the weight of the cyclist:
This addiction extends not only to off-road bikes, but also to city bikes.
In this case, one should take into account not only the weight of the cyclist, but also the luggage transported by him.
Attention. When the pressure increases, it is worth remembering that the maximum value for which the tire is designed cannot be exceeded, as this can lead to its rupture or to deformation of the rim.
Calculation of the recommended value
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Fat bike optimal tire pressure calculator
What kind of “beast” is a fatbike? Features of the “fat-wheel” bicycle
Fatbike. a bicycle, for the width of its wheels from 3.5 to 4.8 inches, called “fat”, “fat bike”. Differs from conventional mountain bikes with cross-country ability on gravel, sand, snow, mud, tall grass and other off-road conditions.
Due to the large volume of air in the tires and a pressure of 0.2-2.0 atm. Significantly increases the contact patch with the ground surface and adhesion. Due to this, the wheels of the fat bike are softly cushioned on the unevenness of any difficult trails. The rider feels a smooth, comfortable ride.
If the air pressure in the wheels is increased, the fat bike can be used like a regular mountain bike. It is also suitable for driving in urban environments. True, due to the much greater adhesion of tires to the road surface, such speeds and roll-off as a road bike cannot show.
A special feature of riding fat bikes is the need for better physical fitness and endurance required from the rider. It takes twice as much effort to ride it on loose or rocky trails as it would to ride a conventional mountain bike. But for the sake of a unique opportunity in any season to be in any hard-to-reach place, fat bike owners are ready to forgive their ATVs for this shortcoming.
Fatbike wheels. how to pump, what pressure is optimal
The versatility of a fat bike depends on the degree of pumping of its wheels. The minimum pressure parameters start from 0.34 atm. (driving on rough terrain), the maximum ends at about 2.04 atm. (driving on asphalt). Optimal values, as in the case of a mountain bike, are selected individually by experience, depending on the weight of the rider and the complexity of the track.
Measure the tire pressure of a wide-wheel bicycle using a pressure gauge. For inflating, due to the large air volume in the wheels, it is better to use high pressure floor pumps. They have a built-in pressure gauge that gives accurate readings, which is doubly convenient.
Tire pressure depending on C ° outside air
|Indoor temperature, ° C||Outside temperature, ° C|
|740||Atm pressure, mm Hg|
|Tire pressure, psi|
What is the optimal pressure in the tires of a fat bike depends largely on the weather season. You can calculate the required value using the following formula:
P is the required pressure at the outside temperature t;
P0. initial pressure at room temperature t0;
a = 1/273 ° C.1. constant temperature coefficient;
Δt = t. t0. temperature difference outside and in the room;
Units are Atmosphere, Bar, Psi or Kilopascal. All units are converted to one another according to the formulas: