Bigger tires. Wider rims. Road, Gravel, Mountain. With all of the increases in tire sizes, developments in bike design, and varied terrain, it can be hard to dial in tire pressure to ensure the most comfortable and most efficient ride. While there is clearly no “one size fits all” solution, what methods do you use to figure out the best pressure for your ride? Also, are you using a digital gauge, floor pump dial, or the good old “hand squeeze” method to measure pressure? Let’s help everyone get their pressure dialed in!
Yes tire pressure is interesting concept. I found it matters a lot on road bikes (more experience in that area for me). I am about 160# and will ride 90PSI on 25-28C tires, but in a race situation I will put up to 100 PSI. I use a floor pump with a gauge on it and dont trust the "squeeze method" which is why I am not a super fan of CO2 cartridges and would prefer a frame pump.
i see alot of guys running very low pressures 21-23 on their MT bikes looking for more traction and a bigger contact patch. I run slightly higher pressures 24 front/26 rear on 36mm internal rims( Maxxis DHR 2.3 29) because i dont like to tires to "wash out" in the corners or after drops/jumps. I also like the confidance that im not going to break an expensive carbon rim.
Tire pressure has been written about and studied for years...so much information at our fingertips. Lennard Zinn of VeloNews has written a series of articles about tire pressure and its relation to width, rolling resistance, and "hysteresis". Here's one such article:
Most of my tire pressure experience is on the road...I used to pump my tires way up to 110psi, even though I weigh less than 150lb. I found out that too-high of a pressure actually reduces efficiency; dialing it back to around 90psi was the key to a smooth and efficient ride.