Bike Tire Pressure

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Let us pause and think about this for a moment:

A tyre is the only part of your bicycle that meets the road. This means you need to make sure they’re in the right condition before you start your ride.

Are the inner tubes the right one? Does the casing have a high thread count? What’s the correct pressure level to consider?

The importance of choosing the right tyre pressure is that it helps to protect the tyre against punctures, minimise rolling pressure, enables you to ride smoothly and to have some degree of comfort.

Now, air pressure pumped into a bicycle is measured by PSI, which means Pounds per Square Inch.

To ensure that you find the correct tyre pressure level, make sure you have a good understanding of the tyre you have, guide values and most importantly, your experience.

Key Considerations For Bike Pressure

To determine the right PSI for your bike, you have to factor in your weight, terrain, tire width and the tyre type.

Light riders, smoother terrain, wider tires, and a tubeless set up make for lower tire pressure. On the other hands, heavy riders, narrow tires and rougher terrain require a bit more PSI.

1. Rider Weight

Bike tires have a very hard job to do. They have to handle your weight from the moment you start to pedal to the time you get off the bike.

There’s a reason why kids’ bike don’t need more pressure like adult’s bikes.

 Kids are more or less lighter than adult riders are. So before you start riding your bike, check to make sure the pressure you pump is enough to handle your weight.

2. Tire Width

The width of the tire is critical when it comes to determining the amount of air pressure required. Wider tyres will require lower pressure because they have more air volume.

 A narrow tire has less volume and it therefore requires more air pressure.

The amount of air pressure in a bicycle tyre is a great concern because it helps keep the tyres attached to the rim.

3. Terrain

It is easy to determine the volume and your weight.

However, for the terrain, this will require experience and a period of trial and error as you try to find the right pressure for the bike.

When riding, take note of how your bike feels on the bumpy terrains. 

3. Tubeless

Many mountain bikes are now equipped with this new technology.

This means that, unlike most road bikes, bikes fitted with this sort of technology do not rely on the inner tubes. 

With this, you can run with a little less pressure and not have to worry much about it.  

For mountain bike trails, you will actually get better traction and comfort with less pressure.

4. Performance

Another consideration is the performance that you want from your bicycle.  The primary factors on this are the rolling speed, traction and comfort.

The figure shows the recommended psi depending on your weight.

Tyre Width/Body Weight60kg / 132lb85kg / 187lb110kg / 242lb
23c7 bar / 100 psi8 bar / 115 psi9 bar / 130 psi
25c6 bar / 87 psi7 bar / 100 psi8 bar / 115 psi
28c5.5 bar / 80 psi6.5 bar / 94 psi7.5 bar / 108 psi
32c4.5 bar / 65 psi5.5 bar / 80 psi6.5bar / 94 psi
37c4 bar / 50 psi5 bar / 72 psi6 bar / 87 psi

Pressure For Bike Tyres

Low Tyre PressureHigh Tyre Pressure
More grip.
More comfort.
✓ Less rolling resistance in rough terrain.

Low Tyre Pressure

  • More grip.
  • More comfort.
  • Less rolling resistance in rough terrain.

High Tyre Pressure

  • Infrequent punctures.
  • Less wear.
  • Less rolling resistance on tarmac.

Mountain Bike Tyre Pressures

Mountain bikes tyres run at a lower pressure so that they are able to conform to the various terrains and provide better grip.

Suggested tyre pressure for mountain bike tires – for a ≤70Kg rider: 

  • Inner tube tyre: 36PSI (2.5Bar) Front / 38PSI (2.6Bar) Rear
  • Tubeless tyre: 26PSI (1.8Bar) Front / 28PSI (1.9Bar) Rear

Adjust for weight: 

  • Add 1 PSI for every 5Kg over 70Kg 

2. Road Bike Tyre Pressures

These run at a high pressure to reduce the chances of punctures and reduce rolling resistance.

Notably, narrow road bike tyres require the highest pressure

Suggested tyre pressure for road bike tyres (25mm) – for a ≤70Kg rider: 

  • Inner tube tyre: 90PSI (6.2Bar) Front / 93PSI (6.4Bar) Rear
  • Tubeless tyre: 80PSI (5.5Bar) Front / 83PSI (5.7Bar) Rear

Adjust for weight: 

  • Add 2PSI for every 5Kg over 70Kg
  • Subtract 2PSI for every 5Kg under 70Kg

3. Cyclocross/Gravel Bike Tyre Pressures

Gravel bikes tyres perform well at a higher pressure. However, make sure they have lower pressure than the narrower road bike tyres do.

 This helps to provide the best compromise between rolling resistance and grip.

Suggested tyre pressure for gravel bike tyres (35mm) – for a ≤70Kg rider:

  • Inner tube tyre: 48PSI (3.3Bar) Front / 50PSI (3.5Bar) Rear
  • Tubeless tyre: 36PSI (2.5Bar) Front / 38PSI (2.6Bar) Rear

Adjust for weight: 

  • Add 1PSI for every 5Kg over 70Kg

4. Hybrid/City Bike Tire Pressures

The Pressure of a city bike is almost similar to that of gravel bike tyres.

Suggested tyre pressure for city bike tyres (35mm) – for a ≤70Kg rider:

  • Inner tube tyre: 50PSI (3.4Bar) Front / 55PSI (3.8Bar) Rear
  • Tubeless tyre: 38PSI (2.6Bar) Front / 40PSI (2.75Bar) Rear

Adjust for weight: 

  • Add 1PSI for every 5Kg over 70Kg.

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