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How To Be Sure You Have The Correct Tire Pressure

Jan 15, 2008
Are you having a difficult time riding your mountain bike? Maybe the speed seems off or the bike seems harder to control. Well, before you consider getting your bike checked for any physical problems, check the tire pressure associated with it. This is because tire pressure has a huge effect on how well you are able to operate your mountain bike. For instance, if the tire pressure is set a setting that is too high, the bike will not be close enough to the ground to make for the best control. However, if it is set too low, you could encounter problems with your bike's tires as it becomes more apt to gaining pinch flats. Indeed, in order to get the most control out of your mountain bike, you will need to learn how to set it to pressure that is just right for your build and riding style. You will also need to consider the conditions of the trail you plan on riding.

So, how can a person determine the best tire pressure setting? They will need to experiment with a variety of settings, so they should feel comfortable changing it until they find the right tire pressure setting for them. This process will be easiest with a pressure gauge that is reliable. With that in hand, a person may want to start with a higher tire pressure setting that is between 40 and 50 psi. Tubeless mountain bikes should have setting between 30 to 40 psi. Go for the higher tire pressures if you weigh more, whether the mountain bike is in tube form or tubeless form.

If the higher tire pressure doesn't suit your needs, consider dropping it by 5 psi. Doing this should greatly improve your stability. But if this doesn't work, consider dropping by 5 psi again. Keep doing this until you find the tire pressure that offers you the most comfort and riding ability.

What can be done if you're encountering a riding situation in which your bike has a greater chance of encountering pinch flat, (which is when the tires of your mountain bike rolls over an object causing it to compress)? To avoid this situation, consider setting your tire pressure to a lower psi. This should be particularly easy with tubeless mountain bikes, which can operate well at relatively low tire pressures. However, don't think that setting your tire too low you'll offer your tires the most protection against pinch flats. Instead, you'll cause problems with your rims. In fact, when tire pressure is too low, your tire might even roll out from under the rim.

Once you've established a suitable setting for your bike, squeeze it so you can get a good feel for what you will need should you have to set it again. You may even want to make a mental note of how these "feels" are, so you'll be able to quickly ascertain the best tire pressure setting for whatever riding situation you may encounter. All of this would be done without the hassle of using a pump.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living with his 18 year old son in Jensen Beach, Florida. Find more about bicycle accessories as well as bicycle tires at http://www.nsearch.com
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