Cyclists often care about the latest upgrades and styles to enhance their bikes and rides but often overlook some important aspects that can change the game. Cycling with optimum tyre pressure is quintessential for every rider. Though it sounds easy, the whole thing is quite complex.
Why maintaining an optimum tyre pressure in your bicycle is important?
There are essentially three prime factors for which optimum tyre pressure is required.
- Grip :-
The more the tyre makes contact with the surface and conforms to it, greater are the grip levels. That’s why under-inflated as well as over-inflated tyres fail to have a good grip.
- Rolling Resistance :-
The friction occurring between the tyres and the surface is known as rolling resistance. The greater the contact between the tyre and the surface, the more is the resistance. An under-inflated tyre offers too much surface area to be in contact with the surface, therefore rolling resistance increases. This makes the journey difficult. Surprisingly, an over-inflated tyre bounces on the surface, thereby affecting the rolling resistance as well. The reason is that an over-inflated tyre bounces and does not roll smoothly along the surface.
So, it’s vital to get the right pressure in the tyres to achieve best grip levels and a balanced rolling resistance.
- Life of the Tyre :-
When the tyres are over-inflated, the centre of the tyre wears out more frequently as compared to the sides. Inflating the tyres too much also reduces your traction and even result in a busting/blowout of the tyre.
Some other things that you need to consider:
· Weather and Temperature
The atmospheric temperature rises at the daytime and decreases at night. Temperature changes happen seasonally as well. We all know that gases expand when heated and contract when the temperature goes down. So, it’s very important to check your tyre pressure before and after the ride. Regardless of the temperature zone you live in, this is a good practice to follow in order to minimize the variations in the tyre pressure with change of temperature.
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· Accurate Readings
Most of us use traditional floor pumps with a gauge to inflate the tyre and measure the pressure. The readings shown by these pumps vary. The difference can even be more than 8-10 PSI. Using this defective pump for inflating an MTB or road bike can result in big problems especially when you are dealing with low pressures. Try using an independent gauge for your reading as that is more accurate than the traditional one.
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· Manufacturer Instructions
Most of the newbies have a misconception that the pressure value written on the tyre is the one recommended by the manufacturer. But, actually, it is the maximum PSI value for your tyre. So, next time you see a number on the sidewall of the tyre while inflating the tyre, consider it as the maximum value and not the required value. And don’t forget to read the manufacturer’s recommendation/manual before inflating.
For smooth, safe and long-lasting rides, it is recommended to go for the right tyre pressure.
Adjust the pressure according to tyre volume. Be it a roadster bike or MTB bike, if you are shifting from a 23mm tyre to 25/28mm ones, then adjust the tyre pressure accordingly.
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