Tyre pressure. How important?

bluedoggy
bluedoggy Posts: 284
edited October 2012 in Road general
How important is tyre pressure? How does it effect the bike? Reason i ask is i haven't (yet) got a track pump. I've been using the tiny hand pump and 'feeling' the tyre. Especially in the winter?
Wilier cento uno.

Comments

  • It will make a huge difference.

    Not having enough pressure in your tyres can cause pinch flats and also you will feel slower and have to put more energy into your riding as opposed to having tyres with the optimal psi. There will be others with more technical answers come along, I'm sure, but those are the bread and butter basics.
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  • greentea
    greentea Posts: 180
    Bluedoggy wrote:
    How important is tyre pressure? How does it effect the bike? Reason i ask is i haven't (yet) got a track pump. I've been using the tiny hand pump and 'feeling' the tyre. Especially in the winter?


    Very important. Get a gauge, because 100psi compared to 120psi can make a huge difference to comfort and grip during a ride. I always keep mine at 100psi.
  • edewer
    edewer Posts: 99
    Got my specialised track pump with gauge for £30 brand new. Definitely think its a sound investment, and as said above, it definitely makes a huge difference!
  • I think that tyre pressure is very important in terms of comfort, and performance. A bit like seat position, bar position, you will find an optimum pressure that suits your weight, riding style and the types of roads you use.

    Pressures too high can be very harsh, but too low can give you performance problems and pinch flats. I would say that my track pump is one of the "essential" bits of kit I've bought for the bike, and would not be without.
    Ridley Orion
  • As others have said, it's very important. Riding with insufficient pressure in the tyres can feel like wading through custard and if it drops too low can make cornering interesting. Equally, too much pressure means you feel every bump in the road and can increase rolling resistance too.
  • zx6man
    zx6man Posts: 1,092
    Yup, track pump was one of my wiser investments also.
  • As others have said, it's very important. Riding with insufficient pressure in the tyres can feel like wading through custard and if it drops too low can make cornering interesting. Equally, too much pressure means you feel every bump in the road and can increase rolling resistance too.


    I had heard the opposite. Higher pressure reduces rolling resistance. Being a newbie, and feeling swamped with info, can I ask how this is?
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Nit sure why some on here advise huge difference as OP did not state any pressures.
    If your talking difference between 30 psi and 100psi yes, but between 85psi and 100psi little difference, no need to go above 100psi, no gaing in perfiormance and loose grip in wet.
  • nolight
    nolight Posts: 261
    In general,

    Less pressure better grip (due to more surface area in contact) but more chance of flat tire (due to less buffer between rim and surface) and slower.

    More pressure less rolling resistance (due to less surface area in contact, less friction) therefore faster but less grip, more difficult to control

    Yet too much pressure may actually reduce speed again due to energy being lost to bounce (vertical flex of the tires).

    Safest is use middle of tire rating eg if tire rating 80-140 psi use 110 psi.

    If wet surface you may want less pressure for better grip.
    If dry smooth surface you may want more for faster speed.
    If dry rough surface you may want more but not so much that it bounces.
    If you are heavier you may want more pressure to support your weight.
  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    the gauge on a cheap track pump is probably accurate to about 30psi. They are more for the feel good factor than anything else.

    A track pump will let you get much more air in though.
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    nolight wrote:
    In general,
    Safest is use middle of tire rating eg if tire rating 80-140 psi use 110 psi.
    all good advice here, but going for middle of rating would sort of depend on how heavy the rider is.