Gaining watts by choosing the best tire: Part 3 – Tire pressure

Our performance expert Andrés Díaz told us all about tire width and tire composition in the last two blogs. Today he is going to talk about the last and probably most anticipated topic: tire pressure.

 

TIRE PRESSURE

This is a really exciting topic for those of us, cyclist and triathletes, who like to take care of the details. In general, people tend to inflate their tires VERY VERY much above the ideal tire pressure. In fact, if we ask any cyclist if he prefers to inflate above the ideal pressure or below it 99% will choose the first option even though the second option has more advantages. If you do not know the ideal tire pressure for your bike, it is better to inflate the tire slightly below ideal pressure than to inflate it to the maximum.

It is not as simple as to say: MORE is better or LESS is better, the correct answer would be: the correct tire pressure is better.

The tire pressure is individual and depends on:

  • The complete weight of bike + rider
  • Surface on which you are going to ride
  • Tire width
  • Internal width of the rim
  • Do you use inner tubes, tubeless or tubular tires?
  • etc.

I am sure you have seen that the tires are becoming wider and the wheels are becoming wider, too. How many of us have modified the tire pressure compared to our old tires and narrow wheels? If it serves as an example, I have experimented a lot with tire widths and tire pressures and I currently use 28mm tires at 80 / 85psi (5,5 – 5,8 bar) on my road bike.

 

SUMMARY

If you don’t know the correct tire pressure for your bike, use the lowest pressure you can ride without the tire losing grip in corners. Always stick to the pressure limits printed on the tire.

If you have a power meter you can experiment with different tire pressures and find the correct pressure for your setup.

 

BONUS

If you are using clincher tires + inner tubes, use latex inner tubes and textile rim strip. It is one of the best cost/performance investments to go faster.

New tubeless tires are probably the best overall upgrade you can make on your bike. Tubeless tires with tire sealant (we recommend the Finish Line Tubeless Tire Sealant) have a great puncture resistance and very low rolling resistance.

Des questions?
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