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8 March 2023

What should be the pressure in bicycle wheels?

If you want to feel comfortable and ensure your safety while cycling, take care of the correct tire pressure. Adjusting it is not difficult, it takes several minutes, and even novice cyclists can handle the task. Learn more about how to inflate tires so that the pressure in them provides a comfortable ride.

Proper pressure in bicycle tires – why is it so important?

It’s a good idea to check the pressure in bicycle wheels before each trip on two wheels. Both soft and stone-hard tires can be a significant inconvenience during the ride. In addition, inadequate pressure:

  • is less safety on the road – a bike with poorly inflated tires is more difficult to control;
  • adversely affects the comfort of the cyclist – he feels more vibrations, shocks, it is more difficult to overcome obstacles on the road requires more effort from him;
  • can cause damage to the bike – riding with a “flaky” or too soft tire poses the risk of damaging the inner tube.

What does the optimal pressure in bicycle wheels depend on?

Each tire manufacturer indicates the correct pressure value for a given tire model. However, the given range is usually quite wide, so it is up to the cyclist to adjust the bike to his own needs. The right pressure in bicycle wheels depends on the type of vehicle, weather conditions, and how much the cyclist weighs.

Body weight and bicycle tires

The heavier the cyclist, the higher the tire pressure should be. When pumping up the tires, it is also necessary to add to his body weight all the equipment he sets out with. Therefore, before you start working on your tire, weigh your helmet, the gear you use while riding and the luggage you take with you on the road. Only then will you know the actual load on your vehicle.

For touring, city bikes ridden by cyclists weighing 60 to 80 kg, the tire pressure should be around 5 bar. On the other hand, for riders who weigh more than 80 kg, the value is 1 bar higher. The lightest cyclists weighing 40 to 60 kg should ensure that the pressure in bicycle tires is between 4 and 4.5 bar.

Type of bicycle and terrain

The pressure in bicycle wheels must be matched to the bike type and to your riding style. It will be different for vehicles used for racing, urban cycling and demanding mountain trails.  If:

  • you ride around the city, on the streets, inflate your tires so that the pressure is between 4.5 and 6 bar;
  • you ride an MTB bike, on rough forest paths, off-roads, make sure that the pressure in the wheels oscillates between 2.5 and 3.5 bar;
  • you are a rider of a road bike, you like fast, dynamic driving, then make sure that the pressure in the wheels is between 6 and 8 bar.

Weather conditions

Adjusting tire pressures is especially important if you go for a ride during or just after rain. In order to keep the vehicle’s grip on the ground and be able to control it efficiently, you need to lower them slightly. When driving in such conditions, the wheel pressure should be lowered by about 3 PSI (0.2 bar).

What is needed to adjust the pressure in bicycle tires?

There are those who check tire pressure by squeezing the tire with two fingers. However, the accuracy of this method leaves much to be desired.

It is definitely better to reach for professional, yet easily accessible bicycle pumps with pressure gauges. Using such a bicycle gadget is the simplest way to perfectly prepare the tires for riding. Those who, have a pump without a pressure gauge, can quickly check the pressure at self-service bicycle repair stations. At such a place you can also inflate the tires – if you find it necessary.

On the condition and preparation of your bicycle tires depends your safety and comfort during bike trips. Therefore, pay some attention to the correct pressure in the wheels, adjust them and see that its correct value translates into your comfort while riding.