When you ride a bicycle, many factors could affect your riding experience. Along with your position when riding, the bike size or frame geometry, bike tire pressure is an essential feature to consider.
You do not have to spend a large budget on upgrading your bike since the proper bike tire pressure could enhance your speed, comfort, performance better than you think.
If you want to achieve the perfect bike pressure in the fastest way, there is no reason to ignore the following article.
- How To Use A Bike Pump: The Ultimate Guide (2021)
- The Helpful Guide To Bike Size Chart Kids (Latest Update In 2021)
- Different Types Of Bicycles: Let’s Jump To The World Of Bicycles
- How Long Does It Take To Bike A Mile: Things Cyclists Should Know
The Role of Tire Pressure
Many riders often underestimate the importance of bicycle tire pressure. Simultaneously, it directly impacts their speed, performance, safety, and comfort on the roads.
Having the correct air pressure tire is one of the most economical ways to maintain your bike tire. If your bike tire has a low tire pressure or a high tire pressure, it could be worn out very quickly.
Moreover, the tire pressure will determine your speed on the road. By adjusting the amount of air pressure on the bike tires, you could get the speed you want.
There are many reasons for a change in tire pressure. Thus, it is essential to check tire pressure periodically. You should check your tires at least once a month to make sure everything is working correctly.
Pound Per Square Inch (PSI) for Bike Tire Pressure
Each type of bike tire will need a particular PSI range. If you do not use the correct pressure, you cannot have a comfortable ride.
It will help if you put a little air pressure on the bike tires for kid’s bike tires since these tires usually have smaller sizes than adult bike tires.
You will need high air pressure in narrow tires since these bike tires have a small air volume. The PSI range that narrow tires require is from 80 PSI to 130 PSI.
Finally, if you have a wide and thick bike tire, you will feel that high tire pressure might not be suitable for your tire.
Thus, the recommended PSI range for this type of bike tire is from 30 PSI to 60 PSI, depending on the terrains you ride on.
To have a quick overview and comparison, you could check the table below!
|Types of bike tires||PSI range|
|Tires for kid bikes||From 20 PSI to 40 PSI|
|Narrow tires||From 80 PSI to 130 PSI|
|Medium tires||From 50 PSI to 70 PSI|
|Wide tires||From 30 PSI to 40 PSI (Offroad)
From 50 PSI to 60PSI (Onroad)
PSI for Bike Type
PSI for road bikes
A typical road bike comes with narrow tires, and as a result, you will need more air pressure for your bike tires. Generally, the standard PSI range for road bike tires is from 80 PSI to 130 PSI.
However, the level of air pressure on road bikes might change due to several factors such as tire width, rider weight.
For example, if your road tire width is 23c and you are 60 kg in weight, the needed PSI will be 100 PSI. Meanwhile, with the same tire width but higher body weight, about 80 kg, you will need 115 PSI for your road bike.
For more information about a Road Bike Tire Pressure, let’s watch a helpful video on:
PSI for mountain bikes
If you have a mountain bike, a rule of thumb you should keep in mind is to lower the recommended PSI range printed on the bike tires.
On the mountain trails, you will face many obstacles on the road. Moreover, this terrain is very challenging and bumpy, so that lower pressure will enhance the grips. Thus, you should start with 25 – 35 PSI for your mountain bike tires.
For more information about a Mountain Bike Tyre Pressures, let’s watch a helpful video on:
PSI for gravel bikes
The suitable air pressure range for gravel bike tires is from 15 PSI to 50 PSI.
For the tire width from 35mm to 38mm, you should go to the 35-40 PSI range. If you have 40mm – 45mm gravel tires, you should decrease the air pressure range, about 25 – 35 PSI.
To know the best tire pressure for your gravel bike, you should feel every ride and adjust the best experience for PSI.
For more information about a Best Tire Pressure for Gravel Bikes, let’s watch a helpful video on:
PSI for hybrid bikes
As I said above, a typical hybrid bike will come with medium tires. As such, the right PSI range for this bike type is from 40 PSI to 70 PSI.
For the front tires, you should add a little bit higher pressure compared to the rear tires. For example, if you add 50 PSI on your rear tire, then 55 PSI is ideal for the front tire.
|Bike types||PSI range|
|Road bikes||From 80 PSI to 130 PSI|
|Mountain bikes||From 25 PSI to 35 PSI|
|Gravel bikes||From 15 PSI to 50 PSI|
|Hybrid bikes||From 40 PSI to 70 PSI|
Essential Factors of The Bike Inflation
It would be best to consider many factors before going to the number of pounds per square inch for your bike tires.
The first consideration that you should make before choosing a tire pressure range is your weight. You could realize that when you sit on your bicycle, the shape of the tires will change. In other words, your weight could compress and deform the tires.
Thus, for different weight ranges, you need a specific PSI for your bike tires. The heavier you are, the higher air pressure your bike tires need.
For example, if you are 150 pounds, 30 PSI is suitable for your gravel bike. However, for riders who are 170 pounds or 200 pounds, they will need 33 – 35 PSI for their bike tires.
The temperature could affect your bike tire pressure. Temperature and tire pressure are positively related, meaning that as the ambient temperature increases, the tire pressure also increases and vice versa.
Also, braking could generate heat inside the bike tires, but it isn’t imperative.
For a wide tire and a narrow tire, you will need two different ranges of air pressure. Wider tires will need less pressure since they have an enormous air volume.
By contrast, if you have a narrow bike tire, you have to put a more considerable amount of air pressure on it.
Depending on your riding style, your bike will roll on different terrains. On each terrain, you will need a specific PSI.
If you feel every chunky rock on the road on the bumpy terrains, you will need to increase your bike tires’ air pressure.
On the roads, high air pressure on the bike tires, like from 115 PSI to 130 PSI, might not be a wise option since it will make your bike tire absorb more shocks on the road. In this case, the PSI range from 90 PSI to 100 PSI might help you ride faster and smoother.
If you often ride on wet terrains, you should lower your bike tire pressure for better grips.
If you are using a tubeless bike tire, you might not need a high amount of air pressure because of some reasons.
With tubeless technology, your tires could work independently with the inner tube. Thus, even when you underinflate your bike tires, you do not need to worry about flat tires.
To have the right PSI, you should check and maintain your bike tires regularly. After a long ride, you should check for anything on the tire, as it is dangerous to ride a bicycle with a punctured tire.
Should I Overinflate Or Underinflate?
Whether you overinflate or underinflate your tires, they all are bad for your bike tires.
However, suppose you have to choose one of the two options above. In that case, I recommend over-inflation since it has less harm compared to under-inflation.
As I said above, overinflating will likely cause fewer problems in your bike tires. Nowadays, many different types of bike tires on the market could handle higher pressures than the standard level.
The first issue that you might meet if you overinflate lower speed. A bike tire with high pressure might create too much elasticity when the wheel rolls. Therefore, it isn’t effortless to get the best speed range.
Moreover, overinflated bike tires could also lead to instability, unbalance and discomfort while you cycle.
Finally, when you overinflate your bike tire, the center of this tire will be stretched and subjected to more friction. That is also the reason why this part wears out faster.
If your bike tires have low air pressure, it could make your riding experience less comfortable.
Firstly, underinflated bike tires could not handle emergencies quickly and responsibly. For example, when you need to stop your bike immediately, a tire with low pressure might affect the braking distances.
Secondly, underinflating could create higher rolling resistance. As such, if you want to ride at high speed, you will need more effort than when you use overinflated bike tires.
Furthermore, low pressures might be a reason that makes your bike tires generate heat.
Along with that, the outer edges of underinflated bicycle tires will be worn off quickly after a short period. If you do not fix this problem in time, it will damage your bike wheels’ rim.
To know if you are underinflating your bike tires, you should check your tires every week before a long ride.
Bike Pump Options
You could choose many ways to add air pressure to your bike tires. In general, there are three most common options for bike pump for you to choose from, including floor pump, mini & frame pump, and CO2 inflators.
Each type will have its pros and cons. You should consider carefully before going to a bike pump option.
If convenience and ease-of-using are your priorities, then a floor pump is an ideal option for you. It is also the common choice of professionals as well as cyclists all around the world.
You could attach to your bike tires much easier and quicker with a floor pump than a hand pump. Almost all floor pumps come with a gauge that could help you calculate the needed PSI.
However, this added pressure gauge might be incorrect. Thus, when you use a floor pump, I highly recommend buying an independent meter separately. It might be the only drawback of this bike pump option.
Mini & Frame pump
One of the most significant advantages of this bike pump is the ergonomic design. You could bring this tool with your bike effortlessly. Moreover, this product is compatible with all types of bikes.
Additionally, most mini and frame pumps feature a mounting bracket system. Thanks to that, you could carry these pumps on the bike frame easily.
On the other hand, you will need a longer time to pump due to the small size. Also, this model will require more effort.
CO2 inflator is the smallest option that you could get on the market. A CO2 inflator could fit your seat bag perfectly. This pump uses CO2 cartridges to create air pressure on your bike tires.
As a result, if you forget this CO2 cartridge, this pump will be useless. In case you do not recycle CO2 cylinders after using them, this product could pollute the environment.
What is the air pressure for a 26-inch bike tire?
The appropriate air pressure range for 26-inch tires, for both comfort bikes and mountain bikes, is from 35 PSI to 60 PSI. Your bike is comfortable enough at this pressure range when off-road and fast enough when on the road.
What is the air pressure for a 27.5-inch bike tire?
Wide tires like 27-inch will need less air pressure than narrow ones. For a 27.5-inch bike tire with tubes, 26 – 30 PSI is the most suitable pressure range. In terms of 27.5-inch tubeless tires, you could use 23 – 25 PSI for the best experience.
What is the air pressure for a 24-inch bike tire?
If you mean, 24 inches is the size for a kid bike tire, and you might need 20 – 40 PSI for this type of bike tire. However, if you are looking for the PSI range for a 24-inch road bike tire, 80 – 130 PSI is the way to go.
Is too much air in the bike tire dangerous?
Yes, it is. You should not use an excessive amount of pressure on your bicycle tires since it could deform your bike tire or even make it wear out. Moreover, with too much air in the tire, you might not get the fast speed on the road.
Where can I look for PSI on a bike tire?
Almost all bike tires will be manufactured with a recommended PSI range on the side of them. If you do not see the information on a bike tire, you could find the PSI range on a bike tire’s packaging.
Is 40 PSI good for a mountain bike tire?
I believe that 40 PSI is a little bit high for mountain bike tires. You should not use a large amount of air pressure on trails if you do not want your ride to be bumpier and unstable.