Bike Tire Pressure Guide – All You Need To Know

Updated on October 2, 2023

Bike rides are the most fun and enjoyable rides among all vehicles. I have seen people of different age groups showing crazy love for bikes. So you won’t only see kids or youngsters riding a bike on the roads, elders and senior citizens love to ride bikes too. Many people buy it intending to explore places, and nature and go on trips with family.

So what do you think, what is the most important thing to check before you plan a ride on your bike? If your answer is checking the air in tires then you are absolutely right. The pressure inside the bike tires is very important for your safety and excellent grip on the trails. If you are confused about what air pressure is good for bike tires then you can read this article to get all your questions answered.

Bike Tire Pressure Guide

The overinflated and underinflated bike tires can cause the worst accidents. If you are thinking that buying an expensive bike will save you from these accidents then you are wrong. The tire pressure has nothing to do with the price of the bike. Make sure to check the pressure inside the bike tires before you take it out for a ride. However, people get confused on what is the right amount of pressure for the bike tires. To ensure your safety and to know more about bike tire pressure keep on reading this article.

The Basics

A pump is one of the most essential tools a biker should have to avoid any inconvenience. A pump with a digital pressure gauge is the best and gives the most accurate reading of the air pressure inside the bike tire. Most commonly the psi unit is used to measure the bike tire pressure.

Type of Tire

The pressure inside the bike tires also depends on the type of tire. If your bike has narrow tires the recommended pressure for the bike tire is more than the wide ones. All tires have a recommended pressure range that you can find on the side of the tire. You can fill the air inside the tire between the lowest and the highest value mentioned on the bike tire.

PSI for Bike Tires

The pressure range of bike tires varies with the type of bike. Mostly the recommended pressure information is written on the tire rim or tire itself. But if you are unable to find this information on the tire then you can guess it depending upon the bike type. No doubt, properly inflated tires provide excellent bike performance but to know the proper range you can follow a few tips depending on the type of your bike.

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It is necessary to check the tire pressure every time you go on a bike ride because overinflated and underinflated bike tires cause trouble. Therefore, it is better to test it out by squeezing the tire to check the pressure of the bike tire. If the tire hardly gets pressed even if you apply enough force with your thumb while squeezing it then you are good to go. If it gets pressed easily then you can fill the air in the bike tire with a pump but remember not to exceed the higher limit.

Air Pressure According To The Type of Bike

Road Bikes

The tires of the road bikes are built to ensure a smooth ride without compromising on speed. You should keep in mind that to enjoy fast speed on smooth roads higher air pressure is necessary. According to my findings, the pressure range between 80 psi to 130 psi is best for road bikes. But if you are a racer you can increase the air pressure to 160 psi max. Check the air pressure with a digital pump gauge but if you don’t have a pump with a gauge then you can check it by squeezing the tire with your thumb.

Mountain Bikes

The tires of mountain bikes have a very different structure from road bikes. They are built to cover rough and bumpy terrains. A bike with good shock absorbers is best to have a smooth ride on rocky mountain roads. But did you know the low pressure of the bike tires also acts as a shock absorber when your wheel rolls over bumpy terrains? That is why the pressure between 30 psi to 50 psi is recommended to keep the balance of the bike on the rough tracks.

Kid’s Bike

The frame structure for the kid’s bikes is different from adults. Kids’ safety is the top priority of the manufacturers as well as the parents. That is why a kid’s bike has a wide tire size to ensure the maximum contact of the tire with the surface. The pressure of the tire is kept between 20 psi to 40 psi. If your bike tire pressure is between the above-mentioned range then your kid can enjoy a smooth ride around the town as well as on the road.

Factors That Affect The Optimal Bike Tire Pressure

Until now you already have got an idea about what is the optimal pressure range of the bike tires depending on the bike type you own. Apart from the type of bike, there are many other factors that influence the bike tire pressure. A few of these factors are mentioned below.

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Tire Size

The bike tire pressure is also estimated by the width of the tires. There are many types of tires available in the market depending upon the bike type. You can check the recommended pressure on the size of the tire so pump the air inside the tire staying within the recommended range.

Condition of The Road

The condition of the road is highly impactful on the optimal pressure of the tires. If you are riding your bike on a perfectly smooth road then you can go for pumping higher pressure in the bike tire as it will run fast. It is recommended to have lower bike tire pressure if the road you are planning to take a ride on is a little bumpy because it will provide more shock absorbance as compared to the higher pressure of bike tires.

Material of The Tire

The material of the tires also affects the pressure range of the bike tires. For the summer season or racing tournaments, the tires are made from thinner nylon, cotton, or a rubber material to ensure a smooth and fast ride. Whereas during winters thicker material is preferred to protect it from punctures and to provide maximum grip for a comfortable ride.

Tube Or Tubeless Tires

Tubeless tires have few advantages over tube tires. You can run even at low bike tire pressure with a tubeless tire because it omits the dangers of getting a flat tire. You will never get a flat tire with a tubeless tire because there is no tube inside. But tubeless tires are only recommended for road bike rides.

Frequency of Bike Usage

If you use your bike quite often then you should check the bike tire pressure before leaving because the pressure inside the tire reduces as you ride the bike. Also, you don’t need to refill the air every day if you use your bike daily. Check the pressure with the digital pump gauge first, pump the tire only if needed.

Weight of The Rider

The weight of the rider also influences the condition and pressure of the bike tires. Generally, heavier riders are recommended to have more bike tire pressure as compared to the lighter ones. You can fill up to 20 psi more than the recommended level of pressure if you do not fall under the category of lightweight riders.

Temperature

As per physics rule temperature does have some effect on the pressure. Higher temperature causes increased friction between the bike tires and the road. Therefore, optimal bike tire pressure in summers is higher than in winters. The main reason behind this is that the heat increases the pressure on the walls of the tires.

OverInflated/ UnderInflated Tire

Over-inflated or under-inflated tires are highly risky. In case of overinflation, the tire will burst either when you are pumping the air, or a sudden jerk while you are riding. On the other hand with an underinflated tire you will experience a flat tire pretty easily and paddling will be a challenge for you.

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FAQs

What happens if tire pressure is too high bike?

The higher pressure of the bike tires is the main reason for the punctures. Also, the over-inflated tire causes the bike to shake more often leaving you frustrated because you will have to put more energy to ride the stiff over-inflated tires.

What pressure should my bike tires be?

The recommended pressure of the bike tires is between the range of 90 psi to 120 psi. You can keep the pressure of the bike tires within this range to enjoy a smooth comfortable bike ride.

Is it harder to ride a bike with low tire pressure?

Yes, low bike tire pressure increases the friction between the bike tire and the road. The increased friction gives a hard time to the rider to make it move. So you have to go through a lot of struggle while pedaling the bike with an underinflated tire.

Conclusion

If you are one of those people who prefer bike rides over other vehicles then you should check the bike tire pressure before riding it. You should make it a practice because an optimal bike tire pressure is crucial for a good bike ride experience. Generally, a bike tire pressure ranging between 90-120 psi is good but still, it varies from bike to bike. Following are the few recommended bike tire pressures according to the bike type.

  • Road Bike: 80 psi to 130 psi is the best pressure range for road bike tires.
  • Mountain Bike: tire pressure ranging between 30 psi to 50 psi is recommended to keep the bike balanced on rough terrains.
  • Kid’s Bike: the pressure of the tire should be kept between 20 psi to 40 psi.

After some online digging, I got my hands on the recommended ranges of tire pressure according to the type of bike. So in the future, if you plan to go on a bike ride you should check the bike tire pressure first. If it is between the above-mentioned ranges then you are good to go. If not, you can give five minutes of pumping to the tire to acquire the recommended range. I hope our article has helped you in understanding the optimal pressure range of bike tires.

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