or Day 2 of getting ready to ride again.

How much air should I have in my tires? Can I blow up my tire? How can I avoid flat tires?

Air. The invisible ally that keeps you riding fast and with traction. Too much and you loose traction. Too little and you’ll get more flats. How do you know how much air to put in?

I have good news for you – the instructions for your perfect air pressure is on the sidewall of your tire. For ease of finding, I always install my tires so that tire pressure information is just above the valve. On my road bike the tire says 85-115psi while my fat bike the instructions say MAX 20psi (I run them between 6-12psi depending on the trail conditions).

The first clue is the pinch test. If you can squeeze the tire with a simple pinch, you need air. Better yet, get a floor pump with a pressure gauge or a hand gauge that will register the pressure in your tires. The gauge will also help you not to overinflate (too much air) because we hate exploding tires.

Big Tires take lower pressure, and flat out less, but they roll slower and they’re heavy!

Next, experiment with pressure (in the range suggested on your tires). Lower pressure will give you a smoother ride with more traction, but you give up speed. Higher pressure gives you more speed, less rolling resistance but you sacrifice traction in corners and the bumps are a bit harder.

  • Lower pressure
    • pros: smoother ride, more traction
    • cons: slower speed
  • Higher pressure
    • pros: speed, less rolling resistance, longer wear
    • cons: sacrifice traction in corners, the bumps are a bit harder

Stay tuned, tomorrow I’ll share about the safety equipment most overlooked by beginning cyclists.

And, sign up to ride with me on Monday June 17 from Transcona, through Elmwood to Winnipeg City Hall here.

See you on the trails,
Coach Robb

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