First things first, always include checking your bicycles tire pressure each and every time you ride. Just exactly why you do this has a number of benefits that we are going to cover trough out this article.
How to determine the correct / recommended tire pressure
In most cases the you can find the recommended tire pressure on the side wall of the tire itself. This particular recommendation is what the manufacture suggests / recommends for optimal performance. Now here's the exception...not all conditions / riding surfaces will require the same tire pressures.
There are a number of effective way's to inflate your tires. The best method without question is to invest in a good quality floor pump that has a pressure indicator gauge. Knowing rather that guessing exactly how much pressure that you are putting into your tires is a good thing. Also for some specialty applications you may want to purchase and old school tire gauge or even a new style hand held digital tire pressure gauge.
Cause & Effect
A tires performance can and will significantly change when the pressure is either too high or too low.
Having a tire that is over inflated will make for a very bumpy and jarring ride. You will also notice that due to the higher inflation less of the tire is actually in contact with the trail etc. This certainly gives you a faster rolling tire...but you will definitely loose overall traction and cornering capability. Most ideal situation for this would be riding on very firm hard or paved surfaces etc.
Riding your tires with pressure too low gives you more tread contact, and climbing traction....BUT beware of flats and or rim damage from running into things or bottoming out the wheel. A lower tire pressure will also create more tire drag which may require a bit more effort to keep the wheels rolling. You may also want to take some consideration in any high speed situations and or hard cornering maneuvers.
Ideally a tire that is properly inflated will take sometime and efforts to figure out. Most will tell you in you can manipulate the tire by pushing your thumb into the tire with a little bit of effort you are good. Now that by no means is a scientific equation to tire pressure success. Talk with the professionals i.e. those that know. Take the guess work out and go with some recommended pressures depending on the situation and circumstances under which you will be riding. As always be sure to bring a portable bike pump & pressure gauge with you to make any changes just in case.
Lastly another great bit of advice is keep track of the tire pressures that you run in certain conditions by writing them down, This may seen a bit nerdy, how ever as you get out and ride in different conditions you will be better able to set up your ride more accordingly.
We hope these tips and suggestions help, in the mean time, happy trails & don't forget to take time to stop and enjoy the ride !!! Any other question, comments, ideas or suggestions please feel free to drop us a line: info@growlerbikes we would love to hear from you !!!