What air pressures do you run?

GSTim

Formerly M3Tim
I'm pretty new to the sport and I've been wondering about air pressure lately. The articles that I've read seem to say that you want to run as low a pressure as possible without flatting to go fast, which seems counter-intuitive for low rolling resistance. I know on the road you want as high a pressure as possible to reduce rolling resistance. I've been running around 30psi (or a little lower) to try to get better traction, but I'm wondering if I'm putting more effort into pedaling to overcome the low pressure. Any thoughts?

Tim
 

mwlikesbikes

Well-Known Member
I don't like to pinch flat so i normally run no less than 35psi. I run tubes & weigh around 195 more or less.
 

lou_b_83

New Member
I run between 25 to 30(Tubeless). If you have tubes I would run around 35 to 40 so you don't get pinch flats. If you put some baby powder on your tubes it help to prevent pinch flat if you have to run a lower PSI.
 
I'm somewhere in the high twenties. I used to run a lot higher to minimize what you refer to as rolling resistance, but my tires used to slip a lot around turns. At the low pressure, its pretty awesome the additional traction that I've gained. I'm sure it offers more resistance, but going down is the fun part and I'd rather be able to hug those tight turns instead of having to slow down.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
with tubes, on a rigid 29er, i run 40+(usually 45+) rear, 35+ front. i have 26x3" downhill tires that i'll run into the single digits on snow, teens and low twenties on trail, but the sidewalls are uber-beefy. i weigh @200lbs nekkid.
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
30-35 with tubes on a 29er. Will go lower once I convert to tubeless. I ran 30 or a little less tubeless on my 26. I weigh a couple pounds shy of 150.

There have been numerous articles over the years about the tire pressure/rolling resistance equation. It seems to be pretty well established that there is a point of diminishing returns as the pressure goes up, be it on the road or in the woods.
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
I usually run around 30 front and rear with tubeless, 26 inchers. I could probably run lower but I feel like I get a washing out feeling if I go less than 25. In the snow I will run low 20's.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
with tubes, on a rigid 29er, i run 40+(usually 45+) rear, 35+ front. i have 26x3" downhill tires that i'll run into the single digits on snow, teens and low twenties on trail, but the sidewalls are uber-beefy. i weigh @200lbs nekkid.

i'm pretty much running the same pressures as sean. same weight, the only difference is that he's four apples tall and i'm about three.
 

cem

Member
experiment

I'm pretty new to the sport and I've been wondering about air pressure lately. The articles that I've read seem to say that you want to run as low a pressure as possible without flatting to go fast, which seems counter-intuitive for low rolling resistance. I know on the road you want as high a pressure as possible to reduce rolling resistance. I've been running around 30psi (or a little lower) to try to get better traction, but I'm wondering if I'm putting more effort into pedaling to overcome the low pressure. Any thoughts?

Tim

about 170-5lbs geared up
30psi tubeless 26er
35psi tubed 26er
30psi tubed 29er (so far so good)

Tires, bike, conditions, and terrain are all factors to consider, definitely experiment!
 

GSTim

Formerly M3Tim
Thanks

Thanks for all the good info. It looks like I'm in the right ballpark, I'm able to run at about 26-28psi and have never pinch flatted at 6-mile or Chimney Rock(of course now that I've jinxed myself I'll probably flat twice next time out:D). With the lower pressures I seem to be able to run a stiffer platform pressure in the rear and still have a nice ride.

May try tubeless next, is this much lighter or is it mainly to prevent flats?

Tim
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
I'm 165 pounds and run tubeless 29 @ 32psi rear, 30psi front...I run the same psi everywhere I ride...

-Jim.
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
May try tubeless next, is this much lighter or is it mainly to prevent flats?

Tim

It is usually not much lighter, if any at all...It is more the feel of the tubeless and being able to run lower pressure without fear of pinch flats. In the snow, you can't beat tubeless....
 

Mare45

Well-Known Member
so am i freaking whacked? i weigh 135 and always always always run 40 psi. is it screwing up my riding? my bike feels like is absorbs everything well, so i never considered going lower.
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
so am i freaking whacked? i weigh 135 and always always always run 40 psi. is it screwing up my riding? my bike feels like is absorbs everything well, so i never considered going lower.

With a tubed 26inch, 40 psi is probably just fine...

-Jim.
 
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