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How to set the correct tire pressure

As the only part of the bike to directly contact the ground, the tires need to be treated with care. It’s particularly important to know how to set the tire pressure accordingly for certain types of terrain and road conditions, so that the tire can give optimal performance. This article will tell you all you need to know about tire pressure.

Before getting started, let’s just have a look at what effect having tire pressure that is too low, too high and just right can have on your cycling.

Too Low

Tire pressure that is too low will increase the risk of tire damage when coming into contact with sharp objects (e.g., gravel and tree roots). There is also a high probability of getting a flat tire or even the ground hitting the rim. What’s more, too low tire pressure will affect the elasticity of the tire, resulting in unstable feedback at high speed. In addition, when facing corners, having tire pressure that is too low will result in insufficient support and control of the bike. In fact, the tire can even come off the rim.

Too High

Having tire pressure that is too high will reduce the area of contact between the tire and the ground. This causes several problems, including reducing traction, transmitting impact to the rider (causing vibrating or rattling in the hands) and causing discomfort.

Just right

Having the correct tire pressure will give a balanced traction and rolling resistance, which will greatly improve the riding experience. The tire can have a good amount of traction without dragging along the floor. Additionally, the chance of getting a flat tire or the tire coming off the rim is very low.

So, when the tire pressure is too low, increasing the tire pressure can help to support the tire wall, to provide better stability and protection to the rim. Likewise, decreasing tire pressure can increase the contact area between the tire and the ground, thereby improving the traction, which can allow the rider to more easily deal with uneven road surfaces. Simultaneously, this also allows the tire to absorb some of the vibration, which greatly improves comfort.

Factors that affect tire pressure 

One should consider the following:

  1. Maximum tire pressure that the rim and the tire can withstand: take the lower value of the two as the limit value, although generally speaking, in normal use it is very rare for this limit to ever be reached.

2. Carrying load: To calculate this, one only really needs to take into consideration the weight of the rider. The greater the load on the wheel, the higher the tire pressure required.

3. Cycling terrain: This factor requires the rider to adjust the tire pressure before each ride. You need to consider the wetness of the road; a wetter road will require more traction and thus greater tire pressure. When facing more bumpy roads, the tire will need to have slightly less pressure in order to reduce the vibrations transmitted to the rider. When facing a more gravelly road, you’ll need to increase the tire pressure to avoid tire damage.

4. The quality of the external tire technology: if the external tire has excellent puncture prevention capacity, you may consider reducing the tire pressure a little.

5. Tire volume: A tire with larger volume can have a lower tire pressure.

6. Whether or not it is a vacuum tire: The chance of puncturing a vacuum tire is very low, so it can have much lower tire pressure.

7. Rim structure: If the bike uses a hookless vacuum rim, then the tire pressure used by drivers can be lower.

8. Riding ability level and style: Drivers with a more aggressive cycling style need to increase their tire pressure appropriately because they need to have very good feedback and reliability from their tires. Novice riders can use tire pressure that is a little higher, because these riders often have a higher probability of damaging their tires due to improper use of the bike.

How to set the suitable tire pressure

Step 1: determine the tire pressure standard. Bicycle tire pressure due to the different brand, the tire pressure regulation range will also vary. Most tires will be marked with the minimum and maximum tire pressure range. The tire pressure for the C3STROM ASTRO is between 120-240psi or 1.2-2.4 ba

Step 2: set the pressure according to the terrain. Take the bike out for an actual ride and adjust the tire pressure.

First, choose a section of road that you will ride and start with a higher tire pressure (we take a higher tire pressure as the starting value of adjustment to facilitate later adjustment).

Next, take a ride. Pay attention to the cycling experience, and the tire feedback. The main things to consider are the bumpiness when riding, the amount of support given, the impact on the ring and the traction.

Reduce the tire pressure and ride again; it should feel different from last time. The front and rear wheels are reduced by about 3 to 5 psi per time. Then the process is constantly repeated, until the tire pressure is appropriate.

As the tire pressure drops, you will feel improved traction.

But as the tire pressure decreases, you may gradually feel that the feedback of the tire becomes very unstable when riding at high speed, and you can even feel the direct impact between the ring and the obstacle.

At this time, the tire pressure is a little too low, so you should then appropriately increase tire pressure a little bit; increase by 2~3psi each time, until this feeling disappears. Find this critical point where the tire pressure is as close as possible to your ideal tire pressure.

Step 3: adjust the balance before and after the adjustment. When cycling, more center of gravity will fall on the rear wheel, so the tire pressure of the front wheel can be a little lower. Due to the original value of tire pressure, the tire pressure of the front and rear wheels is relatively balanced. The front wheels can be fine-tuned to achieve an optimal balance of traction and stability.

Such a fine-tuned set-up, although looking a little cumbersome to achieve, will make your ride more comfortable, and the tires will work far better. But it is important to note that this is  just a very general, basic guide. Close fine-tuning is still required in the face of different terrain.

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