19 Jul 2018
VISION TECH GUIDE: THE PRESSURE OF YOUR TIRES
Too many people tend to excessively pump up their tires. Tubulars and clinchers, as well as mountain bike clinchers, often contain the packaging which often indicates the recommended inflation pressures. If you pump a tubular 12 atm - the maximum pressure of the top models, more or less - you will make that tire work at the limit of its possibilities: it will not explode, but it will certainly not give its best. The tire exploits the air inside it to perform its functions. If you take it to excessive rigidity, you will lose the elasticity that you need.
The function of the cover is to absorb even the roughness of the road – obviously not the holes- but those micro-bumps that allow the bicycle to run at its best. Some tests have easily put in evidence how a too inflated tire tends to vibrate excessively, losing its smoothness compared to an equal tire with pressure that allows it to absorb the roughness of the road. Furthermore, a tire too swollen tends to lose the grip because it doesn’t absorb the ground on which it flows. These issues can also happen to professional riders who are phenomenal riding the bike, but have to be put in the best conditions to exploit their tires.
The ideal pressure depends both on the quality of the cover and of the section. A larger tire will require less pressure than a narrower cover. In this way, there is also less risk that any obstacles can deform it.
The weight of the rider will obviously affect the tire pressure and its performances and it must also be taken care that the cover must adequately support the weight of the cyclist and the bicycle.
Even the rider's feeling can lead to adjustments that allow everyone to better customize their bike. On difficult terrain, cobblestones or holes, it will tend to keep the pressure a bit lower for example, as well as in case of rain where it will be better to have a greater contact surface between the tread and the ground.