Mountain Biking - Safe tire pressure
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07-11-12, 08:56 AM
I ride a hard tail MTB. now i am very paranoid of getting flats when on the trails. so i sacrifice traction for safety almost. so i keep a high psi around 50 to 60
now i know this is high for MTB
what would be a better psi to keep tires at, that give me better traction but still be safe from pinch flats etc
would i be okay 30 to 40psi?
this is riding on trails with lots of roots and rocks?
07-11-12, 09:49 AM
50-60psi must give you a really harsh ride. I've run 35-40psi for more than a decade. My local trails have lots of roots. I don't want to jinx myself but pinch flats have been rare to non-existent for me at those pressures.
07-11-12, 03:39 PM
Some of this is dependent on your weight too. Someone who weighs 110lbs can get away with less pressure than someone who weighs 250lbs. 50-60psi is really high. Berg's suggestion of 35-40 is probably a good place to start, and you can make adjustments from there based on how you like your ride.
07-11-12, 03:54 PM
Much depends on riding style. If you help the bike over rocks and roots, you can get by with lower pressure. I routinely rode my rigid bike with around 30psi in the 2.1 inch tires, and at the time I weighed about 190. I've never had problems with pinch flats, but I'm a rather decorous rider. The bike that gets me to the mountains is the bike that must get me home. 30psi gives much better ride quality, and isn't too bad on pavement. It's a trade-off.
07-11-12, 04:25 PM
I weigh 225 and ride with tire pressure between 33-38 pounds all the time. 50-60 is a max pressure on some XC tires. I have never tried inflating that high. It honestly scares me. The desert environment that I ride is pretty unforgiving if the tires slide out from beneath you. I think 30-40 is pretty acceptable. Try a controlled area using a variety of pressures and let us know what you experience.
Berg and the crew seem to be in agreement. I haven't had a pinch flat since the mid 90s. Then again I am old and near frail.
I ride faster downhill than 95% of the riders on my local trails on a hardtail. I run 30psi and had only one flat in the last 5 years. You're running your pressure way too high.
I do high 30's~44. I tried 50+ once, just to see the difference, and yeah, it was pretty rough. I've gotten nailed by thorns, but never a pinch flat.
07-11-12, 10:33 PM
I run 80 psi, on the dmr.
07-12-12, 03:51 AM
50-60 psi on rocks and roots? for the sake of "safety" and no flats? You're doing it wrong.
Drop the psi in half and carry a spare tube, tire levers and pump. Or convert to tubeless with stans goop.
07-12-12, 03:52 AM
Hell I don't run that high of a pressure on my mtb commuter (40psi).
32psi front and rear on my 29x2.20 and I weigh 230. I get my butt off the saddle during rough spots but with the lower psi it climbs quite well. I'm also running tubes
07-13-12, 12:00 PM
I change my tire pressure almost every time I ride - depending on where I ride.
26x2.35 210 pounds Trance FS bike
32psi on sharp SoCal rocks (really sharp and jagged) = pinch flats 45psi = bounce off stuff and loose control 38 to 40 psi=great
35psi on fast SoCal fireroads/open trails=pinch flats 45psi=good control but some bouncing 50psi=really fast, low rolling resistance but bouncy
34psi in Pacific NW roots and soft mud=OK traction 30psi=better traction 40psi=slip and slide
07-13-12, 12:50 PM
28-30psi tubeless depending on the trail.
07-18-12, 02:00 AM
35psi in both 26" and 29er
It depends on:
1. Your weight;
2. Tire size and tread;
3. Riding surfaces.
What you want is 'as low a pressure as you can go with the tires WALLOWING in a corner'.
I've run DMR Redshift 2.25's as low as 40psi (they feel good to me between 40-47, and I weigh 235), and they stick like crazy, even in SNOW. But 40-45 psi in Maxxis Ridgeline 2.10's will wallow like a drunken, three-legged pig. (Oh, and my spiked winter commuters max out at 40 -- they do fine, too....)
At ~150lbs, I run 45psi on my commuter MTB. On my trail MTB, usually ~30psi. I don't even want to know how bouncy and choppy 50+psi is on trails with the MTB. Just to clarify, you mean sacrificing traction for tire safety? I say just carry an extra tube/air. Because at 50-60psi, I'd think you're sacrificing personal safety with what must be a really choppy, bouncy, ride with poor traction. I'd sacrifice a lot of tires before my own safety...
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