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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-27-07, 05:43 PM   #1
Blogcycle
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How often do you add air to your tires?

My commute will be 26 miles round trip, pretty smooth roads, I'm pretty new to biking so this is my entry level question.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:45 PM   #2
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Honestly probably not often enough. When I do notice that the tires do not feel "hard" anymore and add air with my floor pump I'm often sheepish to see how low the tire pressure has gotten. I'd recommend checking the pressure after a week of riding and you can then probably figure out from there if you need to pump them more or less often than weekly.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:47 PM   #3
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I top them off every time I leave the garage. It's just part of the routine and since I've started I don't get pinch flats any more.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:51 PM   #4
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Once every week or 2 is probably fine depending on the bike. Larger tires (crusiers,hybrids, mtb etc) can go fine with that interval. Road bikes with skinny tires usually need topping up at least every 4-5 days.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:57 PM   #5
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First ride of each week. I usually find that the butyl tubes and 27x1/1/4 tires on my bike have lost about 20 lbs. between top-offs.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCRyder
First ride of each week. I usually find that the butyl tubes and 27x1/1/4 tires on my bike have lost about 20 lbs. between top-offs.
Same here, about once a week and I find that they are about 20 lbs. short.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
I top them off every time I leave the garage. It's just part of the routine and since I've started I don't get pinch flats any more.
Ditto
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Old 06-27-07, 07:00 PM   #8
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I need to get into the 'every time I leave' routine. Especially with my 3 speed since about every 5th or 6th ride I get a little low in the back (enough to feel it in the turns) but on that bike I need new wheels built and new tires & tubes, so hopefully it won't need air that often.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:07 PM   #9
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About every two to three weeks. They lose about 20-30 pounds pressure over that interval.

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Old 06-27-07, 07:07 PM   #10
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With my mountain bike I did it every month or so, with my 700c tires I need to do it every week or two.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:12 PM   #11
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The night before every commute, along with a basic PM check. Takes all of 5 minutes and prevents lots of headaches...both literal and real.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:13 PM   #12
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I'm a clyde, so maintaining 120 psi is pretty important for me to avoid pinch flats. I put the floor pump on them every two days. They've usually only lost about 5psi by then, so I'm being extra careful by following this policy.

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Old 06-27-07, 07:16 PM   #13
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26 miles? Well, if you want to keep your tires at the nominal pressure you use, and assuming they are road bike tires, I would say at least every 3rd day, but personally, I would top them up each time. It's very easy to lose 10 pounds of pressure every couple of days with a high pressure road tire, or even more if you have been hitting curbs or bumps. They lose air just sitting there in your living room (hey, that's where I keep my bike, even though my wife would rather I left it on the balcony). I may be finicky, and I don't know about anyone else, but I can feel it when my tires have lost a bit of air, just by how the bike feels. Hard to describe exactly, but it starts feeling a little sluggish. But anyway, if you do start checking it, you will soon be able to tell how long you can get away with it. Some tubes are more porous than others.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:57 PM   #14
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Lately, I'm alternating between two different bikes. I'll ride twice before refilling. If I were riding one bike all the time, I'd refill after about three days.

More specifically though, it depends on which bike I'm talking about. The fixie with 23's gets checked more often than the bike with 28's. When I was riding the MTB with big apples I would go over a week because losing the same volume of air had much less effect on the ride - and I would have to lose a huge amount of air before risking a pinch flat.
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Old 06-27-07, 08:11 PM   #15
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Every day before I leave home. It's alot easier than changing a tire on my 17.5 mile trip home at midnight due to a pinch flat. I worry because I weigh in at 250 lbs.
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Old 06-27-07, 08:21 PM   #16
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I pump my tires up everyday. I have Gatorskins with Kenda tubes. I inflate to 100 lbs everday and the next day the pressure is between 75 and 80 lbs.

The Kenda tubes are cheap.

What are you guys using to get the longer pressure life?
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Old 06-27-07, 08:31 PM   #17
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In my experience, once every 7 days is fine if your tires are about 1 1/8 inch width, and once every 14 days is fine if your tires are 1.75 inch width.

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiaboy
What are you guys using to get the longer pressure life?
I don't do anything special and I have used a wide variety of tires/tubes. To the best of my knowlege, kenda's products are usually of fairly good quality, but maybe you got tubes from a bad batch? The only other thing I can think of is either that your valves are somehow not doing well due to age, poor manufacture, or getting dust/dirt or rust in them.

Another thing to consider, if you haven't already, is whether the combination of putting on and taking off the pump head is letting out a that much air every time you pump up.

2 weeks of riding will see my 1.75" tires drop from 50psi to 40psi. When I used 27x1 1/8 tires I'd pump to 90psi and if I checked after a week they'd still be at 75.

I'm a light guy so I can usually get away with running my tires very low-- like 20 psi for MTB tires and 35 for road, although I recommend against trying it.

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Old 06-27-07, 08:33 PM   #18
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When my top speed gets down to about 16mph.

I am pretty slack on adding air to my tires, even though I do a squeze test before every ride.
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Old 06-27-07, 08:41 PM   #19
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The beginning of each work week and when I do weekend rides. But I'm thinking I should start doing it every other day.
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Old 06-27-07, 08:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiaboy
What are you guys using to get the longer pressure life?
I'm going to guess here. The higher the pressure the faster the loss, so as pressure diminishes so does the rate of loss.
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Old 06-27-07, 09:03 PM   #21
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The beginning of each work week and when I do weekend rides. But I'm thinking I should start doing it every other day.
+1
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Old 06-27-07, 09:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenG
I'm going to guess here. The higher the pressure the faster the loss, so as pressure diminishes so does the rate of loss.
You are problably right.

I think I am going to order some Michelin tubes for win these go down to see if with better valves it helps some. All in all pumping up the tires is not a big deal. Actually to go from 80lbs to 100lbs in a Gatorskins is about 5 pumps with a park tool floor pump.
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Old 06-27-07, 09:38 PM   #23
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i check my pressure everytime i ride, if they are below 60psi i run them up a bit
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Old 06-27-07, 09:45 PM   #24
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every other ride, but with your mileage, maybe every ride.
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Old 06-27-07, 09:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blogcycle
My commute will be 26 miles round trip, pretty smooth roads, I'm pretty new to biking so this is my entry level question.
I check them about every 2nd or 3rd ride.
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