NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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Well, for overall control and speed, (depending on rider weight) you should keep your tire pressure between 35 and 45 psi. Generally under 40 is best. This will give you a good compromise between traction and control and since you are riding off-road will help you roll over loose soil.
Many people believe that if they overinflate their tires they'll roll faster. Not necessarily true. If the trails are HARDPACK conditions then yes, but if you have any roots or any varied soil conditions less air will be faster. A softer tire will provide grip over roots. Overinflated tires will skate across the tops. In loose soil, a softer tire will allow the wheel to stay on top of the loose stuff by spreading the load. A hard tire will cut through like a knife. A softer tire will absorb rock and roots and give some inherent suspension. A hard tire will bounce like a pinball.
You should experiement. I usually overinflate my tires at the trailhead/truck and then stop every few minutes and "burp" some air (quick little burst) while I'm waiting for friends to regroup. Once I feel my speed increase. Yes, increase! I leave it be. When I get back to the truck, I'll put a gauge on it to verify the pressure. Then next time under similar conditions, I'll start just a few psi above that level.
I'm a big boy, (250 lbs) I need a bit more psi than you skrawny toothpick riders. (really I'm just envious). So I usually start at 50 psi and work down from there!
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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