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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mbrgr1's Avatar
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    Tire pressure/size thoughts..........

    Thanks for all the responses to my first post, I will leave the 20in wheel on the front, I have to believe the designers knew what they were doing. That said, these 100psi tires are a real killer on all but the smoothest roads.

    What are my options? I would trade a little road resistance for some comfort, I'm thinking of upping the tire size a little, but am not sure if there are lower pressure tires available??

    Thanks in advance. MK

  2. #2
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    When you see a PSI number on the side of a bicycle tire, please append on there the words "Maximum Recommended Pressure". You don't have to strictly inflate tires up to that number always and forever. I think that's a big misunderstanding among many bicycle riders. Instead of 100 PSI, try 85 or 90.

    Having said that, with a 20" (406) front and 26" rear tire, you have lots of options. I would try lowering the pressure a bit first, but if you want to swap, any BMX street tire with a decimal (20 x 1.75, 2.1, 2.5 etc.) and MTB tire on the rear will work. Of course, some will be faster & more flat resistant (and expensive) than others.

    On my RANS Rocket, which is a dual 20" bike, I went from harsh riding but bullet-proof 70 PSI Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires to a Kenda K909 20x1.75 40PSI up front, and a (bit heavy) Kenda Kid Block 20x2.125 50PSI (60PSI max) on the rear. Both with Mr. Tuffy tire liners. I may be a tad slower, but the ride is way more comfortable. IMHO, running a 20" tire at 100PSI is nuts!
    Last edited by Recumbomatic; 06-25-13 at 01:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    What model/size of tires are on it now, and at what pressures?

  4. #4
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    This is a decent chart, but most of us go with more air:

    tirechartx.jpg

    Expand and Zoom It, readable I think,

    My rear tire, 700x28c max pressure is 115,, my front is a 451X20 max is 100psi

    I run 80 up front and 95 out back,,

    I am 177 lbs now, My LWB Tour easy LE is 36, I figure total load is 225 pounds,
    also my front tire is lightly loaded compaird to a DF bike
    Last edited by osco53; 06-25-13 at 03:11 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
    When you see a PSI number on the side of a bicycle tire, please append on there the words "Maximum Recommended Pressure". You don't have to strictly inflate tires up to that number always and forever. I think that's a big misunderstanding among many bicycle riders. Instead of 100 PSI, try 85 or 90.
    That's what I think too.

    I used to think that I had to have rock hard tires for better performance. After reading advice from a lot of sources, I gradually tried lowering the amount of air pressure I was using. On my road bike I went from 120 psi to 90 psi front and 100 psi rear. On our tandem, with 700 X 28c tires, we went from 120 psi to 100 psi front and 110 psi rear. Subjectively, we felt no decrease in performance and we never had a pinch flat. Ride quality, however, felt much better.

    Rock hard tires bounce upward over every little bump. On a bicycle, the only place the energy to lift the bike can come from is the rider. The tire testing people say it "feels" faster because the bike dances around a little more, but it isn't actually faster.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mbrgr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    What model/size of tires are on it now, and at what pressures?
    It has/had Kenda Kwest at 100psi each, and it is like riding on rocks! I will play around with the pressures as suggested, I don't know why I was so set on having them at the max pressures!

    I rode a mile back home with 0 pressure in the front tire yesterday, and that didn't ride well either. :~)

    Thanks again for all the great advice.

  7. #7
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
    It has/had Kenda Kwest at 100psi each, and it is like riding on rocks! I will play around with the pressures as suggested, I don't know why I was so set on having them at the max pressures!
    I rode a mile back home with 0 pressure in the front tire yesterday, and that didn't ride well either. :~)
    Thanks again for all the great advice.
    Your frame has very little built in flex compaired to my TE LE that has IMO a lot of frame flex. On my TE I feel no diff at 115 psi or 95 psi in the rear.

    Look Into Upping the tire size but don't go past rim design limits,
    Fatter tires eat bumps better and do not cause more rolling resistance in most riding conditions, the roadies may not agree tho,,,

    Look here:
    http://www.bicycletires.com/a_180/ti..._1/article.htm

    Also My 451 x 20 on my TE next to the 406 x 20 from my EZ-1, Its what's on yours I think:

    HPIM0874.jpg
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  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I run 50 psi in the '85 psi max' 32mm front tire on my LWB.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mbrgr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    Your frame has very little built in flex compaired to my TE LE that has IMO a lot of frame flex. On my TE I feel no diff at 115 psi or 95 psi in the rear.

    Look Into Upping the tire size but don't go past rim design limits,
    Fatter tires eat bumps better and do not cause more rolling resistance in most riding conditions, the roadies may not agree tho,,,

    Look here:
    http://www.bicycletires.com/a_180/ti..._1/article.htm

    Also My 451 x 20 on my TE next to the 406 x 20 from my EZ-1, Its what's on yours I think:

    HPIM0874.jpg
    Thanks! I switched to a pair of Kenda K-Rad tires, 1.95 rear and 2.125 front, 40 to 65 psi, my first ride was with the rear at 50psi and the front at 45, I still have plenty of clearance on the sides and top of forks and stays, makes me wonder what the max would be?? :~) what a difference in ride quality and I didn't notice a lot more resistance, although that is hard to measure. Thanks for all the input. MK


  10. #10
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
    Thanks! I switched to a pair of Kenda K-Rad tires, 1.95 rear and 2.125 front, 40 to 65 psi, my first ride was with the rear at 50psi and the front at 45, I still have plenty of clearance on the sides and top of forks and stays, makes me wonder what the max would be?? :~) what a difference in ride quality and I didn't notice a lot more resistance, although that is hard to measure. Thanks for all the input. MK
    Unless you are riding off-road, swapping out knobby tires to slicks is an easy "upgrade" that will make a real difference on your speed.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    recumbomatic +1

    Yes----just because the side wall states the max pressure, that doesnt mean you have to run the pressure that high. I have 100 pound tires on my Stratus, and I run 80 pounds in front and 90 in back. My TT Cruiser has 40# tires in front, and I do keep them at 40#. But in the rear I have the 26" upgrade 100# tire, and I run it at 80.

    BTW another reason not to run at the full max pressure has to do with heat. If you start off in the morning at full max pressure, and it is a hot day in the sun shine, black top streets can get really hot. This transfers to the tires and increases the pressure quite a bit above he max listed. There have been reports of tires blowing up under these conditions.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mbrgr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Unless you are riding off-road, swapping out knobby tires to slicks is an easy "upgrade" that will make a real difference on your speed.
    Thanks, but I just "upgraded" to the lower pressure knobby tire from the slicks to trade a little speed for comfort, the roads and trails here go from smooth to rough pretty quickly, and I think this is a good compromise for all around riding.

    Speed is great, but not if I feel like I fell off a cliff when I'm done with my ride.

  13. #13
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
    Thanks, but I just "upgraded" to the lower pressure knobby tire from the slicks to trade a little speed for comfort, the roads and trails here go from smooth to rough pretty quickly, and I think this is a good compromise for all around riding.

    Speed is great, but not if I feel like I fell off a cliff when I'm done with my ride.
    The most important thing is to find what makes you happy. So if you like the knobby tires, then I've got no problem with you sticking with them.

    That being said, getting low pressure slicks should be both more comfortable, (more quiet,) and faster than low pressure knobby tires.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Mbrgr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    The most important thing is to find what makes you happy. So if you like the knobby tires, then I've got no problem with you sticking with them.

    That being said, getting low pressure slicks should be both more comfortable, (more quiet,) and faster than low pressure knobby tires.
    Thanks, that brings up a good question, I had a very limited choice (in Albuquerque anyway) if I wanted matching tires, that's one reason I went with the Kenda KRad with the knobs (not really that knobby), it was the only choice besides the Kenda Kwests I already had.

    Are matched tires of different sizes that odd in the recumbent world? Or just here Better shopping online? Thanks again. MK

  15. #15
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
    Are matched tires of different sizes that odd in the recumbent world? Or just here Better shopping online? Thanks again. MK
    In the 'Bent' world not odd at all,
    Riding up to the average LBS, and hunting a 26" and a 20" matched,,, Yeah they're gonna think your a bit odd LOL

    http://hostelshoppebicycles.com/store/
    these guys will mail you a limited catalog with some tires and a few specs you can look at. Online's fine but I like hard copy stuff..

    Also
    http://www.everybicycletire.com/default.asp

    fun to look at XD

    As for getting the best fastest least rolling resistance best puncture proof tire out there,, I guess if you want maximum performance.
    Me I ride for fun,
    I run a $25 Bontrager T2 Road on the back of my Tour Easy (700x28c) and will go to a 32 or 34c IF I can ever wear this tire out...
    It wears like Iron, rolls really fast, I never get punctures,,,
    So I doubt I will ever buy name brand $50-$70 tires, I just don't see the need.......

    I've also put on Wall mart rubber and got good service, But again that's me, I'm a bit odd I guess...

    And Your Knobby, not so knobby Kenda's look great, Test em, try max psi and see how they ride..

    If ya ride farther from home than you would want to walk back get two tubes n tire changing tools and the largest frame mounted pump you can strap to the frame.

    Small frame pumps, no volume, you will be there forever,

    FYI:
    Those fender mounting bolts will vibrate out and can cut a tire,
    Locktite em or remove em and stuff small rubber plugs in the holes, don't let water get in there, steel frame or not... Just sayin
    Last edited by osco53; 06-26-13 at 05:02 PM.
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mbrgr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    In the 'Bent' world not odd at all,
    Riding up to the average LBS, and hunting a 26" and a 20" matched,,, Yeah they're gonna think your a bit odd LOL

    http://hostelshoppebicycles.com/store/
    these guys will mail you a limited catalog with some tires and a few specs you can look at. Online's fine but I like hard copy stuff..

    Also
    http://www.everybicycletire.com/default.asp

    fun to look at XD

    As for getting the best fastest least rolling resistance best puncture proof tire out there,, I guess if you want maximum performance.
    Me I ride for fun,
    I run a $25 Bontrager T2 Road on the back of my Tour Easy (700x28c) and will go to a 32 or 34c IF I can ever wear this tire out...
    It wears like Iron, rolls really fast, I never get punctures,,,
    So I doubt I will ever buy name brand $50-$70 tires, I just don't see the need.......

    I've also put on Wall mart rubber and got good service, But again that's me, I'm a bit odd I guess...

    And Your Knobby, not so knobby Kenda's look great, Test em, try max psi and see how they ride..

    If ya ride farther from home than you would want to walk back get two tubes n tire changing tools and the largest frame mounted pump you can strap to the frame.

    Small frame pumps, no volume, you will be there forever,

    FYI:
    Those fender mounting bolts will vibrate out and can cut a tire,
    Locktite em or remove em and stuff small rubber plugs in the holes, don't let water get in there, steel frame or not... Just sayin
    Too funny! The kid at the last bike shop I tried was completely perplexed by my unwavering insistence on matching tires, although he dug and dug in the back until he found the elusive 20in KRad. Before he found it he said "it doesn't matter if they're different", and I told him "It matters to me", he then offered to take a tire off a bike for sale with the same tread but a different brand name on the side! "No, I want them to match" I said, "logos too". I even told him I was going to line up the logos with the valve stems, the look on his face was priceless! When he finally returned with the 20in 2.125 front tire, I asked if he had the same width for the back, he thought I was a complete nut! I thanked him for letting me have what I wanted but I'll bet he was glad to see me go, in the end he made a sale!

    I think I may put some fenders on the bike, I kind of like the look, but thanks for the tip, I'll check them tonight. MK

  17. #17
    Senior Member LWB_guy's Avatar
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    My LWB has the same size tires. I run 45 psi in the front, 65 psi in the rear. Very comfortable!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrgr1 View Post
    Too funny! The kid at the last bike shop I tried was completely perplexed by my unwavering insistence on matching tires, although he dug and dug in the back until he found the elusive 20in KRad. Before he found it he said "it doesn't matter if they're different", and I told him "It matters to me", he then offered to take a tire off a bike for sale with the same tread but a different brand name on the side! "No, I want them to match" I said, "logos too". I even told him I was going to line up the logos with the valve stems, the look on his face was priceless! When he finally returned with the 20in 2.125 front tire, I asked if he had the same width for the back, he thought I was a complete nut! I thanked him for letting me have what I wanted but I'll bet he was glad to see me go, in the end he made a sale!
    Tell him the customer may not always be right, but he's always the customer. I won't buy something that I don't want just because it's what they happen to have.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Go online to find matching tires. The sizes you have are okay, especially for soaking up the bumps. Schwalbe makes the Big Apple, which many forum riders find to be nice for speed and soaking up the bumps. You've only got about 30% of the bike load on the front tire on your LWB, so you can lower the pressure just enough to avoid snake bite flats. Slicks will be faster on the road, but for any crushed limestone trails the Krads will do quite nicely.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

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