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Old 12-24-13, 09:01 PM   #1
shipwreck
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2" tire pressures for touring

Just moved up from 1.5" Serfas Drifters on my 26" mountain bike tourer to 2". Pressure rating is 40-65 psi.

Playing around with different pressures has been interesting. At anything above 45 pounds it feels like riding on two red rubber bouncing balls! going down a dirt road feels skittery and as though I might lose it when the tire hits a stone and bounces a bit. The remarkable thing is that I am 215 pounds and still feel bouncy down to 30 pounds pressure( Took them down to that in the snow and ice we just had).

On pavement, at 65 pounds, they feel amazingly fast, but I will want to do some fire roads along with pavement routes while touring. SO, while I figured I could just let air out then pump it back in, I have discovered the joys of bringing that much volume of tire back up to even 50 pounds. Its a lot of pumps even with a big floor pump! My mountain morph would get some serious workouts.

Does anyone think that the Serfas drifters are not suited to touring? I put 1500 miles on the 1.5" drifters before a brake pad got skewed and took one out, it had a lot of miles left in it otherwise.

Does anyone adjust tire pressure according to conditions with a larger tire?

I did have some Schwalbs at one time, and they did not feel so loose, but then they did not feel all that great on the road either, sort of dead. The Serfas does feel less plodding.
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Old 12-24-13, 10:34 PM   #2
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I usually ride with 2 inch tires... Marathon Supremes, most commonly. I do tweak them a bit. More pressure for a heavier load or less for rougher terrain.

The Drifter looks like a perfectly reasonable tire for touring.
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Old 12-25-13, 01:30 AM   #3
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I use 2" tires..... albeit on 700c size rims. Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, Mondials and Big Apples. 30psi on the front and between 30-35psi on the rear seems to work for me with medium loading. I never go over 40psi assuming my gauge is accurate.

I know people who tour well off the beaten track with the Drifter.
I havnt seen much Serfas products here in Australia but it has a very good name in New Zealand.
My Serfas blinky tail-light is over a decade old and is still going strong.

My belief is that generally the larger the volume, the less pressure it needs.
Be very cautious using large pressures in a high volume tire as its my opinion its very hard on the rim.

Last edited by rifraf; 12-25-13 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 12-25-13, 03:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
SO, while I figured I could just let air out then pump it back in, I have discovered the joys of bringing that much volume of tire back up to even 50 pounds. Its a lot of pumps even with a big floor pump! My mountain morph would get some serious workouts.

When you need to add a large volume of air and only have a small pump, you can consider the use of the CO2 cartridges and the hardware that allows you to use that method of quick inflation.

In my view there are disadvantage to that method - carrying weight, cost to purchase and the proper disposal of the used cartridge. They are a compromise involving weight, cost and convenience. I carry them.
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Old 12-25-13, 10:35 PM   #5
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I use a Topeak JoeBlow Mountain Floor Pump - it'll fill a 26x2 tire very quickly, up to 50 psi anyway. I very rarely go higher than that. The pump is rated just up to 75 psi. It'd be a devil to get up that high, though, with this pump!
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Old 12-26-13, 01:10 AM   #6
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At anything above 45 pounds it feels like riding on two red rubber bouncing balls!
add 40 pounds of gear in panniers and it wont feel like that any more.
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Old 12-26-13, 02:04 AM   #7
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The physics of running a wider tyre is such that lower psi will deliver a firmer ride and running too high a pressure on a narrower rim can cause extreme stress to the rium because of the wider section... they perform much better when you have them mounted to rims that are of the proper width.

I run Marathon Racers on my touring bike and they replaced the standard Marathons which were very firm at 65 psi... due to the racer being a little lighter and more supple it can handle a little higher pressure and still deliver a very good ride with excellent road handling.
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