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Old 12-07-08, 11:06 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 33

Bikes: 1984 Medici Pro strada running fixed, late 90's Cannondale road bike, 1999 Gary Fischer Paragon mountain bike

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The other variable that effects rolling resistance is the texture of the road surface. Track tires are inflated to 190 PSI or higher, which is efficient because a bike track is perfectly smooth. However if you rode a 190 PSI tire on an average asphalt or grooved concrete surface, it would be less efficient than a 120 PSI tire (in general - this also depends on tire design)

The reason for this is that a properly inflated road tire absorbs the small textures in the road and rolls smoothly, whereas a track tire would bounce over each inconsistency in the asphalt, not only affording you less grip, but also eating up energy by vibrating you and the bike.

Generally tires are designed with a specific optimum pressure, which is at or near maximum inflation pressure. If you consistently ride on very rough asphalt surfaces, perhaps you should back off of max pressure by 10-15 PSI, or conversely, if your locality is blessed with perfectly smooth pavement, pump 'em up all the way to the max.

I usually ride tires rated at 120 PSI, and I inflate them to about 110 or 115 which i find to be a good balance (i'm 6'4" 200lbs).

For a while I used a pair of Tufo clincher tubulars that were rated for 145, however I preferred the ride quality with them closer to 120.

I can always tell when my tires are getting low because they start to feel like they want to pinch every time i hit a little ridge. This happens around 90 PSI, and i know that it's time to get out the pump
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