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Why do people advise checking tire pressure daily?

Old 04-13-15, 05:25 PM
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Buffalo Buff
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Why do people advise checking tire pressure daily?

I currently own two bikes.

The first is a mountain bike. The tires lose 1-2 PSI per month.

The second is a road bike. The tires lose about 2 PSI per 200 miles / per week.

With those numbers being consistent for half a year+, why should I check the pressure daily?

Last edited by Buffalo Buff; 04-13-15 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 04-13-15, 05:45 PM
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Most road bikes lose 5-10lbs every day or two. If pressure gets low and you ride on it you will run risk of pinch flats on bumps etc. Low pressure also allows tube to move around and can overlap or pinch itself next time inflated to higher pressure then it can blow out on you. Best to check pressure prior to every ride.

what tire size and pressure are you running? Sounds like you have Schraeder valves not presta valves which are more typical on road bike tubes. Schraeder valves tend not to lose air like the presta. The schraeders you have to screw pump onto and the prestas are press on.
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Old 04-13-15, 05:49 PM
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I pump my tires up each day I want to ride because I lose more pressure than the OP does and want to have a consistent ride feel and performance at my preferred tire pressure.
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Old 04-13-15, 05:51 PM
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I want to know what tubes you are using that only lose 1 to 2 psi per week, or per month? And what pressure are you running them at? I would say that 10% to 20% pressure loss per week off the maximum pressure is not unusual. So if I run my tires at 100 PSI, they could be down to 90 or even 80 PSI at the end of the week. Certainly still rideable, but it changes the ride. Past a certain point, the rate slows, but that point is pretty underinflated for my taste.
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Old 04-13-15, 05:56 PM
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I don't.

I'll either sit on the bike and look at how much it sags, or do a quick thumb squeeze check on the road bike.

I don't keep my pressure over 100 PSI, or even close (700x23 or 700x25), however, I am very careful about what I run over. I probably loose a little performance due to low pressures. How much?

I probably would do less checking on a MTB or hybrid when riding on the road.

It was recommended to flatten the old sewups when not riding.
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Old 04-13-15, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Up North View Post
Most road bikes lose 5-10lbs every day or two. If pressure gets low and you ride on it you will run risk of pinch flats on bumps etc. Low pressure also allows tube to move around and can overlap or pinch itself next time inflated to higher pressure then it can blow out on you. Best to check pressure prior to every ride.

what tire size and pressure are you running? Sounds like you have Schraeder valves not presta valves which are more typical on road bike tubes. Schraeder valves tend not to lose air like the presta. The schraeders you have to screw pump onto and the prestas are press on.
My road bike has 23's pumped to 110 and 115 PSI. I checked them every day for 2 months at the advice of literally every single person in the cycling community. Now I check them every 3 or 4 days, and they usually don't need air.

EDIT: Conti presta tubs.

Last edited by Buffalo Buff; 04-13-15 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 04-13-15, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Up North View Post
Sounds like you have Schraeder valves not presta valves which are more typical on road bike tubes. Schraeder valves tend not to lose air like the presta.
Neither type of valve is responsible for the loss of pressure in bicycle tires (unless you have one that's defective). Bicycle tires gradually lose pressure due to the diffusion of air through the thin rubber wall of the inner tube. Presta valves are more commonly found on lightweight tubes (i.e. thinner walls) and used in skinny tires where a given amount of air loss results in a greater pressure drop, but there are also some tubes of that type with Schrader valves. Pressure loss per day is particularly high when using latex tubes or when the tube was inflated with CO2. Otherwise I agree with the OP that daily checking is overkill when using regular weight tubes and inflating with air.
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Old 04-13-15, 06:14 PM
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On my commuters I check twice a week, on my long distance roadbikes I check before each ride (once a week usually). No need to check every day. But considering the number of bikes I own I end up checking tire pressure every day but for different bikes lol.
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Old 04-13-15, 06:26 PM
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I run 23-25 Conti lightweight tubes in Conti 4000s11's 25 inflated to 95 front and 105 back with air. Morning ride to evening ride I'm ok. Over night I drop 5-10 lbs easy. Before the conti tubes I ran spec tubes no difference. If OP can run run month or two on 23's with no air he 's gotta special tubes.

Prathmann, I was aware that thinner tubes do bleed air as well. I thought I'd keep it simple as Schreader valves typically on your thicker tubes and Presta on thinner. However, I did listen to two guys discussing this very topic to death one day. The one guy an engineer maintained they had done testing for one of the tire companies and the presta valve itself bled air contrary to everyone's belief. He said they submerged inflated tubes and videoed them over 24 hrs. That was his story, sounded like he had all the facts????
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Old 04-13-15, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Up North View Post
I run 23-25 Conti lightweight tubes in Conti 4000s11's 25 inflated to 95 front and 105 back with air. Morning ride to evening ride I'm ok. Over night I drop 5-10 lbs easy. Before the conti tubes I ran spec tubes no difference. If OP can run run month or two on 23's with no air he 's gotta special tubes.

Prathmann, I was aware that thinner tubes do bleed air as well. I thought I'd keep it simple as Schreader valves typically on your thicker tubes and Presta on thinner. However, I did listen to two guys discussing this very topic to death one day. The one guy an engineer maintained they had done testing for one of the tire companies and the presta valve itself bled air contrary to everyone's belief. He said they submerged inflated tubes and videoed them over 24 hrs. That was his story, sounded like he had all the facts????
The mountain bike is the 1 month bike, the road bike loses about 2 PSI / week and I average around 200 miles a week. Continental tubes & tires, 700x23, 110/115 PSI 220lb rider. Dunno, just works?

Even after doing a century on bumpy country roads, then checking them two days later...3 or 4 PSI is the absolute most I've ever seen either tire go down the day after a rough ride.

Was super paranoid about tire pressure when I first got the road bike...would squeze the tires every few miles to see how they felt. I'd convince myself they were way low, like 10 PSI, then when I checked it'd be 0-2. Gradually I checked less frequently because I didn't see the need.
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Old 04-13-15, 09:01 PM
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I probably check air pressure once or twice a week - seems like more frequently because I ride three bikes. I try to check the general condition and surface of the tires before or after every ride, though, looking for stuff trying to get through the tread to the tube. Riding on tires from 32 to 40 mm wide and at 50 to 85psi. No skinny high pressure tires.
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Old 04-13-15, 09:10 PM
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Short answer: pinch flats. That being said if your road bike only loses 2 psi for every 200miles, you don't have to check the air daily.
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Old 04-13-15, 11:00 PM
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Well I do it as general check of the wheels before heading out.
If a tire is lower then I expect it to be I will check for wires and such for slow leaks.
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Old 04-13-15, 11:08 PM
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If the loss of air is dependent on tube thickness...
Then perhaps there would be a benefit of sizing up on tubes.

So, for a 25mm tire, rather than using 18-23 tubes, choosing 25-32 tubes.
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Old 04-13-15, 11:10 PM
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Schrader and Presta valves work the same when it comes to holding air, it is the difference in tubes that affects pressure losses.

High pressure / low volume road tyres do not need to lose much air to experience performance changes while mtb tyres which are higher volume and are under less pressure tend to maintain more consistent pressures.

I check my high psi tyres more frequently and in in some cases it is because I ride these bicycles less so they stay parked for longer periods, I use Schwalbe and Continental tubes which have served me very well and do maintain pressure better.
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Old 04-14-15, 05:25 AM
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I'm kinda lazy, so I'll ride two successive days before airing up the tires, though I give them a pinch check that second day just to be sure they haven't developed a slow leak.
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Old 04-14-15, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
I currently own two bikes.

The first is a mountain bike. The tires lose 1-2 PSI per month.

The second is a road bike. The tires lose about 2 PSI per 200 miles / per week.

With those numbers being consistent for half a year+, why should I check the pressure daily?
Fick's laws of diffusion.

Originally Posted by Up North View Post
Most road bikes lose 5-10lbs every day or two. If pressure gets low and you ride on it you will run risk of pinch flats on bumps etc. Low pressure also allows tube to move around and can overlap or pinch itself next time inflated to higher pressure then it can blow out on you. Best to check pressure prior to every ride.

what tire size and pressure are you running? Sounds like you have Schraeder valves not presta valves which are more typical on road bike tubes. Schraeder valves tend not to lose air like the presta. The schraeders you have to screw pump onto and the prestas are press on.
The type of valve makes no difference. Rubber is semipermiable with respect to air and the tire and tube are at a higher pressure than the atmosphere around them. The air diffuses through the rubber slowly but steadily. The rate of diffusion can be influenced by a number of factors as well. Temperature is probably the primary one but the permiability of the rubber can be uneven so some tubes can have a diffusion rate that is different from other tubes.

The gas compostion can also have an effect on the rate of diffusion. Tires filled with carbon dioxide will go flat overnight because carbon dioxide doesn't just diffuse through the tubes but also dissolves in the rubber which increases the diffusion rate.

But valves have very little effect.
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Old 04-14-15, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Schrader and Presta valves work the same when it comes to holding air, it is the difference in tubes that affects pressure losses.

High pressure / low volume road tyres do not need to lose much air to experience performance changes while mtb tyres which are higher volume and are under less pressure tend to maintain more consistent pressures.

I check my high psi tyres more frequently and in in some cases it is because I ride these bicycles less so they stay parked for longer periods, I use Schwalbe and Continental tubes which have served me very well and do maintain pressure better.
It has nothing to do with volume and everything to do with pressure. The higher the pressure the faster the diffusion rate.

I would also question whether or not the tires have any effect. The tires don't cover the entire tube and there are, roughly, 29 to 49 holes in the rim (depending on the spoke count) that the air can leak through.
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Old 04-14-15, 06:49 AM
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I check before every ride. I have several different bikes and some set a week or two between rides.
I do not understand the whole concept of why check, it takes a few seconds and makes me feel better.
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Old 04-14-15, 06:51 AM
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I used to now I do a squeeze test and think about how long its been since I actually checked them. I would say maybe once or twice a week I add air. For newer riders ( usually the ones asking) they need to check more often so that it is made a part of the pre ride routine to at least think about air pressures. Even now I never just jump on and ride without at least a squeeze.
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Old 04-14-15, 07:15 AM
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People with thin lightweight tubes and high pressure tires lose air more quickly.

I check by squeezing the tire, maybe not daily but frequently enough to not be surprised if I developed a slow leak. With thicker tubes and 90-100 pressure I might lose one psi per day, certainly less than two and the rate diminishes as the pressure gets lower so I'll go as much as two or three weeks between airing up.

If you don't care whether the tire has 80 or 100 psi (I don't) then there's no reason to air it up frequently.
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Old 04-14-15, 07:21 AM
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I check before every ride. I have my electric compressor sitting right there and the bike hangs on a stand so it takes seconds.

The volume of air in a bike tire is pretty small, dropping a few pounds pressure can mean a big difference in the tire and how it rides. Run too low and you can get a pinch flat much easier.

It's just become part of my pre-ride routine.
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Old 04-14-15, 07:48 AM
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I generally ride every other day, and alway check the pressure before I ride. The pressure loss can be the rubber in the tube allowing small amount of air to bleed out, or it can be the valve in the stem. Larger tires with larger volumes of air lose pressure slower. Skinnie racing tires about as big around as your finger dont have much air to lose before they are "low". BTW I have found that Bontrager (Trek) tubes seem to lose air slower than some brands.
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Old 04-14-15, 08:51 AM
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Your choice, It really does not matter to me..

I just do it . Simply give the tire a pinch before heading out.

Thorn-resistant Tubes hold air a Long time , but they add to the weight at The rim.
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Old 04-14-15, 09:19 AM
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I think I lose more air trying to get the air chuck seated than I lose in a week. I do a pinch test then ride, I will put the chuck on weekly or if there have been big temperature changes.
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