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Tire Pressure for Rails to Trails

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Tire Pressure for Rails to Trails

Old 10-09-22, 12:37 PM
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jays35
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Tire Pressure for Rails to Trails

All, we have a Catrike Villager with Schwalbe Marathon Racers (20x1.5), with a tire pressure range of 55 to 85 psi. I rode with them at 60 psi on the trail and it was a little bit of a rough ride.

My question(s) is.would dropping the pressure down to 55 psi help and be safe? or are there other tire suggestions that would smooth out the ride?

Thanks in advance!

Dave
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Old 10-09-22, 02:51 PM
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55 would be safe but I don't think you would notice the difference in ride quality with a change of five pounds. What made the ride "rough?' What was the surface of the trail? I think surface treatment varies by location from asphalt to smooth clay to crushed granite to gravel of varying sizes. Consider a wider tire that can be run at a lower pressure.
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Old 10-09-22, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
55 would be safe but I don't think you would notice the difference in ride quality with a change of five pounds. What made the ride "rough?' What was the surface of the trail? I think surface treatment varies by location from asphalt to smooth clay to crushed granite to gravel of varying sizes. Consider a wider tire that can be run at a lower pressure.
Inusuit, thanks for the quick reply and the input! The surface was mostly crushed stone and a few places had small chat. It just seemed to bounce you around.
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Old 10-10-22, 02:09 PM
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The trade off for a softer ride is a slight loss of efficiency. The reason riders went to narrow, high pressure tires years ago it that it makes pedaling easier so you go faster or further with the same effort pedaling. The one caveat is that softer tires are more susceptible to pinch flats. That's a bigger concern with narrower tires like the 700C X 23 on my Catrike 700 trike. You can use the guide at the Sheldon Brown website to determine how wide you can go safely. See the chart on "width considerations" in red and green.
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Old 10-11-22, 05:14 PM
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Moe Zhoost
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I have the same tires on my ICE Sprint. I usually run them at 60 psi, but have run them as low as 50, which did increase comfort a bit. My trike has a suspended rear so I don't feel the jolts as much, Still, when I replace the tires I plan on installing Big Apples for a softer ride.

My recommendation is to experiment a bit. As long as your tires are not deforming appreciably under load they have sufficient pressure. Lower pressures affect efficiency; however on an unpaved track it's probably negligible.
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Old 10-11-22, 06:37 PM
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Moe and Vegas,

Thanks for the input!
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