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  • Tire pressure question

    So what do you guys run for PSI? I'm normally 35-40 PSI on 26x2.2 for typical New England singletrack... a few friends are recommending I get down closer to 33-35. Can anyone weigh in on that?
    blue Trek Fuel FS
    Red Subaru Forester

  • #2
    tubes or tubeless? Style of rider?

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    • #3
      I run lower 30's also. 170#, not super smooth, run tubes and carry a spare.
      Slapheadmofo Leisure Team
      Sinister Bikes
      Wachusett Brewing
      Sunday River Bike Park

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      • #4
        I race @ 20 - 21 lbs tubeless setup. 29 x 2.0 on Stan's wheels and i train at foxborough all the time.

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        • #5
          30psi must feel awful tubed or not (even for a big fella.) I can't imagine, must feel like bouncing down the trail... not riding it. IMO too many folks mistakenly think soft tires slows them down when in reality it lets your tire roll things as opposed to bouncing off AND you gain stupid amounts of traction.


          Me? Toobless 2.4 Ardents on a 29'er FS: 20-22psi rear/18-20 front. This is for around 175# geared.
          Last edited by Troutbum; April 29th, 2013, 08:49 PM.

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          • #6
            I am riding a 29'er FS Tubeless with 25psi front and back. I am about 220# all geared up.
            Kona Satori

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            • #7
              I find that going too much under 30, my tires tend to roll/fold when stuffed into a hard turn and I'm dinging rims on rough landings, etc. This is running 2.25"ish full-knobbed rubber on mid-width rims. I run softer for DH, but the tires and rims are way beefier.
              Slapheadmofo Leisure Team
              Sinister Bikes
              Wachusett Brewing
              Sunday River Bike Park

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              • #8
                +1. I don't like the rolling feel below 30psi. Tubeless set up, 6-1, 170 rider. Sidewall strength is enhanced with pressure. I have ridden as low as 22 without banging the rim.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AA View Post
                  tubes or tubeless? Style of rider?

                  Tube, XC rider, 5'11" and around 190 geared up. Looking for more traction and speed - typical weekend MTBer in MA.

                  Originally posted by Troutbum View Post
                  30psi must feel awful tubed or not (even for a big fella.) I can't imagine, must feel like bouncing down the trail... not riding it. IMO too many folks mistakenly think soft tires slows them down when in reality it lets your tire roll things as opposed to bouncing off AND you gain stupid amounts of traction.

                  Yup, that's why I'm asking - gotta learn this stuff! I always grew up thinking you wanted very firm tires, but as I learn more, it seems my PSI is much higher than most. Since I've got new tires showing up today (Kenda Excavators), I'm going to start riding down at 30psi and see what that feels like.

                  Thank you guys for your responses!

                  blue Trek Fuel FS
                  Red Subaru Forester

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                  • #10
                    When I started I actually rode with tubes around 27psi any higher and the chatter was tough at speed and the tires bounced off of everything. Again I am 6' tall and with pack about 220# I am running 2.4 Maxxis Ardents up front and 2.25 in back and they are 29ers. Since I have gone tubeless I have run down around 20 a few times but didn't like the roll over, but the traction was awesome! It seems with my weight 25psi works well for me, although every now and then I can feel the rim hit on some hard square edges, but only on the rear tire where all my weight is!
                    Kona Satori

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                    • #11
                      running low 30's lbs rear and just under 30lbs front.. tubeless, just over 200 with pack and gear.. 29er full squish.. I've gone less but hate the squirrely, flat tire feel when getting into the mid 20lbs range. do get a bit of rebound off stuff from the tires that goes away under lower pressures, but then I just set my suspension to deal with it and it's all good... diff tires work better at diff pressures also. but really its a personal choice and asking in forums can only give you a base to start at.. working out what's right for you is trial and error... guessing from the posts here,.. don't go much below 25 and going above 35 is going to be a bit hard I'd say start at upper 20's and ride a section of trail you normally ride... add a few lbs.. try that.. take out a few.. try that.. eventually you'll find the sweet spot for you.
                      Always wear a Helmet and Glasses when riding!!

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                      • #12
                        +1 what the llama said. I'm about 190lbs geared up, riding hardtails on Racing Ralphs. I run about 27psi -- about as low as I can go without rolling the tires in the fast turns (well, 1 or 2 psi higher than that threshold). I'd shoot for that threshold if I were you and see what you think.

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                        • #13
                          Matty O' Yo...

                          http://dirtwire.tv/2013/03/mad-freak...ires-ah-too-j/
                          "Everyone I know in bicycling is at least a little bit crazy, present company included." Sheldon Brown

                          semass

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                          • #14
                            More traction and speed, don't we all want that? I'm 235lbs and for my tubed 26er dual sus I run 28-30 in the front and about 32 rear. On 2.5 inch tires. Less than that and I will pinch flat. On my 29er hard tail I run the about the same pressure using velocity p-35's and tubeless, with 2.4 spec. purgatory tires.
                            SS rule the dirt!

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                            • #15
                              Tubed

                              Me: 165# plus 10# camelbak Tubed 26" Hardtail, Tubed 26" FS. I run both on 2.1 normal volume tires. The terrain I ride most often is laden with planted granite rock gardens, and roots typical to NH woodland.

                              I gave up on finding "the perfect number" for inflation. My pumps have always deviated from actual pressure when a digital gauge has checked the supposed inflation. (even digital gauges have a 1-2 pound +/- at the kind of pressure we run for MTB. When was the last time anyone had their digital gauge or floor pump calibrated?)

                              I want to avoid flats and preserve my rims - and so rely upon one test and one test only - I take my thumb and depress one side of the tread pattern and agresssively try to reach the rim. If I can, it is too little, if I can't quite touch, I leave it. It has been working great for three years after I gave up on gauge readings. I have had the fewest # of flats using this totally subjective method.

                              Overly high pressure bounces you around and especially up and down which is very inefficient. Most riders want to put their energy into the forward vector.
                              Too little and you flat and dent rims.

                              If you ride smooth trails, pressure can be run low, but on chunky gnar, it will need to be higher to avoid bashing rims/rolling beads/burping/flats.
                              If you tend to ride into or over edges of rocks and roots versus flowing lightly over them, again, you will get a different result with the same tire pressure.

                              So my suggestion is to try try try various pressures until you get what feels right for you, using a section of trail that contains the typical terrain you ride.
                              I suggest, if you are a device reliant person, using +/-5 lb increments and see what you like. There is no right or wrong on this, just make an effort to do try for what works for you.

                              There are rides where I run low pressure, just because my butt is tired and I will be riding with slower paced guys who ride smooth flat terrain. That also enables me to creep up grippy ledges at low speed which is how I will have to ride every ledge section, instead of blasting up and over at normal speed over edges and using higher pressure to protect rims and prevent snakebite flats.

                              There are so many variables I haven't mentioned(setup of fork and shock/clumsy days/wet slippery vs dry ripper conditions/amount of gnarly downhill versus uphill/dropping off features, etc.. You may be a newbie who rides bike paths - what is the "correct" pressure for that versus lowland mud bog riding? Oh, you're a highland mtb park flyer... Oh, you run 1000 gram 2.5 tires or 1.9 400 grammers?

                              Hope this helps!

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