The fastest way to enhance your bike performance is by adjusting the tire pressure to the proper PSI. However, unfortunately, there are still lots of people who overlook and underestimate the importance of getting the correct bike tire pressure. Be one out of a small group of bike riders that know how to use a gravel bike tire pressure calculator to get your bike to the ideal PSI and boost its performance. Here is your guide.
Optimal Gravel Bike Tire Pressure
Different types of bikes will require different amounts of air pressure inside the tire. The most common myth around the cycling world for decades is for riders to inflate the tire as hard as possible so it can roll faster and perform better on the road. But in reality, that’s not always the case.
Many cyclists focus more on upgrading their bikes by switching from one part to another or installing additional details to unlock new features while hoping it can enhance the bike’s performance during the ride. Little did they know that adjusting air pressure on the bicycle tires would bring massive change to the bike’s performance.
What’s more important is that you will only need to access a bike tire pressure calculator app or website to know the optimal tire pressure according to your riding style, weight, and type of bike you own. It is the cheapest and easiest practice to elevate your bike performance that is often overlooked.
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Effect of Air Pressure
Before we talk about how to get the ideal tire pressure for your tire, you will need to understand that low air pressure, normal air pressure, and high air pressure on a bike tire makes a different tire shape and can affect the following traits:
Higher tire pressure will make the tires stiffer and harder to deform, resulting in lower rolling resistance. This condition is the root that caused the myth of “the harder your bike tire, the faster it rolls on the road” circulating. However, the truth is that higher tire pressure allows the bike to roll fast, which is only applicable if you are riding on smooth roads with a no-suspension bike.
In other words, if you are riding a racing bike on smooth asphalt roads, increasing the tire pressure indeed will make the bike roll faster, but still, there is a limitation to it. It would be best if you didn’t inflate your tire with air pressure exceeding the maximum PSI printed on the tire’s sidewall. A tyre pressure calculator road bike is highly recommended to get the ideal air pressure for better performance.
The next thing to consider is the terrain you ride. If you are riding a racing bike with maximum air pressure on a road with an uneven surface like a dirt road or gravel road, instead of feeling your bike roll faster, you will experience a bouncing bike as the tires can’t absorb shock and vibration. For this reason, the road bike tire pressure calculator continental was invented.
For a mountain bike, the bike’s suspension will affect the bicycle speed. Hence, you will need adjustment to the air pressure inflated inside your tire. As we have mentioned before, different types of bikes will require different amounts of air pressure.
A tire with lower pressure tends to be more flexible and change shape easily, causing some power from the pedal to be absorbed by the shape of the tire that is not stiff enough, resulting in a more exhausting and energy-draining ride.
Traction and Control
Traction or also known as the grip is the friction of the tire against the road surface. At lower pressure, the air inside the tire will be compressed to the opposite side, making the tire knobs and tread deeper and not biting the road surface.
On the other hand, if the air pressure is too high, it will cause less tread to touch the road and stiff tire that might lead to a tire slip.
Ideal Air Pressure
There will be no constant number to determine the ideal tire pressure. Different types of bikes ridden by various cyclists with different riding styles will require varying tire pressure for each cyclist. Here are a few factors to consider so you can determine the ideal tire pressure for you:
It doesn’t require a genius to acknowledge that the heavier load carried or held by the bike, the higher tire pressure needed to be inflated to the tire. Remember that the passenger and luggage’s weight can be a significant and personal factor. The additional weight will usually come with additional air pressure. If you are riding a road bike, you can use a tire pressure by weight calculator to easily measure the needed PSI for your bike tire accordingly.
Terrain or Cycling Area
Usually, when someone enters a bumpy area, the bicycle feels like it has been hit too hard because of the extremely low tire pressure. It can also cause the bike to slip often and spin when entering a cornering highway because the tire pressure has been too high.
The invention of the mountain bike tire pressure calculator is meant to help riders adjust the correct tire pressure based on the type of mountain biking they are riding. But it will be different if you are riding a gravel bike or any other type of bike.
The ideal tire pressure for tubeless tires and non-tubeless ones is going to be different from one another. There’s no inner tube inside a tubeless tire, so it allows lower air pressure and has a lower rolling resistance than those with inner tubes. Therefore, the ideal air pressure between a tubeless tire and a non-tubeless tire will differ. To get your ideal tubeless tire air pressure, you can access the tubeless tire pressure calculator through the website.
Usually, the gravel bike tire pressure ranges between 40psi to 80psi. You can also refer to the recommended tire pressure by the manufacturer, which is printed on the sidewall of your bike tire.
However, when we talk about the ideal tire pressure, you have to understand that bike tires’ pressure won’t be the same as one another. Even when you are sharing the same type of bike and riding style as your friends, both of you will probably still have different tire pressure because of the difference in weight.
Not only that, but the front and rear tire pressure will also be different because the rear tire usually works more as a propulsion wheel and receives more pressure than the front tire. This is why the invention of the online tire pressure calculator—including the e-bike tire pressure calculator— is being made so riders can easily calculate their ideal tire pressure based on their tire size, riding style, and body weight.
Once you have known the ideal air pressure for your tire, you only need to inflate it according to the recommended tire pressure. For more accuracy, you can use a gauge bike pump for home use and bring the digital gauge with you during off-road riding.
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