What is the ideal tire pressure?

New Michelin Pro 4 Endurance tires,

New Michelin Pro 4 Endurance tires

I inflate my tires before every training ride.  I want to be as comfortable, fast and safe as possible.  Too little pressure I slow down, run the risk of unseating a tire on a hard turn or pinching a tube.  Too much pressure the ride is uncomfortable and unforgiving.  So what is the ideal tire pressure?
There are many considerations – your weight, riding style, road surface, tires, weather … You need to experiment and find the best combination of tires and pressure that works best for you.  Here are some basic guidelines for your road bike –
  • inflate your tires before every ride
  • smaller riders (120 lbs or less) inflate between 90-110 psi
  • larger riders (170+ lbs) inflate between 100-130psi
  • include the weight of your bike and any load your are carrying
  • inflate the front tire 5 psi less than the rear
  • if the road is exceptionally smooth, increase the pressure 10 psi
  • if the road is wet, reduce pressures 5-10 psi
  • if you will be doing hard cornering or long descents drop pressure 5-10 psi
  • never inflate your tires over the manufactures maximum recommended tire pressure

Find the intersection of your weight, tire diameter and cross section on the table below and then take your riding style and road surface into consideration.

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 1.23.14 PM
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4 thoughts on “What is the ideal tire pressure?

  1. I’m all about fast. I inflate my tires, as you suggested, before every ride but I go between 125-128. My max recommended is 125. I don’t like the squishy ride at 100 psi.

    • I am about fast too and safe and comfortable. A lot depends on the ride. There is one ride I do frequently with a mixture of extremely smooth (the descent) and very bumpy sections. If I inflate to 125+ psi I find I can’t maintain a fast pace on the 5 km bumpy section without having my teeth rattle.

      • I hear you, I have the same problem on one of the centuries I do every year… First 85 miles are awesome, the next five are brutal and then they even out. I hate the bone rattling too.

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