Cycling FIT for LIFE Knowledge Base

What is the Optimal Tire Pressure

Are there any figures that show the best tire pressure for training and competition on a road bike without getting a flat tire? How hard are the tires of racing bikes inflated?

Recommendation from an expert

Riding with too little air pressure in the tires increases the risk of a puncture, a so-called “snake bite”. In this case, the tube is jammed between the rim and an uneven surface (hole or stone), which manifests itself in two small holes next to each other. Most clincher tires can be driven with 8 bar air pressure, tubular tires up to 12 bar. The air pressure range is always marked on the tire and should be strictly adhered to.

The more pressure there is in the tire, the better it rolls, so tubular tires are often used by ambitious athletes in competition. But the harder the tire, the less comfortable the riding experience. It is therefore also important to consider whether you want to ride with different tire pressures depending on the use (training or competition).

Tire pressure for racing bikes

The spectrum ranges from 7 to 12 bar, whereby 12 bar is very high and often cannot be generated at all by a normal pump. The product manufacturers prescribe the maximum possible value on the hose or tire. Tubular tires can be driven with much more bar (up to 12 bar) than normal clincher tires because the system is designed differently and the rim has to absorb less pressure. Tubular clincher tires can be run at less pressure (up to 9 bar). Professionals use both systems. More bar means a slightly better rolling resistance, less bar means a slightly better ride comfort. In the past, narrow 19 to 21 mm tubular tires were often driven with 10 to 12 bar, but today the trend is more towards 25 to 26 mm wide clincher tires and 8 to 9 bar pressure. According to tire manufacturers and the latest studies, rolling resistance is better and aerodynamics are improved when a wide rim is used.

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