Choosing the correct tyre pressure

Choosing the correct tyre pressure is one of the most important factors of your bicycle set up. Not only does it reduce rolling resistance it also improves comfort and grip giving you a more comfortable and safer ride.

To start we would suggest that you are using good quality pump with a gauge that is reading accurately. Next look at your tyres to find the recommend tyre pressure range from the manufacturer. This is usually a range of roughly 30 psi from the minimum to the maximum tyre pressure. Check out Pirelli’s pressure chart. 

Once you have all this information you want to then take into account the below factors:

Weight – Lighter riders would want to lean towards the lower end of the scale where as a heavier rider will need more pressure to ensure that the tyre isn’t deforming. Not enough tyre pressure can increase rolling resistance, increase the likelihood of punctures and reduce the levels of grip and comfort.

Conditions – reducing the tyre pressure in wetter conditions by 5 – 10 PSI can increase grip and also improve comfort if the roads are rough. However, be careful not to go to low as this could then cause the tyre to deform and puncture.


Over inflation – Don’t be tricked into thinking that inflating the tyre to its maximum pressure will increase speed. The truth is that over inflating a tyre can actually increase rolling resistance and make the bike much more unstable and uncomfortable all attributing to a slower ride.

Take all of the above into account and then spend some time testing different pressure whilst training to find the perfect sweet spot on speed and comfort before your next cycle event.

Then make a note of the optimum pressure and check your tyres weekly as tyres will lose pressure over time.

Tour O The Borders can mean a long day out on the bike and a mix of road surfaces – there are some rough sections as well as some velvet smooth areas. But we’d favour going for a few psi less than a few psi more when getting the bike ready – it can make things noticeably more comfortable without any discernible loss of speed.




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This post was written by Alex Simpkin