Why is the inflation pressure of bicycle tyres so important?

Only tyres with sufficient inflation pressure can bear the weight of a bicycle. The following applies for the road: The higher the inflation pressure the lower the rolling resistance of the tyre. The susceptibility to punctures is also lower with high pressure.

If the inflation pressure is continuously too low, premature tyre wear is the result. Cracking of the sidewall is the typical consequence. Abrasion is also unnecessarily high.

On the other hand, an under-inflated tyre absorbs road shocks better.

Wide tyres are generally used at lower inflation pressure. The larger air volume is advantageous in that it absorbs road bumps and holes, but does not suffer from higher rolling resistance, less puncture protection or tyre wear.

Tubeless tyres can also be used at low inflation pressure.

How often should inflation pressure be checked?

The inflation pressure should be checked and adjusted at least once a month. Even the best tubes constantly lose pressure as, contrary to car tyres, the pressure required in bicycle tyres is much higher and wall thickness much thinner. A pressure loss of 1 bar per month can be viewed as normal, but pressure loss will be much faster with high inflation pressures and much slower with low inflation pressures.

When using latex tubes, it is best to check and adjust the inflation pressure before every ride.

 

Use a pressure gauge to monitor the inflation pressure. The widespread thumbtest method is very inaccurate, as all tyres will feel identically hard from a pressure of approx. 2 bar up. The thumb test is completely insufficient for Marathon Plus tyres due to the special puncture belt.

Our air gauge Airmax Pro is suitable as a testing instrument. With the correct valve or a small adapter, inflation pressures can be tested and adjusted at a gas station. The purchase of a track pump with an air gauge is recommended for all active cyclists.

Inflation pressure check with the Airmax Pro.

What is the correct inflation pressure for my tyre?

It is impossible to make a general recommendation on inflation pressure for a specific bicycle or a particular tyre. The “right” inflation pressure depends mainly on the load exerted on the tyre. This weight is mainly influenced by the weight of the rider and any luggage. Contrary to a car, the vehicle weight is only a minor part of the total weight. In addition, there is a great diversity of individual preferences with regard to low rolling resistance or suspension comfort.

The permitted inflation pressure range is marked on the tyre sidewall. The higher the inflation pressure, the lower the rolling resistance, the tyre wear and the likelihood of a puncture. The lower the inflation pressure the higher are the comfort and grip that the tyres provide.

The following list of inflation pressure recommendations can only provide a very general guide for three different rider weights. The more narrower the tyre and the higher the overall load, the higher the necessary inflation pressure.

Tyres with very small diameters (recumbent bike, folding bike) also require a higher pressure.

But the actual tyre pressures should never be higher or lower than the maximum and minimum inflation pressures marked on the tyre sidewall.

 

Tyre width Body weight
ca. 60 kg ca. 85 kg ca. 110 kg
25 mm 6.0 Bar 7.0 Bar 8.0 Bar
28 mm 5.5 Bar 6.5 Bar 7.5 Bar
32 mm 4.5 Bar 5.5 Bar 6.5 Bar
37 mm 4.0 Bar 5.0 Bar 6.0 Bar
40 mm 3.5 Bar 4.5 Bar 6.0 Bar
47 mm 3.0 Bar 4.0 Bar 5.0 Bar
50 mm 2.5 Bar 4.0 Bar 5.0 Bar
55 mm 2.0 Bar 3.0 Bar 4.0 Bar
60 mm 2.0 Bar 3.0 Bar 4.0 Bar