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Recomended tyre pressure?

By MTY - Posted on 08 March 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Just wondering what amount of pressure other people put into their tyres.

Do you have the same pressure for all types of terrain, or do you vary depending on terrain, conditions etc?
And if you run the same pressure for different tyres or different pressure for different tyres?

I've currently got my Maxxis tyres at around 40psi.

My road tyres I like to be rock hard.


Yep I ride around 40psi most of the time. Works fine for me on the trails I ride.....Terrey Hills, Manly etc.
Then again I'm not an overly technical rider so maybe others can be of better help.


personal preference i would say, i like to have them a tad harder (maybe 50-60psi), the hutchison's i have on at the moment can go to 80psi, though above 65 feels like they would explode.

I too run Maxxis tyres on my bikes and have tubed tyres that I run at 40psi....I have found that I get relitvely few punctures at this pressure. I have a mate who runs lower pressure with tubed tyres and he gets pinch flats all the time, i think he likes fixing punctures!

I guess with higher pressure comes less rolling resistance also (bonus), its much of a muchness....what you feel comfy with I suppose, in the sand its prob no so good.

I heard that you are able to run much lower pressures on tubless tyres and get lower into corners, does anyone out there know if this statement is correct?

Matt you run tubless don't you?

It's true that tubeless can run much lower pressures, size is also a factor (I think...) the bigger the tyre the less pressure you need. I recall a table in MTBA that Paul Rowney suggested, roughly like this:

Front - 36psi
Rear - 34psi

Front - 31psi
Rear - 33psi

Which would be with 2.1s.

Tubeless you can run lower as they don't pinch flat. Looking at the comments above you'd think these were low, but trust me they're not, pressures at 40 or above are simply too high IMHO.

Higher pressure = less rolling resistance (Good!), less grip (Bad), harsher ride (Ow), less ability to roll over small bumps (:-X).

If you run 40psi or more you probably feel like you're constantly riding over a cattle grid on anything off road and literally bounce off anything moderately technical!

I switched to 2.3's recently and ran them first time at maybe 27psi, superb ride, stuck to everything, cleared anything technical and still no problems with rolling resistance or the tyre rolling off the rim. Have taken them up to 30 now though, just to fit in with the crowd ;-}.


Basically, the higher the pressure, the lower the rolling resistance. The lower the pressure, the greater the traction. However, the minimum pressure you should run is determined by

1. how much you weigh . - greater tyre pressure for a heavier person. (to avoid pinch flats)
2 Terrain - Greater tyre pressure surfaces with sharp rocks (to avoid pinch flats)
3. Tyre - wider tyres with thicker sidewalls allow you to run lower pressures.

I'm a featherweight, and run about 30psi in my rear 2.3 and 20psi in my front 2.5 when doing XC. I'll increase these when doing a rocky track like some of the firetrails in the blue mountains.

I'll decrease these to about 20psi in the rear (!) and 15 psi n the front when on a very smooth, high speed downhill run.(EG. Quarry trail).

Just to concur with what folks are saying - I'm running 40PSI in 2.1 tubed at the mo.

Main reason being I'm a bit... erm... rough when it comes to the technical stuff and don't like pinch flats. Ie. I like to charge the rock by the golf course at Manly Dam (left side of course)... have had a pinch flat there too many times to mention before investing in a floor pump and getting this much air in the tire before the ride.

Of course this is nice and fast (the Panaracers I run have particularly low rolling resistance) but grip is not the best.

UST are defo on the list of requirements for a new ride for the reasons 9 8 7-lives mentions... can run them at lower pressure without the fear of pinching and hence have best of both worlds.

Have to agree 100% with you Matt, I run my tubed tyres at 34-36 & have never had a pinch flat.

One really good & cheap idea is to cover your tubes with talc powder before installing them to lessen any fricton between the tube & tyre.

I run 32 on back and 36 on front. Dont get pinches much. Great traction. I would increase this for firetrail or long stretches of hard road. Talc powder is also what i do and it has always worked for me.

Just for reference, I run about 33 up front and 36 on the rear, but that raises another question - most of you have higher pressures on the front than the rear. Why did you decide to do it that way? I always chose higher pressures on the rear because more of my weight is there and without suspension (hardtail) it'll be getting sharper knocks and hence a higher risk of pinchflats.

I like to run lower pressure on the back for extra traction while climbing, especially on technical climbs.

Having a duel suspension bike makes it a little safer against pinch flats, if I was riding a hard tail I would add a couple more psi.

Regardless of pressure the best way to protect against punctures is line choice.'re absolutely right the rear should have higher pressure to prevent pich flats. The rear will typically hit bumps harder than the front and is much less smooth/mobile than the front. I agree with you that I don't really see the logic of having a lower pressure in the rear than the front, why would you not just lower the front pressure too to at least the same level? It's not as if rolling resistance is more of a front tire problem?

...and I just noticed in the table that the first set of numbers are the wrong way round :-X. I should've put the higher number in the rear. Just goes to show, never listen to a pom, they just whinge anyway.

Pom (whingeing)

FWIW, I normally like 40 psi front and rear. You get used to it.

I must be out of step. I have the 2.35 tyres on my hardtail at 24-26 for comfort and traction and I've never had a problem with it. I ride slower than most so I guess that helps. Tyre wear seems fairly uniform too.
I tried 37 psi on The Oaks last weekend and it felt rock hard and lost a lot of grip. They're going back to mid twenties.
Bruce C

wow no wonder i always have a soar bum and legs after a ride ! ive been running at at least 50 psi most of the time! cheers im a fool!

...last weekend saw my 2.35 27ish psi front tyre roll off the rim after a slightly sideways landing, thankfully just onto sand so no damage. Needless to say I've bumped it up a little, only to 31 tho.

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