Bike Tire Air Pressure – Quick Tip

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What is the right bike tire air pressure for your bike and style of riding?

Where to Find the Recommended Bike Tire Air Pressure

Molded in the side of the tire you’ll find the recommended pressure or pressure range for that particular tire. When you you see a pressure range, for instance 40 to 70 pounds, the lower pressure is for off-road riding. You can ride on the road at the lower pressure, however there will be more rolling resistance. Going to the higher pressure will make the bike easier to ride on the road. Staying within this pressure range will make for safer riding and prevent rim and tire damage.

Some bikes, especially road bikes will typically have one inflation pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire. This is the safe maximum inflation pressure. You can use less air pressure than what is listed, but for safety it is best to stay within 85 – 90 percent of the maximum pressure. You risk getting pinch flats and causing rim damage with less pressure than this.

Professional bike racers adjust their pressure more. They do so according to their weight, size of tire and other factors. For the rest of us it’s better to stay within these guidelines.

Keeping Air Pressure Information Handy

Bike tire air pressure molded in the tire's sidewall.  I orient this information near the valve stem to make it easy to find.

I ride several different bikes. I don’t have tire inflation data memorized for every bike I ride. Relying on writing the information down somewhere never works for me. I always forget where I wrote it down.

To make it easier to find the data, I mount the tires on my bikes so the inflation pressure information is near or directly under the tire valve stem. This way I don’t have to go searching for it.


Correct bike tire air pressure and knowing when to use how much pressure will make your rides safer and help you avoid tire and rim damage.

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About Greg Dickerson

I got my first 10-speed bike at the age of 14 and have been addicted to cycling ever since. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I've ridden the Seattle to Portland (STP) and Providence Bridge Pedal rides several times.  Due to having a traveling job, I've had the opportunity to ride in several states when away from home as well.

View all posts by Greg Dickerson →

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