Road Bike Tyre Pressure Calculator
Recommended air pressure: bar (is equal to psi)
The values given are guidelines and are based on a combined weight of bicycle and baggage of 10kg. Depending on actual weight, personal comfort perception, tyre type and bike model type, your needs may differ from these guidelines.
Caution: Under no circumstances should you inflate the tyres under or over the limit values given on the tyres themselves!
As with most subjects, finding the correct tyre pressure for a road bike can be turned into a science. The tyre type, the weather conditions, the intended use and the weight loaded onto the tyres, are all important factors to consider. It is important to realise that the weight of the rider plus the bike plus any other equipment and clothing all add up.
But why is it even important for you to worry about having a suitable tyre pressure? Isn’t it true that harder means faster? In response to this, we would say: Yes and no. It is of course true that firmly pumped up road bike tyres have a lower rolling resistance, which ultimately means less effort and higher speed. One factor, which is often forgotten, is comfort.
A firmly pumped up tyre also transmits every vibration to the rider, which on very uneven surfaces can become extremely uncomfortable over time. And although they may have lower rolling resistance, this means that they also have less grip in bad weather conditions. So even in training it makes sense not to pump the tubes completely full of air, and when you are racing on bad road surfaces, it is often the case that less is more.
But it’s also important not to go too low, because this can result in compression of the tyres, leading to pinch flats, and even damage to the sidewalls. Tyres with too little air pressure also tend to wear out more quickly. The side walls develop tears and the wear on the tread is greater.
There are usually guidelines on the tyres themselves, giving the minimum and maximum advisable pressures. These specifications vary according to material and model. More stable and often heavier tyres require less pressure, while lightweight and thin tyres can take a bit more. The nature of tubular tyres means that the maximum pressure can be even higher.
If you want to get a little more out of your tyre, it is worth using the whole range of possible air pressures and customising the pressure to the circumstances. As a general rule you could say: On quick, dry and very even tracks, you can confidently pump the tyres up to the maximum bar. On bad roads and wet tracks it is better to use a lower pressure.
It is obviously important to have a pump with a pressure gauge at home. This means that you can get the pressure you want with relative precision. When you need to pump up the tyres during a race, a small handpump with cartridges can be invaluable. But you should also be sure to have a regulator on hand, so that the gas flows slowly and evenly into the tires.