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Note: The information supplied within our tech corner is intended for professional use only and is a guide. A local bike shop should always be consulted when mechanical work is needed, as IRT cannot be held responsible for damage caused by at-home labor.
Road Bike Tire Pressure and Sizing Tip August 6, 2015
Tire pressure plays a huge role in performance. The age old rule was to run a 23mm tire and pressure at max for the best performance. The flaw in this theory is that the rider then feels EVERY small imperfection in the road, and ending up feeling beat up by the end of the ride. With technological advancements in products and testing, we are finding this all to be incorrect. As rim profiles get wider, so should the chosen tires. A 23mm wide rim tested to be more aerodynamic when paired with a 25/26mm tire. But - at what pressure? Running lower pressure will dramatically improve the quality of the ride leaving the rider less fatigued in the end. Lower pressure allows the tires to work more like suspension and absorb more of the road imperfections, allows for better grip and cornering with more of the tire on the road, more abrasion and puncture resistance due to the tires not being stretched as much by high pressure, and tire life is extended due to less stress from high pressure. All of these performance advantages with VERY little added resistance from more of the tire being on the road.
At iRT, we use 23mm wide rims for our Road wheels for the improved stiffness and handling. We love to pair iRT 38’s and 50’s up with, for example, the Panaracer 25, 26 and 28mm (for a little more cushion) tires. Panaracer's road tire casings will perform best anywhere from 80 - 100psi. Example - One of our 150lb riders runs a Panaracer Evo2 25mm tires at 80psi in the front and 85psi in the rear (more pressure in the back because of more weight sits on the rear wheel than the front).
If you have any questions on the best tire pressure to run on your bike, we are always available for questions. After a few rides, you will know whether to add or lower the pressure based on what feels best to you.