How to Maintain your Bike Tyre Pressure
Maintaining your bike tyre pressures is one of the most important things to get right on a bike, as it could affect your safety when cycling. Read Halfords' guide on how to maintain your bike tyre pressure for help with doing it correctly.
Checking and maintaining your tyre pressures regularly means you'll enjoy a smoother and safer ride, so it makes sense to do it! Read on to find out how to do the job properly.
WHY IS BIKE TYRE PRESSURE INPORTANT?
Your bike tyre pressure is important because it directly influences your grip, control and speed when riding your bicycle.
Over-inflated bike tyres can make the ride uncomfortable, and more dangerous as you will lose traction on uneven surfaces. Under-inflated tyres will slow you down, are unpredictable when cornering, and increase your chances of getting punctures.
Remember, it's normal for tyres to lose pressure each week, which is why it's vital to carry out checks and pump up your tyres whenever possible.
You should regularly check the outside of your tyres, carefully removing any stones or debris that might be caught between the threads to prevent any punctures.
- Bike tyre pressure gauge (some pumps come with this included)
- Bike pump
FINDING THE CORRECT BIKE TYRE PRESSURES
- The first step is to find out what bike tyre pressure you should be using. This is usually written on the side of the tyre and in the manufacturer's handbook.
- As a rough guide, rear mountain bike tyre pressures should be around 45 pounds per square inch (PSI) and front mountain bike tyres should be around 35 PSI. Road bike tyre pressures are much higher, with some modern racing tyres requiring up to 130 PSI.
- Use your bike tyre pressure gauge to determine the current pressure of your tyres. If the pressure is too low, follow the steps below to pump it up to the correct level.
INFLATING YOUR BIKE TYRES
- Remove the dust caps from the valves and attach your pump. Bikes come with one of two standard valves - the Presta (thin and long with a nut at the top) and the Schrader (wider and flat-topped - like the valve on a car tyre). Newer bike pumps should come with an adaptor to switch between the two, but if not, you may need to buy one.
- When inflating a tyre fitted with a Presta valve, undo the nut at the top all the way and briefly push in the stalk until you hear air hissing out. This makes sure the valve isn't stuck..
- If you have a Schrader, remove the dust cap and push the pump end onto the valve. If your pump has a traditional screw attachment, screw it on until you achieve an airtight seal.
- Start pumping - make sure you lock your arm or hook a finger around a spoke to avoid wrenching the valve around.
TEST THE BIKE TYRE PRESSURE AFTER PUMPING
- Once you've finished pumping, make sure you test the pressure again to ensure you've inflated the tyre to its correct level.
- With a Presta valve you will need to retighten the nut on the valve to ensure no air leaks
- Finally, screw the dust caps back on until they're finger-tight.