Tyre pressures in long distance events

Jerry Atrik

Über Member
Location
South Devon
Really dumb question .
On long distance events with a change of routes from tarmac to gravel to tracks etc do you change your tyre pressure accordingly ?
Having done battle on the beach earlier this year I had to deflate my tyres real low to get round .
But if your racing one of the big events that cover all terrain do you waste time by adjusting or leave them pumped solid and take the rough with the smooth ?
 

Heltor Chasca

Out-Riding the Black Dog
I have a Lezyne mini floor pump with a gauge. Or you could just use a pressure gauge and pump separately.

On off road tours I have reduced pressure off road then pumped them up again on the road.

I like to think the 5 minute faff doing this saved me that on the road and made the off road bit safer and more pleasant.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Conversely - I don't change tyre pressures on the 200-1400km events I've done; 25mm tyres 110psi front, 115psi rear when fully kitted.

If it's got some 'off-roady' bits I might use a different bike with 28mm tyres - which would be at 90psi.

But I don't change the tyre pressure just for the event.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Never have them pumped solid that'll slow you down on the road as well. At the start of a 400km or longer event I tend to pump my tyres up to the upper limit of what I find comfortable. Then I let them naturally lose air over the course of the event. They will hit a perfect balance of speed and comfort during the event, you'll know when. I generally won't top up till they either start feeling sluggish or not so secure when cornering.

Multi surface really depends how different the surfaces are. Gravel doesn't generally need much adjustment but something rough you may want to drop them. But this all depends how long the section is. A km, hardly worth it, changing to 100km of gravel, or more commonly dirt in the UK, worth getting the pressures right for you.

Most riders also have too much pressure in their front tyre. On my 32mm I run 70 psi rear and around 55 psi front. Speedy and comfortable.
 
Last edited:

frank9755

Cyclist
Location
West London
Really dumb question .
On long distance events with a change of routes from tarmac to gravel to tracks etc do you change your tyre pressure accordingly ?
Having done battle on the beach earlier this year I had to deflate my tyres real low to get round .
But if your racing one of the big events that cover all terrain do you waste time by adjusting or leave them pumped solid and take the rough with the smooth ?
It's a vaild question which has been discussed, but no, nobody I am aware of does it. Pumping up tyres when you don't have to is soul-destroying and stopping just take out air is a form of faffing!

I've not encountered any surfaces where taking out air would make that much of a difference to traction, like your beach. For example in the TCR this year, the hard bits of CP2 were unrideable for virtually everyone, not because you couldn't get enough traction but because they were so steep that you needed to put out more power for a longer period than people were able to. Soft, fat tyres wouldn't have helped.

I am conscious of my tyre pressures and aware that they will fall over a long event. I start with them at the top of the inflation range and put more air in when they are too soft, maybe after a week. But towards the end of something like the TCR I would not bother, I'd just keep riding even if I could feel the rim hitting the road occasionally on bumps!
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Steve's right. No ones ever stops to change tyre pressures. Well no one I know anyway.
 

frank9755

Cyclist
Location
West London
The TCR route has been announced for next year and it includes some sections of pave near Roubaix. Some people have talked of dropping their tyre pressures for those sections. I suspect they might not bother, though!
 

jiberjaber

Über Member
Location
Essex
Does anyone use an online tyre pressure calculator or app? I had a look yesterday but didn’t come up with much. A couple I tried come up with ludicrously high pressures for the rear and very low for the front.
A long time ago when I first started riding I did look around but the faff of trying to work out the % split front and back of weight then keeping the tyres at that pressure plus then the ride terrain changing to no real objective measurement I gave in and just concentrated on what was comfortable & worked for me...

So I'm of the same opinion as DCLane and Frank here... just fill em up to where you would like them to be and then ride. The only time I have topped up on a long one has been if there was a non natural pressure loss (visitation rather than just leakage over time).
I topped up on LEL once at Brampton on the way up IIRC
I didn't top up on PBP out on 60psi back on around 40psi and on my recent trip around France three times - all around the 600km between top ups I think (I certainly had 2 visitations I noticed on the France tour and was carrying a lot more weight than I would usually, same tyres as PBP).
 
Top Bottom