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How To Find The Perfect Tyre Pressure | High Vs Low Pressure

How To Find The Perfect Tyre Pressure | High Vs Low Pressure

– Finding the right tire
pressure is a bit of a dark art, you don’t really know you’ve got it wrong till it goes wrong. It really does affect
your grip, feel and speed. So I’m going to try some
different pressures today, until I try and find the
perfect numbers that suit me. We’re here in Finale Ligure,
riding the Rollercoaster, one of the most famous trails here. Also one of the most well used trails. It is lovely and up and down, but it gets loads of people riding down it, so there’s lots of
braking bumps, the stones. All sorts things that will
really affect my tires. (relaxed music) (logo whooshes) Now let’s start by saying this video is going to be very specific to me. Obviously, I hope this will help you find your correct tire pressures, as well. There’s so many different factors that go in to find those numbers that they really can’t be
swapped between riders. Rider weight. Heavier riders and bikes
will need tougher tires or higher pressures. Rider skill. It doesn’t mean that faster riders will have to run higher pressures, although sometimes they will. They might be really
fast and really smooth, which means they don’t really
push their tires to the edge. Slower riders can potentially
run lower pressures for maximum grip, but riders
that make more mistakes could end up hitting rocks or roots. And that means if their
run to lower pressure they can risk ripping the
tire or puncturing the tube. Tubes or tubeless? Sometimes you can get away with running lower pressures in tubeless tires, ’cause there’s no tube in there to pinch or get a snakebite, we used to call ’em. But I think above a certain threshold, let’s say 28 psi on the
front, 30 in the back, pretty high pressures, I don’t think you’ll get away
with running two psi less because your own tubeless. ‘Cause you’re running your
tires that hard for a reason. It’s probably ’cause you’re
really pushing into ’em. Type of rider that maybe rolls a tire and could potentially burp them. Type of riding. Could be cross country,
marathon, trail riding, enduro, downhill, bike packing. So many different options here. And it’s not we go into performance, here, where you might choose a tire pressure. For example if you’re going out
on an epic bike packing trip into the wilds of Canada, and you think, “Well, I’ll run low pressures,” you could end up ripping a tire and that gets you into trouble. You’re running out of
spares, things like that. But definitely, performance
does come into it. When we’re talking about racing, cross country riders really have to weigh up the grip versus rolling resistance. Actually, as do downhill racers. So there’s definitely a
lot of experimentation with those pro riders when it
comes down to tire pressures. Trail conditions, be it
rocky, smooth, wet, dry, clay or sand, there’s so many
different variables here. You could find the perfect
pressure of one trail and then it gets dark,
there’s moisture on the track or it rains, or you go
right different a trail, that sometimes you have
to find happy medium that works in the area that you ride. Type of tire. A super skinny, super lightweight tire could be run at normal pressures, even under a bigger rider, if
you’re riding smooth trails. However, if you go to rocky trails, that tire probably won’t be up to the job. So that’s when you have to think about how many ply a tire is. So downhill tires, two ply. So basically two sets of
rubber, makes it super tough. Talk about TPI, threads per inch. I’ve done a video where I’ve visited the Continental tire factory, where I tell you a lot more about that. But basically, I find easiest way of working out how tough a tire is is by looking at the weight of it. If you’re looking at a tire
that weighs 1,300 grams that’s a big robust downhill tire. Potentially down to less than half that, maybe 600 grams for a
Continental Cross King, cross country tire. Tire width. So the volume of a tire really makes a difference to how it rides. So, big 2.4 versus a 2.2. Definitely more compliance
in those bigger tires, depending on the pressure. Rim width. Big trend here is for
getting wider rims now. It does affect the shape of the tire. So it could be a bit
egg-shaped with a narrow rim, which means it might
roll around a bit more. Wider rim makes a more stable tire. So there are hundreds, maybe not hundreds, but lots and lots of variables that will affect the
perfect tire pressure. Have I missed any? Heat, atmospheric pressure. Tire inserts, lots of people run them now. (screen beeps)
Right, onto the tests. The tires I’ve got on my Nukeproof Mega. Upfront, I’ve got my
Continental der Baron. 27.5, this bike. 2.4 upfront, quite a big tire. On the back I’ve got
the Trail King in a 2.3. So this is my faster rolling setup that I would use on enduro bikes. The rear tire, it’s pretty quick. Don’t mind pedaling that around. However, if I’d of known
I was doing this test, on this track, in these conditions, I’d probably of put the
Baron on the back, as well. ‘Cause they do offer just a bit
more sort of, chunk to them. I’m less like to puncture it, I think. Just with more rubber,
bit of a heavier tire, bit more protected. And I’m going to to start
with my normal tire pressures. So 28 on the rear, 26 up front. Which has come down a couple of psi from when I used to race, just because now I’m not
quite as fast as I used to be. I’m not pushing the task quite as hard. And I’m probably less
likely it smash into rocks (upbeat music) Run one done, using the
tire pressures that I know. And to honest I’ve spent
years riding and years racing and these are the pressures
I’ve come to from experience. And, like I say, I’ve
dropped a couple of psi since I properly raced. Now I’m running 28, 26.1. Because I can get into those details, I’m actually running
these Quarq TyreWhizzes, so super clever little things
to help out this video. They send my tire pressures
digitally to my phone. I can even set the parameter
of where I want it, plus or minus two psi, and it flashes green to
tell me I’m in that zone. Even sends it to my Garmin. So like I say, I got 26.1 in the front, 28.1 in the rear. So for the sake of this
test I’m going to now reduce my tire pressures
by 25%, which is a lot, down 19 on the front and 21 on the rear. But I have seen pro bike
checks with other enduro riders and know that they do run
them that low sometimes. So I’ve always wandered
if I’m a bit conservative with my tire pressures and I’ve erred on the
side of caution too much. ‘Cause normally I feel like
I’d rather run too hard, just sacrifice a little bit of grip, for having them be reliable and know that I can make a
mistake and slam into rock, and hopefully get away with it. But it’s time to see if
I can find some more grip and get more feel with
lower tire pressures. (intense music) Tell you what, already, I’m not feeling those little
rocky bumps quite as much. Definitely getting some sort
of dampening from the tires. Feels a bit smoother. Oh, does feel quite low
on the back, actually. Whoa, big compressions in those corners. Where they’re berms and
they’re bowled out, as well. So that is where you’ve really put a lot
of pressure on the tires, ’cause you’re squashing them
in and pulling them around. I can feel them, sort
of, rolling a little bit. Not enough to burp, but feel
a bit of movement down there. Right, I’ve rode the top,
probably, quarter of the trailer, and it just feels too soft to me. Like, any small mistake
feels like I am going to just rip my back tire, especially. So although it feels good,
feels less rough on the trail. Just feel like it’s too risky
for me, it’s not worth it. So I’d rather run more
pressure in the back and just lose a bit of grip. I think it’s going to be
hardly anything on this trail, in these conditions, it’ll
be like nothing, grip wise. So for sake of security and not getting stranded on this hillside, got the pump, I’m going to
put some more pressure in. (intense music) ‘Kay, so I’ve gone up to what
I think is bit of compromise. So I’m running 23 on the
front, 26 on the back. See how that feels. And it doesn’t feel like
I’ve lost any grip for it, but, whoa, who knows. Whoa. Oi. Stuff like that, where I can gap a bit. And I’ve only been this
trail couple times, so I don’t really know
what’s on the backside. I feel just more confident. ‘Cause if I jump and
there is a rock there, least I’ve got the harder tires that I know can deal with it. This is it. (groans) Mean, that’s so lose and dry. Feels different to my
front, back tire there. I’ve a Baron on the front. It digs into that dust, the
rear one doesn’t, as much. And it’s the rear one I’m tryna use to slow down quite a lot. Higher pressures mean a
smaller contact point, less grip and can feel harsh, but they’re more resistant
to punctures from impact. Lower pressures mean a
larger contact point, more grip, more compliance,
but more tire squirm and more likely to get impact punctures. So I think the conclusion for me is I’m going to lower them a little bit and go down to a 27 and a 25. So one psi lower than I normally am. Maybe it’s a bit of age, I don’t need them quite
as hard as it used to, but that feels about right for me. And I’d rather lose a little bit of grip and have a reliable tire that hopefully will get to the bottom of
the track in one piece. If you want to see a video, the tour of the Continental
factory, see how tires are made. That was super interesting one. Over there for that one. Another video on tire pressure over there. Jack, have we got time for another run? – Oh yes.
– Needs tests again. Right. Subscribe, give us thumbs up.

100 comments on “How To Find The Perfect Tyre Pressure | High Vs Low Pressure

  1. You have to mention the tire and wheel type. You can't just give some pressure ranges to follow. You have to be specific for each tire and wheel manufacturer. These videos can be confusing. I destroyed my tires by following these instructions. Also, the weight the wheels have to carry should also be considered and taken in the equation

  2. I think it's astonishing every time to see the guys from gmbn shred in a proper edit. Especially Neil though, cause he is such a quiet and calm guy it is easy to forget just how much skill he has and how fuckin quick he is.

  3. I weigh 141lbs and I've been running 28psi rear and 26psi front. I've experimented with lower tire pressures in the past but I didn't like how slow it made me also I lowered them a little too low once and damaged my carbon rim. I could go down 2 more psi since I'm a light weight rider so I may do that for my next ride🤘🏻

  4. Can someone invent valves that don't clog with sealant? Tire gauges also.Even after over inflating and burping air sealant still clogs.

  5. How can you run these pressures without completely destroying rims? Im running 40 rear and 38 front, tubeless on 2.5in wide 27.5 tires with inserts and i still managed to dent a wheel within 2 days.

  6. How much do you weigh when you ride? I’m 90kg or 14 stone in mine, run 28-30 in the back, 24-26 front. Locally it’s typical UK forest trails no rock and rides are up to forty miles. Do you think low pressure makes much difference to longer rides? Will give a lower pressure a try next weekend.

  7. I like running my tires at around 15 psi front and 18 psi while still running tubes..though the trails around here aren’t that harsh I might need to increase the pressure or run tubeless soon.

  8. Simple Rule for off-road (not fireroad) = As LOW as YOU can go WITHOUT pinching, excessive squirming, or burping (to much) on that specific ride….
    and ur burp point & pinch point will vary with tyre, riding weight, terrain, rider style/skill, insert or not, tubeless, ur rim, air temp etc. etc.

  9. i dont doubt you Neil as you are totally RAD..but man..having electronic gauges and worrying so much is a little overboard..Surely im not the only person who puts very little importance on tire pressure?

  10. So it seems Neil has decided to run the same pressures i do on my 27.5 trail bike. Interestingly, I run my 29er XC bike pressures at 28/35 primarily because it is also my commuter bike and I tend to carry a heavy bag.

  11. I do like 40 psi at a bike park and about 33 in the front and 35 in the back for single track. I constantly have to pedal to get the speed I want if its below 30

  12. I run a tubeless XC 29er and weigh 160lbs and run 28 front &30 rear psi on my hard tail. I always want to run lower but really don't want to kill my Mavic rims.

  13. It would be interesting to see this done again without the rider knowing the pressures; I bet expectations play a big role in the actual experience and sensations.

  14. At least where I live in Arizona, my local bike shop suggests this as a starting point: [your weight + gear (in pounds)] ÷ 7, that number plus 2 for the rear and minus 2 for the front

  15. GMBN Last Week: Is MTB cool?
    GMBN this week: I will now talk about tyre pressures for 11 minutes and 37 seconds

    On a serious note always a pleasure watching someone of Neil's skill level shred. And on a side note that Der Baron is a nice looking tyre.

  16. I've a hard tail. 30psi rear, 25psi front. Both are DH tyres. Anything less in the rear and I feel there rim getting hit

  17. I use about 25 in both tires my bike is tubeless for dh feels about right for me any lower there is too much squirm

  18. #askgmbn hi, I have a 2019 Norco Fluid FS 2 with 29 x 2.6 maxxis forekasters front and rear with a 29 mm inner rim width. I want to know if it is ok to put a 2.5 inch tire on that rim without anything going wrong. I am thinking of putting a 2.5 maxxis minion DHF and a 2.5 maxxis assegai if it will work. Thanks and hope you can help.

  19. Thanks for your inputs, great topic….. and what's about in the wet on rocky sections? With 27 r 25 f, you might loose grip completely…. Cheers.

  20. Thanks for your great Videos! I really can imagine how those variables might play a role-however just go biking-no excuses 😉

  21. Crazily fast Neil..! 🙌🏻

    When Im jumping i run my tyres to 40psi rear 38psi front.! Im 20st 6lb any lower im rolling all over the place n general ride no less than 30psi all round. Im tubeless too which works well for me I have maxxis highrollers on 2.5 front 2:4 rear

  22. I have a 27.5 plus bike. Whenever I put the tire pressure at a higher psi, it bounces everywhere. When it is lower, the rim makes a terrible noise.

  23. I've never checked my pressures with a gauge, my gauge is my hand. I like running on the soft side for a far more comfortable ride, high psi equates to more fatigue from feeling every bump.

  24. At 4:44 you mention that you're using a Trail King 2.3" in the back, however there is no such size for the Trail King, only 2.2", 2.4" and 2.6" are available for this tire (and 2.8" as well now it seems). Maybe you confused this with the Mountain King 3, which indeed is available in 2.3".

  25. For my hardtail I find I have to run around 18 for downhill and 22 max for climbs front and rear. Otherwise my feet bounce off the pedals everywhere and the trail chatter is too fatiguing. Also running 2.8 front and rear. 5'6" 150 lb

  26. Here’s the bottom line if you’re not an xc MTB racer: Run a 30-32mm inner wheel, with a medium to soft compound tire and at least 28psi in the rear and 24 up front. I’ve personally seen to many fails from chasing the “low” pressure for traction and breaking a sidewall or a wheel. Tire-roll also sucks when you’re running low tire pressure. Okay….so who am I to judge? 4 Colorado podiums in Enduro out of 4 races in my 40+ class. But, I ride with Pro’s and I’m always looking at how they do it, from suspension to tires and their pressures. Guess what….my buddy that weighs 158-162, he’s running 30psi minimum with cushcore in the rear and more fork pressure than I! He’s a top ten rider in the BME series. We’re all looking for that edge….so, minimize tire roll and buy a legit tire. Happy riding🌅

  27. Excellent video 👍 Really well explained and nicely demonstrated. Always amazes me how much money people will invest in a bike and how little time they will invest in setting it up to perform to its max!

  28. I'm no racer and don't get the speeds by any means. I ran too much pressure on the front yesterday and spent the last 24 hours in a hospital bed with broken ribs. Back to a lower pressure when the ribs are healed. I'd rather wreck a tyre than wreck my body.

  29. I don't know how anyone can ride pressures as low as people generally claim. If I go as low as 30 psi I already feel uncomfortable because it's barely supporting my 175 lbs body weight. Around 32 the rubber can still deform just enough to have plenty of grip in the corners but going lower it feels unstable like I'm rolling through jelly. I'm on a hardtail so I'd be destroying my rims on roots and rocks. Then again, I've been watching the video closely to see how the tires deform under Neil to have a reference around 20 psi his tires looked like mine at 32. I don't know what makes such a huge difference. Air volume in theory could do that, the same principle as running tokens in a fork. But I have smaller 26" wheels to begin with and similar width 2.4 tires. Rim design alone couldn't possibly account for such a difference.

  30. I used to run high tire pressures (3 bar) but now I’m trying to get pretty low.
    Or, lets say, depends on where I’m riding.
    City, to get to work (high pressure, lower rolling resistance) or on the weekend, riding some trails and going down a hill with a good amount of little jumps (around 70cm)
    I once ran for climbing a pretty steep and long hill here in my local area, around 1.3 in the back and 0.9 in the front…and it felt good.
    I have to say, that I’m riding in the extreme zone, since I got 2.35 tires on my narrow 19mm rim.But it’s a light and very stiff one from Mavic.
    Crossmax XL.
    But around 10 years old…

    Now I’m building a completely new 27,5“+ bike with the almost other extreme.
    40mm rim, 2.8 and 3“ tires cause it’s going to be a enduro hardtail and I searched something more capable going downhill…cause my TrailCountry bike😅😂 isn’t feeling very stable going downhill fast.

  31. I have heard tyre inserts described as having a similar effect on tyres, as bottomless tokens do on a fork. I would be interested if any one on the channel has tried that or if you might do a video comparing with or without.

  32. 27 front, 40 rear, inner tubed, continental cross kings on full sus. It's my balance between front end grip and making it easier to pedal

  33. What I like to do is set my pressure to 30 in rear and 28 upfront for every new trail and take pressure out as I see fit. For more flat float trails I’ll keep it the same but more technical I’ll take 2-4 psi out of each tire

  34. #GMBN I think the key take away here is "Confidence". Would you agree that the more confidence you have the more speed you will carry? I tend to think the rider limits speed more than any PSI or slight change in grip……

  35. I run 26 rear (29×2.2 Conti Trail King) and 23 front (29×2.4 Conti Trail King) on 25mm internal. Works for me.

  36. Neil really can shred fast.
    Great video Neil and GMBN
    Neil what pressures would of used on your South Downs Way epic ride ?

  37. Would have been interesting to have a couple of GoPro pointing at the tires during these runs to see/show/explain the difference in deformation between the various settings

  38. I run Magic Mary front Hans Dampf rear, 27.5", and pressures 21 and 25 respectively, I am 65 Kg. I took such pressure indications from an old GMBN video when Scotty was still in.

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