Tire Pressure for Road Bike Wheels

Much like Queen, bike tires are always under pressure. The question recently though has changed to how much pressure is the correct pressure? Back in the mists of time, we all believed that high pressure meant speed, now we are all finding out that we were wrong.

Tires do not need to be at 150psi for us to be fast. Our track pumps can all be thankful for that. We can also be grateful that we no longer will need to spend 30 mins to pump up a set of tires. That bump you used to feel when you went over a pebble on your road bike, that bump was not only painful but was also slowing you down.

Under pressure

Now we are going to talk about tire pressures, and in the interests of safety, we must also tell you to pay attention to tire inflation advice on your bike’s tires. You will also never really want any of the pressures we are suggesting in this article for your gravel or mountain bike. You will wish to less pressure in both of them. Ideally never going beyond 60psi in the offroad bikes.

So, back to the job at hand. We all know the pain of riding road bikes and road chatter, the fatigue-inducing bumps and knocks from the road. The reason we could feel all these knocks is that our tires would not deform around the road debris. Literally, our tires were bouncing off the road debris.

Now we want you to know you can lower your tire pressure, for road we are thinking of around 70-80psi. At this kind of pressure, your tires will deform around road debris. The deforming of your tire will cost you energy, but it will be less than that used by your tires bouncing off all the road debris.

With 70psi if you run tubes, yes, some people still do, you will not be at the constant mercy of pinch flats and punctures. You will though have grip that you never imagined you would have before. The grip will allow you to fly around corners with no worries about sliding out, this in itself must save you a lot of energy. You’ll also now come flying out of corners, meaning you have too much less acceleration. By having to accelerate less, you will again be conserving more energy. Do you see the pattern here yet?

If you have a quick look below you will see we have set out a guide for tire pressures. Don’t worry about being as precise as we have been. Most track pumps will never be that precise. It is better to be in the ballpark though than just floating about outside of it.

Tubed tires

We would recommend not going over 120psi with our wheels. We do though feel that pressures under 100psi will give you a better performing bike.

Tubeless tires

We would recommend a maximum pressure of 100psi for tubeless wheels. We also wonder why you had gone tubeless if you want to go that high. All the benefits of tubeless are available at lower pressures, especially the main one of comfort. 


≤ 65 KG RIDER 23mm - 95/100 psi
25mm - 90/95 psi
28mm - 85/90 psi
23mm - 90/95 psi
25mm - 85/90 psi
28mm - 80/85 psi
65 - 75 KG RIDER 23mm - 100/105 psi
25mm - 95/100 psi
28mm - 90/95 psi
23mm - 90/95 psi
25mm - 85/90 psi
28mm - 85/90 psi
75 - 85 KG RIDER 23mm - 101/106 psi
25mm - 96/101 psi
28mm - 91/96 psi
23mm - 95/98 psi
25mm - 90/95 psi
28mm - 85/90 psi
85 - 95 KG RIDER 23mm - 104/109 psi
25mm - 99/104 psi
28mm - 94/100 psi
23mm - 95/99 psi
25mm - 90/95 psi
28mm - 88/95 psi

Remember and use our chart as the starting point for your journey into bike tire pressures. Your tires, roads, lack of roads, and riding style may all very much require a change in pressure. Start at our figure and use it as a base from which to find your ideal pressures from.

When to Change Tire Pressure

You may also need to change pressure if you.

  • Decide to go bikepacking and add a big load to your bike. This is one of the few times where raising your pressure is cool.
  • If you buy puncture resistant tires, or a heavier sidewall tire, you will want to run lower pressures. Especially if you want to be comfortable.
  • If you find new roads that are rougher than your normal routes. You’ll want to lower the pressure of your tires to bring back comfort.

Have you planned a holiday somewhere warm and mountainous and you are taking your bike with you? Have you just been struck by some hot weather? If so you will want to look at your tire pressures again, especially if you're going to bomb down some hills.

One of the big issues has been with wheels heating up far too much on steep descents in summer. That is one of the reasons that we have been working hard on brake tracks for our new Aero range of wheels.

Our FL series of wheels were already leading the way when it came to heat resistance. Our FL series can tolerate up to 240°, and for our new Aero range, we managed to create a brake track that can withstand 300°. Now, you may be wondering how can my rims ever get that hot?

When you press your brake, you are creating friction between your brake pads and your wheel rim. The kinetic energy of your wheels is then changed into heat. The heat then travels through your trim to your tire and then the air inside your tire.

The more you brake, the more heat is created, the hotter the air in your tire becomes. When it is a hot day outside getting rid of this heat becomes harder and all your parts are hotter, to begin with. You will also find the road temperature will be accentuating this as well.

You will then have heat building up inside if your tire. As the heat builds up so does the pressure inside your tire. You will find that this can build up to heat your tires, tube, or rim couldn’t cope with. We have worked hard to alleviate this issue as much as possible. You should still follow some precautions though.

  • On really hot days with big descents drop your tire pressure before you leave by around 10psi, unless that is below your tire manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • If your braking heavily, stop and look at the views. You are not racing after all. Give your tires and wheels a chance to cool down, have a drink as well, staying hydrated is a key thing for you on hot days.
  • Don’t go for over 100psi, it’ll slow you down and make your ride nowhere near as fun.
  • Jan 24, 2019
  • Category: Wheels
  • Comments: 0
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