There is a lot of information and misinformation out there regarding tires, tubes, and the pressure you need to ride your best. We are going to dive into this seemingly narrow topic and try to cover the major questions riders have regarding tires and pressure.
You never want to go above or below the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure, which you can find printed on the side wall of every tire. Not only does under inflating increase your rolling resistance and decrease your speed, but it can cause pinch flats and premature tire wear as well. Over inflation on the other hand can add vibrations and impacts to the rider, making for a less comfortable, bumpier ride. The goal is to have your tires inflated enough to roll well, while not being over inflated.
You can also customize your pressure to the type of road or terrain you are riding. If the pavement is fresh and bump free, you can ride at a higher pressure. If the road is full of bumps or you are riding on gravel, letting some air out of the tires can make for a more comfortable and even faster ride. One size doesn't fit all, so mess around with your pressure and find what is ideal for what you ride the most.
While it may seem excessive to those just getting into the sport, seasoned riders recommend checking your tire pressure before every ride. If that is just too much for you as a rider, just make sure to check them once a week to optimize performance. Tire pressure can fluctuate for many reasons, and to perform your best you need to be sure you are riding with the right amount of air in those tires.
Beware of the effect of environmental factors on your air pressure as well. Most riders are unaware that temperature fluctuations are going to have an effect on pressure. For example in an area like Denver, CO, where there are huge day to day temperature swings in certain seasons, your PSI can easily change by six to eight pounds, which is a big enough difference to affect your riding. The rule of thumb is that a 10° Fahrenheit temperature drop causes about a 2% change.
Do you live in an area where it rains all the time? If so, you are going to want to run a slightly lower tire pressure to give your tires a little additional surface area on the road, increasing safety and performance. So, if it is raining, pump your tires up to the regular pressure and then let a little air out at a time until you feel comfortable. Generally, most riders are going to feel the best and gain the most benefits from dropping the pressure by about 7psi.
All Tommaso Bikes us Presta valves on the tubes. Presta valves are the standard in the road cycling industry, because they require a small hole in the rim. This is especially important on narrow rims, as the smaller hole provides greater cross sectional strength. Another great advantage is that they are easier to pump up, as they do not have the valve spring that is present in Schrader valves.
These are referring to the factory tire that comes on each of the following categories of bike.
Aluminum Road Bike tires 80 psi - 95 psi
Carbon Road Bike tires 90 psi - 110 psi
Adventure Bike tires 50 psi - 85 psi
Hybrid Bike tires 50 psi - 80 psi
Mountain Bike tires 40 psi - 65 psi
Kid's Bike tires 40 psi - 65 psi
If you change your tires from the factory model, please use the recommended pressure guidelines on the sides of the tire.
Check out this short video our friends at GCN put together