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Guide To Tire Pressure of Different Mountain Bikes


However expensive your bike is, for you to enjoy a comfortable ride, the magic lies in the tires. For the things that actually move you, the tires are quite detrimental to your experience. One way to get the best performance is to figure out the right pressure for the tires.

Depending on the type of tire and the terrains you are embarking on, different pressure is designated to each, suiting to the needs of both bike and terrain. Additionally, variable factors like the rider’s weight, the climatic condition…etc. must also be considered while pumping up the tire.

It is worth noting that there is no correct value for you always to fall back on. Instead, there lies a range over which you can experiment to figure out what is suited and when.

Go by the manufacturer’s dictate

For all types, be it road bikes or mountain bikes, the manufacturer dictates a possible range for the pressure in the tires. Depending on the rider’s weight, you can pump the tires with weight accordingly. Naturally, the more you weigh, the higher value you choose from the range. And it is best to stick to the limits of the tires as they promise optimum performance. Anything below and above threatens your and others’ safety!

You must have noticed that mountain bikes’ recommendation of tire pressure is around 25-30 psi. At the same time, other tires run at a much higher pressure. Even in the mandated range, you can always go towards a lower range after experimenting and comparing the performance of different pressures.

Pressure range: lower or higher?

Tire pressure determines the experience you have. High pressure gives you a comfortable and easy ride over a smooth traction surface. The tires roll easily over the road giving the riders a good experience till there are no bumps along the way.

However, the scenario takes a U-turn if you are traveling on rough terrains. The bumps and the rocks on the off-road course will give you a harder time navigating with a highly inflated tire. Rather than moving around or over the obstacles, the tires will simply fly off on striking the hard surfaces like rock, making it difficult for you to control the bikes. Thus, if you are not prepared, you’ll be flying into one of the trees around.

Pressure too low harbors risks like a flat tire and the rims flopping out. Therefore to ensure you receive the best of both worlds, adjust the pressure, which is intermediate of both. Mountain bike pressure should support both the on-road and off-road trails.

Hence, summing up, higher pressure in the range helps move swiftly, whereas the lower end of the range ensures a better grip. However, the pressure ranges should not exceed or fall below too much to ensure a comfortable ride on both grounds.

For the front and rear tire

The tire pressure for both tires is not essentially the same. Depending on your body weight ratio, the front tire requires a lower pressure than the rear one to accommodate your weight.

The one that bears more weight should have a higher pressure (in the range of 1-2 psi) to give a performance at par with the other. Therefore, the rear tires are usually pumped at a higher level than the other.

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes demand the tire to be a lot sturdier than others. With mud, unpaved roads, sharp-cut rocks, streams, you never know what lands you have to go through. Depending on your preference and the terrain you want to travel, select the tire type. Fill the variables like a tube or tubeless tires, narrow or thicker tires, the TDI on the tires…etc. After narrowing down your choices, look for the pressure that is suitable for your body weight and the roads.

Tire Pressures

  1. In comparison to the width

    The narrower the tire, the more pressure it needs. So wider the tires, the lower you can go on the range for the pressure. With things other than air to support the tire, lower pressure will not affect your ride as much as it does in the case where a narrow tire runs on low pressure.

  2. Tube and tubeless tires

    A tubeless tire with visibly no chances of getting flat can support a lower pressure on its ride. Likewise, tube tires require you to have adequate filling to protect the tubes from getting flattened.

  3. Casing

    Thicker the tire, the more comfortable it can handle the low pressure and won’t succumb to the slashes and flats along the way.


  • When to go up?

    When the tires feel squirming, then it is an indication to increase the pressure. Likewise, if you feel a lot of shocks, then increase the air volume of air. Also, in trails where there are high chances of rocks slashing your tires, opt for high-pressure tires to skid past and avoid them.

  • When to go lower?

    If you feel that your bikes are skidding off the ground, especially on slippery terrain, try lowering the pressure. Going downhill, your tires require more grip to descend without any accidents. Lowering the pressure will help you get the added traction along the terrains.

Instruments to carry around

Most of the pumps come fitted with a gauge that gives you a fair estimate of the value, though it might not be absolutely accurate. If you are looking for the exact pressure, then a digital measuring instrument may work better.

The pressures often decrease with wear and tear. Hence, regular monitoring is best to make sure that your tires can bear the burnt of the exercise. Hence, check them before embarking on any of the biking experiences.


Knowing the right tire pressure is an essential tip to upgrade the biking experience. Depending on the trail and tire type and weight, you can opt for any pressure from the ranges mentioned on the tire. Sticking to the lower end (if your weight allows) is a better option if you are worried about the traction, especially in a wet weather condition. A higher-end pressure offers the least resistance, helping you skip past the rocks and jump at a higher elevation.

To settle on the value from the range, the best way is to experiment yourself. Start with the middle value. And depending on your preference, you can go above or below in the range.