TYRE PRESSURES - GO LOW, GO FAST
What are the recommended tyre pressures for best performance on road tyres?
It is now widely accepted that over inflation of your bicycle tyre actually reduces yours speed as it requires the tyre (and whole bike plus rider) to rise and effectively climb over every small bump on the road, whilst this skittish motion feels fast it is actually robbing your energy, where as a tyre at a lower pressure would deform over the bumps. This is obviously quite different to a velodrome where the varnished wooden surface is extremely smooth, so riders will use around 160psi, but on the road most pro riders are using around 90-110 psi. This deformation over the bumps obviously uses a small amount of energy in the tyre carcass but recent tests show that this is significantly less than the energy required to lift the rider over the many millions of small bumps on the ride. Of course, very low pressures of less than 70psi on the road will most likely also reduce performance, we tend to feel that as low as you can reasonably go without causing yourself lots of pinch flats is actually the best option. With these kind of pressures you also have much higher levels of grip so you can lead on the descents and corners, plus you'll suffer less fatigue and keep riding faster for longer.
Please see below the approximate recommended tyre pressures. We realise some of these figures seem quite precise but they are relative to each other, don't worry, to within 5 psi on your pump gauge will be fine. We haven't yet covered cross, or gravel road inflation pressures in the below due to the huge variations in tyre size and surface conditions but watch this space. MTB will also follow over time.
IMPORTANT - Please check, and never exceed, the maximum recommended tyre pressures on the side of your tyre.
30CARBON AERO DISC, 50CARBON AERO DISC, 30CARBON GRAVEL DISC - ONLY APPLICABLE TO WHEELS PURCHASED BEFORE DEC 2017.
The above wheels feature H-Lock Wedge (HLW) rim sidewalls and so please see further down this page for applicable maximum tyre pressures as they are different from those listed below for the rest of our range.
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR INFO APPLICABLE TO THE REST OF OUR RANGE OF WHEELS:
Standard clincher tyre with inner tubes.
Maximum pressure for using our wheels with clincher tyres with inner tubes fitted is 120psi, however we believe best performance is achieved at below 110psi for all riders. -Recommended Pressures are slightly higher than tubeless to prevent pinch flats.
Tyre Size - Front Pressure - Rear Pressure
23mm - 95/100 psi
25mm - 90/95 psi
28mm - 85/90 psi
23mm - 98/103 psi
25mm - 93/98 psi
28mm - 88/93 psi
23mm - 101/106 psi
25mm - 96/101 psi
28mm - 91/96 psi
23mm - 104/109 psi
25mm - 99/104 psi
28mm - 94/100 psi
If you start getting snake bite style pinch flats raise the above values by 5 psi at a time.
Maximum pressure for using our wheels with tubeless tyres set-up tubeless is 100psi, however we believe best performance is achieved at below 100psi for all riders
Recommended Pressures are lower than clincher to reach the lowest rolling resistance and obviously pinch flats are not an issue.
Tyre Size - Front Pressure - Rear Pressure
23mm - 87/92
25mm - 82/87
28mm - 77/82
23mm - 90/95
25mm - 83/88
28mm - 80/83
23mm - 93/96
25mm - 88/93
28mm - 83/88
23mm - 93/97
25mm - 90/95
28mm - 86/91
The above is a starting point and you should bear in mind other variables then tweak the pressures to suit you, your riding style, roads, specific tyres and bike:
- Rougher roads may require a slight reduction in pressure.
- Adding load to your or your bike may require some slight extra pressure in the tyres (use the rider weight as a guide).
- Some tyres, especially puncture protection tyres with heavy duty sidewalls, can be stiff and require slightly lower pressures.
H-LOCK WEDGE (HLW) SIDEWALL WHEELS
ONLY APPLICABLE TO THE FOLLOWING WHEELS PURCHASED BEFORE DEC 2017.
30CARBON AERO DISC, 50CARBON AERO DISC, 30CARBON GRAVEL DISC
These wheels feature our HUNT H-Lock Wedge (HLW) sidewalls which are similar in design to those found on Enve SES AR4.5 Disc road wheels and Stans Avion Disc road wheels. The HUNT H-Lock Wedge sidewalls have stronger impact resistance and lock the bead in place whilst allowing the tyre to reach a wider overall size reducing rolling resistance and providing more grip.
HUNT HLW wheels are designed for wide versatility and are compatible with a large range of tyres from 25mm to 50mm, please use tyres specifically designated as TUBELESS or TUBELESS READY constructed with CARBON BEADS. These tyres have predictable bead diameters and a strong bead construction. You can use an inner tubes with these HUNT HLW rims as long as they are used in tubeless tyres. Tyres constructed with Aramid/Kevlar beads are not suitable for use with HLW rims.
Suitable tubeless road, gravel and CX tyres are available from a huge range of companies including Schwalbe, Hutchinson, Panaracer, Bontrager, Specialized, Maxxis, IRC and many more. The Schwalbe Pro One 25mm tyre weighs just 255g, is tubeless ready and is Schwalbe's class leading clincher racing tyre.
Maximum tyre pressure for HUNT HLW rims is 100 psi when used with 25-28mm tyres. 100 psi is more than enough for any rider on road. Click here to listen to a podcast exploring the science of why lower pressures were found to be faster by pro teams.
Maximum tyre pressures for other tyre sizes 30mm do not exceed 70psi, 33mm do not exceed 50psi, 35-45mm do not exceed 40psi, 46mm+ do not exceed 35psi.
Please do not exceed the maximum pressure stated on your tyre.
ATTENTION – PRECUATIONS FOR RIM BRAKING ON LONG DESCENTS ESPECIALLY IN HOT WEATHER
Key information regarding tyre and rim heat build-up during long periods of rim braking
As rim braking is undertaken your kinetic energy is dissipated through heat between the brake pads and rims. This heat is then transferred to the air and tyre which are in contact with the rim.
The longer and heavier the braking the more heat is dissipated into the tyre.
Warm days obviously accentuate this problem as all components are warmer to begin with and they are less able to conduct the heat away as the differential in temperatures is much lower between air and tyre/rim. Hot road surfaces will also add to the problem.
As heat builds in the tyre, the air temperature in the inner tube/tyre rises and hotter air expands, this increases air pressure. If this continues it can reach levels that that tyre/inner tube are no longer able to cope with and thus they fail. A tubeless tyre can suffer the very same issues.
This is an issue that rim braked bicycle wheels of all kinds are susceptible to, and thus there are some reasonable precautions you should follow:
- Recommend max 110psi as it has been widely accepted now that slightly lower pressures actually reduce rolling resistance. With tubeless tyres we recommend that you do not exceed 100psi, and we regularly ride our 23-25mm road tyres at 80-90psi as the rolling resistance of tubeless road tyres is very low.
- Long descents and heavy braking carry inherent risks due to heat build-up on the braking surface, especially in hot weather. It is advisable, on all clincher or tubeless tyre systems, to drop your tyre pressure by 10psi from your normal setting. Please ensure you remain within the recommended pressure by the tyre manufacturer. This will improve grip and resistance to high- tyre pressures due to heat build-up from braking.
- Stop regularly during long & steep descents to allow your brakes to cool. If you suspect your rims are reaching high temperatures during braking it is essential to stop riding for a period and allow them to cool before you continue. This is a reasonable and sensible action that all wheel, tyre and bike manufacturers would suggest.
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