One of the most important parts of mountain bike preparation is tire pressure. The amount of pressure in your bike’s tires can make a pretty major difference in how well your riding goes and how much control you actually have over your own bike plus it can greatly increase your comfort level on your bike. If your mountain bike’s tire pressure is too high, then you will end up having to deal with a much less controllable ride since the contact that your tires will have with the ground will be pretty poor. Mountain bikers who have bike tires that are too flat will probably experience some very unpredictable mountain bike performance and their tires could become more susceptible to pinch flats as well. Alaska Heliskiing
The answer to this problem lies in the use of an appropriate tire pressure based on the rider’s weight and preferences. Trail conditions and terrain types should also cause the necessary amount of tire pressure to vary a bit as well. You should mostly focus on figuring out what type of tire pressure works well for you In typical conditions and then change your tire pressure according to the trail that you will be on.
The best way to find the right tire pressure setup can be summarized in the following way:
First, you should be aware of the fact that pressure gauges are known to be pretty inaccurate so if you switch around it will make things much more difficult. Instead, try to stick with only one type of pressure gauge. Start with a higher pressure somewhere around 40-50 psi (3-3.5 bar)for for 2.2-2.3 inch tires. For tubeless systems, start much lower, 30 to 40 psi. The heavier you are or the smaller your tires, the higher pressure you should start with. Ride with this pressure for a while and get a feel for how the tires hook up in corners and on loose dirt.
Now, drop the pressure by 5 psi (0.35 bar) in each tire. Once again get a feel for how this new setup rides and compare it to the previous setting. You should feel some improvement in tire hookup with the ground and a little more stability. If you don't notice any difference drop the pressure by another 5 psi (0.35 bar). What you want to find is the lowest pressure you can ride without sacrificing pinch flat resistance. You get a pinch flat when your tire rolls over an object and compresses to the point where the tire and tube literally get pinched between the object and the rim of the wheel. This commonly results in a snake bite or double puncture in the tube.
Continue to reduce tire pressure by 3-5 psi (0.1-0.3 bar) until you feel the tires are hooking up well. If you go too far, you will start getting pinch flats, so stop dropping pressure in your tires as soon as you feel you have good control or you no longer notice any improvement between pressure drops.
If you start feeling your rims contact objects or if you start getting pinch flats, raise the pressure back up in small intervals.
In tubeless systems, since you don't have to worry about pinch flats so much, you can run much lower pressures and some occasional rim contact is OK, but if you start denting your rims, burping air out along the bead, or if you feel the tire roll under the rim during hard cornering, you have gone too low.
There is another balance you play with tire pressure. Lower pressure does increase rolling resistance. However, some argue, the increased control and climbing traction makes up for the extra effort needed to compensate for the extra rolling resistance. I lean toward running nearly as low pressure as you can get away with. Cross country racers may decide to sacrifice a little control for a little better efficiency.
Once you find a comfortable tire pressure setting, learn what your tire feels like when you squeeze it with your hand. When you know what your tires should feel like you can always get the right pressure, with any pump. Canadian Mountain Holidays