Tyre pressures are important on your bike just as they are on a car. If the tyres are too soft the bike feels sluggish and unstable when cornering, it is also more likely to suffer with “pinch punctures” where the iner tube gets nipped between the tyre and the rim, resulting in two nicks in the inner tube – often described as a “snakebite”. Too hard and you will feel every little bump in the road – you will get thrown about on anything but the smoothest of roads – how many of these can you find in South Yorkshire?.
I am often asked what the correct presure for tyres is and my reply is always the same – “nice and firm”. By firm I mean hard enough so that when pressed with the thumb you can feel the tyre deflect, but not so soft that you can press the tyre half way to the rim!
If you are using a pressure gauge you will find that narrow tyres need more pressure in them than wider tyres to achieve the same level of deflection. 45lbs/sq inch in a 700 x 23mm tyre feels totally different to 45lbs/sq inch in a mountain bike tyre.
If like me, the last thing you want on a bike ride is a puncture or two, just remember that your chances of puncturing on a bike with soft tyres are far greater than on a bike with correctly inflated (firm) tyres.