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tire pressure for the dirt.

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i was watching some cool videos about Trials bikes and i noticed that they tire pressure was very low.  I know that my tires often show cupping because of lower inflation numbers.  How low can i inflate my tires for riding on forest roads? 

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i was watching some cool videos about Trials bikes and i noticed that they tire pressure was very low.  I know that my tires often show cupping because of lower inflation numbers.  How low can i inflate my tires for riding on forest roads? 

 

I ride around on 10lbs. but have read where guys go to 6lbs with those trials tires. As long as you're commuting on asphalt afterwards, you'll be good.

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I for one dont play the tire pressure game. Lower it to X pounds off road then air back up for pavement travel. To me its silly. How can your tire protect itself from pinch flat or bent rims with little pressure in them? Nobody rides slow enough to stop a direct hit to a rock with 10psi in the tire. I mean really? The constant deflation and inflation. Even remembering to do so. The wear and tear. I set my tire pressure a couple pounds below the max as stated on the side of the tire. I allow the tire to do its job along with my well tuned suspension. I dont get pinch flats or bent rims. My wear is consistant without throwing knobs on the pavement. I get good mileage out of the tire set. And have never really had any benefit when I tried different pressures. Just sloppy handling when moving through slow single track and squirelly handling at higher speeds. Trials bikes are extremely lightweight and there tires are designed for their use. Rarely are they going fast and taking hard hits at speed. They work their bikes with precision and skill over set courses or free ride the objects of their choice. Off road riding is usually at much higher speeds and not as technical. Knowing good trials riding skills can be of benefit if doing log hopping or boulder climbing but is generally just a small part of the off road ride. I know some may and will sing their thoughts of their benefits of changing tire air pressure. But like I said I am not one of them. If I raced and was sponsored and had a crew to do all the work and spoil me then maybe...just maybe. :) Rant over and just my opinion on the topic. To each his own use of bike and tire.

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I go as low as 11 psi depending on the dirt conditions, but try to keep it around or above 20 psi on pavement.  I rarely ride my DRZ without full luggage and camping gear, lets say 210 lbs for me in gear and 40 lbs of luggage.  Works well for me.

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road  = 24-30

road, loaded = 30

 

(what most people call 'off road')

dualsport = 18psi

dualsport loaded = 18psi

 

(singletrack with awesome sauce)

nasties = 10-12psi

nasties loaded with a weekend of camping gear = 14-16psi

 

 

no valve stem tears, no pinch flats, no issues besides the pilot 

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I for one dont play the tire pressure game. Lower it to X pounds off road then air back up for pavement travel. To me its silly. How can your tire protect itself from pinch flat or bent rims with little pressure in them? Nobody rides slow enough to stop a direct hit to a rock with 10psi in the tire. I mean really? The constant deflation and inflation. Even remembering to do so. The wear and tear. I set my tire pressure a couple pounds below the max as stated on the side of the tire. I allow the tire to do its job along with my well tuned suspension. I dont get pinch flats or bent rims. My wear is consistant without throwing knobs on the pavement. I get good mileage out of the tire set. And have never really had any benefit when I tried different pressures. Just sloppy handling when moving through slow single track and squirelly handling at higher speeds. Trials bikes are extremely lightweight and there tires are designed for their use. Rarely are they going fast and taking hard hits at speed. They work their bikes with precision and skill over set courses or free ride the objects of their choice. Off road riding is usually at much higher speeds and not as technical. Knowing good trials riding skills can be of benefit if doing log hopping or boulder climbing but is generally just a small part of the off road ride. I know some may and will sing their thoughts of their benefits of changing tire air pressure. But like I said I am not one of them. If I raced and was sponsored and had a crew to do all the work and spoil me then maybe...just maybe. :) Rant over and just my opinion on the topic. To each his own use of bike and tire.

 

It really comes down to your riding conditions, tires and expectations... Granted my first ride out on the DRZ in the woods I left my tire pressure alone and I didn't know much better.  I run knobbies (TMII's & M59) and when I'm on the road I'll keep them at 26/28 psi (F/R) and when I hit the trails I lower them to 15/10 psi (F/R).  Also worth noting I run rim-locks front and rear.

 

Only once have I gotten a pinch "flat" in the rear and that was due to my own "stupidity".... I say "flat" because I didn't notice it till the next day at home and I pumped them up before heading home (30 miles freeway :jawdrop: ).  Turns out it was a really small hole in the tube.  I got into trouble because I never checked the pencil-type pressure gauge against any known "good" gauges.  Well it turned out it runs about 4 psi high, so when I thought I had 10 I really had 6 psi and the rocky terrain punished me :devil:

 

With my tires I certainly notice a differance (for the better) in traction both front and rear when I air down :ride:  I just carry a small hand pump (bicycle) and air up before heading home.

Edited by bmwpowere36m3
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If your riding in known conditions, IE loamy dirt, air down to 10-12 PSI as the chance of a flat is minimal.

But as I ride in varying conditions with lots of rock, tree roots, hard pack, dirt and black top, I run 18PSI front and back all the time.

It is not the optimum pressure for any given condition but as I don't vary it my bike handles consistently and touch wood, I don't get flats 

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If your riding in known conditions, IE loamy dirt, air down to 10-12 PSI as the chance of a flat is minimal.

But as I ride in varying conditions with lots of rock, tree roots, hard pack, dirt and black top, I run 18PSI front and back all the time.

It is not the optimum pressure for any given condition but as I don't vary it my bike handles consistently and touch wood, I don't get flats 

 

 +1...

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The reason I ride @ 10lbs. is because the sidewalls on this tire are so flippin' stiff....at 15lbs. or higher I might as well ride with deathwings, they don't bite at all. I'll bet I could ride at 6 or 8 easy, even on asphalt. But then again, nobody likes this MotoZ tire and I'm by myself on this one.

 

Someone felt sorry for me and sent me a Goldtyre 216 which I am going to try out. It's massive, the knobs look well spaced and ready for some excellent traction, so I'll have to see how it performs. They recommended 15lbs. so will start with that.

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Front knobby 12 psi

Rear trials 8 psi.

Threat to avoid bending your Rim or getting pinch flats is to watch where the hell your going and don't center punch sharp edge rocks!

If you're desert racing in the dust you may want to increase front tire to 17psi and 14 psi rear if knobby, 10 psi if trials tire.

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nothing worse than a flat in the bush! :banghead:   i run 20psi everywhere on kenda trakmasters, never had an issue. this is almost like an oil thread  :jawdrop::lol:

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so today was a lazy day and i finally got off my butt and located my portable bicycle pump.  then i anxiously went out to the shed and checked how high my overinflated tires were.  what a shock!  i was already running 11 pounds in the rear and 12 in the front.  i swear it wasn't but a month ago that i pumped them up to 20 some.  i have heavy duty tubes in at least the front and i know i dont have a flat.  very strange. my rear tire is unusual and it must have a very stiff sidewall because at 10 pounds i can hardly compress it. i bet i could run them both almost flat.  i will buy one of those atv tire pressure tools that are good at measuring very low pressure.

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Not unusual to lose that much pressure in a month. I check tire pressure before every ride.

+2

I spent last weekend riding mostly singletrack trails on the top of the Sierra Nevada's. Lotso rocks on the ridges and passes, and even in the hillsides. Lotso sand in the valleys. I ran 15 psi front, 18 rear. It worked really well. I dont think I added any dents to my rims. If I am dealing with DEEP SoCal or Baja sand, and no rocks, I run 10 psi front and 12 to 15 rear. I use rim locks.

J.

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