Tire pressures

I belong to a dualsport club here in Michigan, there is quite a bit of deep sand on some of the loops we ride. Some of the guys are riding with some what I would call incredibly low air pressures. One was using 3 psi in the front and 6 psi in the rear. Others were running pressures a bit higher, but many were running more pressure in the rear than the front.

Several years ago I had an XR650L, I struggled with the handling in the sand, but halfway through the ride I developed a flat in the front, I couldn't believe how well that thing carved the sand on the way back home. Almost to the point where I almost was ready to pitch the tire and run the bare rim.

I have always run more pressure in the front than in the rear, in general 15/12, but is this guy onto something? I asked if he took any precautions, like using a tire sealant, but he said he just uses heavy duty tubes????

I run 15 psi both when Dual Sporting.

12 psi both when riding sandy trails or the rocks of Arkansas and East Oklahoma.

Kenda Tuff Tubes. If you know it is all sand with no rocks/roots I would go lower.

It is really personal preference. I've come to my settings after 10 yrs of hardcore riding in over 125 enduros and Harescrambles in all sorts of terrain, from nothing but rocks, to whoops, sand, roots. We ride pretty hard and often, and I can count on one hand how many flats, front or rear, that I've had.

There is something called Rim Clean. After you ride, look at the rims and see how much black tire rub there is. It looks like rubber residue, wipes off easily. You want a little bit, but not a lot. Next time I ride I will take a pic after and post it for you. I use the rim clean as a guide when I ride somewhere for the first time. I keep a notebook and write down my jetting specs, suspension clickers, sag, and tire choice and psi. Comes in handy when riding all over the USA.

I find under 12 psi front I hit my rim a lot going over nasty rock sections. Usually run 13-14 both

(In my Clint Eastwood voice) "Well, Do you feel lucky, Punk?"

Lower pressures usually increase traction, all the way up to the point of a pinch flat. Then your screwed! So run as low as you dare. It's your tire, tube, rim, etc..


I run super low with tubliss now.. Havent had a flat yet besides punctures. 5psi front 1.5_3 psi rear on trails with desert knob.. 4_5psi with trials tire. Too low in front and you dent rims if its rocky

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