1. What is tyre pressure? – Bicycle tyre pressure is a measurement of the air — calculated in PSI or bars — that’s been pumped into your tyres. PSI (pound per square inch) is a pressure unit resulting from a 1-pound force applied to an area of a square inch. A bar on the other hand, is a metric unit of atmospheric pressure at sea level. You’re likely familiar with PSI if you’re used to the imperial system of measurement, or bars if you measure things in metric.
3. The writing on the (side)wall – Your tyre’s sidewall should have the recommended tyre pressure in PSI or bars printed or moulded into the rubber on one side or the other of the tyre tread. If the text is moulded into the sidewall, you’ll have to look closely because it tends to blend seamlessly with the tyre, which can also make it a bit hard to read.
4. Take measures to be the best – A pressure gauge will give you the most accurate measure of your tyre’s pressure. Digital pressure gauges have succeeded in dethroning dial pressure gauges as the best tyre pressure gauge but, if you really want to achieve hassle-free pressure perfection, get your hands on a bicycle pump with a digital pressure gauge with fittings for both Presta and Schrader valves.
5. Go lower when… you have too much air in your tyres, and you start to feel like you’re bouncing over the road instead of rolling over it. Overinflated tyres can also cause you to underestimate braking distances and to lose traction, especially if the road is wet. To deflate your tyre, remove the valve cap and press on the valve’s core with your fingernail. Be careful not to deflate it too much, otherwise you’ll run into the problems listed in the next section.
6. Go higher when…your tyres are underinflated. Tyres that are too soft will make you work harder to maintain momentum because more of your tyre’s surface area will be in contact with the road, which will take more effort to keep you rolling. Low pressure will also make your tyres more prone to puncturing, and they will wear out faster.