Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just purchased a new bicycle pump with a pressure gauge and after checking my tyres, inflated them to the top end of interval printed on the tyres (4.5-6.5 bar).

I'm wondering when the tyres should be in the lower range of the interval, and when the higher end is appropriate. Is it a question of weight? Type of terrain I'm going to ride?

The tyres in question are Schwalbe Kojaks, mounted on a light urban hybrid bike.

share|improve this question
possible duplicate of What pressure should I run my Mountain Bike tires at? – Neil Fein Sep 2 '10 at 20:28
Duplicate of this question, vote to close. – Neil Fein Sep 2 '10 at 20:28
...unless there's something specific about Kojaks? (I have a pair, and except for the higher pressure rating, there's not much that general inflation advice won't cover.) – Neil Fein Sep 2 '10 at 20:55
Disagree that it's a duplicate -- the other question was about trail riding, this is about urban riding. Plus there's the question of what the minimum rating is for. – darkcanuck Sep 3 '10 at 1:01
up vote 5 down vote accepted

My general rule of thumb is 10-15% lower than the posted maximum for normal road riding. Higher if you're carrying a load or are a larger rider, lower if you're a lighter rider. There's an article in Bicycle Quarterly that's a pretty good guide on tire pressure for road riding depending on weight and width of tire.

share|improve this answer

Well, I am a large rider and I was advised (and seen) that I need to keep my tires to the max before each ride. If I do a long ride - over 2 hours - I have to make sure to check and inflate accordingly. I ride 700cc road tires and with my weight a tire that starts to slack gets a "pinch flat". Basically the tube pinches inside the tire. If you are a very light rider, you can get away with a little less.

If you are riding a bike with "knobbie" tires like a mountain bike, you can get away with less too.

share|improve this answer

A higher pressure will be faster and 'harder' (less suspension); a lower pressure will be slower (more rolling resistance) and smoother (it'll ooze over cracks and bumps).

I was told that the 'max pressure' is just a guideline and that in practice you can go a little higher. I think my tires say 85 psi maximum, and I inflate them to 95 (not because I'm especially heavy but because I'd prefer to go faster with less effort than smoother).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.