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Bike: Giant ATX 27.5 2 (2016) - Hardtail

My current strategy to going off curbs is nose diving... I know, the best.

My current strategy to going up curbs is barely lifting my front wheel onto the curb and than just letting the back wheel smash into the curb hoping it rolls onto it... once again, not the best.

I'm scared of seriously damaging the bike (specifically tires/rims) when I go off curbs.

Could anyone recommend be strategy's to going up and down curbs (and similar obstacles: fallen trees, rocks etc)?

And also, is there any way to find out how much PSI is currently in a tire, and what PSI should a mountain bike tire be at?

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  • Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Stack Exchange has a surprisingly good search functionality, please explore the "Search Q&A" box in the top right corner. You can also read the Tour under the Help menu to understand the focus on one Question and its Answers. Your tyre pressure question probably has an answer too, so search it out.
    – Criggie
    May 8 '16 at 9:04
  • Also - just don't jump kerbs if you don't want to. Use the ramps, or stay on the street where you should be riding.
    – Criggie
    May 8 '16 at 9:23
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The linked answer covers part the question or how to do it.

To answer the question of damage and tire pressure - they are related. Best thing you can do is get a pressure gauge - either one mounted on a floor pump, purchase a dedicate one (digital are < $10 for a cheap one) or use a service station pump. At the maximum pressure printed on the tire, you won't do any damage. As you run lower pressures, the risk of snake bites becomes very real. You can, although unlikely damage a rim or break a spoke if you hit hard will very low pressures - I recently screwed up timing coming into a curb jump and hit the rear wheel hard (full body weight) at 30km/h, running a very low 20PSI tire pressure due to the trail I had just been riding, and shredded the tube, but the wheel was not damaged - the bike, while not indestructible, is built to take these hits and is not as fragile as you might think.

Practice with the tires at maximum pressure until you are confident you can hit the curb lightly every time, then you can go to lower pressures if desired.

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  • Doesn't a gauge just tell you how much you're putting in? Or does it tell you how much PSI is already in the tire? May 8 '16 at 5:02
  • Tells you how much pressure is in it.
    – mattnz
    May 8 '16 at 7:52
  • When I put the floor pump valve onto the tire, the gauge arrow just stayed at 0. It didn't tell me how much was in it. May 9 '16 at 2:23
  • You need to press it on hard enough for the valve to open and let some air out of the tire into the pump. .
    – mattnz
    May 9 '16 at 2:33
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For help on jumping curbs, I would recommend a couple of youtube channels:

  • Seth's bike hacks
  • GMBN (Global Mountain Biking Network)

They both have a lot of help on skills. In your case, I would look up "bunny hop" as that's what you are doing when hopping the curb.

You probably won't hurt the rim as long as you have enough air in the tires. You can check the tire with a standard tire pressure gauge if you have the right valve, but if you don't have anything to air it up, it would probably be best to purchase a decent pump with a gauge built-in. You can find a bunch on Amazon. The proper pressure depends on a couple of things: 1) Tubes or Tubeless: If you are running tubes, you will need to stay above 30 PSI. If you are using tubeless, then you can run lower, like 25 PSI.
2) What you are doing with your bike: If you are just riding trails without jumps, curbs, rocks etc, you can get away with low pressures and ride comfortably. If you are "hucking" your bike off half-walls or 4' cliffs, you are going to need higher pressures.

Good luck, have fun. Remember that tires, tubes and rims can be fixed, so don't sweat it too much.

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  • Doesn't a gauge just tell you how much you're putting in? Or does it tell you how much PSI is already in the tire? May 8 '16 at 5:02
  • It tells you how much PSI is already in the tire. May 8 '16 at 5:03
  • Even a gauge on a cheap floor pump? May 8 '16 at 5:04
  • Yes, but, I won't vouch for it's accuracy. May 8 '16 at 5:10

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