When I first started road cycling, I was very much in the “bang 110psi in both 23mm tyres” camp. It’s just how it was. Hard is fast. Skinny is fast. Who needs comfort when you can go FAST!
These days I’m a little more relaxed, I know that (especially at my weight) higher pressures are not faster and are certainly not very comfortable. Even so, I still have trouble dropping my tyre pressures below 90psi on my 24-25mm tyres. I think it’s a mental thing. My head just says NO!
The roads here range from butter smooth to “pothole or bomb crater” so it’s tough to pick a do-it-all pressure. There’s a corner of my brain that niggles at me to go lower. Even so, I am reluctant to let any more air out of my tubes.
Just recently SRAM released an online pressure calculator. It’s been doing the rounds on social media so I plugged my numbers in and it spat out the following recommended pressures for me…
It seems pretty low and I’m dubious. Of course there is a BIG slice of marketing involved in all of this. The calculator was released alongside ZIPP’s new 303 wheelset, designed to be run at lower pressures and save you 50 watts. Yes, they said fifty watts. Yes, that’s ridiculous. It was also timed to drop with this GCN paid-promotion video:
But maybe they are onto something. After all, I run a lowly 18psi in my tubeless MTB tyres. Unlike many changes it costs nothing to try – unless of course you get a pinch flat then I guess it costs you the price of a CO2 canister, tube or time spent fixing the flat. It’s certainly worth experimenting with.
So, my question to you is – what tyre pressures do you ride? And would you consider going any lower?