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Tire pressure with hand pump(11 posts)

Tire pressure with hand pumpUncleMoe
Jul 26, 2001 12:25 PM
Hi all,

I just became a serious casual road biker after many years of Mountain biking (I haven't given it up, just going thru a road bike phase). One thing I was never too concerned with as a mtn biker was tire pressure. Even with the hand held pump I bring on rides, I am able to get a good feel for the pressure in the mtn bike tires and pump them without the need for a guage.

However, my LBS told me to be sure I kept my road bike tires at 110 psi. +/- 5-10 pounds will greatly increase the likely hood of a flat.

My question is, do most of you have a hand held pump with a gauge? Is getting a hand pump with gauge worth the extra $? Are most you you able to pump to 100+ psi and have a good feel for what your tires need? Do you not really worry about it?
Here's what I do...Cima Coppi
Jul 26, 2001 12:52 PM
I make certain to pump up my tires with a floor pump (mine has a gauge built in) before every ride. I usually pump them up the between 110 and 120psi, depending on the ambient air temperature.

I ride with a CO2 cartidge pump for emergencies, and I carry a gauge to measure pressure in the tube after changing a flat.

From my experience, that has worked very well for me.

Here's what I do...skimoviestar
Jul 26, 2001 1:16 PM
Hey CC,
I'm curious about what you mean by "depending on the ambient air temp"... Do you use the lower inflation psi when it is warm outside? Do you mean I'm pressing the envelope when I inflate to 120psi for a hot summer, late morning ride?

Thanks for the additional clarification!
This is why...Cima Coppi
Jul 26, 2001 4:06 PM
Even though I know my tires can take pressures of 150psi, I prefer to pump them up to only 110psi if the air temperature is above 90 degrees F. This will allow for some heat expansion that will increase the pressure while I ride.

Ultimately, this proceedure depends on the quality of the tire. I'd really be concerned about this if I was riding cheap, low tpi count training tires.

This is why...Woof the dog
Jul 26, 2001 8:08 PM
what tires are those, man?

Woof the dog
And here's what I do...MrCelloBoy
Jul 26, 2001 1:20 PM
I just pump the dang thing up until I'm out of breath about twice.
I'm about 150-160 lbs. so I think i have a bit of leeway around 90-110 lbs. of pressure. I just squeeze the tire to determine if it's soft,hard, or real hard.
I Check it with a floor pump when I get home.
Bike Shop BSJofa
Jul 26, 2001 1:36 PM
... +/- 10lb causing flats? Not a chance. The only pressure-related cause of flats is pinch-punctures, which happen only at low pressure or off-road, and I don't think many people take their roadbikes off-road (though they could... I do, but that's another story).
Tyre pressure affects rolling resistance a little, so maybe they're getting confused. Also, if you're riding down long descents which require constant braking, the air in the tyres can heat up such that the pressure increases by 10% or so... if you're near the limit- and this is one place where there isn't much of an inbuilt safety margin- tyres can blow off the rim. In these cases it's wise to let a little air out, before a long descent, if you ordinarily run your tyres at max pressure.
I've never felt the need for a guage on a ride, just do it by feel. I've ridden home very happily on 60-70 psi many times before and not really noticed until I got back.
floor pump w/ gaugeDAS
Jul 26, 2001 2:08 PM
I also went from mountain biking to road biking. The first thing I noticed is that you have to fill up your road tires before almost every ride. I have a nice floor pump with a gauge that I use every day. I pump up my tires to about 100psi and go. I take a road hand pump on my rides. Road hand pumps tend to have higher capacity than mtn hand pumps. My hand pump does not have a gauge. I think the pump cost me about $15. Cheapo. When I get a flat, I just replace the tube (no patches) and pump up the tire until it is hard enough to continue. Once I'm home I adjust the pressure with the SuperCool Floor Pump.

That's one way to do it anyway.
Jul 26, 2001 5:34 PM
Summarizing the answers...Whatever
Jul 26, 2001 5:38 PM
(1) Get a floor pump with a gauge and top off your tires every ride. Don't try to use a frame pump for routine maintenance.
(2) If you flat on the road, 90+ pounds is fine to get you through the ride and home (for all but the skinniest tires). I am 215+, have used a frame pump for years (plastic Silca with Campy metal head), and have never had enough energy to get the tires over around 90 lbs (checked the following day with the floor pump). They might not roll as fast, but most of us,, ah...FAST guys...can't tell the difference with 23mm tires. The LBS guys may be technically correct, but practically speaking, you'll do fine and probably won't notice the difference unless you are a super-aggressive cornerer. Or Lance.

What nobody mentioned was how to actually get 90+ lbs. with a frame pump. Here's the technique...put the pump head onto the stem (and lock it, if appropriate) with the stem facing down (at the top of the wheel). The wheel should be OFF of the bike. You are now carrying a pump, with a wheel hanging off of it. Jam the pump head into a nearby sign post, tree, guardrail, rock, fence, or any other stable thing like planet Earth and pump can really lean into the pump this way, putting all of your weight into it (if I do this at 215, it must really be a good idea for the 115 crowd) . Just get a solid bearing surface for the pump head and pound away.

And I still give up at around 90 psi and ride home. Try it at home a few times with a floor pump or gauge to measure your efforts and you'll get a feeling for what 90+ psi is... and you'll pick up a healthy appreciation for your floor pump.

Happy riding, and may the flat gods not take multiple sacrifices in any given day.
Girly arms?Moe
Jul 27, 2001 5:21 AM
Who here has such wimpy, girly-arms that can't get 110psi from a Zeftal X frame pump???