Mountain Bike Tire Pressure – All You Should Know

Mountain Bike Tire Pressure

As a bike rider, you have to know the mountain bike tire pressure that your tire should contain before riding off to the mountains.

When you are riding a mountain bike, the contact point between you and the ground is the tire. Bike tire lets you feel the ride more than any other fancy bike accessory. Do you think about the best tire pressure for your mountain bike? It’s time when you should learn about the proper mountain bike tire pressure as a rider.

Have you ever thought about the amount of pressure on your bike tires? When was the last time you checked the tire pressure? If you want to find the answer to these questions, you must learn about the right amount of mountain bike tire pressure.

Right Amount of Tire Pressure for Mountain Biking

Generally, there is no perfect amount of tire pressure for mountain bike tires. You might ride your bike differently, on different trails, and with different tires. Though personal preference makes a difference, we will inform you how to find the ideal tire pressure for your mountain bike.

Ride your MTB with Lower Tire Pressure

Previously, mountain bike riders were recommended to pump their tire as hard as possible. But now, you don’t have to follow the previous trend because you can ride the mountain bike at lower tire pressure.

There are several benefits of running the bike with lower tire pressure. You will get a better grip over your mountain bike because tires may deform but won’t bounce off the obstacles. You will feel better on climbs and descents due to increased traction of your tire.

The off-road rolling resistance is also reduced while riding at a lower tire pressure. The tire requires less energy to deform against the obstacles when your tire pressure is low.

There are no drawbacks because lower pressure does not affect the rolling resistance of mountain bike tires. You don’t need high tire pressure to maintain your mountain bike tire’s shape and corners. But the tire pressure should be optimal and never be too low to have a smoother ride.

Now we will inform you to measure the perfect Mountain bike tire pressure.

To Find the Right Tire Pressure, Find Yourself

The perfect mountain bike tire pressure is unique for each rider. You have to identify some key points in order to find the ideal tire pressure:

Riders Weight

The rider’s weight has a significant effect on the tire pressure and the suspension as well. If you have lighter bodyweight, you can easily ride your bike with lower tire pressure. You will need higher tire pressure to ride smoothly if your body weight is heavy.

The Trails

The riding terrain has a significant impact on the tire pressure of your mountain bike. If you are running your bike on smooth trails that contain fewer obstacles, then lower tire pressure is applicable.

Tires can maintain their shape easily and deform less while running on smooth flow trails. If you are used to riding on rough trails, maintain high tire pressure to protect your bike tires and rims.

Riding Style

The Riding style also affects the tire pressure of your mountain bike. You should have higher tire pressure if you are used to riding your bike on trails full of rocks. It is necessary to keep your tire pressure high To save your bike tire and other bike components.

If you’re riding smooth trails that includes fewer obstacles, keep your tire pressure low to get a better grip and control over your ride.

Tires and Rims

The type of bike tires and the build materials play a significant role in maintaining absolute tire pressure. A tubeless tire usually requires lower tire pressure than a usual tire setup as it does not require any tube.

If your tire rim is wider, it will provide better support and volume for your tire. With a wider rim dimension, you can run your bike with lower pressure without any negative impact.

Tire Pressure for Tubeless

As we mentioned earlier, you can run tubeless tires at lower pressure without any occurrence of puncture or tire damage.

Tire Pressure for Tubes

To avoid the risk of any kind of tire damage, keep the tire pressure higher compared to a tubeless tire setup. You can apply the basic settings and add 3-5 psi on your front and rear tires.

Tire pressure means maintaining a proper balance of your tire. Too much tire pressure means less tire traction, and too low will maximize the chance of tire damage.

Too High

The sidewall of the tire gets better support if the tire includes higher pressure. The stability of the tire also gets increased with the resistance on the corners. The protection on the tire rim also increases due to higher tire pressure.

Too much tire pressure reduces the traction significantly. As a result, The contact patch gets stretched out, and the ride becomes uncomfortable.

Too Low

The grip over your bike and the cornering traction increases when the air pressure is low. Your bike rims may damage if your tire pressure is too low. Low air pressure can also imbalance the natural spring of the tire and make the ride unstable. Your bike may become unstable while taking turns due to insatiable sidewall.

Get Your Own Gauge

Optimum tire pressure is very crucial to protect the rim and maintain the cornering stability of the bike. You should get a tire gauge of your own to measure the optimal tire pressure when necessary. Different tire pressure gauges may show a bit different output so, use one gauge and carry it while riding the bike. Most of the pro bikers carry their own gauge with care.

perfect mountain bike tire pressure

Find the Perfect Tire Pressure by Field Testing

To find your perfect mountain bike tire pressure, you have to hit the trails and find it practically. Take a gauge and pump and make a short testing loop for changing the pressure repeatedly. Your trail should include corners, rocks, bumps, and a variety of patterns without being too smooth.

Start riding with high pressure in your tires and try to feel the ride with that pressure. You may start the test with 28 psi in the front tire and 30 psi in the rear tire. Now you have to concentrate on how much grip you have over the bike, how the bike feels on corners and obstacles, how is the rim functions with the given amount of pressure, how harsh the ride is.

Now drop your tires’ air pressure and repeat the same process to understand which tire pressure is best for your bike. With low air pressure, you will obviously get a better grip and traction than before. But too low tire pressure will create an unstable ride, and you will feel vague at high speed. Don’t go any lower if you start feeling that the bumps are hitting the rims of your tire.

You need to get to that point where you won’t need to drop any more air pressure. You can optimize the air pressure more by balancing it for front and rear tires. You apply a bit lower pressure (3 psi) in the front and feel the difference by riding for a while.

Also read: How to Dress for Winter Mountain Biking

Lowering Tire Pressure with Inserts

Tire inserts create a layer to protect the rim by absorbing impacts from obstacles. It also increases the stability of the tire by pushing the sidewall into the bid of the rim. With a quality insert, you can apply lower mountain bike tire pressure in your tubeless setup and also get better rim protection with stability.

Changing Pressure with Different Tires

Different tires are created with different features and materials. You can apply high or low air pressure on your tire after considering the casing, sidewall strength, and tread of your tire. You should maintain an air pressure that maintains the protection of your tire and rim.


If you want to ride your mountain bike smoothly with a perfect setup, use our suggested air pressure for your bike tires. Tire pressure is a mandatory and cost-effective tune-up that should be focused on before updating other components. Once you understand the importance of your mountain bike tire pressure and how it influences your ride, you will further enjoy your ride.

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