How to Determine Air Pressure for Mountain Bike Tires

How to Determine Air Pressure for Mountain Bike Tires
You want your bike to be as efficient as possible when you are out on the trail. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper level is one of the easiest ways to make sure you are getting as much as possible out of every pedal. In less than a minute you can determine the air pressure for your mountain bike tires and be ready to ride.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tire gauge
  • Shop rag
Step 1
Look at one of your mountain bike tires and find the sidewall that has raised lettering on it. There will likely be several rows of lettering that show the tire width, diameter and recommended PSI.
Step 2
Wipe the lettering with your shop rag so you can clearly read it. Look for the recommended PSI written on the side of the tire. (e.g. "inflate tires to 75 PSI"). The PSI is the recommended pressure the tire should be filled to with your bicycle pump.
Step 3
Unscrew the valve cap and apply your tire gauge to determine if you need to add air to your tires.

Tips & Warnings

When reading the sidewall of the bicycle tire, make sure you find the correct recommended PSI. There will be several numbers on the sidewall, including measurements of the width and diameter of the tire. The number immediately preceding the letters "PSI" is the recommended tire pressure.

Article Written By Jake Kulju

Jake Kulju is a Minneapolis-based freelance outdoors writer with 10 years' experience. He is an outdoors guidebook author for Avalon Travel and his work is regularly published in "Outdoor Traditions Magazine" and "Naturescape News." His nature-based poetry is published in "Poetry Canada" and "Farmhouse Magazine." Kulju holds an English degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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