( 5)If you pinch-flat often, put more air in your tires. We would all ove to run 30 psi with a tube,
but it’s probably going to lead to trouble
unless you are a featherweight rider.
( 6)You can also avoid pinch-flat- ting by learning to ride light and to skim over obstacles rather
than slamming into them by sitting into
the bike and weighting the saddle.
( 7)Check your tire pressure with a gauge before every ride. Carry a pump with an accurate gauge
so you can do this easily. At home, keep
a handheld “test” tire-pressure gauge.
Consistently compare gauge to gauge,
as well as against the gauge used by a
pro shop. That way you will be able to
catch a gauge on its way out.
( 8)Different trails require differ- ent pressures, as do different riding styles. Higher pressures
work better for some trails and for heavy
riders. Lighter riders can use a lower
pressure, although there are always limitations due to rocks, bumps, dirt texture
and trail speed.
( 9)Adjusting the air pressure in tires is probably one of the most overlooked tuning tips. If
you’re unsure of what pressure to run,
start high and air down while on the trail.
You’ll know when you hit the sweet spot
because your tires will conform to the
trail, provide ample grip and absolutely
never pinch flat.
( 10)If you’re glancing off obstacles, chances are your pressure is too high.
If it’s too low, the tires will feel like mush
and roll off to the side in turns.
( 11)Know the effects and limitations of rim width on tires. Just because
you can mount a 2.50 tire on a narrow
cross-country rim, it doesn’t mean you
should—or that it will perform well on
the trail. Big tires on narrow rims usually cause more sidewall squirm and
give an unsettling feel while cornering.
Conversely, with rims becoming wider,
you need to make sure you aren’t running too narrow of a tire on the newer
wide-rim profiles because it will change
the relative position of the cornering
knobs, possibly making the tire less
(1)Always run tires in the direc- tion that the arrow on the sidewall indicates. Running a
tire backwards may increase traction
when pedaling, but often it greatly
sacrifices braking and cornering
(2)If you’re going to run two different-sized tires, we like to recommend running the
larger tire in the front and the smaller
tire in the rear. This way you shave a
few ounces while still retaining traction
and cornering performance up front.
( 3)There is no “one” tire. What you gain in traction you give up in speed. It’s a delicate
balance that comes down to what
is most important to you as a rider.
There is no such thing as a “really fast
mud tire.” That is why you should own
several tires for various trail conditions.
( 4)Sticky compounds are great for traction and cornering bite and possess a slower
rebound rate, but they give up a bit in
durability. They should only be used
by those who know their limitations
and are willing to replace them. The
softer rubber compound simply does
not have a long lifespan, nor does it
resist punctures as well as a harder