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Trail Tech: Mountain bike tire pressure – all you need to know

By Josh Patterson | Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013

Question: I’m relatively new to mountain biking, so forgive me if this seems silly, but how important is it to follow the recommended tire pressure guidelines? They seem much higher than I feel I should be running.

Answer: Tire pressure is a critical component in getting the most out of your mountain bike. There are a number of variables that go into figuring out the ideal pressure range for a bicycle tire. Many of those are completely out of the control of the manufacturer, causing them to err on the side of caution. “It’s a lawyer thing, for sure,” said Schwalbe’s North American OE sales manager Henry Horrocks.

A tire’s maximum pressure is not the pressure at which it will burst like a balloon; more often than not it’s the rim that can’t withstand the pressure. Not all bicycle rims are created equal; some can withstand much higher pressures than others. Companies have no way of knowing which rims you, the consumer, will be pairing with their tires. Consequently, their maximum recommended pressures tend to be conservative.

For mountain bikers, the maximum pressure rating generally isn’t the issue, as most riders run well below this number. Many – myself included – often run pressures well below the minimum rating, especially with tubeless setups.

Why go lower? Well, it can allow your tires to roll faster and absorb more trail irregularities, and can increase traction as well as comfort. There are numerous studies that offer supporting evidence (though most focus exclusively on road performance). When it comes to mountain biking, finding one’s ideal tire pressure is a qualitative pursuit.

While the maximum pressure rating is a hedge against rim strength, the minimum recommended pressure is a hedge against you, the rider. If the pressure is too low the tire can squirm, roll off the rim, or burp air as you corner. Riding under inflated tires can also cause the casing to flex excessively, leading to premature wear. At best, minimum recommended ratings are educated guesses as to what will work for most people most of the time.

Manufacturer's tire pressure guidelines may get you close, but it will take some experimentation to find the pressure that works for you:

The pressure ranges printed on the sides of your tires are educated guesses 

The variables that impact tire performance can be broken down into six categories, and while companies might not be able to account for all of them, you can.

Six things to consider when finding your perfect tire pressure…. Continue reading HERE!

An active vacation!




Sharon02Long time Norco Fans and North Shore Legends Lee Lau and Sharon Bader recently took a trip through the Swiss Alps where they saw the sights aboard Norco bikes. Here is their story:

We call North Vancouver and Whistler our home, they are awesome places to ride. But the world is huge. So much to offer, it’s great when you get an opportunity to travel further and see what else is out there.

This year we returned to some less travelled mountain bike destinations in Switzerland and South Tirol.

We checked out the touristy area of Grindewald, home of the Jungfraujoch. We did manage a few rides there that were pretty fun. I’d say checking out the Jungfraujoch is worth it, especially if you haven’t been on a glacier before. They’ve done a really good job to give you that experience. Some of the nicer riding is at the other end of the Glacier that starts at the Jungfraujoch – Aletsch Glacier in the area of Fiesch, Riederalp, Bettmeralp, Bellwald. This area of Wallis is quite well known for skiing and even road riding. But the riding on the Wanderwegs wasn’t bad! Neither were the views!

Our first stop was at Trail Rider Bike Shop in Ungeraegeri, Switzerland one of the Norco stores in Europe. Here Rene and Guide received our Norco Sight and Norco Shinobi 29r bikes that were lent to us by Felix of Indiansummer for our vacation.

The trails there are fast and steep! See more photos here.

Norco Sight on Unteraegeri steep slick trails

Bryce Resort plans mountain bike park

Construction will begin at the conclusion of ski season; trails should open in June

Bryce Resort has partnered with Trek, a manufacturer of high-end bikes, to offer bike rentals and demos once the new mountain park opens this summer. Courtesy art

By Linda Ash

Area mountain bikers will have a challenging new venue beginning this June. Bryce Resort in Basye is planning to start construction on a lift-access mountain bike park after the current ski season ends.

Rob Schwartz, Bryce Resort general manager, said Friday that the new park will offer beginner, intermediate and advanced runs.

“Our goal is to open with three or four runs, and we will be adding features and a new run every year,” he said.

“I’d love to finish this year at five or six, including a beginner pump track.”
The pump track, he said, is a great way to develop skills.

“If you’ve never been on a mountain bike, it’s an easy-going trail using a series of rollers. You learn how to position your body. It’s a really nice feature and a great way to learn how to ride a mountain bike before getting into the more aggressive stuff.”

Construction will start at the end of the resort’s ski season. Whistler, British Columbia-based Gravity Logic will design and build the park, which will traverse the ski area.

“Literally, you will take a chair lift up and the park [trails] will criss-cross all of the slopes,” Schwartz said, adding that it also will include a variety of man-made features.

Once the park is open, the resort will offer lessons, and it has partnered with Trek, a manufacturer of high-end downhill bikes, for bike rentals and demos.

Read more HERE!

Do this if you dare!

People are Awesome Extreme Mountain Biking

Giro Skyla Sport Bike Helmet

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Topeak Pocket Shock DXG Bike Pump

This front fork and rear shock pump will allow you to fine tune your suspension for optimal mountain bike riding. No need to fuss about factory shock settings or incorrect settings after a winter of sitting, simply hook up this Topeak PocketShock DXG Suspension Pump and get your bike adjusted. Works on front forks and rear shocks and is a must have for full suspension mountain bikes. Features: Short length to maximize high-pressure performance Inflates up to 300 psi maximum Features anti-air-loss shock valve and air pressure release button for easy use Convenient rotating hose – seriously, this thing is easy to use Hgh ease of use

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Avenir Mountain Bike Unicycle (20-Inch Wheel)

Avenir by Raleigh is the premier bicycle accessory line from legendary Raleigh Bicycles.

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Sunlite Bicycle Tube 26 x 1.90 – 2.35 SCHRADER Valve

TUBES SUNLT 26×1.90×2.35 SV

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Schwinn Artemis Adult Women Micro Bicycle Helmet (Colors and Graphics May Vary)

Make sure to protect yourself with the Schwinn Artemis Adult Women Micro Bicycle Helmet. The fashionable, flower-printed helmet was made specifically with women in mind. Even on a long ride, the 21 airflow vents keep your head cool while the heat-sealed pads and handy bug net provide additional comfort and protection. The adjustable dial-fit system allows you to change the length of the strap easily for a custom fit, and a reflective sticker on the back helps keep you visible at night. The Schwinn Artemis helmet will keep you safe and comfortable while riding in style.

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