Tire Pressure on a Dry Grassy course?
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  1. #1

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    Tire Pressure on a Dry Grassy course?

    Okay, lemme just say I did my very first race last night and I had a blassssst -- I am hooked.

    I'm riding on Ritchey tires that have a max tire pressure of 70 lbs ... they are 32mm (a speedmax) on the front and 35mm (an excavader) on the rear.

    I felt on the twisty grassy decents, I was sliding around a bunch and had to slow down more than I would have liked. My tires were at about 70 lbs -- should I have let air out of the tires? About how many pounds is optimal for these conditions?

    Thanks,

    R

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa
    Okay, lemme just say I did my very first race last night and I had a blassssst -- I am hooked.

    I'm riding on Ritchey tires that have a max tire pressure of 70 lbs ... they are 32mm (a speedmax) on the front and 35mm (an excavader) on the rear.

    I felt on the twisty grassy decents, I was sliding around a bunch and had to slow down more than I would have liked. My tires were at about 70 lbs -- should I have let air out of the tires? About how many pounds is optimal for these conditions?

    Thanks,

    R

    Yes, you should have let air out of the tires. How much depends on a multitude of factors. Even if it's grass it varies, was it bumpy? If it's been dry and the ground is hard, you need to let-out air to smooth the ride. Your weight is also a consideration. You must experiment with different pressures. Learning tire pressure is one of the most difficult, but important skills for racing cyclocross. Too low and you pinch-flat.

    To give you some perspective, I just about always race with pressure between 35 (nasty muddy conditions) and 55 psi fast grass. Hope this helps. Glad to hear you're hooked.

  3. #3

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    good advice!

    Thank you.

    Yes, I was bumping around a lot ... and the course did have some very bUmPy sections.

    I weigh around 158 lbs -- and I'll go out next week with 55 lbs in the tires!

    -R

  4. #4

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    Can probably go lower

    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa
    Thank you.

    Yes, I was bumping around a lot ... and the course did have some very bUmPy sections.

    I weigh around 158 lbs -- and I'll go out next week with 55 lbs in the tires!

    -R
    During the week or when you're pre-riding the course, try it with pressures as low as 40-45. I weigh about 5 lbs. more than you and race tubulars at 35-40 psi, and occasionally lower if it's really slick. You'd be surprised at how a good low pressure gives you both better handling AND lower rolling resistance, just like the suspension on a car.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
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    sorry it took a couple of days to dig-up, here's the best site I've found regarding tire pressure
    http://members.aol.com/napavelo/pressure.htm

  6. #6
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    I like to start my preriding with the tires up pretty hard and air them down as I go along, sometimes you might want to use less in the front or somesuch. I'd suggest starting at that 70 psi level or a bit less and letting off pressure until you can go pretty well around the corners. If it is ricky, you will run the risk of a flat the more you let them off, so it's always a trade off. You may choose to ride them harder, with the knowledge that you will have to back off on the turns, but in the end it's best to use your brain rather than just some guage on the tire pump.

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