To celebrate Bicycle Quarterly‘s 15th anniversary, we are looking at myths in cycling: things we used to believe, but which we’ve since found out not to be true. Today, we explain why your bike’s weight distribution should not affect your tire pressure.
Bicycle Quarterly is partly responsible for the myth that front tires should run at lower pressures. When we first started researching tires, we published Frank Berto’s tire pressure chart, which lists inflation pressures to achieve a ‘tire drop’ of 15% with average tires. That pressure depends on the width of the tire and on the load on the wheel.
Most bikes carry roughly twice as much weight on the rear wheel as on the front (above). So we reasoned that it makes sense to inflate the rear tire twice as hard as the front one. Except it doesn’t work that way.
During hard braking, the entire weight…
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