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What Happens If A Bike Tire Has Too Much Air?

Ever sat on your bike and felt like there was something that wasn’t as it should be? Have you considered that you may be dealing with too much air in your bike tires? While too much may seem like a good thing, it can be dangerous in this situation. So what happens if a bike tire has too much air?

When a bike tire has too much air, the bike may move strangely. The tires will have too much bounce, and one of the biggest risks is that the bike tires can burst. It is always best to measure out the correct pressure for your tires that can keep your bike functional and keep you safe at the same time. 

Maintaining safe bike pressure can be a lot of work, but you are in the right place! Through this article, we will give you a complete guide on how to maintain your bike tires, how to check if there is too much air in them, and what to do to relieve the pressure!

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analogue gauge pressure

What Can Happen If My Bike Tires Have Too Much Air?

When your bike tires are too full of air, many harmful things can happen, both to your bike and your safety. One of the biggest concerns is that filling tires up too much can have an effect on the speed you can achieve with your bike, eventually slowing you down.

With too much air, the tires face far more resistance against the road or surface you are riding on. If the bike comes in contact with any objects, let’s say a stone, the tire will bounce instead of moving over it. 

This causes you to lose momentum because the tire is unable to absorb shock. This can result in a bumpy ride, which won’t gain much speed, and there is a greater risk of falling or damaging the bike as a result.

There is also a greater risk that the tire can burst or become punctured because of high tire pressure. It cannot endure the requirements of moving on the surface anymore. Therefore, keeping your tires at the recommended pressure levels is always essential to keep yourself safe and avoid damaging your bike.

How Do I Know If My Bike Tires Are Overinflated?

Now that you know there is a risk, you may wonder what you can do to determine if your bike tires are overinflated with air. To answer this question, the method you choose depends on whether or not you have a gauge available. 

However, there are ways you can check the pressure levels of your bike tires, both with and without a gauge. Here is how.

Checking Pressure With A Gauge

Using an air gauge is the simplest and most accurate way to know the pressure in your bike tire. To do this, you will need to attach the gauge to the tire valve. Keep in mind that using the air gauge causes some of the air inside your bike to leak, especially when you are checking the pressure of a tire on a road bike or other similarly high-pressure bike tires.

There are many different types of air gauges, such as digital types, which will display the tire pressure on the screen, and memory types, which will show the air pressure inside the tire on a scale. These can be difficult to read at first, but with some practice, you can learn to read them easily. The key is understanding the metrics used to measure air pressure.

Here is a video that explains how to use an air pressure gauge on a bike tire:

This can be in the form of bar, psi, and kPa. Typically, the bike tire will have the correct air pressure listed on it so that you can use that as an indicator or in the form of control. The air pressure gauge will often give you the measurements in both bar and psi.

Checking Pressure Without A Gauge

It is undoubtedly impossible to get a completely accurate reading of the air inside a tire without a gauge. However, there are ways you can get a feel for the tire pressure even when you don’t have a gauge available. 

There are many circumstances where this can happen, for example, if you’re already out on the road and need to know if the bike pressure is right.

The best way to do this is to feel the tire yourself. Depending on the type of bike, you can use other factors to guess the amount of pressure until you can get a precise reading. On a mountain bike, the best thing to do is to sit on the bike and look down. 

The tires should not protrude out for more than just a few millimeters on either side. On the other hand, if you touch the bike and they do not have any give, you can get a sense that it may have too much air inside.

You can also use the same method on a road bike. The best way is to squeeze the tires to feel how they react. If there is a lot of give on the tire, that means you need more pressure. However, if it is completely rigid and cannot be squeezed at all, it may be overinflated.

What To Do When Your Bike Tires Have Too Much Air

If too much air is in the bike tires, you will need to deflate them. To do so, you need to know the type of valve present on your bike tires. Each valve requires a separate method that can allow for easy and precise deflation. 

Once you know what type of valve the wheels have, you can proceed to deflate them using the following methods.

schrader and presta valve

On A Presta Valve

When your bike tire has a Presta valve, there is a pretty simple method to let out the air. All you need to do is take out the ring at the top of the valve. 

Next, you can simply press down on the valve to let out the air. As a result, you can easily control the amount of air you let out, and you can have perfect pressure at the end of the day. This type of valve is most common on road bikes.

On A Schrader Valve

More commonly, you are likely to come across a Schrader valve when you are working with bike tires. This type of valve is most common on mountain bikes, but they are also used in other vehicles, for example, in cars. 

Because of this, the valve is much bigger, and a needle is available in the center of the valve. 

As a result, you can press the needle to get air to flow out of the bike tire. To be precise, you can use a tool instead of your fingers to release just the right amount of air to get your bike back to working condition.

On A Woods Valve

Finally, the last kind of valve you can come across is a Woods valve. This valve is precisely for use in bike tires and is made up of two pieces. When you want to release air from the valve, you must take one of the pieces out of the valve. This causes the air to flow out of the valve and relieves the pressure in the tire.

The downside of having this kind of valve is that it is difficult to control, as you can keep the second piece of the valve out for too long. 

However, it does make the act of deflating a tire much easier than the other valves. What we would recommend is to take out the secondary piece in shorter bursts so you can have greater control over the air you decide to keep in the valve.

The Right Tire Pressure For Different Bikes

Whenever you get a new tire for your bike, you may have noticed that it comes with a measurement of the recommended air pressure on the side of the tire. In most cases, there will be a range of units to indicate the maximum and the minimum that you can keep the air pressure at.

Even though there are precise measurements available, you should generally keep your bike tires in a firm state, but not rigid enough that you cannot squeeze them at all. There are also general ranges that you should keep your bike tires at, depending on the bike you use.

inflating a bike tire

Recommendations For Road Bikes

When you have a road bike, the ultimate thing you are looking for is a bike that can travel fast over a smooth surface, such as a road. 

This happens because they use tires that can offer them high pressure, as a result of which they can move fast and easily over surfaces. In most cases, road bike tires should be kept in the air pressure range of 80-130 psi. 

This will help keep the tire flexible enough to move smoothly over the road but with the power to offer you speed.

Recommendations For Mountain Bikes

The core difference between a road bike and a mountain bike is the kind of terrain that they can be used to travel in. For a mountain bike, the terrain will not be smooth, and bumps and obstacles are to be expected. 

As a result, a tire that has too much pressure can become bouncy and dangerous and result in an experience that will hardly be smooth. As such, mountain bikes are kept at far lower air pressure, especially when used for rides off the road. 

The general recommendation is to use these bikes over a range of 30-50 psi, with the higher end for on-road riding experiences only, and the lower end for rides that go off the road.

Factors That Can Impact Your Tire Pressure

There is a reason why manufacturers insist on providing recommendations and ranges rather than a specific fixed value for tire pressure. This is because there are a number of factors that can change the tire pressure requirements of a bike. Here are some of the factors to consider:

The Weight Of The Bike

The general impact of weight on your bike tires is that the more weight the bike has to carry, the more air pressure will be needed in the tires. The idea is that you should use a higher psi if the weight supported by the bike is greater than the average, which is what the recommendations are based on. 

However, no specific rule in place mandates a specific change in weight with a change in pressure. You can adjust the tire pressure according to weight based on what feels the most comfortable and smooth for you.

The Temperature Around The Tire

If you can remember your physics lessons from school, you might be able to recall that pressure is affected by temperature. This means that even when everything else is taken care of, the temperature of your region and the season you are in will all impact the pressure inside the bike tires. 

In addition to this, when you are using your bike for some time, it also generates heat, which impacts the pressure as well. Therefore, your tire pressure will change in accordance with the temperature around you.

Final Thoughts

As a final note, it is important to keep in mind that even if you are using your bike at the recommended air pressure and can handle the weight of your bike with ease, this does not mean that there will be no issues with punctures or damage. 

This is because you cannot always prevent sharp objects from damaging your tire as you ride over them. At the end of the day, maintaining proper tire pressure is essential for ensuring that your bike rides smoothly and safely.