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post #1 of 16 Old 10-02-2010, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Minimum tire pressure

What's the minimum tie pressure we can run on these machines.
OK - I'm old, I like my comforts.
I run max sidewall on all my tires on pavement, but I've noticed that if I drop to 25 lbs when on gravel, I get better traction, and a lot smoother ride. I know when we get back to pavement the pressure has to go back up, but am wondering if there is a happy medium.
The pressure listed on the sticker is still too high. I've tried 30 lbs, and that is better than 40, but don't know if it's too low for the xway. I carry a pump and can blow it up after return to asphalt, but that's PIA for 10 miles on - 10 miles off.
Don't want to cause excessive wear or break the bead, but don't want to stop after short runs to top it off.
any thoughts?
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-02-2010, 08:57 AM
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You are running tubeless tyres with no rim locks and relatively weak rims (there are plenty of "I've dented my rim" threads). 25lbs would be about as low as I'd ever go, maybe down to 20 if the going got super tough but I'd be travelling very slowly and carefully at those pressures.
Generally on gravel I don't bother lowering pressure and just run 40/42 or 38/40 F and R. I haven't ever had a traction problem but I accept that comfort would improve with a little less air.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-02-2010, 10:09 AM
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Depends some on which tires you ride on too. I leave my 705's (the old bias plys) at 36 f/r for everything and they work just fine.

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post #4 of 16 Old 10-02-2010, 01:08 PM
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I go down 10 lbs from stock front and rear, and find that's fine for gravel.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-02-2010, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
What's the minimum tie pressure we can run on these machines.
OK - I'm old, I like my comforts.
I run max sidewall on all my tires on pavement, but I've noticed that if I drop to 25 lbs when on gravel, I get better traction, and a lot smoother ride. I know when we get back to pavement the pressure has to go back up, but am wondering if there is a happy medium.
The pressure listed on the sticker is still too high. I've tried 30 lbs, and that is better than 40, but don't know if it's too low for the xway. I carry a pump and can blow it up after return to asphalt, but that's PIA for 10 miles on - 10 miles off.
Don't want to cause excessive wear or break the bead, but don't want to stop after short runs to top it off.
any thoughts?
My Suggestion is to get comfortable riding on gravel at the correct tire pressures. Practice it every time you get a chance. After a while you'll get used to the feel of riding on marbles. If the front starts to go out on you in a corner, you can spin up the rear and bring the back end around. To do this more easily in the higher gears, you need to stay in the powerband and keep the front wheel pointed in the direction you want the bike to go. Use care with the front brake and learn to read the road surface.

Oh yeah, and expect to go down once in a while.

Low tire pressure on the pavement is not a good thing. It results in poor handling and heats the tires up too much which can cause failures. JMHO.

"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for the night. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Confuseus

Last edited by jackpiner57; 10-02-2010 at 10:31 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-03-2010, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jackpiner57 View Post
My Suggestion is to get comfortable riding on gravel at the correct tire pressures. Practice it every time you get a chance. After a while you'll get used to the feel of riding on marbles. If the front starts to go out on you in a corner, you can spin up the rear and bring the back end around..........
IMO anyway, does not matter how good of rider you are, or how much experience you have in dirt/gravel, or how much you practice in dirt/gravel; you will ALWAYS be better off reducing pressure in dirt/gravel and have much less probability of mishap. However, for short sections of dirt the hassle to reduce pressure and then increase pressure when back on pavement may exceed traction benefit. But for maximum traction, safety, and enjoyment (for me anyway) reduced pressure is better.

Regarding advice to just "spin up the rear and bring back end around", regaining traction is usually not quite that easy. Front end usually washes out very quickly and their is not much opportunity to spin up rear end while on your donkey.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-04-2010, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by oldturtle View Post
IMO anyway, does not matter how good of rider you are, or how much experience you have in dirt/gravel, or how much you practice in dirt/gravel; you will ALWAYS be better off reducing pressure in dirt/gravel and have much less probability of mishap. However, for short sections of dirt the hassle to reduce pressure and then increase pressure when back on pavement may exceed traction benefit. But for maximum traction, safety, and enjoyment (for me anyway) reduced pressure is better.

Regarding advice to just "spin up the rear and bring back end around", regaining traction is usually not quite that easy. Front end usually washes out very quickly and their is not much opportunity to spin up rear end while on your donkey.

OT, You really need to re-read the original post. This isn't about weather or not airing down for the gravel is better. He said he wanted to know what the minimum tire pressure he can run is. He means on pavement. He wants a happy medium because he doesn't want to air up after riding in gravel and wanted to know if 30 psi is too low for the X-way. It is. I stick by my suggestions to him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldturtle View Post
Regarding advice to just "spin up the rear and bring back end around", regaining traction is usually not quite that easy. Front end usually washes out very quickly and their is not much opportunity to spin up rear end while on your donkey.
Without going into a long post about riding techniques, all I can say is that it works for me. I do it all the time.

"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for the night. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." - Confuseus

Last edited by jackpiner57; 10-04-2010 at 02:57 AM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-04-2010, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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It looks like I'm in virgin territory here.
I've gone down enough times in my life to no longer enjoy the experience.
Lowered tire pressure and speed greatly reduce the chances of that.
But I'm way lazy about reupping the pressure along the side of the road. And I don't want to unnecssarily wear the tires.
I want my cake and eat it too.
Guess the best bet is to go with 25-30 and wait for the trip home to re-up.
tks guys.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-04-2010, 11:19 AM
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Chalk me up to "practice" at proper pressures. You absolutely, without any doubt, can ride gravel and dirt at higher pressures....I ride gravel a LOT and never air down. It's technique.

I spend a lot of time on a light 250 dual sport and even aired down it's as skittish on gravel as a Strom aired down to 20lbs, so the feeling of not feeling quite "planted" is 95% mental. You feel like you don't have traction, and you convince yourself you don't, but in actuality if you point that front end and gas it you will NOT go down.

Mud & sand are a different matter but gravel and hard pack don't require lower pressures to maintain traction, IMHO.

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-04-2010, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I forgot the biggest reason for the reduced pressure - gentler (smoother) ride!
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