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Inflating Our Tires

We know that regularly checking the pressure in our car’s tires improves fuel efficiency. Jason usually inflates our tires before each trip to Maine. We forgot this Friday and could really see the difference—our mpg dropped from 46 to 45.7.

I can really see the difference when it’s been a while since I’ve inflated my bike’s tires. I think once a week is ideal, but I usually don’t do it for 2 weeks, and this time it’s been more than that. When I rode it today, it felt like I had to pedal twice as hard to go the same distance—and with the wind blowing against me, I could have been on a stationary bike!

It's even easier when your niece inflates them for you!

My tires say 50-70 psi, so I was inflating them to 60. Then Elisabeth told me that she inflates hers to the maximum. It’s a little bumpier, but much faster. It makes sense—Hybrid forums suggest improving fuel efficiency by overinflating the car’s tires a little bit, unless you need more traction, like in the winter. We usually add a couple psi to the recommendation. So now I’ll be inflating my bike to 70 psi. What do other bikers inflate your tires to?

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Maybe since I see such an immediate difference with the bike, it’ll remind me to check my car’s tire pressure more often. Here’s hoping….

One year ago: Boston Organics.

Comments

Comment from Sense of Home
Time August 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

Good reminder! I will ask the shop to check the tire pressure when I take the Prius in for tire rotation next week. I also need to check my bike tire pressure, I thought I was having to pedal harder this week. I haven’t pumped up the bike tires for over a month, opps!

Comment from Danielle
Time August 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm

The reason I heard to inflate your tires to the maximum is that it prevents pinch flats–flats that occur when your tube gets, pinched between the rim and the tire or something uh like that I’m repeating what my friend the bike guy said.

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