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  1. #1
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    New Clyde with a Question

    Hey everybody, just wanted to say hello. I've been following this site for a couple of weeks and you all are amazing with all your help, especially for the newbies.
    I recently bought a new Specialized Hardrock 26. I wanted to start out as cheap as possible in case I didn't enjoy it.
    My question is about air pressure. My LBS told me to max the pressure (65psi) and that should work. While it works, it seems as though every small stone I hit made an incredibly loud ping. I dropped the pressure to 55psi and the ping went away and the handling seemed to improve.
    I don't know enough about bikes to know what either over or under inflation will do to a tire and rim. Especially since I am 6'1" and 320 pounds. Should I continue to drop the pressures until I find what seems to work best or am I risking flattening a rim?
    Thanks for your help in advance and I look forward to hearing any advice you all may have for a brand new rider.


    Also, why do they say that returning to something easy is like riding a bike? This is freaking hard work.

  2. #2
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    I seen a forumla somewhere that "suggested" body weight/7, then +2 for rear and -2 for front. Would put you around 47 for rear and 43 for front. Before going tubeless, I would go as low as I could before getting pinch flats. 65 psi seems really high. Why I look for big guys that work at bike shops.

  3. #3
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    Definitely continue to drop it until you start getting pinch flats. I've been as high as 280 plus riding gear, and run tires at 30-40psi with no flats - somewhere in there is my sweet spot. 65psi is ridiculously high IMO.

  4. #4
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb2000 View Post
    I seen a forumla somewhere that "suggested" body weight/7, then +2 for rear and -2 for front. Would put you around 47 for rear and 43 for front. Before going tubeless, I would go as low as I could before getting pinch flats. 65 psi seems really high. Why I look for big guys that work at bike shops.
    Awesome, thank you. I actually also remember reading a formula like that now that you mention it. Thank you for your response and help.

  5. #5
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ZmyDust View Post
    Definitely continue to drop it until you start getting pinch flats. I've been as high as 280 plus riding gear, and run tires at 30-40psi with no flats - somewhere in there is my sweet spot. 65psi is ridiculously high IMO.
    Thank you, I dropped it down to 47 front and 45 rear for my ride tonight and it makes such a difference handling wise. I will continue to drop until I get pinch flats.
    With a pinch flat, can I just re-inflate and go? It is easily fixed on the trails correct? Or is it something I should mess with on the roads near my house? Sorry for the noob question. Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Pinch flats need to be patched or replaced with a new tube. Can be done on the trail with a patch kit (easiest is the stick-on kind), tire lever (very cheap at bike shop), and mini pump. My advise is, to take a spare tube and patches. At first flat, just replace the tube and move on. Patch it at home or if the second flat occurs. I finally ditched tunes and went tubeless. Haven't had a single flat since. Used to flat almost every time I rode. It's surprisingly rocky here in chattanooga. If interested, research Stan's no tubes. Most bike shops will convert for you, or its a manageable DIY. When upgrading to new bike, look for tubeless ready wheels and tires. Best of luck in your rides.

  7. #7
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    Wow thanks, glad I didn't go too low tonight. I've been riding without a patch kit or spare tube, but will definitely get both tomorrow. Thank you, and I will go look into tubeless, seems like less of a hassle, which is always nice.
    Appreciate all the help.

  8. #8
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    echo the lower till you get pinch flats comments. 99% of the time you'll see them in the rear, meaning you can go lower in the front safely. I'd recommend doing this.

    Riding without the ability to fix a flat is kind of foolish in my opinion. I don't know that I'd call tubeless less of a hassle, so much as a different hassle with some performance benefits, but in my experience if you need to run pressures in the 40s with tubes you'll probably need similar pressures to avoid denting the rim if you are running rims on the narrow side (which I believe you bike came with), which kind of negates the point. I'm sure others have had different experiences.

  9. #9
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    Thanks, I know it's quite silly (probably not the correct word) to go ride without the proper equipment, I'm just getting started and I'm trying to keep the wife off my back about my spending on another obsession.
    I'm gonna grab a tube and patch kit today from Walmart, should be okay enough quality from that place to get me back riding in case something happens I would assume.
    I'd prefer to go to LBS for them, but it's 45 minutes away, and I'd rather go for a quick ride than all the way there for something I can get around the corner, so long as the quality is close enough.
    Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    I don't ride without a tube, patch kit, tyre levers (Pedros have lasted longest), a pump (don't forget to buy a pump!) and a multi-tool (Topeak Hexus II). Make sure you get the correct valve on your spare tube so it matches what is on the bike (Schraeder = same as car and Presta = skinny bike specific valve). That's your standard kit for looking after yourself on the side of the trail.
    Last edited by TooTallUK; 09-27-2013 at 12:23 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    I went out today and bought everything on that list, made me a little more comfortable on the trails knowing I had what I needed to fix a flat. I ended up buying the cheap stuff from Walmart and will upgrade as I get more money. Figured having something was better than nothing. Now I need a decent multi tool. I will look into the one you mentioned, thank you.

  12. #12
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    I notice above you said you have more air in the front than the rear, usually it's opposite, lower in the front because there's generally less weight on that tire and it gives a little more traction for steering

    Good luck and welcome aboard!
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  13. #13
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    Trade off on low pressure is increased rolling resistance. I normally ride tubed tires in low 30s, but I'm 6'5" 240lbs riding weight. When I'm using that same bike on the road, I can tell a huge difference when i bring them up to 45 psig. If you end up spending most of your time on roads/hard pack trails, stick with the slightly higher pressure (50 psi) assuming it feels good.
    Unless you loose grip on the trails, no real need to lower the pressure lower than that. I've only had one pinchflat on a rear wheel when the pressure was under 30. I'd say 40 would be towards the low end you'd want to ride. You could go lower, but there is an increased risk of pinch flat. Not the end of the world, but if I'm on a trail, I'd rather be riding than fixing a pinch flat.

    And for the bike tool, get a cheap one as soon as possible. Only really need the 4/5/6 mm allen keys on your bike during normal rides. Should only cost $4-5 at wally world. You'll still want to get a good multi-tool when you get the chance, but get the allen keys today (or before your next ride).

  14. #14
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    I recommended that tool because it is the one I won't be without. I was recommended it by a bike mechanic who had worn 2 out in his working life and had bought a third. It is not too small, has everything you need on it and $20 means you won't buy twice.
    Oh - a Powerlink is worth carrying for a chain fix - way easier than re-joining a split chain any other way. A SRAM Powerlink is my option.

  15. #15
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    Thanks everyone for the advice. So far in my camel pack I carry:
    1 Spare Tube
    Patch kit (adhesive kind)
    Tire Pump
    Tire Levers
    Multi tool (cheap kind with just Allen keys)
    Leatherman
    and a Chain tool (I don't know if this is needed or not)

    Anyone think of anything else I should definitely carry on every ride?
    Thanks for all the advice, I had nothing in there yesterday and was a disaster waiting to happen.

  16. #16
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    Re: New Clyde with a Question

    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    I recommended that tool because it is the one I won't be without. I was recommended it by a bike mechanic who had worn 2 out in his working life and had bought a third. It is not too small, has everything you need on it and $20 means you won't buy twice.
    Oh - a Powerlink is worth carrying for a chain fix - way easier than re-joining a split chain any other way. A SRAM Powerlink is my option.
    I was wondering about the powerlink, I will have to do a little research when I get back from my ride tonight.
    Thank you for your help.

  17. #17
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    Two more things.
    First aid kit; At least have alcohol wipes and bandaids, maybe gause & tape. A real kit is up to you. I completely freaked some people out a couple weeks ago after a wreck. Small gash on the elbow that keept bleeding just a litle bit every time I bent it. Mixed with dirt and it just looked nasty.

    Energy snack: lots of options on this, I normally have some GU and a couple packs of gummy bears/fruit roll ups for a quick energy boost. If I know I'm going out for a while, granolla bars & raisins.

  18. #18
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    A chaintool and a powerlink go hand-in-hand. Your bike might have a chain with a chainlink on it already. Great for removing the chain when cleaning it. Look at the chain to find the odd looking one. If you end up breaking the chain on the trail, you'll need the chain tool to remove the busted links and you can use a spare powerlink to fix it. The alterantive is just to use the chain tool to put the chain back together. A PITA on the trail, but it's doable.

    Quote Originally Posted by BryanChuckles View Post
    I was wondering about the powerlink, I will have to do a little research when I get back from my ride tonight.
    Thank you for your help.

  19. #19
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    At 240 I run about 30 in front and back, but that's with fairly serious tires. Specialized butcher in front and purgatory in back 2bliss ready. Also check your tire pressure every couple of rides or every ride. I think most issues come from lower than expected tire pressure. I'm one not to carry extra stuff. I know, I know. I usually only have an Allen wrench for my stem, gauze pad, and duck tape. No pump, tubes, no food. Shame shame. But I totally believe in my tubeless tires, and keep my bike at a perfect mechanically state. Carry the gauze and tape because I have had to use a shirt to stop bleeding before. But, I'd recommend spares if riding remote or prone to breaking down.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb2000 View Post
    I usually only have an Allen wrench for my stem, gauze pad, and duck tape. No pump, tubes, no food. Shame shame. But I totally believe in my tubeless tires, and keep my bike at a perfect mechanically state
    Tubeless fail. I've had them burp on me before and would have lost the ride without using an inner tube. Most of the local rides I've been on over the years (and in many different places) insist on a helmet, water and the ability to fix your own puncture as a minimum.

  21. #21
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    They do fail. I agree. Sorry, a helmet is always on my head as well and I do carry water. Haven't seen a required tire repair trail.

  22. #22
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    I meant the groups I rode with. If you couldn't even sort your own puncture out you were going to be a bit of a liability. It is the most common issue to have to deal with and a reasonable minimum to expect someone to be able to cope with.

  23. #23
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    Gotcha. That makes more sense. I'm lucky enough to live only a few miles from several great trails, so if a ride is cut short its no big deal.

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