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  1. #1
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    What PSI are you running?

    I am just curious as to what tire pressure others are running in the COS area. I have only been here a short while and have only ridden at CMSP and Palmer but I already know I am going to probably need to reduce tire pressure to get some more traction out of my hardtail.

    I am betting that there are different pressure you all run at each trail, I guess I am just wondering if there is a sweet spot or what you run at each. I am also wondering how often you all are catching flats and what the main causes of them are. Seems like there are a lot of cactus thorns out there and I heard those cause some issues.

    I am considering doing the "Ghetto Tubeless" mod but I have had maybe one flat in the 200+ miles I have ridden, but then again, I wasn't on the gnarly terrain that CO has.

    Anyway, any input is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    depends.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    I am just curious as to what tire pressure others are running in the COS area. I have only been here a short while and have only ridden at CMSP and Palmer but I already know I am going to probably need to reduce tire pressure to get some more traction out of my hardtail.

    I am betting that there are different pressure you all run at each trail, I guess I am just wondering if there is a sweet spot or what you run at each. I am also wondering how often you all are catching flats and what the main causes of them are. Seems like there are a lot of cactus thorns out there and I heard those cause some issues.

    I am considering doing the "Ghetto Tubeless" mod but I have had maybe one flat in the 200+ miles I have ridden, but then again, I wasn't on the gnarly terrain that CO has.

    Anyway, any input is appreciated.
    As is almost always the answer: Depends... (not the diapers)

    How much do you weigh, how big a casing is your tire, what's your preference for how it feels...

    I'm about 200 lbs (need to drop the 20 I picked up in the last couple years of desk work), my bike is a full-suspension 29er that weighs around 30. I usually ride with a pack, throw another 10 at it...

    I run tubeless. With a fat tire like a Specialized Eskar I will go low 20's front, high 20's rear. Narrower tire requires a little more pressure to keep from bottoming out on the rim.

    In my experience, some tires require some tuning and have a relatively narrow range of pressure where they feel right. When I was running the older Conti tires with the triangular knobs (mountain king?) I found that they skittered on too high a pressure and bottomed out when the traction started feeling right. On those tires, I actually couldn't find an application where they worked because of that, other than snow.

    A bunch of it is what you really want it to feel like. Some people like higher pressure, they find that cornering on a lower pressure tire feels sluggish and like the tire is deflecting too much, and in a straight line they want it to roll faster. Others like it mushier.

    You should probably take your pressure down to where it starts feeling wrong then adding back a little until if feels right. Then if you bottom out or pinch flat, add 2 or 3 psi at a time until you're where you want to be.

    The granite gravel in the springs is a tough deal for cornering traction. I remember when I lived there and rode Capn Jacks alot, it was like surfing.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  3. #3
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    Welcome to colorado springs cornering traction sucks here, I am still trying to learn to drift these corners and ride fast but wow are they sketchy feeling. I run right around 25-30 on front tires and 30-35 on rear. anything less and they feel strange to me.

  4. #4
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    If you are rarely flatting on tubes on a HT you probably have way too much pressure. As Tom P mentioned your weight is going to be the biggest deciding factor and tire selection. Tubeless is the only way to go if you are riding techy stuff on a HT

  5. #5
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    I switched to ghetto tubeless on my hardtail back in September and I'm still flirting with how low I can go. With it at 30psi in a 2.1" tire, I haven't had any issues so I'm going to try 25psi and see how that feels. When I was running tubes still, I had flats every couple of rides at 30psi in the 2.2" tires I was running then so tubeless has been a huge improvement. I'm definitely a fan of tubeless, althoguh I haven't used them in sub freezing temps yet.

    The ghetto setup was pretty easy, althoguh the XC 2.1" tires I have on my hardtail were a lot more futzy than the 2.35" that I have on my other bike. It really helps (read: was only possible) with the use of an air compressor for the skinny tires.

    The trails in COS are in the sandiest shape I've ever seen, and I've been riding here for almost 20 years now. We need moisture SO BADLY! You're probably not going to be able to get away with running the same tires you were using in the past here. The only reason I went as narrow as a 2.1" was for the 24 hour race last September--otherwise XC tires are always 2.2"+ with aggressive tread for me. If you're going to do ghetto, I'd suggest using brand new tires so order something wide with widely spaced knobbies. There might be a couple of threads here on the front range forum dedicated to tire selection--it's kind of a hot topic around here....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    How much do you weigh, how big a casing is your tire, what's your preference for how it feels...
    I weigh 165, I don't wear any gear other than a small camelbak. I want to feel as stable in the corners as possible without it being too mushy or losing too much roll. I know I want my cake and eat it too,

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    You should probably take your pressure down to where it starts feeling wrong then adding back a little until if feels right. Then if you bottom out or pinch flat, add 2 or 3 psi at a time until you're where you want to be.

    The granite gravel in the springs is a tough deal for cornering traction. I remember when I lived there and rode Capn Jacks alot, it was like surfing.
    This is probably going to be my plan of attack, lowering the PSI until I find the sweet spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    I switched to ghetto tubeless on my hardtail back in September and I'm still flirting with how low I can go. With it at 30psi in a 2.1" tire, I haven't had any issues so I'm going to try 25psi and see how that feels. When I was running tubes still, I had flats every couple of rides at 30psi in the 2.2" tires I was running then so tubeless has been a huge improvement. I'm definitely a fan of tubeless, althoguh I haven't used them in sub freezing temps yet.

    The ghetto setup was pretty easy, althoguh the XC 2.1" tires I have on my hardtail were a lot more futzy than the 2.35" that I have on my other bike. It really helps (read: was only possible) with the use of an air compressor for the skinny tires.

    The trails in COS are in the sandiest shape I've ever seen, and I've been riding here for almost 20 years now. We need moisture SO BADLY! You're probably not going to be able to get away with running the same tires you were using in the past here. The only reason I went as narrow as a 2.1" was for the 24 hour race last September--otherwise XC tires are always 2.2"+ with aggressive tread for me. If you're going to do ghetto, I'd suggest using brand new tires so order something wide with widely spaced knobbies. There might be a couple of threads here on the front range forum dedicated to tire selection--it's kind of a hot topic around here....
    I am currently running 2.2" (I believe, have to double check) Kenda Nevegal's. The rear tire is brand new as I punctured the old one in TN with a nail. However, since I don't tend to put too much pressure on the front, I moved that tire up and put the new one on the back since I was running a narrower less nobby tire up front before.

    I think right now I am going to hold off on ghetto tubeless and see how long these tubes will last me....after they puncture I will give the tubeless route a chance. I was just curious being tubeless allowed for lower pressures without pinching or breaking the bead.

  7. #7
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    Golden

    Not in COS, but I run near 30psi around Golden area trails both on the FS and HT (29 x 2.35). I'm around 155 to 160 lbs. I can usually feel the tire start to roll a bit when cornering if I get a little too low on the pressure.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    I am currently running 2.2" (I believe, have to double check) Kenda Nevegal's. The rear tire is brand new as I punctured the old one in TN with a nail. However, since I don't tend to put too much pressure on the front, I moved that tire up and put the new one on the back since I was running a narrower less nobby tire up front before.

    I think right now I am going to hold off on ghetto tubeless and see how long these tubes will last me....after they puncture I will give the tubeless route a chance. I was just curious being tubeless allowed for lower pressures without pinching or breaking the bead.
    Yeah, those Nevegals are the 2.2" tires I use as XC tires. I've been quite happy with them in our loose conditions.

    Theoretically, you can run lower pressure when you do ghetto, but I'm a little more paranoid to explore the boundries whith ghetto than regular tubes. If you pinch a tube, worst case, you can patch that tube. If you're running ghetto and you screw up both tires (with one spare tube), there's not much you can do other than test your shoe rubber...

    I think I'd be fine at 25 pounds on my 2.35 Rampages (which are narrower than the 2.2 Nevegal) on tubeless and I don't know I would want to go much lower than that--otherwise I'm going to start damaging rims and having "tire wander" on hardpack corners.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    ...I am currently running 2.2" (I believe, have to double check) Kenda Nevegal's. The rear tire is brand new as I punctured the old one in TN with a nail. However, since I don't tend to put too much pressure on the front, I moved that tire up and put the new one on the back since I was running a narrower less nobby tire up front before...
    A little advice I'd offer, from my own experience. Three rules:

    1) Always run the new tire up front.
    2) Always run the new tire up front.
    3) Always run the new tire up front.

    Lose cornering traction in the rear, the rear end slides a little wide. Lose cornering traction on the front, down you go.

    I let my REAR tires get totally beat before replacing them. But my fronts are fresh and crisp. Always. I'll always remember my shoulder dislocation, and it started with a front wheel washout with a beat front tire.

    If I wear down a front tire much at all, even just the side knobs getting chewed, I move it to the back and use it up; and then I carefully select and buy a new one for the front.

    I always run a fatter, more aggressive tire up front too, unless they are both the same.

    Just my $.02

    Take it, or leave it in the little tray by the cash register.
    Last edited by TomP; 11-27-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I will be purchasing new tires after Santa has done all his shopping and I will put the freshest tire up front. I know better than to overlook advice, especially when my shoulder and/or face are at steak...they are my meal ticket afterall.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post

    1) Always run the new tire up front.
    2) Always run the new tire up front.
    3) Always run the new tire up front.
    word.

    I run about 27 front and rear. 2.4" tubeless for both, weigh 210.

    Another word of advice, is check your pump. One of my last big wrecks, the pump I was using measured 27psi, but was actually 40 psi. I went to drift a corner that I knew well. Ate sh*t and picked myself up. Got up and said wtf, that's exactly the same way I rode the corner last time. Pushed on my front tire and realized it was rock hard. These days I pump up and then give a squeeze. My hand squeeze is accurate within 5 psi
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    Not in COS, but I run near 30psi around Golden area trails both on the FS and HT (29 x 2.35). I'm around 155 to 160 lbs. I can usually feel the tire start to roll a bit when cornering if I get a little too low on the pressure.

    So true! I'm usually running high 20's in the front and low 30's in the back on 2.35 Nobby Nics and I'm 225 lbs.

  13. #13
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    For what it's worth, up here in the Northern Front Range which is also generally loose, I am running sub-25 PSI on a tubeless tire in the rear, and about 27 PSI on a tubed tire in the front. Just waiting to wear out that tire then I will replace it with a tubeless.

    I weigh about 150-155 with a full Camelbak. With tubes, I wouldn't run less than 35 in the rear or suffer pinch flats. I have a full suspension, which helps with absorbing impacts but also leads to higher speeds through chunky rock.

    I just built up a steel hardtail and currently am running 40 PSI in the rear on a tube, and again about 27 PSI up front. I noticed on one ride I had good traction even at 40 PSI, must be the difference in wheelbase so that I am equally weighted over the front and rear better than my FS. I'll be learning I guess.

  14. #14
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    I do the squeeze technique and then roll out.

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    Yeah, experiment went horribly wrong HAHA. I went 27 in the rear and about 25 up front and ended up pinching BOTH LOL

    I think the next time I am not going to go less than 35 on either.

  16. #16
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    tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    Yeah, experiment went horribly wrong HAHA. I went 27 in the rear and about 25 up front and ended up pinching BOTH LOL

    I think the next time I am not going to go less than 35 on either.
    Tubes require more pressure. When I said I was running in the 20s, it was tubeless. I would never run under 30 with tubes.
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    Well, lesson learned LOL

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    I love the sensation of drifting in the corners on singletrack made of Pikes Peak granite.

  19. #19
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    Pikes Peak Batholith

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    I love the sensation of drifting in the corners on singletrack made of Pikes Peak granite.
    Ah yes, the decayed granite gravel of the Pikes Peak batholith

    Surf's up!
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  20. #20
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    Captain jack = Surfs up..... I was told that if you learn how to corner on the crap we have here you can corner on pretty much anything. Not sure if it is true or not but I sure get happy when I travel a bit and find that ones stuff........ Ah yes dirt, thats it.

  21. #21
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    Unless you have ridden the Pikes Peak gravel you haven't been given a lesson in traction humility. I am around 155 (add 10 with gear) and I ride anywhere from 18-22 psi, depending on tire width. The fatter the better for tires down here in the Springs, and tubeless is the only way to ride. If you ride the gnar at Palmer or down in Pueblo you'll get tons of pinch flats. Tubeless rules!

  22. #22
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    I am currently in the process of fitting my wheels with the ghetto tubeless mod. I have the rear wheel all set up just have to add the Stans and then fill it with air and see if it works. Wish me luck.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikesBoardsBrews View Post
    I am currently in the process of fitting my wheels with the ghetto tubeless mod. I have the rear wheel all set up just have to add the Stans and then fill it with air and see if it works. Wish me luck.
    You might get lucky with a floor pump, but hopefully you're using an air compressor. Either way, apply plenty of soapy water!

  24. #24
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    I am just going to bring it to a gas station or something and use the compressor.

  25. #25
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    My first few attempts at setting up tires tubeless were extremely frustrating. I hope you're a patient dude!

    Once you get the hang of it (and buy and an inexpensive air compressor) it's a pretty straight forward process. It's definitely worth the initial time investment given the time you'll save fixing flats, not to mention better overall performance.
    Last edited by jradin; 11-29-2012 at 08:43 PM.

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