A lot of riders are taking advantage ofthe increased comfort of wider tires. There doesn’t seem to be any performance loss and on rough roads speed is often faster because the wider tires absorb the bumps and roll over them with little loss of forward speed, while in contrast narrow tires with high pressures bounce and retard speed. The only issue for most riders is whether their bike has sufficient clearance for wider rubber.
I weigh 150 and run 95 psi in the rear tire, 90 in the front when I’m using 28s. This is higher than most recommendations and I’ve experimented with lower pressures. However, I have ridden for over 40 years with the traditional higher pressures and find lower psi a bit squirmy in corners. Maybe it’s just a question of getting accustomed to a slightly different road feel.
I respect Jan Heine‘s recommendations and his research seems solid. In fact, in today’s issue, I review a set of Compass Barlow Pass 700 x 38mm tires. I figured that if the trend is toward wider tires, why not go all the way! I found the increased width to be quite comfortable at inflation pressures of around 55 psi and didn’t notice slower average speeds. Again, on rough roads speeds actually increased.
So my recommendation for 28mm tires is to experiment with various pressures until you find the “sweet spot” for your road surfaces and riding style. I would guess that for you, ideal inflation pressure would be 80-90 psi, but this may vary depending on your roads, riding style and the balance between comfort and performance you find ideal.
Keep a couple of things in mind. First, gauges on floor pumps are notoriously inaccurate, so if you want to be sure of inflation pressure, a good gauge is useful to get repeatable pressures. Second, beware of the usual figure of 60% of total weight on the rear tire and 40% on the front. This can vary a lot depending on the rider’s body’s weight distribution, position on the bike and whether the rider is on the drops or sitting up.
If your weight distribution is different, your ideal pressure may differ from the chart. Also, the suppleness of the tire’s sidewalls can change the way a tire feels on the road at a certain pressure. More supple sidewalls make the ride more comfortable while rigid sidewalls mean a harsher ride at any given tire pressure.
Finally, I’m not sure that worrying too much about small variations in tire pressure is warranted for most riders (and most rides). I usually can’t tell the difference when my tires are 5-10 pounds different from one ride to the other.
I’m 17 years old and have 28mm Tires weighing at approximately 55kg. I run about 80 psi in my front and 85 psi in the back. My recommended pressure for tires is 87 PsI and therefore if you are more like 80-100kg I would recommended putting maybe 85psi in the front and 90 psi in the back as this will increase comfort level and you will stick close to the recommended pressure which is usually 90 Psi however I have never had a problem with running slightly lower than the manufacturer pressure normally as you may find after 90psi that’s when you start to notice a difference especially on rough roads However this is more for comfort and not speed