Tire Pressure vs Rolling Resistance

We had a great request from a customer

I’m always second guessing what tyre pressure to run for different races in my 50 mm tubs.

I would like to see data on roll resistance with varying air pressure using 10 or so commonly used tyres for both tubs and clinchers.

Has anyone seen a scientifically valid experiment to measure rolling resistance? They must be out there, and we’d like to look at their methods and instruments.

Also, your personal experience and comments are greatly appreciated!

I’ll contact #aeroweenie and let y’all know. He is constantly looking for aero data and he might have a link to some public data on rolling resistance. This sounds like something the gentleman who created https://www.friction-facts.com/about/about-us could do or maybe already has. I’ll look shortly. He would likely be able to adapt some of his equipment just for this specific study but it would cost money as he is running a business. This would be a very difficult study; consider all of the possible combinations and also consider environmental influences mainly temperature. It would have many confounding variables but some useful info could likely be gleamed from it.

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Check out this link. http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews or http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/12/bikes-and-tech/resistance-futile-tire-pressure-width-affect-rolling-resistance_355085

I think it will be very hard to find someone who will test as many combinations as you’d like to see but here are 2 of several results that are out there. Looks like the group in Finland, (Wheel Energy) will test whatever you’d like to see but it wouldn’t be cheap.

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Great resources Jeffrey, thank you!

Frankly, I dont have any data or device to try it but I have been using clincher on tyre pressure of 125psi for many years. I can tell the minute I switched to tubular n kept tyre pressure at 160psi, I dun need a rolling resistance guage to tell the difference. Its thats simple. And frankly, I am not interested to switch back to clincher or 125psi anymore especially when riding in my own country. Cheers mate

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I agree about the tubies; I love them and I still see many choosing tubulars for criteriums and some road races. I know for criteriums I run much lower pressure with no fear of pinch flats, for road I run 30-35 psi higher than for criteriums, and for CX I start out at 1 pressure and make adjustments during the pre-ride but it’s all based on the subjective feeling.

giantbb11, you made the statement about not switching back to clinchers but would you ever consider running tubeless? I’d like to give it a go in the future but will definitely rent some wheels to help me make that decision.

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