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How long typically do bike tires hold enough air?

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How long typically do bike tires hold enough air?

Old 03-01-20, 08:37 PM
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Badzilla
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How long typically do bike tires hold enough air?

I have BMX 20" x 2.xx tubes/tires.
They are pumped up a little every five days or so, to almost 60 psi.
I suppose maybe lower versus higher pressure makes some difference?
Does Schrader versus Presta valves make any difference?
I just want a general idea.

Thanks.
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Old 03-01-20, 09:08 PM
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Fat low pressure tires require more air every three or four days. Roadie high pressure tires require more air almost every day. The valve type doesn't matter.

Last edited by duckhuntr; 03-01-20 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 03-02-20, 02:10 PM
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Low pressure tires like you've got lose air more slowly than high pressure for the simple reason that air under pressure diffuses through the pores in the tires faster.

You mention it's a BMX--are you doing any jumps on it or anything where the tire pressure might be more critical than normal riding?
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Old 03-02-20, 02:58 PM
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If you're putting 60psi in a 2 inch tire, you could probably go months and not need to refill. It'll drop a fair amount at first and then lose air very slowly. I run 40 and 35 in 1.75" tires and can go 4 weeks easily without pumping them up. They lose about 5-7PSI in that time.
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Old 03-02-20, 03:11 PM
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My rule of thumb for all tire sizes: one week.
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Old 03-02-20, 10:07 PM
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I check before every ride. Or at least when I remember to.
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Old 03-02-20, 11:34 PM
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Like other maintenance issues there really is no typical. Depends on your inner tubes and how demanding you are of your bike. Best practice is to check the pressure prior to every outing. Or at least every day if you use your bike for multiple short rides during the day. As you experiment with tire pressure you will probably discover that your bike will perform best with different pressures for various riding conditions. Good luck!
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Old 03-03-20, 12:13 AM
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My bike shop owner pal once explained to me why certain of their customers came in every 3 months for new tubes. It was because that was how long it took for the tire pressure to drop to the point where the tires suffered pinch flats, which required both tubes to be replaced.

My pal once got bold enough to ask one such repeat customer why they didn't just buy a pump and regularly inflate their tires. The incredulous response by the customer was they could just come in to the shop to get the tubes replaced, and tires re-inflated. It's a living, I guess.

If someone ever thinks that working in a bike shop is an adventure filled with working on cutting-edge tech and servicing high-performance customers.... well it isn't. Most of the work is tedious repetitive stupid crap like this.

I've also wondered why I regularly find 30-year old bikes in garage sales which were only ridden 3-months from shop floor to hanging in the rafters. Same reason: tires became deflated, then pinch flats, and owners used this as the excuse to finish with the bike phase thing once and forever.
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Old 03-03-20, 12:40 AM
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A week, under normal riding conditions. With the BMX, you'll probably want lower pressure for riding in the sand, and higher for hard dirt/paved roads. In that case, replacing air is required before every ride. If you can judge air pressure by touch, that makes a quick pre-ride check easy, but you should always check PSI before every ride... assuming your tires are rated 40 - 60 PSI, in a week you'll probably only drop from 60 to 50+/-, and that is a good point to top off. Otherwise, they'll stay in the safe zone for weeks with harder pedal power required and smoother shock absorption. That is a judgement call for the rider, but either way, check PSI before every ride, and every now and again a slow overnight leak will be found.
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Old 03-03-20, 09:25 AM
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Yeah, the only thing "typical" about air loss is that it'll happen. In my experience, high-pressure latex tubes can lose 20 psi over the course of a single ride. Lightweight butyl tubes will lose air more slowly, and heavy butyl touring tubes even more slowly. Also, heavier tires seem to help hold air longer. My road bikes need more air about every other day.
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Old 03-03-20, 09:48 AM
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check after 1 week
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Old 03-03-20, 09:55 AM
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As has been discussed before, In cold weather tires tend to hold inflation longer. In hot weather they seem to loose pressure faster. At least that's been my experience.

I bike commute most days, but my fenderless 700x28 12-speed may sit for a month untouched in the winter. I usually run the tires at 90psi, and aftersitting for a month they may be as low as 65psi., but sometimes only down to 80 after a month.
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Old 03-03-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Gconan View Post
I check before every ride. Or at least when I remember to.
+1. I pinch my tires before every ride. It's not a very precise check, but it's enough to alert me if the tires are squishier enough than usual to warrant pumping (and the pump has a gauge.)
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Old 03-03-20, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
My rule of thumb for all tire sizes: one week.
+1 I have followed this rule of thumb 7 days per tire for over 220,000 miles. Do the tires lose some air over 7 days, yes, does it negatively affect their performance, not in my experience. Road bike tires, 85 psi rear and 70 psi front. Has served me well. IMOP people get too anal over their tire pessure.
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Old 03-03-20, 06:10 PM
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Old 03-03-20, 08:01 PM
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I usually pump my tires up once every 2-3 weeks.
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Old 03-03-20, 09:15 PM
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That's what I wanted to know, so I can better tell when there might be a problem (like when using substandard parts).
Thanks to the replies.
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Old 03-04-20, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
+1. I pinch my tires before every ride. It's not a very precise check, but it's enough to alert me if the tires are squishier enough than usual to warrant pumping (and the pump has a gauge.)
I suspect that if you do the pinch check regularly it might be as good or better a method than a cheapish gauge. I know how my tire must feel when pinched for it to have the optimum ride, but I've forgotten what pressure reading that corresponds to, since it's been a while I used a pump with a gauge.
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Old 03-04-20, 04:08 AM
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On my vintage racers I check the tire pressure every week when I ride. I have several bikes in rotation and it may be 2-3 weeks since the last time I rode a certain bike. If I ride on particular bike more often I still check the pressure and give it a pump. Joe. Joesvintageroadbikes.wordpress
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Old 03-05-20, 09:52 AM
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related: aren't some tube materials better at holding air?


latex tubes leak air more quickly than a butyl tube. but most tubes are butyl I think
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Old 03-05-20, 10:25 AM
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As always, it depends. I run tubeless on the gravel bike and latex tubes on the road bike, both require checking/pumping every ride. It's just become part of my routine.
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