Relationship Between Bicycle Tire Pressure and Speed

• doctorwho55
In summary, the conversation revolved around finding a way to relate a bicycle tire's inflation pressure to its speed in traveling 160 meters. Data was provided showing a marginal increase in speed as the pressure increased from 70 to 90 psi, but no equations were given. The discussion then shifted to potential explanations for this relationship, including differences in friction with the ground and changes in tire radius. Ultimately, the question was raised about the most effective way to illustrate this relationship using physics equations.
doctorwho55
Hi,

I have been tasked with finding a way to relate a bicycle tire's inflation pressure to its speed in traveling 160 meters.

Data was given showing that as the pressure increased from 70 to 90 psi, the speed increased marginally. No equations were given.

I think that it may have to do with either the differences in friction with the ground (Ffric = Fnorm μ) or with the change in tire radius caused by the change in pressure (v=Ωr).

Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you!

Last edited:
What is a common way to illustrate the relationship between to sets of data?

That should be "two" not "to".

I apologize, I meant explaining why that relationship occurs using physics equations rather than finding the relationship itself.

1. What is the relationship between bicycle tire pressure and speed?

The relationship between bicycle tire pressure and speed is an inverse one. As tire pressure increases, the rolling resistance of the tires decreases, resulting in a faster speed. However, if the tire pressure is too high, it can lead to a harsher ride and less traction, which can actually slow down the bike.

2. How does tire pressure affect the handling of a bicycle?

Tire pressure plays a crucial role in the handling of a bicycle. Lower tire pressure can result in a smoother and more comfortable ride, but it also increases rolling resistance and can make the bike feel sluggish. Higher tire pressure can improve handling and responsiveness, but it can also make the ride feel more jarring and less stable.

3. Does the type of surface impact the ideal tire pressure?

Yes, the type of surface can impact the ideal tire pressure. For smooth roads, a higher tire pressure is generally recommended for maximum speed. However, for rougher surfaces like gravel or dirt, a lower tire pressure can provide better traction and control.

4. Is there a "one-size-fits-all" tire pressure for all bicycles?

No, there is no one-size-fits-all tire pressure for all bicycles. The ideal tire pressure can vary depending on factors such as the weight of the rider, the type of bike, the type of tires, and the riding conditions. It is important to consult the manufacturer's recommendations and adjust the tire pressure accordingly.

5. Can tire pressure affect the overall performance of a cyclist?

Yes, tire pressure can significantly impact the overall performance of a cyclist. The right tire pressure can improve speed, handling, and comfort, while the wrong tire pressure can hinder these factors and even lead to tire damage or accidents. It is crucial for cyclists to regularly check and adjust their tire pressure for optimal performance.

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