Do you ever have the feeling that your bike is handling more like a small sailboat? When you turn corners does it feel like the road becomes elastic and gelatinous? Do those little bumps and potholes jar your whole spine? It’s time to start dealing with inflation.
If you’re reading this, you probably know this already, but inflation is something that even the most experienced cyclists need to be reminded of from time to time. There are few things that are as consistently neglected, and few things that can improve performance and general riding pleasure as much as correct tire pressure.
Next to your helmet, the one accessory that’s really worth spending money on is a pump. If you have a good one, it’s easier to use, and you’ll find yourself taking advantage of it more often.
Mine is the Steel Floor Drive model made by the California company Lezyne. It sells for about $60. I got mine from the helpful people at Liberty Street Cyclery, who use the same model in their workshop. It has a quick and easy coupling, and the gauge is easy to read.
If you’re not sure about the correct pressure, you’ll find its embossed on the side of the tire.
And see those cracks? That’s another reason to make sure that your tires are always correctly inflated.