9/19/21 Canyon

Your Guide to Mountain Bike Tire Pressure

9/19/21 Canyon

As the only thing separating the dirt from your bike, tires and tire pressure are crucial for getting the most out of your mountain bike (and ride enjoyment.) Read below for Canyon’s recommendation on how to find the best pressure for mountain bikes, and hear from pro Braydon Bringhurst on his tire pressure recommendations.

Your Guide to Mountain Bike Tire Pressure MTB Tire Pressure Guide
Finding the perfect tire pressure for your MTB
The Best MTB Tire Pressure Isn’t One Size Fits All

The world of mountain bikes has makes and models of all sorts- from our light and fast Exceed to our Enduro-focused Strive, each bike is specially-made for a certain ride style, each requiring slightly different tire pressures for the best experience. As a result, there isn’t a hard and fast rule that will suit every rider for every bike. However, we can point you in the right direction for the best pressures for your bike.

  • MTB Tire Pressure by Size
  • Best MTB Tire Pressure for you
Tire Pressure Depends On Your Style of Riding

Whether you’re riding flowy cross-country singletrack or heading to hit more technical trails, your type and style of riding will dictate what tire pressure you should ride. Canyon athlete Braydon Bringhurst rides the following pressure (tubeless) when on trails:

  • Front: 28 PSI
  • Rear: 30 PSI

The above is a good place to start for general trail-riding, and set up tubeless. This works for most types of trail riding ranging from singletrack to Enduro-style riding. While these pressures may seem low, they allow the tire to better absorb smaller bumps from rocks and trail features than a harder tire, acting as a ‘micro suspension,’ making the overall ride experience more enjoyable.

MTB tire pressure for your style of riding
The Best Tire Pressure Also Depends on You

Like tuning suspension to rider weight, you should also take rider weight into account when inflating your tires. Heavier riders (175+ lbs) will exert more force on the tires, and lighter riders ( < 150 lbs) will consequently exert less force on the tires. Canyon’s own Scott Hart, a lighter rider, rides trails on his Torque set up to the following:

  • Front: 25 PSI
  • Rear: 27 PSI

As you can see, Scott rides a few PSI lower than Braydon, and heavier riders may need to inflate their front/rear tires to 30/32 PSI, respectively. Most tire manufacturers will have tire pressures printed on the tires themselves (assuming tubeless setup) as ranges; don’t go below the printed minimum pressure or above the maximum (generally between 20 and 40 PSI.) Too little air may result in rolling or ‘burping’ the tire, and too high may result in blowing the tire off the rim.

Drop your tire pressure in muddy conditions
The Best Tire Pressure Depends on Course Conditions

Riding the sandy trails of San Diego is quite different than the loamy trails of the Pacific North West, so as a result, your tires should be set up accordingly. If the course is wet or loose, Braydon Bringhurst may run his tires 2-3 PSI lower than when the same trails are dry, which gives him better grip in loose, wet corners.

Scott Hart, if racing in dryer conditions on grippy terrain, explains that he may inflate his tires to 35 PSI if the conditions are perfect.

Mountain bike tire pressure
The Best Tire Pressure For 29 and 27.5 MTBs

How does MTB wheel size change tire pressure? So far we’ve covered tire pressure for 29” MTB tires. 27.5” tires, spec’d on the Spectral or smaller trail bikes, will run the same pressures. The real difference in PSI comes from changes in tire width, but not necessarily tire diameter. So as a rule of thumb, be sure to inflate 27.5” wheels roughly the same as a 29” tire, and adjust according to preference.

If we recommend 28/30 PSI front/rear for a 29” tire, then on 27.5 MTB tires, you should ride:

  • Front: 28 PSI
  • Rear: 30 PSI

Tube or Tubeless? The Right Pressure for Either

Tubeless tires are tires that use sealant and tubeless valves to keep the air in the tire, negating the need for an inner tube. Without an innertube, tubeless tires are more resistant to pinch flats (when you pinch the inner tube between the rim and tire) and are more puncture resistant.

If you are running innertubes (and all Canyon bikes are shipped with innertubes,) then you should pump your tires 5 PSI higher than what we recommended above. As a general place to start, inflate inner tube tires to the following:

  • Front: 33 PSI
  • Rear: 35 PSI

Tubeless tires also allow you to run quite low pressures safely, because there is no tube to pinch flat. For increased grip, lower your pressure as much as 5 PSI, but keep in mind, you are at a greater risk for burping the rim and losing sealant or rolling the tire. Never run your tires below the minimum pressure printed on the side of the tire.

How To Find The Perfect Tire Pressure

In short, we recommend beginner trail riders start with the following pressures on tubeless tires:

  • Front: 27 PSI
  • Rear: 30 PSI

If your tires are running inner tubes, try starting with this pressure:

  • Front: 32 PSI
  • Rear: 35 PSI

Spend a few rides getting used to how the bike feels with those pressures, and be sure to take a pump with you on your rides if you want to experiment with higher or lower pressures. There’s no exact answer, so experimenting with what works best for you will be the best way to dial in your Canyon.

By subscribing to our newsletter, you are agreeing to our Data Protection Statement .

Related articles

  • Bike Tire Pressure - The Essentials

    Dialing in your bike’s tire pressure may be the single biggest improvement that you can make to your riding experience. But what should that pressure actually be?


  • Which mountain bike wheel size is right for you?

    First-time rider or grizzled veteran, each of us faces the same question: Which wheelsize is right for me? That’s because mountain bikes generally wear either 27.5” or 29” wheels. A growing few also sport the combo 29/27.5 “Mullet” option. So, which size should you choose? Here’s a quick guide to mountain bike wheelsizes.


  • Buying your first mountain bike

    Which mountain bike is best for beginners? Glad you asked! As our range of mountain bikes expands, we’ve found that there’s something for everyone no matter your ability, riding style or budget.


  • How to ride longer distances

    Riding longer distances is a true feat of endurance but it takes time, energy and preparation. We spoke to two Canyon riders who know all about it: Emily Chappell and James Hayden.


Content is loading