Am I too heavy for my road bike tires?

  • I am wondering if bike tires have a weight limit. I have to admit, I am a large guy at 6'3" 250lb (190 cm, 113,5 kg), and I have always had issues with my road bike's tires getting pinch flats. I could never seem to put enough air in the tire to keep the rim off the road on bumps, etc. I ride a mountain bike now and I haven't had the same issues. Though of course they are a lot knobbier/thicker.

    The tires are 27 x 1.25

    Could you specify the width of your road tires? For example, 700x23, or 700x25, etc.

    Could you please include kg/cm units as well, this site is also for a non-american audience.

    I can't edit his question, but he can add the SI units (190.5cm and 113kg)

    Added the [27-inch] tag.

    Unlike mountain bike, properly inflated skinny tires should feel very hard (but not rock solid). I usually cannot get the optimal pressure with my hand pump, only with floor pump.

    What pressure were you inflating them to? Also, are 27x1.25 the same as 32x700c?

    How much pressure are you putting into your tires when you pump them up?

    @naught101 27x1.25 has a slightly different diameter than 32x700c but they are the same width (approximately)

  • Pinch flats are due to under-inflation of tires. On a road bike you should be inflating your tires to 120-130 lbs.

    Also, you need to check and re-inflate your tires every time you ride. I just keep my pump right next to my bike, and wind up adding air every 2nd or 3rd day.

    I see you added tire size - those are older bike tires, they don't inflate as high as road bike tires, I'd try pumping them to 65 lbs, and if you are still getting pinch flats, go up 5 lbs at a time until it stops.

    You can tell a pinch flat because it will look like a snake bit, 2 small holes close together.

    If you do not get any pinch flats at 65 lbs, you can try going down 5 lbs at a time until they return, then you know the range your tires need to be at to be properly inflated.

    The most important thing is to check tire pressure every time you ride, as bike tires can lose up to 5/lbs a week from just sitting. These are high pressure tires, so they lose air much faster than low pressure car tires.


    Top off your tires and do a 'flight' check every time you ride.

    Watching for the bulge around the ground-contact area while you are riding is a very useful way to avoid pinch-flats. If you get only a very very slight bulge, then the tire pressure is most probably right for your weight (provided the tire is not inflated above the maximum allowed on the sidewall).

    This issue was definitely because of under-inflation. All I had at the time was a hand pump and there was no way I was going to get it up to the proper psi. Got a floor pump and I am much happier now. Thanks for the answer!

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM