Front tyre pressure
So I discovered last week that my front tyre [Pirelli Diablo] has 3 modes:
- low pressure, feels heavy on the steering, mushy; this mode is pretty obvious, and happens because the front seems to leak air molecules out in to the world more quickly than the rear - it's a reminder to get eh pressures back up;
- the sweet spot - lots of feedback, very confidence-inspiring, grippy;
- over-inflated - hard, feels like a piece of timber, doesn't slip but feels like it could, hard to get it to load up, feels like it might skate out at any stage.
Fortunately, I found this out before I did about 1200km in the last 3 days.
I was prepping my bike for the impending trip earlier in the week, and had been squirting around town on it, really liking how the front was feeling. But thinking "long trip, open road", when I went to check the tyre pressures, I put a few more pounds in both ends and headed out on the [city] streets again, and immediately noticed that I had lost all the good feel from the front. I think I pumped the front to 33 lbs [gas station reading] so dropped a couple pounds out at the next gas station, and got the good feel back.
I bought a digital pressure gauge not long after, and will monitor the pressures much more closely.On the open road over the past few days in hot weather, the front was reading 31.5, and still had some bite and feel. After a night in the garage, it read 28lbs this morning.
The rear was showing 36lbs in the heat yesterday, 33 this morning.
So, this was all very interesting learning - in the past, I have probably been running the front too hard on the open road, and losing that nice grippy feel. This time, I enjoyed the whole trip as much as any ride I've ever done.
I'll use the pressure gauge in future to get an idea of the upper and lower limits of the sweet spot, but it was certainly an education about how too much pressure can be a bad thing.