As the only connection between you and the ground below, tires have a significant effect on your bike’s rolling, cornering, impact absorption characteristics, and of course traction. But what’s equally important to choosing the right tire for your needs is dialing in the right air pressure for them, especially on off-road terrain. Schwalbe has decided to make life easier for their MTB customers by creating the Pressure Prof, an online calculator that helps trail or DH riders figure out what pressures they should be running.

The Pressure Prof takes nine different factors into account when calculating its suggestions for ideal pressures. Riders enter measurable data like their weight, tire width, rim width, tire system (tubed, tubeless or Procore) and which of Schwalbe’s tire casings they’re riding. However, the Pressure Prof also takes into account your riding style, ability level, type of terrain, and trail conditions too.

Schwalbe Pressure Prof, blank form

The Pressure Prof is very easy to use; simply visit Schwalbe’s website and fill in the required fields with either the requested info or by choosing options from drop-down menus. It takes less than a minute to complete the fields, and you’re instantly given suggestions for front and rear pressures.

The only quirky thing for North Americans is that Schwalbe is a European brand, so you’ll have to convert your weight from pounds to kilos, your tire width from inches to mm’s, and your tire pressure suggestions from Bar to psi. Thankfully this is quite simple to do, especially since you’re already online.

Schwalbe Pressure Prof, info
*Schwalbe includes this handy chart on the Pressure Prof page to remind you how higher or lower pressures affect your ride.

By keeping it specific to Schwalbe’s own tires, the Pressure Prof can do clever things like compensate for what type of sidewall casing you ride or whether you’re running their Procore inserts. On the other hand, despite the system being based around Schwalbe products only (the website does state “we cannot perform calculations for tires from other manufacturers”) I found the numbers it suggested for me were in line with what I would consider typical. The Pressure Prof would probably provide anyone with a good starting point so long as you choose a sidewall casing option that’s similar to whatever tires you are running. Here’s one example I punched in;

Schwalbe Pressure Prof, my numbers
*Title image c. Schwalbe

At my actual weight of 66kg, riding a pair of 2.5” tires with enduro-strength sidewalls on 30mm rims, I set the rider level to Intermediate, riding style to Enduro, trail conditions as mixed, terrain as Rocky, and chose the tubeless system option. Those factors produced Schwalbe’s suggestion of 1.3Bar/19psi up front and 1.5bar/22psi in the rear. I’m not currently running Schwalbe tires, but this is very close to my preferred pressures.

I played around with the various factors and all the suggestions I got seemed logical. If I added wider tires, the pressures dropped a bit. If I said I ran tubes, the pressures went up slightly versus tubeless. In short, I never fooled the algorithm!

I’d say the Pressure Prof is certainly a valid system for helping you find tire pressures that will work well for your specific needs – The only question that remains is whether you find its exact suggestions perfectly ideal, or if it simply puts you in the ballpark… and that’s something each rider will determine for themselves. Try out the Pressure Prof yourself by clicking here.

 

 

11 COMMENTS

  1. It recommends 30psi in a tire I keep between 17-21psi. And now I have a headache from all the imperial/metric conversions.

  2. I don’t run Scwalbe tires, so I left the casing option empty, and it gave a pretty accurate reading (within a few psi) for me.

  3. Canada (which is the ice creamy top of North America) has been among the Metric nations since 1976. Just sayin’

    • Pah, 1976 you say? Mexico (also in North America) went metric less than a decade after the USA stole California etc from them.

  4. Did you knuckle heads scroll down and read what Schwalbe says about optimum pressure being subjective and variable based on personal preference? They nail the average pretty well for all the calculations that I played with. Source: Am bike shop guy who works with/for a wide variety of riders and racers. I see two guys of similar build and skill talk about running way different pressures in the real world and I would never tell either of them are wrong. The numbers schwalbe spits out are pretty accurate for a safe baseline to start with.

  5. I find that the pressure recommendations are actually pretty good. too many people use pressures that are below the minimum recommended pressure for a tyre. I prefer a higher tyre pressure and a softer more responsive suspension. When within the recommended pressre range I don’t suffer snake bit punctures or tyres burping air. Overall a more reliable set up

  6. So weight is only based on rider’s weight without clothing?? What if I have a light versus a heavy bike and equipment choices (Camelback versus a single water bottle). This is just a silly tool.

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