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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie question, I know.....

I've been sticking to a local park that is all paved so far but there is a local trail along the Erie Canal not far from home that I'd like to try. It's flat, but fairly packed gravel. How would my hybrid ride on that surface?

Would letting a little air out of my tires help on the gravel? They are currently holding 60 # of pressure.
 

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Back in the Saddle
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106 Posts
Unless you are running really skinny tires on the hybrid, you should be fine, and fine at that pressure.
 

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1,223 Posts
The key is how wide is the tire. The pressure is about right for the gravel path, but you likely would improve your pavement riding by going with tires that can handle 100psi or a little more.

When you get used to changing tires, it only takes a few minutes to swap them if you want to ride the trail
 

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Eocyclist
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742 Posts
For a 1.75 inch wide tire, 50 to 70 psi is a good pressure range for crushed stone and gravel trails. Here is an excellent article from Sheldon Brown's site on the effect of tire pressure on comfort, handling, and rolling resistance. Especially look at the two tables. One table describes the way to recognize under inflation / correct inflation / and over infllation. The other table suggests inflation pressures for various tire widths and wheel loads. For the purposes of that table, your 1.75 inch tires are roughly 40 mm wide.

Another good article on MTB tire pressure is this from Bicycle Quarterly

FWIW, my main ride has 26 x 1.75 Continental Travel Contacts with a manufacturer suggested pressure range of 50 to 80 psi. The best tradeoff between comfort and rolling resistance for me on most surfaces is 65 to 70 psi. which is about 5 psi above what Sheldon Brown's table suggests.
 

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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, I'll have to save Sheldon Brown's site. Very interesting. From what I'm reading, the 60 it's at now would be good for riding on the gravel, but when I go back to the road, I should put at least 75/80 psi in there. I'm a big strapping girl so I should have more air in there than I did.
 
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