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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in my first year of Cat 5 racing and was doing respectably well while learning how to do it I thought (always placing in the top ten out of 40-50 riders whether it's a crit, RR, or TT).

My highest placings have been in races with some inclines, so I was excited to enter a crit with two short steep climbs. The thinking was that I'd have a better chance of shedding the sprinters who usually get me at the end.

Not how it played out at all! Turns out that the course was filled with broken up pavement, potholes, and sections of rough brick. I rode the course beforehand (no problem) but at speed in the race my bike was bouncing around under me like a ping-pong ball, especially on the descents, which led me to scrub speed and eventually get dropped and finish near the back.

Without giving it any thought, I've always inflated my tires to the recommended 120psi, but I'm realizing that's not such a good idea for rough roads. I'm a bit under 150 pounds. What should I be running?
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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I've posted this link many times, but think the explanation (text) is very informative and the chart, a good starting point for experimenting.

Michelin Bicycle USA - A better way forward®

At your weight, I'd suggest starting at around 100PSI and tailoring (f/r) pressures (probably downward) from there.

FWIW, I'm lighter than you (~136 lbs.) and run 25c's. Something to consider for those rough roads.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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I'm in my first year of Cat 5 racing and was doing respectably well while learning how to do it I thought (always placing in the top ten out of 40-50 riders whether it's a crit, RR, or TT).

My highest placings have been in races with some inclines, so I was excited to enter a crit with two short steep climbs. The thinking was that I'd have a better chance of shedding the sprinters who usually get me at the end.

Not how it played out at all! Turns out that the course was filled with broken up pavement, potholes, and sections of rough brick. I rode the course beforehand (no problem) but at speed in the race my bike was bouncing around under me like a ping-pong ball, especially on the descents, which led me to scrub speed and eventually get dropped and finish near the back.

Without giving it any thought, I've always inflated my tires to the recommended 120psi, but I'm realizing that's not such a good idea for rough roads. I'm a bit under 150 pounds. What should I be running?
where does it say that is the 'recommended' pressure? i'd think about the other posters advice for a course like that...use bigger tires at less than 100psi.
 

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That pressure on the sidewall is the MAX pressure recommended for the tire, and probably not the pressure you really need. I am 190lbs, and have run 90/95psi for several years on 23mm tires. It really smooths out the ride.

Back when I was young and knew it all, I bought some Coni 20mm tires and ran them at 150+psi. Ruined several floor and frame pumps, got a lot of flats, and they rode like a jackhammer on anything other that fresh-smooth blacktop. Yeah, that was a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'll try riding the 23mm tires at lower pressure and also get a pair of 25s and see how that goes. I'll experiment on some nasty roads I know of around here that I usually avoid while training! Part of the problem in the crit, I'm realizing, is that while checking out the course beforehand I was able to choose whatever lines I wanted through the bad sections. A luxury I didn't have in the pack. It really was like riding a jackhammer instead of a bicycle.
 

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I feel pretty fat after looking at the chart that only goes to 180lbs. Last time I was 180 was my Jr yr in high school. My tire pressure shows a Max of 95 and I'm only running 75. I guess I will try a little more and see what happens, since I'm in the MAX category.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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I feel pretty fat after looking at the chart that only goes to 180lbs. Last time I was 180 was my Jr yr in high school. My tire pressure shows a Max of 95 and I'm only running 75. I guess I will try a little more and see what happens, since I'm in the MAX category.
if we knew how much you weighed and what size/type of tire you're using we might be able to offer some advice.
 

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I run 80F/100R on my 23 mm tires. I am 153lbs. I had been running 100 front and when I went to 80 front everything go so much smoother. No reduction in speed or response.
 
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