CX: Only 40 psi? Really?

In last week’s cyclocross lesson with Brandon Dwight, national CX champ and owner of Boulder Cycle Sport, the first question I asked was,

“What tire pressure should I run?”

I’ve been riding my S-Works Tricross for about a year now, and I’m enjoying it more and more. With 32C cyclocross knobbies at 80psi, the bike feels effortless on smooth trails, but on rough surfaces I feel like I have to go fast, stay high in the bumps and rock serious chatter-pump to keep from getting beaten up.

My logic for 80 psi has been:

I usually run about 40 psi on my 2.3 Eskars. A 32C ‘cross tire has about half the cross-section, so doubling the pressure makes sense. Right?


When I asked Brandon about tire pressure, he suggested more like 40 psi — maybe down in the low 30s for some courses. Even lower with tubulars.

What? Crazy!

Yeah, apparently that’s what ‘cross people do. I followed Brandon’s advice and — wow — my already sweet bike feels even sweeter.

I’m still gonna try to go fast and stay high in the bumps.

Drop bar braaap!

— Lee

PS: I’m leaving for some NICA coach training in Norcal. When I return, I’ll show you Brandon’s tips for smooth dismounts, carries and remounts. Clang clang clang go the cowbells!

Know more. Have more fun!

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