How To Know If MTB Tires Need Air: (New Guide For 2023)

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Mountain biking is an exhilarating and fun activity. But this activity can also be dangerous if you’re not adequately prepared.

One of the most important things you need to know before you hit the trails is whether or not your mountain bike tires need air.

First, check out how to know if MTB tires need air. Then, read on to learn more.

Here’s 10 Signs On How To Know If Your MTB Tires Need Air

How To Know If Your MTB Tires Need Air
Know If Your MTB Tires Need Air

Mountain bike tires are essential for a great and comfortable ride.

Your MTB tires require regular maintenance to keep them in the best condition or else they shall wear out.

Properly inflated tires make for a smoother ride, reduce the risk of punctures, and provide a better grip on the trail.

But how do you know when it’s time to let some air out of your tires?

Here are 10 ways to know if your mountain bike tires need air:

1. Uneven Tire Wear:

If your tires are wearing unevenly, it could be a sign that your tires are having uneven air.

Look for excessive wear on the edges of the tires or the center tread.

2. Hard Feel:

When your tires have irregular air in them, they will feel more rigid than usual.

This can make for an uncomfortable ride and can also affect the performance of your bike.

3. Low Air Pressure:

The most obvious sign that your mountain bike tires need air is when they have low pressure.

You can check the pressure of your tires with a pressure gauge.

4. Squealing Tires:

When your MTB tires are over-inflated, they will squeal when you ride.

This is a sure sign that you need to adjust the air of your MTB tires and may be even let some air out of them.

5. Flat Spot:

Another sign that your mountain bike tires may need some air is if there is a flat spot in the center of the tire.

This is caused by excessive heat and pressure that can build up when you ride with over-inflated tires.

6. Slow Rolling Resistance:

If your bike tires have uneven air, they will not roll as quickly as they should.

This can make your bike ride slower.

7. Increased Vibration:

MTB tires with uneven air pressure will cause an increased vibrations when you ride on trails.

This can be uncomfortable and can also affect your MTB’s performance.

8. Increased Cornering Resistance:

Mountain bike tires with uneven air can make for a more difficult time when cornering.

This can be dangerous and can also reduce the performance of your bike.

9. Poor Handling:

Uneven tire pressure of your MTB can cause poor handling on the trails.

This can lead to a loss of control and can be dangerous while you ride your mountain bike.

10. Increased Risk of Puncture:

Finally, uneven tire pressure of your mountain bike can increase the risk of punctures.

This can be very dangerous, especially if you’re out on challenging trails.

Can MTB Tires Lose Air Without A Puncture

MTB Tires Lose Air Without Puncture
MTB Tires Losing Air Without Puncture

When it comes to MTB tires, losing air without a puncture can be a common issue.

If a bike tire is under-inflated, it can cause the tire to lose more air than usual.

This can happen even if there are no visible punctures in the tire.

So, how to know if MTB tires need air without them having a puncture

There are several potential causes.

Firstly, having improper inflation can cause the bike tires to lose air.

If your MTB tires are not inflated to having the correct pressure, air can escape from the tire more easily.

This is why it is essential to check your tire’s pressure before each ride.

Secondly, the valve and valve core can cause a tire to lose air.

The valve core can become worn over time, causing air to leak out. Also, if the valve is not sealed correctly, air can escape.

Thirdly, having puncture in your mountain bike tire can cause air to escape over time.

A puncture in the tire can also cause the tire to deflate more quickly. If the puncture is not sealed quickly, more air will escape.

Fourthly, the age and wear can cause your bike tires to lose air.

Tire treads do wear down over time, making it easier for air to escape.

Also, the rubber in the tire can become dry and brittle, thus making it more prone to air loss.

How Often Should You Fill Air In Your MTB Tires?

Filling air in your MTB tires
Filling Air In Your MTB Tires

If you want to be an avid mountain biker, you should know the importance of having correctly inflated MTB tires.

Not only do they provide a smooth ride, but they also help to improve the control and handling of your mountain bike.

It will depend on several factors, such as the type of terrain you are riding on and the types of tires you are using.

Generally speaking, you should fill your MTB tires at least once a month.

However, if you are riding on a rocky or technical terrain, then you may need to fill your tires more often.

If you are using tubeless tires for your bike, then you will need to fill them more often.

This is because tubeless tires require more air pressure than tubed tires, and they are more susceptible to punctures and flats.

Generally speaking, you should fill tubeless tires at least once a week.

When filling your MTB tires, you should always use an air pump that is compatible with your bike tires.

This will ensure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure and that you don’t over or under-inflate them.

Additionally, you should always check the pressure of your mountain bike tires before and after each ride.

If you are riding in wet conditions, you should also check your tires for water.

If your tires are wet, then you should fill them with air, as this will help to remove any excess water.

Water can cause your MTB tires to lose pressure.

Thus you need to make sure that the tires are well-inflated.

Finally, you should also check your tires for any signs of wear and tear.

If your bike tires appear to be worn out, then you should replace them.

Worn-out tires can cause a variety of problems, including poor handling and increased rolling resistance.

Find Out If MTB Tires Lose Air Overnight

MTB Tires losing Air Overnight
Flat Mountain Bike Tires

In most cases, mountain bike tires will not lose air overnight unless there is a puncture or a problem with the valve stem.

This is because the rubber compounds used in mountain bike tires are designed to be durable and resistant to air loss over time.

However, some things can contribute to air loss.

For example, if your tires are exposed to extreme temperatures, such as very hot or very cold, they can lose air more quickly.

Also, if your bike tires are over-inflated, they are more likely to lose air faster.

The best way to ensure that your mountain bike tires stay inflated is to use an accurate pressure gauge when you inflate them.

Also, be sure to use the correct tire pressure for your specific tire and terrain.

Too little pressure can make the tire more prone to pinch flats and other damage.

Too much tire pressure can make the them ride harshly.

Check your tires after each ride to make sure they have the correct amount of air in them.

Frequency Of Inflating Tubeless Tires

Inflating Tubeless Tires
Tubeless Tires

If you own a mountain bike with tubeless tires, you must regularly pump them up.

The general rule of thumb is that you should pump up your tubeless tires every two weeks.

This will ensure that your tires are in good condition and that you have a safe, comfortable ride.

In addition, it will also help to decrease the amount of wear and tear on your tubeless bike tires.

It is important to remember that the amount of air pressure you need to maintain in your tires will depend on the type of bike you have, the kind of terrain you ride on, and the rider’s weight.

Generally speaking, you should aim for a pressure of between 30 and 40 PSI for mountain bikes.

When you are pumping your tires, it is also essential to check for any signs of damage or wear.

For example, ensure that the beads of the tire are correctly seated and that there are no holes, leaks, or foreign objects inside the tire.

If you find anything that needs to be addressed, take your bike to a local bike shop and have them check it out.

Finally, if you are going on an extended bike ride, it is a good idea to pump up your tires before you leave.

This will help you avoid any flat tires during your ride and give you peace of mind in case of an emergency.

8 FAQs On How To Know If MTB Tires Need Air

1. How much air pressure should I put in my mountain bike tires?

Typically, mountain bike air pressure should range between 22 to 35 Psi.

Mountain bike tire pressure is essential due to the aggressive nature of the trails on which they are ridden.

Usually your MTB rear wheels should have slightly high air pressure in them.

2. How often do you need to put air in mountain bike tires?

Mountain bikes with conventional tires must be filled with air every three to four days during stable weather conditions.

In case the weather conditions are cold, humid or if your mountain bike has been stored in direct sunlight then you may need to inflate your MTB tires more frequently.

3. Can I ride an MTB with low tire pressure?

Riding your mountain bike when the tires are under 20 psi cause it to drag too much.

Too soft bike tires will result in excessive friction, thus leading to slow riding.

It may also cause your bike’s wheel rims to start to take unwanted damages.

4. What is a dangerously low psi for MTB tires?

Under 20 is considered to be too low a psi for MTB tires. It means that the tire is almost flat.

5. Can MTB tires lose air without puncture?

Mountain bike tires are more prone to lose air in storage if the conditions are unfavorable.

Bikes that are stored in direct sunlight, humid or cold conditions can lose air even without puncture.

Moreover, MTB bike tires are made of rubber that is porous and lets the air to escape through.

6. How often should you fill the air in your MTB tires?

The recommended frequency to fill the air in MTB tires is once at least every two or three weeks.

7. Do tubeless MTB tires lose air overnight?

Tubeless mountain bike tires sometimes lose air overnight due to weak seals.

8. How often do I need to pump up my tubeless MTB tires?

Tubeless MTB tires usually lose air quickly, and hence, it is recommended to fill the air before each ride.

This will help maintain the performance of the MTB tire, slow down the wearing process, and offer you a better riding experience.


It is vital to regularly check your mountain bike tires for air pressure.

This will ensure an optimal performance of your MTB tires which is necessary for a comfortable ride.

You need to ensure that you are using the correct pressure for the type of bike tires that you are using.

If your bike tires are not correctly inflated, it can lead to decreased performance, increased rolling resistance, and a decrease in grip.

So regularly check your tires for air pressure to ensure you are getting the best performance from your mountain bike tires.

This will help you have a good idea about how to know if MTB tires need air.

P.S. I hope you found this article resourceful. If so then we have more resources on MTB tires. Check out our in-depth deep dives on wearing signs of MTB tires, reasons why MTB tires need sealants and why do tubeless MTB tires go flat.

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Rohan runs Biking KnowHow along with his team. Rohan has been a mountain biker since 2005. His mission is to simplify mountain biking for everyone. All Biking KnowHow content piece is thoroughly fact-checked. Our content is backed up with leading research and inputs from expert cyclists.