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Putting Nitrogen in Your Bike Tires

On July 11, 2013, in Nitrogen Tire Inflation, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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nitrogen tire inflationSummer isn’t just a perfect time for a road trip. It’s also a perfect time to ride our bikes, to get some exercise, and to enjoy the warm weather. It also means that as we use our bikes again, we also need to think about maintaining them well and ensuring we will have a safe ride and will not have to worry (too much) about getting a flat. Much like with managed fleets and family vehicles, nitrogen tire inflation can also be a crucial component to tire care and safety with your bike tires.

What’s the Big Deal with Nitrogen Bike Tires?

We’ve talked about how great nitrogen tire inflation is for the consumer market, and how nitrogen tire inflation benefits managed fleets and the transportation industry. Those same benefits, with exception to fuel efficiency, also apply to bike tires, such as

  • the ability to hold pressure longer
  • reduced moisture going into the tires, which extends the life of the rims, tire, and tire valves
  • reduced rolling resistance
  • reduced chance for a flat or a blowout

On top of that, putting nitrogen in bike tires is a growing practice among cyclists. The Tour de France uses nitrogen in its tires, and bicycle sharing systems in cities such as New York, Montreal, London, and Paris also use nitrogen. This isn’t something that’s experimental, or something that’s practiced by only a small group of riders. Large systems and entities are using it, and wouldn’t be using it if it didn’t work or make any difference. As David Finlayson, president of Prestacycle, said in Velo News, “Remember that a 100-mile bike race is often won by only inches. Even the smallest difference in tire pressure loss reduction or rolling resistance can make the difference at the line.”

Not Everyone is in a Bike Race

This is true, and worth pointing out because it’s an argument that’s often used against nitrogen tire inflation as a legitimate practice outside of a competitive environment. Sure, the airline industry and NASCAR use nitrogen tires, but those are special circumstances, circumstances that don’t apply to everyone else. However, just because nitrogen tires are useful in a special circumstances doesn’t mean that the practice doesn’t have any place, application, or benefit in normal riding conditions. In fact, nitrogen tire inflation and proper tire pressure are even more important for bike tires and bike riders since bike tires typically hold less pressure than car and truck tires (normal bike tires are usually under 30 psi while car tires have a maximum of 50 psi). This means that any loss in pressure, or having under-inflated tires, has a much larger impact on the ride and in safety because there’s less pressure to work with. Although losing one psi in pressure makes a difference in cars, it makes a bigger difference in bike tire.

Overall, putting nitrogen in your bike tires isn’t a new practice, but it’s one that hasn’t received much attention or discussion. Granted, it’s a little tougher to put nitrogen in your bike tires because nitrogen isn’t as available for cyclists as it is for cars and trucks. Yet, with increased need and awareness, this situation could change.

Related Links:

Why Nitrogen is Great for Tire Pressure

Nitrogen Tire Inflation Proved to Create Hybrid Tires

Nitrogen in Tires will Absolutely Save on Gas

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summer driving season

Prepare for the summer driving season with nitrogen tire inflation

Memorial Day is next weekend, marking the beginning of the summer driving season. As many folks around the country plan trips and vacations, there’s a couple of things that will be going on in the coming months that motorists ought to be aware of.

First, according to AAA, is that car travel is expected to increase this year. It’s projected that 30.7 million people will be on the roads over the long weekend, although they will be making shorter trips than last year. Nonetheless, with more people on the roads, safety should still be a top concern. If something happens, you are more like to cause problems and/or to be a hazard to others traveling during the weekend and throughout the summer driving season. Make sure that your car is in top shape before starting on your trip.

Second, gas prices are the lowest they’ve been since February, making the summer driving season much more appealing this year than in previous years. Gas prices have decreased slightly to $3.78 a gallon, down about 4 cents from a week ago and down 15.5 cents in the past month. However, it’s also projected that these gas prices aren’t going to hold throughout the entire summer travel season, as Edward Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup, said in the Washington Post that “It’s still a tight market, and summer gasoline is hard for refiners to make. We don’t think the worst is over for consumers, and I’d be surprised if there is not another price pickup before the July Fourth weekend.”

Gas prices shouldn’t scare anyone away from taking a quick vacation this summer or going to see family, but a great way to improve your vehicle for safety as well as improve your fuel efficiency is with nitrogen tire inflation. By making the small change from air to nitrogen in your tires, you’ll be able to maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time. That alone makes a big different to tire life, tire safety, and tire performance; all good things when going on a road trip.

Make memorial day weekend a memorable one for the right reasons, not because you ended up getting a flat or overspent on gas. Make it an enjoyable trip by making it a safe one.

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nitrogen tire inflation

Why wait to be like this guy before doing something about your tires, when you can do something about it now with nitrogen tire inflation?

We came across an article from Fox Business that debunked the benefits of nitrogen tire inflation. The article claimed that since you can’t slow air leakage from your tires, inflating them with nitrogen isn’t worth the $5 per tire cost. It also claimed that since studies couldn’t definitively conclude that nitrogen slows the oxidation and deterioration of your tire, it ought not to be considered a benefit.

Here at Nitronomics, we think that this Fox article from 2010 is missing the big picture. These benefits make a huge difference if you manage a fleet a vehicles for a company. The benefits have already been seen in law enforcement. Although a typical consumer doesn’t have a fleet of vehicles to manage, it only takes one dose of nitrogen tire inflation to see the difference and to better protect oneself against flats and tire blowouts. Especially in this busy summer travel season, where people more likely to experience a tire problem or to be driving on an under inflated tire (or more) since people are more likely to be driving longer distances. For a consumer, it only takes one flat or blowout to eat up a lot of time and money. Why wait until an emergency before doing something about it? After all, intelligent people solve problems, but geniuses prevent them.

So what if it may cost a little bit a money? That’s money well spent if it prevents an blowout from happening on the highway, where lives are at risk. It’s also money well spent if it saves money in the long run, which it does by boosting your fuel efficiency and extending the life of your tires. That’s less money on gas and tire replacement. Nitrogen tire inflation is like many other goods and services in life. You get what you pay for. If you’re willing to spend the money now in due diligence, it’ll pay off in the long run. Choose to scrimp now, and you might end up paying a very different price.

To learn more about the practice of nitrogen tire inflation, check out nitrogen tire dealer Nitrofleet99.

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Video: Nitrogen in Motorcycles

On June 16, 2011, in Nitrogen Tire Inflation, Video, by allisonmreilly
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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaGoe1j5RyQ&w=425&h=349]

The benefits of inflating your tires with nitrogen have been documented, and the practice is already in use by NASCAR, the airline industry, and the military. But, can motorcycle riders see the same benefits of nitrogen tire inflation as these big industries?

The answer is “Yes!” We at Nitrofleet99 recommend the use of nitrogen for all tires, including motorcycles, due to its benefits of extended tire life, better pressure retention, and thus improved fuel economy and more reliable handling. Tires should be filled with nitrogen to the same pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer for air. Watch the video to learn more.

With the summer travel season in full swing, it’s also recommended that motorcycle riders take extra safety precautions by having an inspection of their vehicle. This inspection should include checking the tire pressure and the tire conditions. At the inspection is the best time to try nitrogen tire inflation, topping off those tires to make them safer for the summer rides ahead.

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proper tire pressure

Don’t forget to check the tire pressure of your spare tire as well as your regular four.

With Memorial Day weekend  just around the corner, AAA projects that over 30 million Americans will travel during those three days alone. For the entire summer travel season, which runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, the organization estimates that 8.7 million motorists will get stranded on the roadways. Don’t be one of them by making sure all five of your tires are properly inflated.

“Roughly 1.2 million drivers will call AAA for help with a flat tire during the summer travel season, and many of those problems could be avoided by inspecting the tires before hitting the road,” said John Nielsen, AAA Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information. “Tire inspections are simple to perform. The only tools needed are a quarter and a tire pressure gauge.” Nielsen further explained that 85 percent of drivers “do not know how to properly inflate their tires, and more than half of all cars on the road have at least one under-inflated tire.”

While we can’t prevent every possible disaster that can happen on the road, we can at least make sure our tires are properly inflated and stay that way throughout the summer. The best way to do that is to utilize nitrogen tire inflation. Nitrogen tire inflation is simply filling up your tires (or topping them off) with nitrogen instead of air. Nitrogen enables more stable tire pressure for longer periods of time, thereby reducing the chances for a blowout. That’s good news if you’re planning to drive at some point during the travel season.

Properly inflated tires also can reduce fuel costs during a trip. The Department of Energy reports that correctly inflating all four tires can improve fuel economy by up to three percent, which is equivalent to as much as to 12 cents per gallon. As rising gas prices are doing little to keep Americans at home this summer, any and every way to save gas money is a good idea.

So, where can you go to get your tires inflated with nitrogen? Is this a service you can just ask for at your local mechanic? Well, not yet. But, a recommended dealer of these hybrid tires is Nitrofleet99. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary for you to remove all the air from your tire before seeing the benefits of nitrogen. You can still just top your tires off with nitrogen to keep them properly inflated.

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