There has been ongoing debates and dilemmas regarding the use of Nitrogen gas in bike tyres. A lot of riders are still not sure if it really does any good to the bike or adds any value to their own riding experience.
There is no secret that Nitrogen is commonly used in heavy duty vehicles use like aeroplanes, military vehicles and fast pace NASCAR because of the rough treatment and gruelling environment they go through.
So does it make sense to fill your normal city commuter/touring bike with Nitrogen, which costs around between Rs. 10 to 50 per refill, compared to the free air we easily get at petrol pumps?
The answer is Yes. Well, at least for those who are too busy to keep a check on the correct tyre pressure every other day.
Here are some facts and advantages that might make you switch to Nitrogen than basic air.
1. Consistent tyre pressure – Motorcycle tyres filled with regular air on average loses 1 psi a month, however, a tyre filled with Nitrogen loses 1 psi in 4-5 months stretch because of the larger molecules.
2. Better fuel efficiency – If your tyre is at optimum pressure all the time, results are that you will get up to 3.5% better fuel efficiency.
3. Lesser wear and tear, improved tyre life – If 3.5% increase in mileage doesn’t excite you enough than having a healthy and long lasting tyre definitely will. Better tyre life = longer tyre change intervals = less expenditure on bike care.
4. Tyres run cooler – This one is an added advantage of having Nitrogen in your tyres. Though the difference in temperature is not astronomical compared to tyre filled with air, it surely increases safety under prolong hot riding conditions where tyre burst is still a possibility.
5. No rusting of the rim – Rusting in the rims is caused by condensation of water vapour (moisture) and other gases which get caught in valves. Nitrogen being drier than air, eradicates the chances for condensation, hence no rim erosion.
So after reading this, if you feeling little convinced to try Nitrogen at least once for your beloved bike, do keep this 3 important tips in minds while getting it filled:
1. Deflate (vacuum) your current tyre air completely before filling it with Nitrogen. A good tyre shop would have a proper Nitrogen filling machine similar to what shown below, that takes out all the air from your tyres.
2. Because Nitrogen-filled tyres don’t heat up as much, they also don’t increase in pressure as much with use. Therefore it is suggested to fill 1-2 psi more than the prescribed figure by the manufacturer.
3. If your Nitrogen filled bike tyres get punctured, restart the complete process from point 1.
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