Tire Pressure Pioneer: Tom Anhalt

Tom Anhalt was one of the first to turn conventional wisdom regarding inflation on its head. He is a smart guy. No doubt. But his true talent is curiosity. In this episode we learn that questioning the norm and having an open mind can lead to more than just marginal gains but to revelations.

Tom Anhalt runs the blog site, blather ‘bout bikes where he does deep dive posts on tire comparisons, bike aerodynamics and most importantly: rolling resistance. He is also a regular contributor to Slowtwitch.com.

Got a question you’d like to ask? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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  • Thomas Kunich

    Nice to know my wild guess turned out to be pretty accurate. I don’t quite know how to classify these California roads, there aren’t SOME cracks – they have almost entirely a crack per wheel revolution. And the cracks are large enough to jar the bike. Switching to the 28 mm tires increased speed dramatically. I had changed to 25 mm tubeless but then had enough tubeless failures to change back to clincher and then had to change back to clincher rims since it is almost impossible to fix a tubeless tire on the road in case of a failure and my wife was having to come and pick me up. And going to clincher 25’s the bike spent to much time bobbing up and down on the cracks and the ride was atrocious. Returning to 28’s the vastly improved ride made putting power in more easy. Since I’m 75 and no longer fast, or care about it, my concern is being able to make rides. Even with the lockdown I have still been able to get to 75,000 feet of climbing which is about 1/3rd my normal climbing. And the same with my mileage which is 2,400 presently. Because there’s no where to stop and get a pastry and coffee, the long rides are pretty much out of the question. Being in Alameda County certainly doesn’t help since they appear to want to put all small companies out of business.

  • Stephan

    Hi there

    I enjoy your podcast!

    I have a question on tire pressure. Using the Zipp/Sram Tire pressure guide I get recommended pressures of 3.6/3.8 bar (total weight 68kg, 30mm tubeless tires)

    Since I do many and steep climbs I’m noticing that the rear tire bulges significantly.

    By how much do you think I need to adjust the rear wheel pressure.

    My solution is about 4.3 bar in the back.


  • Matt King

    Another great interview.

    Here’s an AJA question if you ever do another episode: Watching the Virtuel TdF with picture-in -picture of the riders, noone seems to be looking at bike fit as a path for gains. In the real world, aerodynamics is a big factor, but in Zwift it’s purely about the Watts. Anyone climbing a hill knows it’s easier on the tops than on the drops, because you can put out power more comfortably. Surely there’s something to be gained (biomechanically) from using a more upright seating position?

  • Danny

    AJA question:

    It’s pretty clear from the data that in real world conditions, given a supple tyre etc wider tyres at lower pressures can be faster. However, I wonder if this is still the case when out of the saddle sprinting or climbing? Anecdotally, when I sprint on 32c tyres at ~60 psi I can feel the tyres ‘bouncing’ or squishing. This has got to be increasing rolling resistance…. right? So for dynamic racing, is there a balance between steady state low rolling resistance and having a tyre that is suportive enough for the moments that matter? Most pro’s still seem to be running ~25 mm tyres.

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