Nitrogen inflated tyres
Reading specialized magazine articles on the subject, one might think that nitrogen inflation is far superior to oxygen. Sure enough, nitrogen inflated tyres have gained ground in the civil engineering branch as well as in the plane industry ( civil and military)
Does it mean nitrogen is always the best choice?
The air we breathe is a gaz composed by 78% nitrogen, 21%oxygen, and 1% other elements. Nitrogen this thus a gas that is already present in great quantities in normal air. If take into consideration that 98% nitrogen is as good as it gets, the superiority of nitrogen over air may be seriously qualified
Just like any other gases, nitrogen behaves according to the rules of expansion and condensation. It means that just as for air, when the temperature increases, pressure inside the tyre increases and vice versa
- Just like other gases, nitrogen is sensitive to outside temperature, so that you still need to incease pressure slightly with the coming of the fall.
- Just like oxygen ( in red), Nitrogen ( in blue) slowly escapes from the tyre ( less quickly)
- Even though nitrogen inflation prevents corrosion to a degree since it doesn't tolerate moisture, you should know that oxygen keeps entering the tyre due to atmospheric pressure. As a consequence, the rate of corrosion is only reduced.
- Nitrogen is more stable than oxygen and the rise in temperatures during the heat cycle remains moderate compared to the variation for air inflated tyres. As a consequence, the gas is more predictable than air for competition racing.
- Nitrogen inflation involves a cost that must be taken into consideration compared to the zero cost of oxygen.
- Finding a nitrogen inflation station might be difficult depending on where you are. You should never take risks with your tyre inflation
Never use a vacuum pump to get your tyre ready before nitrogen inflation as it may damage the tyre internal structure permanently.