As nitrogen tyres become more popular, you might be wondering which tyre better suits your needs - nitrogen or air. Well, we’re here to answer that for you.
To determine which tyre is better for you, here are a few things to consider;
1. tyre pressure retention
All tyres lose inflation pressure over time. The question is which one retains the pressure the longest
An organisation named Consumer Reports conducted a study to determine just this. They filled various tyres with nitrogen and air and left them outside in the open for a year. While both tyres lost pressure, the pressure loss for the air tyre was 3.5 psi, while the nitrogen one lost 2.2 psi.
Though the difference is marginal, the nitrogen tyres do retain pressure longer than tyres with compressed air. So if you’re looking for pressure retention from your tyres, we’d recommend you go for nitrogen-filled tyres.
2. Cost and availability
If you’re looking for cost, convenience, and availability in terms of topping up your tyres, we’d recommend tyres filled with compressed air.
Almost all petrol bunks have a station to fill your tyres with air, and they’re almost always free of charge. In this way, compressed air tyres are more convenient, as you can just check and fill your tyre pressure when you refill your fuel.
As nitrogen tyres have become more popular, some petrol bunks also feature a station to fill top up your tyres with nitrogen. But since they are relatively new players in the market, finding a filling station to top up your pressure might be a little tougher. And when you do, it might not be free. While some bunks do fill up your tyres with nitrogen for free, some might not.
3. Fuel economy
A decrease in tyre pressure increases the rolling resistance of your tyres, which reduces your fuel economy. Since studies have shown that nitrogen tyres retain pressure for longer, they would help in improving your fuel economy.
However, even if you opt for a compressed air tyre, it shouldn’t affect your fuel efficiency too much. As long as you keep a check on your tyre pressure every month and keep it at the recommended level, you can maximise your mileage.
Once you’ve decided to get nitrogen-filled tyres, keep in mind that you will have to regularly fill your tyres with only nitrogen. Hence, maintaining the tyres can be difficult.
Note that you can fill them with compressed air if you’re ever in a fix, but it will render the beneficial properties of the nitrogen ineffective. With compressed air tyres, this won’t be an issue.