As the seasons change and winter comes closer, every motorist knows the impact it will have on the roads. Snow, ice, slush and frost heaves all occur, making roads more hazardous and difficult to navigate. To help make it safer for you on the winter roads, especially on road bikes, it is incredibly important to have winter tyres.
- 1 Continental Unisex’s Grand Prix 4 Season Tyres
- 2 Hutchinson Fusion 5 All Season Folding Road Tyres
- 3 Schwalbe Winter Kevlar Guard Rigid Spiked Road Tyres
- 4 Schwalbe Marathon Wired Tyres with GreenGuard Reflex
- 5 Is It Worth to Buy Winter Tyres? What are its uses?
- 6 Considerations in Buying Winter Tyres for Road Bikes
- 7 Conclusion
Continental’s Grand Prix four season tyres are award winning, being named Road Bike Magazine’s Top Winter Tire. They have a circular tread pattern, making them ideal for winter riding, and are one inch wide. This will provide greater stability, as well as allowing for great wet weather performance.
These tyres are extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 230 grams total. However, don’t underestimate them. They offer impressive grip nonetheless and provide good puncture resistance. Within the tyres, you’ll find a double layer of Vectran, which is a tech fiber. It is tear resistant, with similarities to spider silk. The sidewalls are made of DuraSkin, which is designed to work in even the harshest of conditions. This will keep them from tearing or getting too beat up while being used all year long in a wide range of situations.
Overall, if toughness, durability and reliable wet weather prowess is what you need, these are the tyres you’d want to go for.
- Very lightweight
- Works as four- season tyres
- Tread pattern works well in snow
- Could be more long lasting for the price
If you are looking for tyres that are lighter in weight, while still being durable, there are a good option. That is because you are going to get both a 100 percent Polymide layer, and a Kevlar layer, making these tyres virtually puncture resistant. Both layers and the rest of the tyres only weigh 325 grams total.
The tyres work well in both wet and dry conditions, making them great for roads that are slushy. There is a striated tread design for good grip. Perfect for racing enthusiasts and cyclists, these tyres work well all year long, and are very affordable. Another highlight is its versatility. Whether it’s long journeys on winter roads or dry roads in the summer, you’ll find that the Hutchinson adapts and performs well all the same. One thing to note is that the sidewalls can be on the thinner side compared to the rest of the tyres.
- Rugged and long lasting
- Works well in wet and dry conditions
- Multiple puncture proof layers
- Thin sidewalls
Ice can be a big issue with the roads during winter. As snow melts and the temperatures change, the roads can become very hazardous. Schwalbe can help you to better take on the ice through 120 spikes lined in each tyre. This will give you more grip and help prevent you from skidding or losing control on the ice.
There are reflective strips on the tyres as well to help keep you visible when it gets foggy or dark. You also get a Kevlar sub-tread and SnakeSkin sidewalls, making them even more durable and puncture resistant than they already are. These tyres are also very affordable for everything you get. The only downside is that you have a more squared tread, which does not perform as well as circular tread.
- Reflective strips for greater visibility
- Kelvar for greater puncture resistance
- Ice spikes includes to provide greater grip
- More squared tread
If you are looking for a way to also help the environment with your tyres, you can also go with Schwalbe’s Marathon tyres with GreenGuard. What’s special with the popular German Schwalbe brand is that they’ve created their own technology and methods, culminating in a material called GreenGuard. GreenGuard is the tyre’s sub-tread, which is made up of partial recycled materials. GreenGuard is specifically made of one- third recycled tyres, with the rest being new materials.
These tyres are incredibly affordable, making them great for bikers of any budget. They also come with a lifetime warranty, which makes them a fantastic investment. The only issue with these tyres is that they have rather square tread, which will still work, but are not ideal in winter when you can have more circular tread patterns.
- 1/3 recycled material used in sub-tread
- Ease of fit and much easier to pedal
- Allows for longer freewheeling and very quiet riding
- Quite heavy
Is It Worth to Buy Winter Tyres? What are its uses?
To help you better understand just how important the role winter tyres play is, it is important to see what they really do compared to summer tyres.
There are far more sipes, which are the grooves in the tread patterns, in winter tyres than in summer tyres. The more sipes you have in your tyres, the more grip you will have, allowing you more traction on slippery surfaces.
Greater Tread Depth
Winter tyres also have greater tread depth than summer tyres. This allows more snow, water and slush to go into the tread spots, while not impacting the ability of the tyre to maintain its grip. That means the tyres can handle thicker snow and slug, while also keeping its traction.
Better in Cold Temperatures
The rubber the tyres are made of is also not synthetic rubber, like many summer tyres are. This plays a major role in the tyre’s ability to handle colder temperatures. That is because winter tyres do not harden like summer tyres do in the cold. When tyres harden, it causes the tyres to constrict and lose the ability to grip like they do when they are softer.
Snow tyres vibrate more than summer tyres, which plays a vital role in how the tyres do on the roads. The vibrations allow snow and ice that enters the wheel’s grooves and depths to be knocked out, rather than staying in. This prevents build up, keeping your tyres going without filling up and losing traction.
Improved Stopping Time
With the increased grip from your tyres, you can also count on stopping faster. On average, you stop a distance of two car lengths sooner than you would on summer tyres. The winter tyres will also do better on standing water, which will prevent hydroplaning.
Considerations in Buying Winter Tyres for Road Bikes
Not all winter tyres are created equal. Having the right winter tyres will give you a far better outcome. Some things to look for include:
You want to look for a winter tyre with a tread pattern that is more circular, rather than a square shape. This will help your tyres better resist hydroplaning if there is standing water or melting snow.
When it comes to the size of your tyres, you want to go with wider options. The wider your tyres, the more tread you will have room for and the more stability you will have.
Tube vs Tubeless
There are two types of bike tyres. The tube option is typically seen as the better option during summer months. But during the winter months you want to see tubeless options because it is not going to puncture and will be much more durable to the frost heaves and debris in the road.
Tubeless tyres are filled with a sealant, making them seal most of the punctures that occur before the tyres can really deflate. But if you choose to go with tubed tyres, you will want a protective layer to handle the rougher rides in the winter months. This is known as a sub-tread and is used to protect against punctures.
You can go with the basic sub-tread of an extra layer of rubber, or spend the extra money for more puncture resistant materials like Kelvar or Vectran. These will make it almost impossible to poke a hole in your tyre’s tubing.
Threads Per Inch
Threads are underneath the outer rubber of the tyres, with the number of threads per inch known as the TPI. The higher the TPI, the more flexible the tyres will be. Lower numbers of TPI are more durable and less prone to damage. You will want to look for a moderate TPI in winter to get a good mix of flexibility and durability.
Don’t let your tyres be the difference between successfully making it home and having an accident this winter. By getting snow tyres, you can better handle the roads and prevent any issues with skipping, sliding or fishtailing. On your bike, this can make the difference between life and death this time of year.