Cycling tyres for winter?

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07/09/2008 at 15:01

Just a quick question for you cyclists out there with more experience than myself!

With winter approaching, what size tyres would be best for a road bike to carry you through the winter training period, current I have 23s on mine, but figure these will be too flimsy and puncture prone for winter use.

Im guessing 25 or wider, or is it best to put the road bike in the shed altogether and just stick to using mountain bike and doing spinning classes?

JD.    pirate
07/09/2008 at 15:32

gp4000 (cheap on ebay) are good strong tyres for year round cycling.  25mm will be more comfortable i think.

actually, would be good if someone could confirm that.  i was thinking of getting some wider tyres for a bit more comfort.  would they be much slower than 23mm tyres.  not that that matters in training i guess.

cougie    pirate
07/09/2008 at 18:11
Yeah they will be a bit more comfy - bigger airspace. I normally ride 23mm year round - the roads are as wet summer as in winter anyway. And if its icy - just dont ride ! Gp4000s are great tyres tho.
GOM.    pirate
07/09/2008 at 18:26
07/09/2008 at 18:48

Nearly £26 for a tyre?

My bike didn't cost me that.....

07/09/2008 at 20:11
I've just bought a set of 23mm Rubino Pros for winter - I wanted a compromise between something that will last and something that wont handle significantly worse than a race tyre.    I thought about 25s but as I run mudguards in Winter was a bit unsure about them leaving less clearance.   No reason not to ride a road bike in Winter though - in fact some of the best days of the year for riding are in Winter with snow on the ground up in the hills, just so long as there isn't too much on the road.
07/09/2008 at 20:13

25mm are noticeably more comfortable.  I rode the Paris-Roubaix route the other weekend on Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite 700x25.  Despite the severity of the course, I had no punctures.  They cost  £25 each, mind.

On the subject of tyres, do tyres with a bit of tread grip better than slicks in the wet?  I've tended to let a bit of air out of my tyres on wet commutes, but it can be slippery, although I think this is probably due to oil on the road.

08/09/2008 at 12:44


I was looking at the gp4000s myself, both the 23mm and 25mm version, they look a good tyre.

Think it will probably be a choice between the gp4000s or the tyres that GOM posted the link too.

Mr Bump:

Correct me if im wrong and I probably am because of my inexperience, but would have thought lowering the tyre pressures would increase the risk of getting a puncture due to the fact more of the tyre surface would be in contact with the ground, though grip would be improved.

08/09/2008 at 13:04
Continental Gator Skins. Brilliant.
08/09/2008 at 13:44
Micksta - Yes, I agree with you.  The pressure was lowered simply to improve grip, although I was aware that my chances of puncturing was higher.
08/09/2008 at 14:33
No, road bike tyres with tread don't grip better in the wet.  The contact patch is so small that tread will make no difference to the water being pushed out from under the tyre.  The shape of the tyre also makes it very efficient at clearing water.  But..... letting air out of the tyres does not improve grip.  In fact the increased contact patch could decrease the ability of the tyre to clear the water from under it, hence decreasing the amount of grip.
08/09/2008 at 17:42

Whatever the science most experienced riders do go with a lower psi in the wet - whether that is tradition or for good reason is maybe another thing but I would prefer to run about 105psi on wet roads and 120+ in the dry if the roads aren't too bad.

08/09/2008 at 20:42

Armadillos and Gatorskins for me - no punctures for 2 winters despite pretty much daily use (Lawks - said it now...).

I always have my tyres up at 110psi. There is no difference in grip between treaded tyres and slicks, and you'll just get more puntures if you run lower pressures - a rockhard tyre will repel sharps better than a soft one, which will absorb the blow and allow a penetration.

Apparently for a fully inflated road tyre you need to be doing 120mph+ before you can aquaplane!

25mm is definitely more comfortable than 23. Can be a b*gger to get the mudguards on though if your bike doesn't have the clearance.

Edited: 08/09/2008 at 20:45
09/09/2008 at 07:58
Another vote for the gator skins.
Imeccentric    pirate
09/09/2008 at 08:43

I ride TUFO's  Clincher / tub cross  23mm in the winter and 21's on the TT bike , almost puncture proof and hardy.

09/09/2008 at 08:50
Gatorskins pour moi as well
09/09/2008 at 11:17

Hmmm looks like I will stick with 23mm then, seems a few people on here use them and get along without too many problems. Think my clearence on my bike would make 25mm a problem anyways, may just get them on, but would not be much room.

My current tyres are Continental Duraskins, but they do seem to get punctures most times I ride in the wet, despite myself keeping them inflated to around 100psi or just above, for whatever reason, I seem to struggle to get 120psi out of them, the presta valve just spits my pump out at anything above 7bar pressure.

Still reckon those GP3000 winter tyres could be my best bet, I know they are expensive but only a few pound more than the GP4000.

09/09/2008 at 11:25

I thought the GP3000 were just the old version of the GP4000?

Shiraz and I (after taking advice on here) have both just fitted GP4000S tyres - no problems yet but then we won't ride much when it's wet!

Also sounds like your pump's broken - you should be able to get up to 8 bar (if the tyres take it...)

Hess.    pirate
11/09/2008 at 14:49

I use the continental Triathlon tyre for racing  and stick with a cheaper set of Panaracer strata Elite for training throughout the year. I find that you really notice the benefit of a good tyre on race day (Not that I've done much this year). I'm sure most of it is Pshycolgical but I definately seem to average 1-2Kms/hr faster on race day.

I do have a bit of a question on this subject. This years Panaracer tyre has a rotation arrow on it (it is very small) and I've just noticed I've mounted the tyre in the wrong direction. Last years tyre had no such markings, and bearing in mind that;

A)The tread is so minimal

B)Tread appears to make very little difference

Does anyone think that I should remove the tyre and remount it in the correct direction or will it really make no difference?

11/09/2008 at 15:27

The tread makes absolutely no difference on a road tyre so it doesn't matter which way round they go.


Actually that's not true...... tread can reduce the amount of grip a road tyre has, if the tread is deep/wide enough.  But I suspect the tyres you're talking about have some sort of cosmetic tread pattern.

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