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  1. #1
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    Winter tires for road bikes?

    I hope this hasn't been asked before...

    I am hoping to commute with my road bike as much as possible this winter, but with fenders on, the most I can get on the bike would be 700 x 28c tires. I am expecting more rain than snow, but there definately will be snow/slush on the shoulders periodically. Probably not a lot of hard packed snow/ice.

    So is there a road tire in this size that would have some aggressive tread to them? I haven't found anything smaller than a CX tire in 35c or so, and all the bike shops tell me i'm out of luck, so I guess maybe I'm looking for a final answer before I jsut ride the slicks until I wipe out and built up a mtb commuter again.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Continental Contact tires have a decent tread pattern to them, not as aggressive as mountain knobbies, but far better than slicks. Also check out Specialized Nimbus. Both are available in 700x28c

  3. #3
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    I have the same 700x28 with fender on the rear of my commute bike (front I can go up to 32c).

    I use Vittoria Randonneur Cross tires.

    They have some raised tread that help with grip in mush. Available in 700x28 and good value. Oh, if you can get them, get the reflective strip for a little bit of extra safety

  4. #4
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    You don't need a tread pattern on a road tire. The rounded profile will cut through snow/rain/whatever and get to the pavement. Better quality rubber that can grip slick surfaces is more important. I've ridden slicks every day through a Wisconsin winter.

    From Sheldon
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html
    Tread for on-road use

    Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!

    Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphalt or concrete, you'll see that the texture of the road itself is much "knobbier" than the tread features of a good quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while in contact with the road.

    People ask, "But don't slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?" The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this.

  5. #5
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    Sheldon wasn't referring to snow. I guess a lot depends on where you live and what type of weather conditions are around, but where I am I notice a huge difference in traction when it eventually snows and I change my tyres from Specialized All Conditions to the Vittoria Cross. Another point is that I ride a little bit on dirt road.

    Normally though I adhere to the 'slick is best' and run normal slicks.

  6. #6
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    Only if the snow is so bad you can't push through it. Normally it is easy to penetrate and get down to the roadway. Continential has a blizzard tire or something that has carbon fragments in the tread to help grip slick surfaces.

    Back in the day they did a test for car tires. They made a slick out of the Aquatread compound, and made the Aquatread tire out of the slick's tire compound. As slicks they both did fine with the purpose built one working the best. In the wet, the Aquatread slick greatly outperformed the treaded tire made out of the slick compound. Moral of the story: compounds are more important than tread design.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcolin
    I guess maybe I'm looking for a final answer before I jsut ride the slicks until I wipe out and build up a mtb commuter again.
    That was going to be my suggestion: find an old full-rigid mountain bike and get it set up. I'm not shy about riding on snow and ice; in fact, I sort of relish it. But not on 700 x 28 slicks. There's stuff you can't punch through with a bicycle tire to reach the pavement, and at that point, it's time for Plan B: if you can't punch down through it, can you stick some tread blocks into it? And/or some studs?

    There is the smallest Nokian A10 that stands 29mm tall from the rim, according to Peter White, and has studs as well. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp

  8. #8
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    I can vouch for one thing....stay off the painted lines on the road whether it's wet OR dry, knobbies OR slicks. Took a bad experience to learn this one.
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="3"]Eat to Live[/SIZE][/SIZE]...[SIZE="3"]not the other way around[/SIZE]

  9. #9
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    Got the Forté Gotham Road and MTB Tires in 700/35 for 12.00. Put in slime 4.00 tire liners.
    Sweet ride for 3lbs a piece. Come get me Goatheads!
    The Internet: All the piracy, none of the scurvy.

  10. #10
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    I have a pair of the older style of Specialized All-Conditions which have a grippy rubber compound. They are incredible in snow and slush and even occasionally on ice, I mean, for a road tire anyway. I am running 25c, but the are really closer to 28c in size, not sure if the newer model is quite as oversized, but I hear they work just as well in nasty conditions.
    Last edited by FishMan473; 11-26-2008 at 05:11 PM.
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