Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

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Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

Postby ChrisButch » 13 Oct 2012, 10:46pm

I'm having trouble sourcing these - maybe because they don't exist. I'm not talking about studded snow/ice tyres, nor about '4-season' training tyres etc marketed as suitable for winter use. What I'm looking for are tyres with a tread compound formulated specifically for colder temperatures, such as Conti's Top Contact Winter. These are available only in 700x37, but I can't squeeze anything bigger than 700 x 30 into my winter bike. Does anybody know of an equivalent product which might be made in narrower sizes?

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Re: Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

Postby ChrisButch » 17 Oct 2012, 10:17am

The lack of responses to my question reinforces my suspicion that the Conti Top Contact Winter is indeed the only tyre of this type at present available.

We do now have a reasonable selection of studded tyres, but the snow/ice conditions for which these are designed are relatively unusual in most British winters. Much more common are conditions in which the road surface is just a degree or two above freezing. For motorists unstudded 'winter tyres', which have a tread compound specifically formulated for optimum performance in these temperatures, are now widely available. I would have thought that there would be a large enough market for these to be developed more widely for bikes also, particularly as these conditions are so common at commuting time.

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Re: Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

Postby stewartpratt » 17 Oct 2012, 10:33am

I've looked around a reasonable bit and I think these are the only one.

I'm not sure how much of a market there really is; most people will just soldier on happily enough with standard tyres, or won't cycle through the winter, or at least will think £80 or so for a pair of tyres for just a few months of the year is somewhat steep, especially if they wear quickly (as I assume they do, but that's very much an assumption).

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Re: Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

Postby Brucey » 17 Oct 2012, 10:54am

given that it is possible to have frosty mornings for about six months of the year here, I wonder if;

a) there isn't a market for such tyres, as suggested and/or;

b) whether tyres sold in the UK and similar climates might be already be made of rubber compounds which operate reasonably well in lower temperatures.

Car tyres are made in different compounds to suit the territory in which they are sold, and part of that is the range of temperatures within which they will operate happily.

IIRC Continental are one of the few bicycle tyre makers who publish any information about the rubber compound hardness etc that they use.


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Re: Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

Postby JohnW » 17 Oct 2012, 12:27pm

This isn't a recommendation to anyone, just telling you what I do.

All my riding is on-road, with a few towpaths and bridleways thrown in to avoid some of the most horrible traffic, but I've ridden Paselas all year round for several years, and so far not had a problem. Snow/ice/compacted snow will defeat any gripping qualities on any tyres, and the slimy, greasy deposits will defeat the Paselas, but applying common sense, I've always used the same tyres all year round. I commuted 10 miles each way, all year round, for 27 years and I never felt the need to change.

For many years I rode the same Michelins all year round - I eventually found them very bad for punctures and sought a solution, which turned out to be Paselas.

The one caveat to all that is that those were the days when roads were properly treated in winter - i.e. salted/gritted when frosted/slippery surfaces were expected - they don't do it nowadays, so beware, whatever tyres you're using.

As to greenways in winter - in my experience, these are never treated and when it's frosty they're always dodgy - black ice is never safe no matter what tyres you're on.

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Re: Winter tyres in narrower sizes?

Postby mig » 17 Oct 2012, 12:59pm

agreed to go easy whatever tyres you use in winter. i would say however that studded tyres do 'defeat' snow and ice within reason.

as for the continental winters in 37c i have recently tried one in a frame with a supposed maximum of 32c with mudguards and they fit no problem using an open pro rim! maybe they come up small and might fit. admittedly it's approx £40 to find out though :(