The perfect winter training tyre

N4PALM Posts: 240
edited October 2008 in Workshop
With so many options and so many recommendations flying around for tyres, choosing the right tyre is a minefield.

Some swear by Conti GP 4 seasons, some by Michelin Krylions others by the Stelvio Evolutions. But which ones are the best?

Many people seem to go with a much heavier tyre with extreme puncture protection for the winter but these sometimes sacrifice rolling speed and grip for durability. When riding for fitness training, sacrificing too much rolling resistance for puncture protection isnt always desireable. surely there is a tyre that finds the prefect balance of comprimises?

For example: Many people recommend the Michelin Krylion, but Michelins own tyre charts seem to indicate that the Pro Race 2/3 is a better all round tyre. Yet I read a review for the Pro Race which contradicts this by saying the pro race will not be hard wearing enough for winter use. Which is it to be?

So lets get some real world feedback going. Which is the best all round tyre for winter use, based on a comprimise between rolling speed, grip in the wet, puncture protection, durability. Cost comes into it too, beacuse spending a small fortune on a pair of tyres that grip really well but burn out quickly is also undesireable in a training tyre.

Vote for the tyre but state why u choose that tyre. How is the grip in the wet? How well does it roll? How long does the tyre last? Are there any alternatives to the list in the poll?


  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've tried about 6 of those tyres over the years, and the Krylion is probably the best compromise. The 23mm are fairly firm, so would go for 25mm if they fit - but they're nearer a 28 and don't fit all close clearance frames. A few years ago a club mate tired some Stelvios - based on a recommendation - he had 2 punctures first ride out and had to cut his ride short. If you want something tougher, look at a Schwalbe Marathon - but they are heavy - I've never punctured mine in 2 years and they see a lot of off-road. There's Armadillos too, but they have zero grip in the wet and you may as well be made of wood. I disagree with the assessment of the ProRace - the ProRace 3 is a great performance tyre, but nothing like tough enough for winter - I've had to junk one due to a wayward flint
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Keanocp
    Keanocp Posts: 60
    Krylion Carbon 23's for me winter and summer. Incredibly tough, I cycle some really rough roads and short off road sections and the only puncture in well over a year was when the tip of a needle went through them. Can't fault grip in the wet either and there can't really be much difference between them and the very best tyres for rolling resistance!

    Don't know why anyone would pick anything else, unless racing!
  • robbarker
    robbarker Posts: 1,367
    Panaracer Pasela 700x25c, which fit all but the very tightest race frames, are very rugged. I have covered thousands of miles on them on my audax bike and have found them to be fine. I stick to Pro Race series on my road bike though.
  • DavidBelcher
    DavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    edited October 2008
    For the cheap non-folding trainer/commuter option, I'm currently finding Schwalbe Luganos to be very good, ticking all the usual boxes (except for being heavy thanks to their steel beads) and at around £9 a go.

    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • Kyrilions for grip and handling, gatorskins for puncture resistance.

    For me puncture resistance is most important because i commute in the dark in winter and it's very easy to miss small bits of glass etc so i use gatorskins because i've found them better in that respect otherwise i'd go with kyrilions.
  • N4PALM
    N4PALM Posts: 240
    Thx guys thats exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for.

    But there have been quite a few votes so far for tyres that no one has mentioned. This thread is not a tyre popularity contest. What is it about those tyres that make them good and or bad?

    Just beacuse 4 people say they like the Gp4000 or whatever tells us nothing about what they are like to ride for a whole season or more.
  • big R
    big R Posts: 38
    looking for new tyres now as my krylion carbon 23s are rubbish

    first outing and got a puncture -possibly from a very sharp flint or nail that cut the middle of the rolling strip, so luckly had a another tyre at home so thought i would give them another chance.

    i have found they seem to get lots of small cuts quickly and easily.

    today got a huge cut in the sidewall making the tyre a write off and had to cut my ride short :(

    havnt voted for my favourite as im on the look out for something else now -not giving the krylions another chance.
  • BigDunk
    BigDunk Posts: 39
    23mm spesh armadillo's over a full year one puncture,my fault as i saw a foriegn object i thought was abit of tarmac stuck to the tyre turned out to be a nice big thorn. I rode on it for 2 miles before it got through.over 2000miles on them and the tread still looks new.Got my vote.
    If your out the back,can anyone hear you scream?
  • alwaysOTB
    alwaysOTB Posts: 151
    Vittoria Rubino Pros came very highly recomended to me... just bought a set for 11.69 at Ribble, will have to see how well they hold up though
  • big R
    big R Posts: 38
    used to ride the rubino pros -

    in my opinion - poor rolling resisance - good puncture resistance - poor grip in the wet or greesy conditions but ok in dry. (used to ride them all year round)

    anyone tryed michelin lithion or speedium ????????
  • JoeBH
    JoeBH Posts: 63
    I ride Prorace 2s at the moment and can't see myself changing (unless the 3's are alot different). They last for ages, seem puncture proof enough (I've had 2 punctures since getting them at the beginning of the year- and the first was whilst using lightweight tubes) and best of all the grip really well in the wet.
    I think it's good to always use the same tyres so that you really get a feel for how they ride, and forhow far you can push them.
  • I cannot remember puncturing on my Conti 4 seasons last winter - and they survived the Tour of Flanders. Conti GP4000s have given me plenty of grief puncture wise, but some of these were probably due to my ill fated trial of their supersonic tubes - hopelessly fragile.
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    In the mid-price bracket I'd vote Rubino Pro's - good puncture resistance, roll well, good grip in the dry, ok grip in the wet (no worse than any others I've used). For the price they're excellent.
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    1. Are there suddenly more objects to puncture your bikes on the roads in the winter, or is it purely the relatively increased inconvenience and discomfort of having to fix a puncture that's being discussed?

    2. Why is a heavier tyre bad for training? Won't it actually be a boon in that you'll have to put in that tiny bit *more* effort?
  • N4PALM
    N4PALM Posts: 240
    Thx for all the feedback so far.

    Personally extreme puncture prevention is not my priority at any time of the year. The reason I titled this post with winter tyre is to make it clear that wet grip is a priority.

    People do always seem to focus so much on the puncture prevention in a tyre over all its over qualities, especially in the winter. I guess they are more concerned with having to fix punctures in the cold.

    A perfect all round tyre will grip supremely in the wet and dry. Will last a decent length of time. Will roll with a little resistance as possible. Will be as puncture proof as it can be without being overly heavy because of it. It will basically be a much more durable version of a racing tyre. At least thats the way I see it.

    I started this thread to get some real world feedback from people who have a tyre for a length of time on a daily basis so we can all understand what tyres are good in what occasion. Buying tyres can be a bit of a minefield.

    One tyre might give you supreme grip in the dry, rarely puncture, last 5000+miles but let you down in the wet corners all the time.

    Another tyre might be perfect but be shredded with wear within 1500miles.

    Reading all the reviews on tyres can only tell you so much, actually owning them and using them will tell you everything. I'm just trying to get everyone to share their experiences.
  • yogi
    yogi Posts: 456
    I've used Michelin Pro Race 2's for a few years and not found them great for puncture resistance.

    The new Pro 3's are a great tyre in every department, I've not had a puncture since I fitted them in March and I know of others who have had similar experiences.

    I've also got one bike fitted with Schwalbe Blizzards, wire ones that cost 12 quid each and they are also a good tyre for training, again I can't remember having punctured on them.
  • ademort
    ademort Posts: 1,924
    Have had my schwalbe stelvios on my Carbon road bike for a year now and no punctures, cannot complain, ridden on some rough farmers roads and still going strong. Have recently purchased some Michelin Krylion carbon 25c for my work bike so am hoping that they live upto expectations. Greetings Ademort
    Chinarello, record and Mavic Cosmic Sl
    Gazelle Vuelta , veloce
    Giant Defy 4
    Mirage Columbus SL
    Batavus Ventura
  • careful
    careful Posts: 720
    I've used Conti gatorskins for the last three years and been lucky enough never to puncture them. They seem to last well and have reasonable grip. Had to bin two Sp Armadillos when the treads separated from the kevlar or whatever is underneath.
  • FPDave
    FPDave Posts: 24
    for me, living in the Peak with many steep and fast descents on narrow, often wet and leafy lanes wet grip is of ultimate importance.

    I currently ride Gatorskins on my winter bike and though reasonably grippy and pretty puncture ressistant they dont give much confidence on wet leaves. I rode another bike with conti GP4000's on last weekend and still wasnt that confident, but it was wet and greasy and leafy and very steep in places.

    I used to use a michelin tyre that had a file tread and was great for cutting thru the leaf mulch and grease, but was too hard and ultimate grip was not good enough. Cant remember what they were.

    The ultimate for me and my riding would be a file tread, a mix of hard centre strip for braking grip and softer rubber and the same file tread on the flanks for cornering.
    just get out and ride, ride, ride
  • Rich-Ti
    Rich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    FPDave wrote:
    I currently ride Gatorskins on my winter bike and though reasonably grippy and pretty puncture ressistant they dont give much confidence on wet leaves.
    Nothing but knobblies will grip on wet leaves, surely?! :roll: