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tyres, winter and thinking ahead

wantawaywantaway Posts: 96
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
I have unwittingly become a full time cycle commuter. From humble beginnings I am at a stage where I think there have been about 3 days in the last 4 months where I have not got to work on the bike.

Anyway, a certain bike shop* have got a sale on tyres. I love a bargain, I can't stop buying bike things and I like being prepared. So I was wondering...

1) just how many kilometers I can expect to get out of a set of tyres (in this case Gatorskins). I just want a feel for when the ones I have will give up the ghost.

2) Do people change their choice of tyres for winter? Do people suggest having a less slick option for the winter roads would a few extra nobly bits not make a blind bit of difference on a set of 700 x 25 road wheels

any suggestions or thoughts? I have only ever ridden mountain bikes in winter conditions and so was wondering if I was missing some dark art of road biking.



*other bike shops are available on request

Posts

  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    I use Gatorskins (non-folding) year round. I've just changed from 23mm to 25mm (no special reason tbh) and the 23mms lasted me about a year. About 6-7,000 miles, I guess. I've used the 23mm in ths snow (not intentionally - a few of us on here did a sportive in Jan this year and it snowed). You just have to be careful; same as in the wet.
    FCN 2-4.

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  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Some tyres are reputedly more grippy than others, but going down the knobbly tyred route MTB style is likely to get you less not more grip. Road tyres are designed for the road, MTB tyres designed for off road, neither will perform terribly well when it comes to grip in the others demesne.

    If you're worried get an all round tyre like the Conti-4Seasons or Schwalbe Marathon, though I'm sure plenty will be quick to point out their favourites.

    I'd also suggest mudguards, fixed on if you have the eyelets or SKS raceblades if you don't. Cold water sprayed over your back isn't pleasant and in winter hypothermia can be a risk, why increase it?
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    I've got Conti 4 seasons (23C) on at the moment and they work fine all year round. No punctures (until I typed that of course ...). Funny brown coloured walls, though. If I could be bothered, I'd change to GP4000s for summer, but doubt there would be any noticeable difference.

    My 9 year old has Gatorskins (26*1.125, more or less 28C) on his road bike. Also fine all year round.

    Marathons are reputedly more puncture resistant. We have them on the tandem and they seem OK for road, canal paths, etc. Bit heavy and wide though.
  • wantawaywantaway Posts: 96
    Cheers fro the info, it looks like I should be ok with the tyres I have for a while yet then. Means I can watse bike money on less practical things then.

    I didn't think I'd need winter tyres but as road bike riders are a funny breed and seem to be encouraged to buy all kinds of gear, I thought I'd better ask.

    Oh and I've got mudguards. Not sure I'd want to ride without them.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    wantaway wrote:
    I have unwittingly become a full time cycle commuter. From humble beginnings I am at a stage where I think there have been about 3 days in the last 4 months where I have not got to work on the bike.

    Good man!
    Anyway, a certain bike shop* have got a sale on tyres. I love a bargain, I can't stop buying bike things

    +1!
    1) just how many kilometers I can expect to get out of a set of tyres (in this case Gatorskins). I just want a feel for when the ones I have will give up the ghost.

    Thousands of miles I'd have thought. Just keep an eye on your tires, it's usually fairly clear when they need replacing.

    2) Do people change their choice of tyres for winter? Do people suggest having a less slick option for the winter roads would a few extra nobly bits not make a blind bit of difference on a set of 700 x 25 road wheels

    Knobbly bits are totally pointless on the road and will result in less grip not more.
    any suggestions or thoughts? I have only ever ridden mountain bikes in winter conditions and so was wondering if I was missing some dark art of road biking.

    I use Vittoria Rubino Pros all year round on the commuter. They're 23's and seem to be very grippy. Also they are v v p*ncture resistant - I've had just one in around 12 months.
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  • fathertedfatherted Posts: 199
    I've used loads of different tyres and you can't beat Vittoria tyres for value and durability for commuting roadbikes. I use Rubinos and you can get them for less than a tenner.
    Same goes for Vittoria innertubes, currently £36 for 20, i think from Ribble.
    I've used Gatorskins but the sidewalls were always failing on mine and they're pigs to fit on some wheels and they're no more puncture resistant than most other tyres.
  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    I am running Gatorskins, Rubino Techs and Michelin Pro3 s on different bikes and the gatorskins have no marks on them at all, whereas the Pro3s are already covered in gashes and have numerous holes caused by chips, as do the rubinos to a lesser extent. The rubinos are pretty old and are 23s but the others are 25s which I prefer. Gatorskins are good all round tyres but not as grippy as the Pro3s and don't inspire as much confidence, although I rode the HOTA in the snow on them. Rubino Techs are pretty bullet proof but don't give you much feedback and are a harsher ride (plus of course they're 23s). Looking at the state of my Pro3s though, which are about 3 months old, I do wonder about their durability. I haven't tried GP4000S s though and they get very good reviews so that's my next move.

    As far as sudden deflations are concerned, the rubinos seem to be better than gatorskins - the front wheel with the rubino on it has been ridden for 2 years and I'm still waiting for a visit. Too soon to say on the Pro3s.
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