What is the difference between winter and regular tyres? And what are the benefits of changing them?
You’d be forgiven for wondering why changing your tyres for winter is necessary, especially if you’re one of those people that’s epically lucky with inner tubes (you know who you are). But the likelihood of you getting a puncture, or getting into trouble due to a lack of grip, is greatly increased if you’re riding on skinny, smooth tyres.
A winter tyre will, generally, provide more puncture resistance and grip on the road. That makes them heavier than summer tyres, with a higher rolling resistance. Therefore, you may be sacrificing some speed for your safety.
There can be a lot more debris around during winter due to blustery weather and drunk people leaving shards of glass around after their office Christmas party.
Remember to lower your tyre pressure during awful weather to prevent slipping.
This, coupled with the generally damp conditions, makes it more likely that objects will be picked up by your tyre. Many winter tyres will have an extra layer of protection (often called a belt) to minimise the likelihood of a flat. Some will have thicker side walls too.
Your winter tyre should also have a decent tread pattern in order to draw grime away from the surface of the tyre. It should be made from a dual compound if possible – this means the tyre is made of multiple materials to create a balance between a softer compound that provides grip and a harder compound that has a longer lifespan.
And remember, if you do nothing else, lower your tyre pressure during awful weather to prevent slipping on dangerous terrain like cobbles.
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