Our pick of win­ter tyres

We ride and rate five tyres that aim to limit punc­tures without cut­ting speed

Cycling Weekly - - Contents -

What

The mis­sion of a good-qual­ity rac­ing tyre is to limit rolling re­sis­tance due to hys­tere­sis — the cy­cles of de­for­ma­tion and re­cov­ery when a tyre com­presses un­der the bike’s weight — by be­ing as sup­ple as pos­si­ble. The chal­lenge for a win­ter tyre is to roll fast, like the sum­mer tyre, yet to be re­sis­tant to punc­tures. In ad­di­tion, it needs to be able to grip in wet weather and on muddy tar­mac.

Why

Un­less you stay on the turbo, punc­tur­ing in win­ter is a fact of life. How­ever, a de­cent set of win­ter tyres will hope­fully re­duce the number you suf­fer.

To in­crease punc­ture re­sis­tance man­u­fac­tur­ers use thicker, stiffer cas­ings made up of more lay­ers, or plies. In ad­di­tion, some will build in a belt made of a tough ma­te­rial like Kevlar. The tread it­self will be thicker and more durable, since win­ter is tra­di­tion­ally the sea­son for ex­tra mileage. In­evitably the win­ter tyre is a lit­tle heav­ier and slower, but the best ones are pretty im­pres­sive these days.

How

Punc­tur­ing is mainly down to luck, or lack of it, so we’re not just bas­ing our rat­ings on whether we flat­ted when test­ing them. Ride feel, grip, weight and value for money are all fac­tored in.

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