Winter Tire Considerations
By Brad Quartuccio
Readers in the Northern Hemisphere are just getting ready for the onslaught of winter riding, with images of cold, wet weather sneaking into view. The basics of layering up for the colder weather and adding fenders to keep road slop off both your body and bike is fairly straightforward, but others bits of preparation aren’t quite so obvious and take time to develop. Tires are one such item, and everyone has their own recipe for success. Depending on your locale and what Mother Nature may throw down from above you may find yourself swapping tires and technique more often than you like, but it is certainly better than the alternative—not riding at all.
Tires with some tread on them are tempting in the winter, and personally I tend to use a cyclocross tire on the front of my track bike when the snow begins to fall. Beyond the additional clearance needed for the tire itself, the knobs tend to pick up snow and skim it off around your frame and fork, potentially causing problems packing up with wet, sticky snow.