ESSENTIAL WINTER RIDING GUIDE
CYCLING WEEKLY|November 26, 2020
It’s that time of year again when we brace ourselves for the onslaught of wet and cold weather and look for ways to stay motivated to ride through it. Hopefully, this selection of pro tips will help

Winter miles can be the best miles if you get your kit and your approach right. Follow this advice and get to spring fitter than before, with a smile on your face and motivation in abundance.

Keep it rubber side down

If you’re going to push on through the notoriously tough British winter, your lightweight summer tyres probably aren’t going to cut it. With frost and rain comes debris-strewn roads and more potholes... mix in autumn’s slippery, dead leaves and the deal is sealed; if you’re not already using rugged rubber, it’s time to switch.

There are plenty of options, including Continental’s Grand Prix 4-Season, Vittoria’s Corsa Control G2.0, Hutchinson’s Fusion 5 All-Season, and – for a tubeless-only option – Schwalbe’s One TLE. Continental uses a synthetic ‘Vectran’ belt to ward off punctures, plus a proprietary ‘Max Grip’ compound for extra stickiness in cooler and damper conditions. Vittoria uses Kevlar threads – one every fourth thread – in its Corsa Control G2.0, which is a heavy-duty version of its popular Corsa G2.0.

Hutchinson’s Fusion 5 uses a polyamide belt to keep the thorns and flints out, coupled with its own HDF>5.3 grip compound, while the Schwalbe hides a nylon RaceGuard layer under its Addix compound, and has the added bonus of being tubeless. In theory, used with sealant, this trumps everything else, because you should be virtually immune to flats – while at the same time being able to run lower pressures for a little more grip.

If you think tubeless is for you, you’re not limited to Schwalbe tyres of course; in fact, all of the tyres here, except the Continentals mentioned above, come in tubeless versions. Remember though, you do need appropriate rims, you need to run them with sealant and they are tougher to mount on the rim.

Winterise your bike

Beyond tyres, there are a number of other basic bike-based tips we’d recommend to get you and your machine through the cold and wet months in the best shape possible.

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