Tyres and tubes – preparing for winter

Few bicycle components offer such a discernible impact on the quality of the ride as the tyres.

Changes in pressure, compound, or type (tubs, clincher, tubeless) will have a noticeable effect on the ‘feel’ of the ride.

Vredestein bill the Fortezza TriComp as an all-season racing tyre. The concept of a single tyre for year-round use strikes us as sound: familiarity breeds comfort in handling, and adjustments to pressure have usually been enough to keep us on the black stuff and out of hedges.

The change has increased the weight of the rolling stock a little. Our tyre du jour, the Schwalbe Ultremo ZX,  tipped our scales at 195g, while these red striped covers are a more hefty 230g. They have a 120tpi casing and may perform well at lower pressures through the coming autumnal months. Other favourites among riding colleagues are Michelin’s Pro4 Comps, as grippy as the Ultremo ZX, and at just a fraction over 180g with a 150tpi count make great dry weather tyres.

The Tri Comp is offered in a range of colours. The bright red test sample supplied has left us with an unfortunate colour clash with the Test Rig’s wine red frame. However, we’re assured that there is no difference in cornering grip between the colours, we’ll head out on the road and report back soon.

We seized the opportunity presented by the tyre change to fit new inner tubes from Foss. Now installed, the only visible reminder is a rather fetching, anodized blue valve stem.

Apparently these environmentally friendly tubes (made from thermoplastic elastomer compound, they can be recycled, unlike ‘normal’ tubes), will seal around an object which has penetrated the tyre and tube, in theory slowing the air leak and giving the rider time to react. The special Foss patches attach directly to the un-vulcanised rubber, speeding up repairs by removing the sanding stage.

These tubes are directional to prevent them splitting under heavy braking forces. We can also report that there was an increase in weight, 78 grams of tube in comparison to our current tube du jour the Bontrager X Lite (65 grams)

However, let’s say we will take the additional weight on our wheels if we are saving the planet, looking smug and preparing for hard long winter miles on debris strewn roads.

Discuss in the forum





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