Upgrade your rubber - Road Cycling UK

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Upgrade your rubber

conti tyres

One of the easiest ways to winterise your bike is to upgrade your tyres. With all those miles you’ll no doubt be putting in avoiding punctures is a good thing, and it’s pointless wasting expensive race tyres in the winter.

Best then, to save your slicks for next summer and get some more specific boots on your bike. Look for a slightly wider tyre for extra comfort, puncture protection is a must and a treaded pattern will help disperse water and provied more grip.

But instead of us recommending what tyre you should opt for, we’re going to instead enlist the help of you, the readers, and delve into the ever-expanding and highly useful Member Reviews section of RCUK and see what is being reviewed.

The Continental Grand Prix 4 Season is a racing tyre that features a tough Duraskin layer, a tough sidewall, and a tread pattern and compound optimised for grip in the wet.

Jon Seddon wrote: “Made a massive difference to the feel of my bike – used to running the OEM Hutchinson tyres that originally came with the bike. They rolled much better, felt glued to the ground even in the wet and I haven’t punctured yet.”

With Debs adding: “These tyres are expensive, but you do get quality for your money. I’ve used these on my winter bike for the past 4 years now and not punctured and I’m particularly impressed with the confident feel of ride on wet roads. The weight is very reasonable too, for a winter tyre.”

conti tyres

Another option is a touring specific tyre, such as the Hutchinson Excel tyre, with a thick carcas, heavily treaded pattern and available up to 28mm. Greg Thorley wrote: “Brill, used them for years commuting and training on my winter fixie and road bike, never a problem.”

The Continental Top Touring 2000 is a directional tyre heavily grooved, and are ideal for long trips according to Paul Roberts: “Just finished two weeks cycling across France on these tyres – not a single puncture! Excellent grip in all conditions too. Highly recommended.”

Many tyres claim to be totally puncture resistant, and the Specialized Turbo Armadillo Tyre is one of them. An Armadillo Kevlar layer prevents against punctures bead to bead, and comes in 23, 26 and 28mm widths. Colin Milne writes: “No punctures, even taking those iffy short cuts that are strewn with broken glass”, with Steven Lawlor echoing his thoughts: “If you hate punctures and don’t care about speed, buy these. Good price too”.

For more tyre reviews, head to the member review section now.


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