Winter cross tires

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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by CallumRD1

Winter (and a fair bit of snow) arrived yesterday here in Boulder, Colorado and I commuted on road tires on my Felt F3X cross bike. A couple of close calls on snowy, slushy bridges on the cycle paths got me thinking about getting a pair of dedicated snow tires for this bike. I'm looking for suggestions on a pair of tubeless tires with plenty of traction in the snow and slush. I have quite a lot of clearance at the front fork, maybe 45mm, but not a ton at the chain stays, probably 38mm tops. Does anyone have any recommendations? (Emphasis on tubeless. I really don't want to be changing tubes half way to work during a snow storm!)

by Weenie

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by TuplaO

I've done a fair bit of riding in snowy/slushy conditions with cross tyres, and my recommendation is file tread tyres (with some type of side knobs) run with low to very low pressures. Of course, there are many different types of snow, and with some ice thrown in, all bets can be off. Anyway, I'd definitely go with a file tread.

Do not underestimate the significance of tire pressure, that's my experience.

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by wheelsONfire

I had two bad crashes last year in the winter. Don't remember what tires i used, but i had low pressure.
One of them, i punched head in the ground, helmet cracked and i slided a long way down a ditch.
The ice in the ditch cracked and i had half head and shoulder in ditch water.
Not very nice.
After this i decided i needed studded tires. However, perhaps you don't ride where it's also strains of ice?
If so, i would seriously look into using studded tires. The thing when front tire slide, it all goes extremely fast.

I went for larger tires than you can mount, Michelin Wild Mud (27.5') and mounted Best grip/ Grip studs #1000 studs.
This because my frame can't house 27.5*2.25' studded.
This way i got the fattest studded tires i could fit. They work great in ice and snow.
The studs are very expensive, but if you'd find a tire with rather deep/high knobs, you can mount these studs.
The studs themselves are so durable so you can probably undo them and mount them on several pairs (when the old ones gets worn out)

Just a thing, the studs needs 6.2mm of material to thread into. So the tire knobs needs to be deep/long enough.
You just use a tool to screw the studs. Takes time, but it solves the issues with staying on the bike.

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
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by MXGimp

We don't get more than a few inches of snow here, but I've had good luck with the Schwalbe G-One's.

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by cdncyclist

Continental Top Contact Winter

I have used here in Canada, have a tread with larger surface area and a compound that remains grippy below freezing

by Weenie

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by youngs_modulus

I’ll second the Top Contact Winter 2s. They’re only available with a wire bead, but they work extremely well on anything short of glare ice. I live in Wisconsin, and they were perfect for my commuter bike last year.

They’re not tubeless, but I ran them without tubes in the 700x37 size on Stan’s Grail rims. They wouldn’t seal with regular Stan’s sealant, but the race sealant did the trick. I couldn’t run more than ~60 PSI without blowing the tire off the rim, but once I found that maximum, I had zero problems.

The 37s ran a little small and measured about 35mm on my rims. They make a 42mm version could run that on the front and the 37 on the back.

That said, you might be fine with tubes in the winter. I imagine you have goat head thorns in Boulder, but the snow falls on top of the thorns and then you ride on top of the snow, so I’d imagine they’re not as big a deal in the winter. Is that fair or am I off base?

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