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Tires for bad weather(3 posts)

Tires for bad weatherTim37
May 31, 2003 2:06 PM
Here in Maine it has rained 8 days in a row. Not nonstop, but every time I try to ride. I have Michelin pro race tires on my bike, but they have such a smooth tread that I'm not too confident in the rain.
Any suggestions in all weather tires welcome. They will probably get used in snow in around 4 months with the lovely seasons we have here.
tread's not that important.jw25
May 31, 2003 6:09 PM
Both in terms of traction, wet or dry, and hydroplaning, tread on skinny tires does nothing on smooth surfaces. Some say it actually decreases traction, since you have less surface area in contact with the ground, and because the indents give the tread room to squirm and deform.
As far as hydroplaning, road tires are skinny and curved, which pushes water out of the way fast enough that it's not an issue. Cars have much wider tires, and travel faster.
Personally, I find silica compound tires do well in the rain. I like to drop the pressure a little, 5-10 psi under dry weather pressure. Wider tires may be better, as well.
Mainly, you just need to remember to slow more before corners, and try to keep the bike more upright - it's good steering/cornering practice.
Same thing goes for straight-line braking. It takes you longer to stop in the wet. I run Kool-Stop salmon pads year-round, and have been very happy with their wet performance. Dry performance is on par with their black compound (the black is not quite as good in the wet).
I'm in central PA, and I feel your pain. Seems to rain every weekend anymore, with maybe a day or two of sun midweek, just to tease.
It's counterintutive, but jw25 is rightcory
Jun 2, 2003 7:48 AM
There have been all kinds of tests of bicycle tread designs vs. smooth tires, and the tread has almost no effect on pavement. The contact patch (part that touches the ground) is so small for the weight of the bike/rider, and the speeds so low compared to cars that hydroplaning just doesn't occur. I don't ride in the rain much (we only get <7 inches a year), but I can't feel a traction difference in wet vs. dry except in obvious places like over leaves or smooth paint stripes.