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What are some good tires to install for riding the roads in snow, ice, other winter conditions? Besides letting some pressure out for better traction, what tires should I use?

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2 Answers

Snow and ice are two entirely different conditions.

For snow more or less standard "mountain bike" tires are generally fine. Lowering tire pressure is NOT usually a good idea.

For any amount of ice you need studded tires.

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Different tires for different conditions.

For bare/wet roads I've been real happy with my Continental Grand Prix 4-Season with Vectran tires.

With snow, it depends on the clearance through your brakes... On a typical road bike with standard brakes, you may not have enough room to add tires with traction. If you have a cyclocross bike or bike with V styled or even disc brakes, you can put on something with a bit of traction for snow and packed snow conditions. I like the Challenge Grifo 700x32c Black/Brown Clincher. On my mountain bike, I love to ride in the snow and use Kenda Nevegal tires.

I tend to not ride in icy conditions, but you can create your own 'studded' tires with zip ties. About every 2 inches cinch up a zip tie around your tire and rim.

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Note: The zip tie method will only work if you have disk breaks. It seems like the zip time method would work well for providing forward/backward force (accelerating/decelerating) but not side to side force (cornering). The ties would have no edges to prevent them from sliding sideways and they might actually reduce your side to side traction. I would recommend only putting them on the rear wheel for this reason (rear wheel slideouts are much less scary). –  sixtyfootersdude Nov 30 '11 at 17:38
    
Good point about the Disc brakes! Very important –  Glenn Gervais Nov 30 '11 at 17:58
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