Should I get new tyres or buy a different bike?

Carolineb

Regular
I must admit I am a fair weather cyclist - I know it's soft! But I have decided thanks to this forum that I am going to go out on my bike on a regular basis no matter what the weather!
I currently have a Tifosi road bike which I love and I feel great on it but it has no mud guards and very slick tyres. When it is wet (on the rare occasions I get caught in the rain) I don't feel too safe as there is no grip and of course I get covered in splashes all up my back and on my face!
I am just wondering whether to get new tyres put on that have more grip and maybe add some mud guards If so what are the best kind of tyres to get? And should I attach mud guards or accept the splattering (as I don't think there is enough space on my bike for them).
Or should I splash out and get myself a hybrid or something that is more practical and that I can put panniers on and a big fat front lamp and then just concentrate on getting out rather than trying to increase my speed?
Any advice would be welcome.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
Slick tyres offer more grip in the rain as theres more rubber in contact with the road, bikes do not need tread to disperse the water and we cant aquaplane .
If you feel like you have less grip in the wet then you might have a tyre with a compound that does not grip as well in the wet e.g. many people think gator skins are slippy but i have not had a problem with them.

As for mudguards look at crud roadracer...
http://www.crudproducts.com/products/roadracer/roadracer_
 

HovR

Über Member
Location
Plymouth
If your bike has the clearances around the frame and brakes, you may want to go up a tire width or two, but still keeping slick tires for the reasons stated above. The increased width will put more rubber on the road, giving you more traction.
 
OP
Carolineb

Carolineb

Regular
Erm maybe I'm not sure what slick means... does it mean that there is no tread on them at all? :whistle: So how does that work with regard to them having better grip than a tyre with a tread? I'm just thinking of a car that must have a certain amount of tread to keep it safe and reduce skidding.
I have just had a look and there was a tread but it is now only on the side of the tyre. I had a look at the tyres and it says 700 x 23 and 23 - 622 RG and then on the wheel it says 622 - 13.5 Din
Maybe I need new tyres anyhow but someone once told me keep the tyres until they start showing pink through the black!
 
OP
Carolineb

Carolineb

Regular
Damn! I wish I knew a bit more about bikes! Its not that Im stupid or anything but if they had an instruction book or a maintenance book that came with them I would probably read it :wacko:
 

HovR

Über Member
Location
Plymouth
Erm maybe I'm not sure what slick means... does it mean that there is no tread on them at all? :whistle: So how does that work with regard to them having better grip than a tyre with a tread? I'm just thinking of a car that must have a certain amount of tread to keep it safe and reduce skidding.
I have just had a look and there was a tread but it is now only on the side of the tyre. I had a look at the tyres and it says 700 x 23 and 23 - 622 RG and then on the wheel it says 622 - 13.5 Din
Maybe I need new tyres anyhow but someone once told me keep the tyres until they start showing pink through the black!
Cars have tread to prevent them from aqua-planing. Bikes can't aquaplane as they have very skinny, curved, tires and aren't going very fast. On the other hand cars have much wider, flatter, tires moving at high speeds meaning they are able to aquaplane, and hence need the tread to channel water away from the tire.

Think of an F1 car's dry track tires or similar, they have completely slick tires as it puts more rubber in contact with the ground, providing more grip!

The 700x23 marking on your tires means that your tires are 23mm wide. You could probably go up to 25mm or maybe even 28mm depending on your bike - Best to consult your local bike shop!
 

Cyclist33

Guest
Location
Warrington
13.5 Din means 13.5 mm internal rim diameter, most likely. That is, the width of the rim between the inside edges of the rim lips. They say there's an acceptable width tyre range for any given Din width. I don't know the matrix but can say I've put 23s, 28s and 40s on my 14 mm Din rims. Probably the 28s are the best fit.

The reasoning seems sound on the slick / tread issue, though it does seem counter intuitive. I have often thought that despite the arguments above, having tread is not simply about "aqua planing". I mean, no road surface is actually flat, composed as it is of lots of small bumps and nooks, so applying the logic of trail riding some sort of uneven tyre surface helps to "hook up" to the road surface's edges.

Furthermore, in bad weather season, that is, when its often wet but it doesn't actually have to be raining at the time, roads often suffer from erosion and end up with cut up sections, also they pick up general dirt and surface water borne runoff from surrounding land. I'm not sure one could ever completely model the variables involved to total satisfaction, but I'm not sure it's as simplistic as saying bikes can't aqua plane owing to their speeds, therefore grip is purely a function of one flat surface on another flat surface!

None of which really helps you, OP, sorry. A different angle for approaching it might be, forget the wet grip question for now, and if you want to use two sets of tyres, get different widths and find the one that gives you the best dry performance, then put the others on over winter to save the rubber on the summer pair.

(You might need a second pair of appropriate sized inner tubes, too.)

Stu
 
OP
Carolineb

Carolineb

Regular
Haha ok then - any excuse to spend money! Seriously tho I think I will try some new tyres that are a bit wider based on everyone's advice. I need to visit the cycle shop to get some cold weather gear anyhow - all my stuff is suited to warm summer days only! I'm determined to get out and about during the winter.

Thanks everyone for all your advice it has been really helpful.
 

Saluki

World class procrastinator
Other half is putting armadillos on his bike, for the winter. We do live out in the sticks though so we get a lot of road debris too, hence a tougher tyre. Not so much for the wet weather (both our road bikes have slick tyres and were fine last winter).

Having a nice chat with your LBS is a good way to find the right tyres.
Oh, if you are ever using Wiggle for stuff, they send you a packet of Haribo sweeties with every order. Just saying ^_^
 

Sara_H

Legendary Member
I have a fully mudguarded hybrid that was my main use bike until recently.

I'd bought a mountain bike and discovered that he gears were much better for climbing the hll that I live at the top of, so started using that as my main bike. It didn't have mudguards and I found it really unpleasant in wet weather! I've just had some put on and its so much better! I definitely recomend them - in my view the weather in the UK warrants them even in summer.

I can't really offer much advice about tyres though. I've got some really fat Schwalbe Marathons on mine, as I use it for trails and touring on disused rail tracks etc.
 
OP
Carolineb

Carolineb

Regular
Other half is putting armadillos on his bike, for the winter. We do live out in the sticks though so we get a lot of road debris too, hence a tougher tyre. Not so much for the wet weather (both our road bikes have slick tyres and were fine last winter).

So what are Armadillos? The only time I've ever had punctures is due to Hawthorns dropping their thorns and getting in my tyres. And I do keep them pumped up at 120 psi but the damn thorns always seem to get me!
 
Top Bottom