Friday 18 November 2011

Marathon Winter tyres

Last winter, Judy fell on a patch of ice. It's not been cold enough for that yet this year, but none of want that experience.

To prevent this problem, we're using Marathon Winter studded tyres on the front wheels of our town bikes. Obviously both wheels provides better protection from falls, but the front wheel is most critical. If you lose traction with the front wheel of a bicycle then you lose the ability to balance and will fall very quickly.

It is best to fit the tyres before the ice sets in so that a few kilometres can be ridden on them on asphalt. This helps to seat the studs in the rubber so that they are less likely to come out later. The manufacturers recommend 60 km of riding on asphalt.

Of course, Marathon Winter tyres aren't only for town bikes. They're also available in sizes to fit mountain bikes and recumbents.

I used one last winter on the back wheel of my Mango velomobile. This made a big different to safety as losing the rear wheel is the biggest danger with a tadpole (two wheels the front, one at the back) tricycle. If traction at the rear is lost then the trike turns due to the camber of the road and will likely flip over as it slides sideways into the kerb. By using a Marathon Winter on the rear of my Mango I could cycle with confidence not only within the city, where most cycle-paths are clear anyway. Rather, this meant I could continue to enjoy touring rides right out into the countryside.

You can buy Marathon Winter tyres in the Dutch Bike Bits Webshop.

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