When you commute by bike all year round, it’s important to have the right tires equipped that can handle the road surfaces and weather conditions you’re likely to encounter. Most commuter tires will have a good quality tread that grips the road surface even when wet, and ideally some form of puncture protection. Some may have reflective strips along the tire wall to help make you more visible on the road in low light, while others that are designed specifically for winter riding may have metal spikes to tackle snow and ice.
Be sure to choose an appropriate tire width for your bike and your commute: most hybrid bikes will take a 28-32c tire, though they can be narrower or wider. It’s important to check with the bike manufacturer to determine how much clearance there is if you decide to put on wider tires than it came with.
In terms of tread, if your commute is mostly on smooth roads, and you live in a predominantly warm climate, then you could quite happily get away with slick tires (and perhaps even commute on a road bike), to get the fastest and most efficient commute.
However, if your commute is more likely to be muddy, or have off-road sections, then you should opt for a tire with a knobbly tread pattern, as it will help you maintain traction when the terrain is loose.
The ultimate commuter tire for hybrids and Bromptons
The Schwalbe Marathon is one of the most popular commuter tires around. It’s technically a touring tire, which means it’s designed to cover thousands of miles and come with a long lifespan, making it an excellent heavy-duty choice for committed commuters.
It features a 3mm thick highly elastic GreenGuard layer, made using recycled latex products, making the Schwalbe Marathon a more eco-friendly option as well.
Schwalbe claims its sidewall is ‘anti-aging’, in that it can withstand the typical cracking that results from overloading, usually when the tire hasn’t been inflated to an appropriate pressure for a long time.
The Schwalbe Marathon tire features a reflective strip along its sidewalls for improved visibility in low light, and is available in a huge array of sizes, from a Brompton-ready 16-inch diameter, all the way up to a more hybrid-suitable 700c (28-inch).
Top-quality puncture-resistant city and trekking tire
Another tire originally designed for touring (and therefore equipped to handle thousands of miles of usage), the Continental Contact Plus has a balanced tread pattern that keeps rolling resistance to a minimum, while also maintaining traction via the siped shoulder blocks.
The Contact Plus tires are also e-bike compatible, combining Continental’s SafetySystem Breaker with a highly elastic material, resulting in a heavy-duty puncture-resistant casing that rolls smoothly.
Available in a range of sizes from 24 inches to 700c, these tires would be suitable for an adult’s hybrid bike as well as a young person’s bike so they can ride to school. Widths vary between 28 and 47mm, the latter providing an extremely cushioned ride for uneven road surfaces.
Keep things fast and efficient in a warm climate
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a mostly warm climate, and smooth tarmac for miles, then you may choose to commute on a road bike in order to get to work as quickly and efficiently as possible (while having great fun in the meantime). If that’s the case then you would do well to equip your commuter road bike with these Continental GatorSkin tires, which come in a pack of two for convenience and great value.
They’re available in a range of sizes, and they feature a very smooth surface with minimal tread on the shoulders to offer some extra grip while cornering.
These tires feature DuraSkin sidewall protection, making them able to handle the harshest conditions, from skidding along curbs to racking up thousands of miles before wearing out.
Keep your traction in snow and ice
If your year-round commute includes stints in snow and ice, do yourself a favor and equip your bike with the right tools for the job. These Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro tires feature metal spikes within the tread, which break through icy surfaces and provide ample grip to help you stay upright and moving, whatever the weather.
Because these tires are 27.5 inches in diameter, they’ll need to be paired with a 27.5-inch wheel. This makes them most suitable for a mountain bike, though it is possible to swap out 700c wheels for these, provided there’s plenty of tire clearance.
So the sizing might be limiting for some, but if your bike will accommodate these, then they’re a great investment for the winter. Just be sure to buy them ahead of time, because they require about 25 miles of riding on asphalt first, in order to permanently fix the spikes in place.
A trusted American brand with an array of tire options to choose from
One of the great things about these Schwinn tires is the sheer amount of options available: whether you’re kitting out your commuter bike, or planning to also invest in some new tires for a mountain bike, a BMX, a road bike, or a cruiser, all of these can be accommodated.
Turning our attention back to commuting now, there are two options for Hybrid tires: Standard and Kevlar. Kevlar is the same heat-resistant and strong material that’s used in bulletproof vests, and incorporating it into a tire means it will withstand almost anything that poses the threat of a puncture.
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