These 5 Tires Each Offer Something Unique, But They’ll All Keep Your Wheels on The Road This Winter.
Click on one of the tires in the table below to jump directly to that section.
|Fixie Tire Brand||Price Point|
|1. Gatorskin Hardshell||$$|
|2. Regular Gatorskin||$$|
|3. Grand Prix 4 Season Tire||$$|
|4. Continental Contact Plus||$|
|5. Schwalbe Studded Tire||$$$|
If you’re having trouble deciding, you can compare these fixie tires on Amazon.
The toughest fixie tires made by Continental
Gatorskins are perhaps the most well-known and respected fixed gear tires. People love them for how they stand up to skidding and aggressive riding.
The Gatorskin Hardshell model provides even more durability, making it Continental’s strongest fixie bike tire.
That durability comes courtesy of bead-to-bead DuraSkin protection, extra-side PolyX breaker, and a deeper casing overlap.
Regular Gatorskins have the DuraSkin protection as well some other similar features, but only on the tread strip.
These additional materials improve your mileage, protect against punctures in hard winter conditions.
If I want dependable hardware, I want it made by Germans. Continental delivers on both of those points with these fixie tires.
The Most Durable Tire Made by Continental
Gatorskins Hardshells are the most durable 700c tires Continental makes. That makes them a great option for Winter Fixie Tires.
Thin Tire Tread
Thinner tread helps you cut through slush and snow, although it isn’t best for packed down snow and ice.
Made in Germany
Made in Germany. What more needs to be said about quality workmanship?
150 Years of Excellence
Continental have been creating all sorts of tires for over 150 years. They must be doing something right.
The iconic fixie tire that does better in summer, but works for winter
The one, the only, the Gatorskin fixie tire. Living up to it’s namesake, the Continental Gatorskin tire is probably as close as you can get to having reptilian scales protecting your inner tube, short of buying the Hardshell version.
Sure, the Gatorskin Hardshell has some additional features that make it more durable, but there’s a reason these tires have the colossal reputation they do.
Aside from a slightly lower price point, the main difference between these tires and the Hardshells is flexibility, material, and a bit of tread difference.
These tires are classified as “Foldable.”
That means these tires can be folded up and taken with you if you need an extra tire one the go, just in case. Changing tires road-side in the winter isn’t advisable, though.
With Gatorskins you probably won’t have to worry much other than an issue with the tube valves. My recommendation? Get yourself some self-sealing inner tubes and ride home before bothering with any repairs.
All-around Fixie Tires
High-quality polyamide fabric protects the sidewall to prevent punctures.
Overlaping polyester fibers create a dense fabric without reducing rolling resistance.
Carbon Black Mixture
Extra-durable rubber reduces the likelihood of a puncture, making it ideal for winter fixie riding.
A jack-of-all-trades fixie tire for all surfaces
The name says it all – this is truly a 4 season tire. While the Gatorskins provide durability which helps prevent punctures in harsher conditions, the Grand Prix 4 Season tire has the treads to make winter riding smoother and safer.
Continental didn’t skimp on durability, either. The Grand Prix tires are made with DuraSkin sidewalls and a material you won’t find even on the Gatorskins.
It’s called Vectran, and its matrix fibres are 5 times as strong as steel with only a fraction of the weight.
Although these tires aren’t designed for riding in deep snow like a mountain bike tire, these are the go-to tires for professional cyclists competing in the brutal Paris-Roublaix race, the so-called “Hell of the North.”
If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. If you want to learn more about this fascinating annual race, check out the historical documentary about Eddy Merckx’s go at the title in 1975.
Tires Designed for Every Season
Designed with all seasons in mind – from rain or shine to sleet or snow.
Vectran matrix fibers are 5x stronger than steel but still lightweight and abrasion resistant.
DuraSkin comes standard on all Continental tires, and you’ll be glad you have it on winter rides.
Tires with thicker treads for riding in icy conditions
Designed for all-around use on rough roads and cycle paths, the Continental Contact Plus is a great fixie winter tire which boasts exceptional treads.
These are a great choice for fixie winter tires.
An added bonus to running these tires is the additional traction it provides for fair-weather riding in rougher conditions.
Most fixie riders stick to the streets, but if you want to tool around on rougher bike paths in the summer, spring, and fall, this tire will serve you well.
It’s a nice compromise between durability and performance. You might notice a bit of rolling resistance on concrete, but the convenience of having one tire which will serve you all year is hard to ignore.
Instead of switching to winter tires, you can roll with these tires year-round. High-visibility sidewalls are an added bonus for winter riding when the sun sets earlier in the day.
These tires are also a great purchase if you’re considering touring. It’s not in every fixie rider’s repertoire, but you can always broaden your horizons. Just be sure to bring a spare tube, just in case.
Tires With More Rugged Tread
Great Low Price
The least expensive winter fixie tires you’ll find with this much tread.
Extra Puncture Belt
An additional rubber belt between the tube and the tread helps prevent punctures.
Deeper treads with grooved slots help maintain traction in icy conditions.
When you really need stability, you need studded tires
When you really need to make sure you’re stable on the road, you need studded tires. It is possible to drill screws into some old bike tires of your own, but then you have to go through the ordeal of ensuring they don’t puncture your tubes.
It’s more convenient to just buy some winter fixie tires, if it fits your budget.
Studded tires are really only necessary when facing off with road surfaces covered in ice or sleet.
My own winter cycling never experience never left me wanting studs, but that’s mostly because I loved practicing skidding on slippery surfaces. It probably wasn’t a good idea to be riding brakeless at the time.
In any case, you probably won’t need studs unless you live in a more remote area where there isn’t much traffic.
The vehicular traffic in urban centres reduce snow and ice to more of a slushy consistency. If you can put up with that, you should be fine with regular, un-studded tires.
One draw-back of these tires is that you’ll have to swap them out for non-studded tires when the roads are cleared. Studs damage concrete and other paved surfaces and wear down quickly when you ride on concrete.
Running these tires is the equivalent of wearing crampons to walk to work. It’s not for everyone.
Also be aware that these tires don’t fit on a 23cm. rim. You can squeeze them onto thinner rims, but they’re intended for a thicker 30c design.
Stay Steady On Ice
When a tire is made out of the same stuff that stops bullets, you know its strong.
Nothing grips better on ice than metal studs. They’re like crampons for your bike.
Don’t buy these tires if you have thinner wheels. They’re intended for wider rims.
If you’re looking for even more fixie tire recommendations or you’re not looking for fixie winter tires, check out our article about the 5 best fixie tires.
Featured image courtesy Creative Commons, Velopilger.