Believe it or not, special tires do exist to keep you riding through winter.

Dear RideApart,

I'm a die-hard rider who just can't stop when the snow flies. I've ridden for years including dirt riding, so I'm quite familiar with how to handle a sliding bike. But I'm not stupid, and I want to be as safe about it as possible. There are snow tires available for cars. Are there any snow tires for bikes?

First of all, we don't recommend riding in the snow. But since you're going to ignore this advice, here's how to do it as safely as possible.

Believe it or not, yes. They're not very common, but due to laws in other countries that require snow tires in winter, there are a few motorcycle winter tires on the market, such as the Anlas Winter Grip Plus. These have a few unique differences over standard motorcycle tires that make them more suitable for riding in the slippery stuff.

The tire compound of regular motorcycle tires is optimized for warmer temperatures. This makes them harder and less grippy when it gets cold. Winter tires use a compound designed for colder temperatures which will help with all winter riding, not just when it's snowy. They'll grip the pavement best when it's cold, unlike regular tires. When it warms up in the spring, you'll need to put your regular tires back on. Just like normal tires don't work well in the cold, winter tires don't work well when it's warm. They'll overheat during normal riding at regular summer temperatures and lose grip. If you live somewhere like my native New England where temperatures alternate between warm and cold at random during the spring, you'll just have to make your best guess as to which tires to use.

Anlas Winter Grip Plus Snow Tires

The other advantage of winter tires is their tread design. Regular tires are essentially slicks with a few grooves cut into them to evacuate water. Winter tires have a few more deep grooves, plus smaller grooves in the tread blocks designed specifically to grip the snow. Snow actually sticks to itself better than it sticks to rubber, so snow tires collect a thin layer of snow on them to grip the snowy road surface better.

Even more important than the tires, though, is how you ride your bike. Your dirt riding experience will help you stay in control of your bike if (when) you break your reduced level of traction. People without this experience should take it nice and easy, expect lower grip even in the dry, and ride within your limits, which are going to be lower than usual.

You could also just stay off the road, but a lot of riders don't. More power to them. I hate the cold.

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