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The best winter road bike tyres for training and commuting | 14 winter road tyres ridden and rated by BikeRadar

The best winter road bike tyres that blend performance and durability

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season road bike tyre

The best winter road bike tyres will keep you rolling through the cold and wet weather. Winter training and commuting are hard enough without worrying about fixing a flat with frozen fingers on a dark road.

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Fortunately, there’s never been a better selection of winter road bike tyres, combining trustworthy all-weather performance with everyday survivability. To make your life easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best winter road tyres as rated by the BikeRadar testing team.

The key to these real-world advances has been the combination of technologies from seemingly very different areas.

Tyre compounds and layups developed for racing use in wet conditions deliver a balance of late braking, hard-turning grip and rolling speed.

Puncture-protection technology has also moved on a great deal (we certainly don’t miss puncture protection strips) and is now achieved largely by multi-ply composites used originally in bulletproof vests. This means you can now have a barrier between road debris and your inner tube without feeling like there’s wood in your tyres.

While it may be tempting to pair your winter wheels with the heaviest-duty tyre you can handle lugging about, puncture-proof tyres really have got a lot better in recent years, so it’s worth delving into our longer reviews to see whether one may work for you.

Tubeless tyre tech has taken off on the road too, giving you the advantage of some extra protection on winter roads. If you’re still regularly plagued by punctures, it may be worth investigating whether or not converting to road tubeless tyres could work for you. Even adding a bit of the best tyre sealant to your inner tubes can help.

If you’re looking for a faster summer tyre, you may be interested in our round-up of the best road bike tyres.

Best winter road bike tyres as tested by BikeRadar

WTB Exposure 30

5.0 out of 5 star rating
We were seriously impressed by WTB’s Exposure tyres.
Andy Lloyd
  • Price: £46 / €53 / $66 as tested
  • Weight: 305g
  • Size tested: 30mm
  • Tyre type: Tubeless

The WTB Exposure 30 tyres strike a difficult balance few other tyres manage to achieve. They set up tubeless very easily, they have an excellent on-road ride quality, they’re hardy enough to handle cheeky off-road excursions and they wear very well. All of this makes them a good choice as a winter road bike tyre.

The tyres clearly impressed Jack Luke, making their way onto his Gear of the Year list back in 2019 and earning a well-deserved (and rare) five-star rating.

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Goodyear tyres are robust, if a little harsher-riding than some.
Rob Borek / Our Media
  • Price: £52 / €70 / $65 as tested
  • Weight: 344g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Tubeless and clincher options

Like many winter tyres, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons tyre offers bead-to-bead puncture protection to help avoid sidewall cuts and pinch flats. We rated the tubeless tyre’s grip and durability through some grotty winter riding, although the ride is a little harsh.

The Goodyears come up a little narrower than specified, so it might be worth choosing a greater-width tyre if you have the frame clearance and want extra air volume. There are options up to 32c.

Michelin Pro4 Endurance

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The grippy, textured surface gives the Pro4 Endurance tyres plenty of grip.
Robin Wilmott / Our Media
  • Price: £50 / €48 / $60 / AU$80 as tested
  • Weight: 295g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

The Endurance version of the Michelin Pro4 gives you a tough carcass with bead-to-bead puncture protection and a fast-rolling dual compound rubber. We tested the 28mm tyre, but there are also 23mm and 25mm options.

Michelin suggests a pressure range of 58 to 87psi, which is a bit lower than some other winter tyres. Despite only having a microtexture grip surface, the tyres are grippy in both wet and dry conditions, and the ability to run at lower pressures only increases road-hold. The tyres proved resistant to cuts and damage as well.

Pirelli Cinturato Velo

4.5 out of 5 star rating
There’s little to criticise with the Cinturato Velo.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media
  • Price: £62.99 / $78.55 / €74.39 / AU$115.90 as tested
  • Weight: 360g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Tubeless and clincher options

Pirelli’s Cinturato Velo makes for an excellent, assured all-rounder. It’s compatible with hookless rims and, as well as the 28mm width tested, it’s available in 26, 32 and 35mm options.

The Cinturato Velo is pitched as an all-rounder with a thick casing and a focus on puncture protection. The tyres feel surprisingly fast-rolling, especially considering their heavier weight, and balance this with welcome comfort. They grip assuredly, both in the wet and dry, and have proven to be hard-wearing.

Pirelli P-Zero Race 4S

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Pirelli’s P-Zero Race 4S tyre offers plenty of grip at low temperatures.
Ashley Quinlan​ / Our Media
  • Price: £62 / €70 / $85 / AU$110 as tested
  • Weight: 261g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

Pirelli’s top four-season tyre, the P-Zero Race 4S is designed to keep grip and a supple ride while adding extra protection.

It uses a thicker layer of the SmartEVO rubber compound found in the Pirelli P-Zero Race TLR summer tyre, a 120 TPI casing and a nylon breaker.

The tyres are grippy at lower temperatures, instilling confidence on high-speed damp turns. There’s no tubeless option though.

Bontrager R4 Classics Hard Case Lite

4.0 out of 5 star rating
On the road, the R4s are simply luxurious.
  • Price: £68 / €80 / $85 / AU$130 as tested
  • Weight: 284g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

Open tubular tyres such as these really stretch the definition of a ‘winter tyre’, but if you want to carry on riding fast or racing throughout the winter they could be the answer.

These tyres have a wonderfully supple 320 TPI cotton casing, Bontrager’s Hardcase Lite puncture-protection strip and a file-like tread that offers plenty of grip.

They come up slightly smaller than their claimed 28mm width, but we would nevertheless wholeheartedly recommend the Bontragers for speedy miles in poor conditions.

Continental Gatorskin

4.0 out of 5 star rating
There’s a reason the Gatorskin is such a popular tyre.
Robin Wilmott / Our Media
  • Price: £45 / €52 / $68 as tested
  • Weight: 276g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

The Continental Gatorskin is a staple of winter riding, available in 23mm, 25mm, 28mm and 32mm sizes, as well as for 650c, 26in and 27in wheels. There’s bead-to-bead Duraskin and a PolyX Breaker for puncture protection.

Conti’s lowest recommended pressure for the 28mm tyre is a high-sounding 95psi. We dropped that a bit and the tyre provided plenty of cornering grip, as well as a supple, responsive ride. Our experience from plenty of miles across the team is that it wears well too.

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Continental Grand Prix 4 Season is a long-standing winter favourite.
Ashley Quinlan​ / Our Media
  • Price: £66 / €66 / $83 / AU$99 as tested
  • Weight: 289g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

Ahh, the venerable Grand Prix 4 Season. This is one of the more classic winter tyre options out there and is quite common as OE spec – and with good reason.

The DuraSkin carcass has proven to be incredibly resilient to tears and punctures without sacrificing too much comfort or speed, and the supposedly winter-specific rubber compound performs very well in wet conditions.

Note that, unlike the Grand Prix 5000 S TR, it’s not a tubeless tyre though, so you’ll need that spare inner tube with you.

At full RRP, the Grand Prix 4 Season is a little pricey, but it can often be found online with a healthy discount.

Hutchinson Challenger

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Challenger performs well for its low price.
Liam Cahill / Our Media
  • Price: £29.99 / €32.99 as tested
  • Weight: 322g
  • Size tested: 30mm
  • Tube type: Clincher

The Hutchinson Challenger is a fantastic-value winter road bike tyre, costing half as much as some high-quality competitors in this list.

Puncture resistance and reassuring grip on poor and wet surfaces compensate for the Challenger’s slightly unforgiving ride. There isn’t a tubeless version for the time being, but the Challenger is available in 25mm, 28mm and 30mm widths.

Despite weighing a bit more than its pricier rivals, the Hutchinson Challenger doesn’t seem to encumber your progress on the road.

Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance 11Storm

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Fusion 5 is an extremely good tubeless tyre with easy installation and grippy behaviour.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • Price: £41 / €49 /$49 / AU$72 as tested
  • Weight: 295g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Tubeless

Hutchinson’s 11Storm compound, a 127 TPI casing and deep (for a road tyre) tread make for plenty of grip from the Fusion 5 tyres.

They’re easy to fit, tubeless-ready, supple and handle well in wet conditions. We ran them at higher pressures than competing tyres because they felt less confident at lower than their 75psi stated minimum.

Although they didn’t feel as if they rolled as fast as some, the clock suggested otherwise. They’re a good, cheaper alternative to other brands’ tyres.

Specialized Roubaix Pro

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Specialized recommends quite a high pressure range for the Roubaix Pro, which we lowered for more comfort and grip.
Robin Wilmott / Our Media
  • Price: £35 / €45 / $50 / AU$75 as tested
  • Weight: 297g
  • Size tested: 25/28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

Specialized offers three sizes for the Roubaix Pro and quotes a range of sizes rather than a single number. It suggests a highish 85 to 95psi inflation pressure for the 25/28mm size tested.

There’s good stability and plenty of air volume, although we dropped the tyre pressure for added comfort and grip. With its quite high weight, it’s not a racy-feeling tyre, but not sluggish either.

Vittoria Corsa Control

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Vittoria Corsa Control G+ Isotech is a bit more delicate than many winter tyres.
Jesse Wild / Immediate Media
  • Price: £55 / €70 / $85 / AU$100 as tested
  • Weight: 284g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Tubeless and clincher options

The Corsa Control shares the same 320 TPI thread count casing as the standard Corsa tyre, but has been infused with Kevlar for added toughness. The tread has also been extended out further onto the shoulders of the tyre for added grip and protection.

These are on the more delicate end of the winter tyre spectrum, but if you don’t want to sacrifice the low rolling resistance and grip of your summer tyres, they provide both of those attributes in bucketloads and in a more hard-wearing form.

Vittoria Rubino Pro

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Grip is great, but speed less so.
Robyn Furtado / Our Media
  • Price: £40 / $55 as tested
  • Weight: 264g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tube type: Clincher

The Vittoria Rubino Pro is a suitable tyre for all-year-round use if you prioritise grip and puncture protection over low rolling resistance and weight.

While cheaper than most of Vittoria’s tyre range, the Rubino Pro’s 150 TPI casing doesn’t provide the smoothest ride, potentially leading to hand and wrist fatigue on longer outings.

However, the clincher-only Rubino Pro is easy to fit and comes in an array of sizes, from 700 x 23c to 700 x 30c.

Vittoria Zaffiro Pro V G2.0

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Zaffiro Pro tyres work well for a budget tyre.
Robin Wilmott / Our Media
  • Price: £30 / €26 / $35 as tested
  • Weight: 341g
  • Size tested: 28mm
  • Tyre type: Clincher

Vittoria claims this is a winter training tyre used by pro riders for its puncture protection and durability. The shallow, wide inflated shape gives good sidewall protection and the tyre is more supple than its low thread count would imply.

It’s not as fast-rolling as some tyres, but there’s plenty of grip on offer from the graphene tyre compound.

Vittoria offers four size options: 25mm, 28mm, 30mm and 32mm, so wider tyre users are well catered for. The tyre can be run at lower pressures than many competitors and it’s comparatively inexpensive as well.


Also consider…

Although they didn’t score 4 stars or more in our testing, the following tyres are also worth adding to your shortlist as a winter-ready option.

Michelin Power All Season

3.5 out of 5 star rating
The All Seasons have a slick Hi-Grip compound central strip, under which is a cut-resistant Aramid Protek+ layer for puncture protection.
Philip Sowels / Immediate Media
  • Price: £50 / $65 / €55 / AU$99, as tested
  • Weight: 295g
  • Size tested: 28mm

The Michelin Power All Seasons tyre was marked down on its tight fit on the rim and stiff casing, which reduced suppleness and speed. However, once fitted the grippy compound provided plenty of confidence on wet roads.

There’s bags of puncture protection and a three-layer casing. They’re not tubeless though.

What to look for when buying winter road bike tyres

Tread: Deep treads moulded in motorbike and car tyres help to squeeze water from under the tyre in really wet conditions. Bicycle tyres simply aren’t wide enough to aquaplane at normal speeds, so tread is largely unnecessary on smooth surfaces. Regardless, lots of riders naturally trust treaded tyres more than slicks, whatever the science.

Protective layer: The tyres here all use some kind of protective sheet under the tread to stop sharp objects puncturing the inner tube. Trying to balance extra protection but still allowing the tyre to be flexible and supple enough to roll quickly and comfortably is hard.

Some tyres also include protective layers in the side walls to stop cuts, which is called bead-to-bead protection. It’s a feature of many tyres designed specifically for winter riding.

Size: The bigger the carcass, the more air between you and the road. This means the inner tube is less likely to get pinched and punctured. Fatter tyres feel more comfortable, afford more control on rough surfaces and oodles of tests have shown they often roll better than narrower ones.

The ability to drop the pressure in a wider tyre means you have a larger, more compliant contact patch for more grip too. Running tubeless should enable you to lower the pressure even more.

Compound: The real key to grip is the compound of the rubber: a soft-compound tyre will be very grippy, but will wear fast and have a higher rolling resistance; harder compounds are fast rolling and wear well, but are slippery. This is why many tyres have a dual compound that is harder in the centre than on the shoulders.

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Gravel tyres: Another winter option that’s been opened up by the ever-increasing tyre clearance of road bikes is to run gravel tyres. The best gravel tyres will add even more grip, but may roll almost as fast as a road bike tyre. Often, there’ll be a range of widths available and the narrower ones will fit in a road bike frame, giving you the grip you need to take on rougher, damper surfaces.