What's better in snow; narrow tyres or wider tyres ?

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  • What's better in snow; narrow tyres or wider tyres ?
  • Premier Icon jimmers

    This is not a “what tyre” post, just a simple question for folks who have experience of riding in snow. We’ve got snow for the first time today so hence the question.

    So what’s better?


    Depends on the type of/depth of snow.


    Narrow, CX bikes are ace in the snow.


    depends on the snow

    depends on the gearing

    depends on the tire

    1.8muds work well in a 2/3 inches much more and you want 4 inches of floaty low psi goodness

    sticking on a 2.5 doesnt really cut it unless the snows really compact – just turns your bike into a wheeled walking stick

    Premier Icon jimmers

    Depends on the type of/depth of snow.

    Freshly fallen fluffy stuff about 10 cm deep.

    Premier Icon bigjim

    I found a 2.3 high roller at low pressure much better than a 2.1

    IM (limited) E … if you can’t go proper ‘fat snow bike’ tyre at 4″+, then you’re better off going as thin as possible to chop through it.

    I managed to get through about 8″ of crispy stuff OK on 1.95 ‘rakers – it was dashed hard going mind.

    Premier Icon D0NK

    2.3″ at 30psi-ish quite very draggy in the <2″ we’ve had, thinking I’ll switch to narrower BUT I’ve had no slippage, narrower with higher pressure will prob suffer more on the compacted stuff.

    never touch narrow tyres normally but seem to recall I have some 1.95 mythos in the cupboard somewhere, will dig them out.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear

    2.35 HR front and 2.35 ignitor rear LUST at 20 psi pretty bloody good Cmwcarn trails which have compacted snow. I noticed not unreasonably that the steeper bits with rocks were still you can use them to get grip. But the exposed gentle climbing track where the sun had melted the ice and then refroze were very slippery. A first for me having to push on gentle gradient I normally big ring it up LOL Overall low pressures and wide grab whatever traction there is available keep your ground bearing pressure low which also helps with traction.

    Word of warning. Right at the bottom on the last corner before the car park the little stream of water has frozen in to a perfect ice ring death trap if you try and steer around it 🙁 no matter what you size your tires! :-S

    I had been having a brilliant time on Cx tyres until last night, when we encountered deeper snow. The CX tyres are only good if they can cut through to something hard, otherwise they will cut through the crust into the soft stuff and stop you dead. The guys on MTB tyres where having more joy last night.


    play off between grip and resistance I tend to prefer grip on mtb.
    Thinner will deffo be faster but you may struggle to stay upright in places

    Premier Icon nuke

    My Mud-X 2.0 front and rear have been working well…I just left them at their standard 30ish psi.

    Got called a ‘suicidal cyclist’ this morning when I nipped out on the bike for bread 😀


    I’ve found 1.8 medusas with really high psi (50odd) cuts through really well.

    Last year my 2.1 Trailrakers did the job of cutting through and finding some grip.


    Narrow, CX bikes are ace in the snow.

    +1 – got 1″ CX tyres on my commuter and they’re great…

    I have 38c schwalbe snow studs – frikkin awesome!


    I’m using 1.8″ Tioga Factory XC SLs. Great in all kinds of snow, above about axel deep it’s my power output that’s the limiting factor. They’re not bad on ice (obviously not spikes good, but best I’ve used).
    Useless on tarmac though.

    Anyone recomend tyres for commuting? 5 miles of ungritted snow/ice, Tiogas are perfect, followed by 4 miles of gritted tarmac, Tiogas are @£&% and wearing really badly.

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