Tires may not seem like the most exciting topic to discuss, but they are an important part of velomobile performance. They can heavily influence handling, comfort, and speed. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, tire choice is especially critical for safe riding in the winter. In this video I show my collection of various tires that I use throughout the year.
In warmer months I use a variety of tires depending on my riding situation. For all-out speed I’ve found 40-406 Greenspeed scorchers to be quite effective. While they may not be the most durable choice, with latex or lightweight butyl tubes they can be quite fast, especially when paired with a fast rear tire such as the GP5000 or Schwalbe Pro One. In race situations the 28-406 Schwalbe Pro One TT seems to be the most popular choice. I am not a racer myself and do not have experience with this tire, but I know it has a reputation as a very fast tire. For normal daily commuting I use the 32-406 Continental Contact Urban with a 32-622 Continental GP5000 rear tire, non-tubeless. They are sufficiently fast and have been quite durable for me. They also grip well in the wet.
The Urbans unfortunately get quite slow in colder weather. For winter riding I have 3 different front and rear tires available. For general winter riding when the roads are clear, I use Schwalbe Ones in the front with a Continental GP5000 AS 35mm in the rear. This is still quite a fast combination and the 35mm rear tire absorbs the bumps nicely. For riding when I made need slightly more tread, I have 40-406 Schwalbe G-One Speed for the front and G-One Allround for the rear. I have not ridden much with these tires, but I was happy with the performance of the G-One Allround during my 2 week tour of Germany this past summer, particularly with grip on gravel. The G-One Speed has a reputation for not liking hard cornering as much as other models so caution is advised until you have learned the handling of this tire. In winter situations, most of us likely aren’t planning to bomb around corners anyway. For the snowiest conditions, I recommend the combination of Schwalbe GT365 40-406 and a spiked 30-622 Schwalbe Winter tire. While this combination will be quite slow, snowy conditions aren’t exactly high-performance riding conditions. At this point getting safely from point A to B is the most critical aspect, and these tires will make that possible.
The tires cited in this guide all fit the Bülk velomobile. Some of these may or may not fit or be available for your model of velomobile. This guide should at least give you some ideas of what options are available. Safe riding!
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