Spring is the time to get back on the bike! Temperatures are rising and everyone is making plans for summer. Finally the weather allows for long rides again. But you still want to be prepared for everything. There are special tyres for these conditions, which are often called all-season road bike tyres or 4-seasons road bike tyres. But which 4-seasons tyres are the best? Kees lines up his four favourite tyres for you.
We have already written about the best Road Bike Tyres. But with rain, cold and possibly even black ice, many road cyclists want a road bike tyre which is more robust.
And that’s just what 4-Seasons Road Bike tyres are made for. They are high end road bike tyres with more grip and better puncture protection than summer tyres.
4-seasons tyres have more grip because of the softer rubber compound. They also offer better puncture protection, and an additional breaker layer helps to prevent punctures.
These are two important aspects which offer lots of advantages when riding in winter conditions. But 4-seasons road bike tyres also have some disadvantages. They wear faster because of the softer rubber compound, and often they’re also somewhat stiffer than the summer tyres.
Yet the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We have lined up Kees’ four favourite 4-seasons tyres for you.
Continental Grand Prix 4 Season – a real forerunner
The Continental Grand Prix 4 Season was almost revolutionary in 2015. Good looks, good grip and excellent puncture protection made this 4-seasons road bike tyre a favourite of many cyclists.
The Vectran Breaker layer keeps small stones out and ensures optimal puncture protection. The use of several puncture protection layers often makes bike tyres stiffer. But you barely feel this in the Continental 4 Seasons. Thanks to the Black Chili Compound it isn’t too stiff.
Michelin Power All Season – more grip
After the success of Continental’s 4-seasons road bike tyre, Michelin introduced the Power All Season road bike tyre. It’s not as smooth as the Continental road bike tyres, but offers more grip in wet and rainy conditions.
This tyre immediately makes you feel secure, and that’s certainly worth a lot. The Aramid Protek+ puncture protection layer does a good job in preventing punctures.
These tyres are made for riding with a somewhat lower tyre pressure than you might be used to. The maximum pressure is 7,5 bar. Personally, I preferred riding them with 6,5 bar.
Pirelli Velo 4s – the new standard
In my opinion, Pirelli has set a new standard for the tyre market last year. You immediately recognize Pirelli’s Formula 1 experience in these road bike tyres. A part of the grip Lewis Hamilton has during races in wet conditions is because of this rubber compound.
The Pirelli Velo 4s road bike tyres are light and have low rolling resistance. But the puncture protection isn’t as good as it is in the other 4-seasons road bike tyres in this comparison.
The puncture resistance is way better than it is in summer tyres, but it remains a weakness. Pirelli itself calls the tyre a Gran Fondo road bike tyre, made for long rides on which you want to achieve top performances.
Vittoria Corsa Control – the late arrival
Just before writing this comparison, a prominent newcomer arrived. Vittoria has given a more pronounced profile and a thicker rubber layer to the well-known Corsa. The result: the Vittoria Corsa Control.
This Vittoria road bike tyre does exactly what you expect it to do. The bike tyre has a great profile with a glued tread.
You can feel that it’s a bit stiffer than the normal version, but it’s still a real beauty. The colour has been improved a lot. Brown is still brown, but black is not greyish anymore. It’s proper black now, and it looks awesome. On the photo you can see the completely black version.
About time to compare the characteristics of these four 4-seasons road bike tyres. For measuring the sizes, I have used a 2018 Fulcrum Racing Quattro Disc wheelset. The inner width of the rim is 17mm.
Comparison of the best 4-seasons road bike tyres
|Puncture protection||not yet known|
|Durability||not yet known|
So which 4-seasons road bike tyre should you get?
These 4 road bike tyres are strong competitors. The Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S easily wins concerning rolling resistance and grip. This is the fastest tyre for spring. As such, it is ideal when you’re looking for great performance in changing conditions.
The Continental Grand Prix 4 Season offers an excellent combination of puncture protection and grip. These 4-seasons road bike tyres are well known for their performance in cold and wet conditions. Basically, this is an all-round tyre for recreative riders.
The Michelin Power All Season is a great choice as training tyre. The additional rubber and the puncture protection layer increase the weight, but this is compensated by the good puncture protection.
The next tyre is too new to report a lot yet, but nevertheless we expect a lot from the Vittoria Corsa Control. My colleagues already call it their new favourite tyre. The degree of puncture protection still has to be proven, and I also cannot say anything about durability yet, but it definitely looks great!
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