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Tires Never Grip in Cold Weather

  #1  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:49 PM
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Default Tires Never Grip in Cold Weather

I have michelin (pilot I think) tires that probably have about 1500-2000 or so miles on them, they still have a lot of tread left. On warmer days I've gotten the thing real low on high and slow speed corners, like definitely beyond low enough to knee drag if I had pads (maybe 45-55 degree lean angle). When its warm out it consistently grips real well.

I've noticed that when its 50 degrees or less outside no matter how long I ride, the tires just won't grip the way they should. If I get anywhere below like a 30 degree lean angle or so (just an estimate) I can feel the tires starting to loose traction like I'm at risk of low siding. Is this something I should just get used to, or is there anything I can do about it?
 
  #2  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:57 PM
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It's one of the risk factors of riding in colder weather. And it's not just the ambient temperature. Ground temp has a lot of effect too

It's simply harder to both get and retain heat in tires around this time of the year.
 
  #3  
Old 10-29-2013, 05:48 AM
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Lower the PSI a little bit when it gets colder. That will cause the tires to heat up a bit more and give you some better grip. But Kuro is right in saying that when it gets colder out - it's the nature of the beast.
 
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:40 AM
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This is why I put my CBR in the basement in November and leave it there until the following March or April. In cold weather my tires are like hockey pucks when it comes to gripping. I have to ride like I'm on a Vespa or risk a slide. No fun at all riding like that.
 
  #5  
Old 10-29-2013, 10:22 AM
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I went out for a 10 hour ride on Saturday. When I left my house it was 34 degrees out. Tires held fine, but i had the front slip out in a corner where the cement was so rough that it was almost waterboard. I made it through the turn, but it definitely made me think twice about leaning over too far in that temperature... I definitely wasn't pushing my chicken strips that day
 
  #6  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuroshio View Post
It's one of the risk factors of riding in colder weather. And it's not just the ambient temperature. Ground temp has a lot of effect too

It's simply harder to both get and retain heat in tires around this time of the year.
Originally Posted by Conrice View Post
Lower the PSI a little bit when it gets colder. That will cause the tires to heat up a bit more and give you some better grip. But Kuro is right in saying that when it gets colder out - it's the nature of the beast.
Yea thats what I figured, thanks guys. What psi you think I should run at? 32 seems to provide good grip in warm weather. How does 22-25 sound for this colder weather?

Originally Posted by RoadiJeff View Post
This is why I put my CBR in the basement in November and leave it there until the following March or April. In cold weather my tires are like hockey pucks when it comes to gripping. I have to ride like I'm on a Vespa or risk a slide. No fun at all riding like that.
Yep lol, problem for me is this things my daily. I need to ride it all through winter, might put a stunt cage on it for when these ohio snowstorms hit and I drop it every 10 minutes LOL

Originally Posted by Inferno_Libtech View Post
I went out for a 10 hour ride on Saturday. When I left my house it was 34 degrees out. Tires held fine, but i had the front slip out in a corner where the cement was so rough that it was almost waterboard. I made it through the turn, but it definitely made me think twice about leaning over too far in that temperature... I definitely wasn't pushing my chicken strips that day
Sounds like whats happened to me a couple of times now, definitely wakes you up a bit when it happens. Always triggers memories of my first lowside when it happens
 
  #7  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:34 PM
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Man I run 35 psi on the street I thought I was low.


Edit: Maybe see if NuttyNu is around he rides pretty much year round and he live in Alaska.
 

Last edited by CJardine; 10-29-2013 at 09:43 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:21 AM
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My advice? If this is your daily ride, then use it for that purpose (and ONLY that purpose) du.ring the colder weather.

Winter isn't the time to ride hard. Dial it back. You really shouldn't be aiming for knee dragging angles on the street and with your lack of proper gear during good weather in the first place. You're pushing too hard and asking too much for no good reason in my opinion.

Your bike will tell you "F*** off" and toss you if you keep that up
 
  #9  
Old 10-30-2013, 07:35 AM
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I wouldn't go too far under 30psi. Try maybe 28/30, or something. I wouldn't go too much lower.


Lower than that, and the tire is going to lose more of it's shape. Do some experimenting, find what's best for you.

But I have to echo Kuro here, don't push it. Have a nice ride by all means, but don't push it.
 
  #10  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ls1Mx5 View Post
Yep lol, problem for me is this things my daily. I need to ride it all through winter, might put a stunt cage on it for when these ohio snowstorms hit and I drop it every 10 minutes LOL
Wow - you're going to be riding a street bike throughout the winter, including days when there's snow and ice on the roads? I rode 20 miles home from work one time on my old 1100 Yamaha sport touring bike when there was several inches of snow on the road. Never again.

I'd recommend trying to find a cheap dual purpose bike with knobby tires as a second means of travel that'll get you through the winter. Have you ridden it on snow covered roads in the past? Cars leave ruts in the ice and snow and that's quite dangerous to navigate on a bike, especially a road bike.
 

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