The temperatures are plummeting for many of us in the northern hemisphere, but that shouldn’t stop us taking to trails this winter.
Electric mountain bike snow tyres are perfect for the cold, wintery conditions and will help keep you moving through difficult terrain, right through until spring. In this guide we’ll cover all bases to make sure you can make the most out of your winter set-up.
If you’re short on time, then here’s what you need to know:
- Our recommended electronic mountain bike snow tyre sizes are 26 x 4 inch, 26 x 4.8 inch and 27.5 x 4 inch.
- It’s best to run them at a low PSI (5-20) and add metal studs for icy conditions.
- A mid-drive motor electric mountain bike is better than a hub motor bike for snowy conditions
Join us as we explore the ins and outs of electric mountain bike snow tyres, below.
Benefits of Electric Mountain Bike Snow Tyres
Some may see snow on the ground and think it’s time to leave the bike in the garage, but snow doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and go riding. Having the right tyres and the right bike makes riding in the snow just as fun and easy as in summer.
The best electric mountain bike snow tyres have a wide, thick, fat bike-style tread and this allows you to have maximum surface area to grip into the ground and pass over the snow. It also allows you to have a good level of balance and prevents you from slipping and sliding around on the trails.
Put simply, snow tyres allow you to get to areas you simply couldn’t reach without them and provide you with the safety and confidence to tackle snowy and icy conditions.
So What Makes a Good Electric Mountain Bike Snow Tyre?
Size matters here.
Fat mountain bike tyres are the best type of tyres to use in the snow. They provide you with maximum traction and help you grip the snow and pass through it with ease.
Our recommended electric mountain bike snow tyre sizes are 26 x 4 inch, 26 x 4.8 inch and 27.5 x 4 inch.
Why are these Good Sizes?
They can run at low pressures in the snow and this allows you to glide over the snowy ground, while also providing a decent level of grip for corners and breaking. You don’t want to end up with a tyre which digs in so deep that you create a trench through the snow.
A pressure of anywhere between 5-20 PSI is perfect for those snowy conditions. The lower pressure helps cushion the electronic mountain bike onto the snow, rather than digging deeper into it. This prevents you from sinking into the snow and instead helps you seamlessly skim across the top of it.
Both a hub motor and a mid-drive motor electric mountain bike can operate in the snow, so you don’t have to worry there. But that said, one certainly copes better in snowy conditions than the other.
Why, you ask?
A mid-drive motor (where the electric motor is at the pedals) creates more torque than hub motors, which is really useful to get through those tricky snowy sections. Hub motors (where the electric motor is at the centre of the wheel) can sometimes struggle and get clogged up with snow, particularly if the conditions are seriously thick or slushy.
This is particularly important to note if you’re trying to tackle really thick snow – it’s less of an issue in the more compact snow, or where there’s only a light dusting. Our best bet would always be to favour a mid-drive motor electric mountain bike over a hub motor in the snow.
Your electronic mountain bike fat tyres will help you cope with all those thick, snowy conditions, but quite often when riding in winter, you’ll also encounter ice and slippery conditions, too.
It’s worth considering metal studs for your winter tyres if you know the areas you’re going could be icy. These dig into the ground and grip the ice tightly – a really useful tool to have, and which will stop you sliding out.
These can be taken on and off, accordingly, depending on the conditions.
What to Watch Out for
1. If you install metal studs in your winter electric mountain bike tyres, then we really recommend having a decent length of cycle on the road before heading straight into the snowy conditions – we’d suggest approximately 50km.
This gives the studs time to bed in and keeps them firmly attached to the tyre. You could end up losing some if you head straight out into the wintery off-road sections in them.
2. Don’t run at high PSI – if you have your tyres at too high a PSI they will simply sink right into the snow and create an enormous amount of rolling resistance – not handy at all.
Running your tyres at a low PSI, by contrast, allows you to glide across the top.
3. Don’t use standard mountain bike tyres. These won’t give you the cushioned grip you need across the snow. The thinner tread will also see you slipping and sliding in those icy and snowy conditions, rather than providing you the large surface area of a low PSI fat bike tyre, which can also cope with the e-MTB speeds better.
Well, there you have it – all the info you need to keep rolling on your electronic mountain bike this winter. We’ve covered all the core details you need to make the most out of an electric mountain bike snow tyre.
Key to this is considering the style or riding you’re doing and the kind of areas you’ll be going; is it really thick snow outside? Or is it tightly-compacted, icy conditions?
This will help you make the right call on studs and on the PSI level. But just remember, snow doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and you can certainly keep those legs spinning this winter.
As always, we’ll see you on the trails.