In perfect weather the condition of your tyres are crucial to the way your bike handles, and in the winter when the roads are wet, or worse slippery in really cold conditions it is vital that you check your tyres, both the tyre pressure and their condition, on a regular basis. Remember, during the wintertime the pressure in your tyres will be affected more by the cold weather than they would be during a warmer period during the summer.
If you are finding that your bike is ‘wandering’ slightly when you are riding over road markings in the wet, or that it feels slightly less sure footed or that it is starting to track the slight furrows in the road surface then you definitely need to take a look at your tyres.
It may be something as simple as the tyre pressures need looking at. Don’t trust the pressure gauges at your petrol station, 9 times out of 10 they are wrong! Invest in a digital tyre pressure gauge. I picked one up for a fiver, back in the summer, at Halfords and its small enough to keep in the bikes tool roll in the under seat compartment.
Under-inflated tyres will dramatically affect the handling of your bike, in all weathers, quite dramatically and be very unpleasant to ride on.
Over-inflated tyres while not really causing any real problems with the handling, will actually result in a smaller contact patch between the tyre and the road surface and means your bike will have less grip. Not really something you want, especially with the roads being like they are at the moment.
Either way, having your tyres inflated incorrectly is dangerous and could result in an accident. Checking your tyres on a regular basis is so vitally important and takes literally seconds to do, but that few seconds may just save your life.
So the next time you go to ride your bike, check them. And make sure you remember to check them on a regular basis, especially while the weather is cold.