13 Helpful Tips for Cycling in the Snow and Ice

All You Need to Know About Winter Tires

This article refers to GSD Gen 1 bikes.


We want you to be able to enjoy your GSD year-round, in all different kinds of weather. After all, we envision the GSD as an alternative to a car—and you don’t stop needing to go places when winter comes. In this article, we’ll discuss our recommended winter tires, so you can keep riding even on snowy and/or icy roads.

Why do I need winter tires?

If you live somewhere with a true snowy season, studded tires are essential to safe winter riding.

After a significant snowfall, staying upright on your bike becomes a challenge. Riding on hard-packed snow is a bit like trying to ride through sand—regular tires just don’t have enough grip. The snow that melts off and refreezes can also cause dangerous icy patches (especially common on south-facing slopes).

Studded winter tires provide much-needed extra traction. Think of it this way: if they prevent even one serious fall, they’re a worthwhile investment.

Which studded tires are recommended for the GSD?

We recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus 55-406 (20 x 2.15) tires. These high-quality studded tires fit the GSD very well.

All You Need to Know About Winter Tires

Can I use a different winter tire with my GSD?

If the Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus tires are not available in your area, or if you'd like to try a different tire, check with your Tern dealer for help. They may be able to help you find an alternative that will work for you.

You'll need a tire with a diameter of 406 mm and a width between 50-60 mm. Make sure to keep a careful eye on the tires’ maximum load capacity.

Will winter tires negatively affect my riding on dry roads?

With the Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus tires, this shouldn’t cause significant issues. In general, you should run these tires at a lower pressure on snowy and/or icy roads and a higher pressure on dry roads (while staying within the range printed on the tires’ sidewalls). This will make the studs stick out less from the tire in dry conditions so that they won’t interfere with normal riding. You can expect a little bit of noise from the studs, but your GSD should still handle normally.

What else do I need to know about using winter tires with the GSD?

If you normally park your GSD indoors, be aware that studded tires may damage certain kinds of flooring.

How do I change the tires on my GSD?

If you’re not sure how to swap out your tires, your local bike shop can help. If you’d like to try to do it yourself, check out this article for information on how to remove and replace tires on the GSD.

What else can I do to make winter riding safe and enjoyable?

For more winter riding tips, check out our article 13 Helpful Tips for Cycling in the Snow and Ice.