13 Helpful Tips for Cycling in the Snow and Ice

Using Winter Tires on the GSD Gen 2

This article refers to the GSD Gen 2.

We want you to be able to enjoy your GSD year-round, in all kinds of weather. Snow and ice pose particular challenges for cyclists, but with the right equipment and a little extra care, you can keep riding through the winter months.

In this article, we’ll introduce our recommended winter tires for the GSD Gen 2 to help you get a grip on snowy and icy roads.

Why do I need winter tires?

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

After a big 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. These are 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 Gen 2?

The tires your GSD came with are a little unique in that they are two different sizes. The front tire is 55 mm wide, and the rear tire is 62 mm wide. The wider rear tire boosts the GSD’s carrying capacity, while the slightly narrower front tire leaves room for the front suspension fork.

For winter tires, we recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus 55-406, which are 55 mm wide. These high-quality studded tires fit the GSD very well.

Because of the GSD’s unique tire configuration, you have a couple of options when winter hits:

  1. Replace both the front and rear tires with the 55 mm Marathon Winter Plus. Having winter tires on both the front and rear will provide maximum grip.
  2. Replace the front tire with the 55 mm Marathon Winter Plus and leave the 62 mm stock tire on the rear. This configuration will maximize your GSD’s carrying capacity while still providing extra traction for the front wheel. It may be appropriate if you carry very heavy loads in winter.

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 (remember, the front suspension fork is the main limiting factor). 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. 

You should run these tires at a lower pressure on snowy or icy roads and a higher pressure on dry roads (while staying within the range printed on the tires’ sidewalls). Doing so will make the tire studs stick out less in dry conditions and prevent them from interfering with normal riding. You can expect a little bit of noise from the studs, but your GSD should still handle just fine.   

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

If you usually 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 video for a quick tutorial on removing and replacing bike tires.