/ Bad weather, hills Tour of Britain, tyres
Those conditions will have made things difficult. So do these cyclists ever stop to change tyres as Formula 1 does?
No. Essentially a road bike tyre is so thin that traditional tread patterns are not required, and make virtually no difference.
That doesn't meant that manufacturers don't produce them e.g. Continental 4 seasons has more tread than their GP4000s - but that doesn't provide any more grip in real terms (if anything it lowers it due to a reduced contact patch)
Compound will probably matter so they use a compound that performs well at the temperature of the road (i.e. cooler here than say the Vuelta)
>> Thanks for that. Would I be right in assuming that a thin tyre has the advantage of being compressed down through the water on the road surface,
to the road surface itself? There will be an incisive tyre plus the weight of the rider.
I know nothing about pedal bikes, but would they lower the pressure to get more heat into the tyre - as well as increasing the contact patch?
> >> Thanks for that. Would I be right in assuming that a thin tyre has the advantage of being compressed down through the water on the road surface,
> to the road surface itself? There will be an incisive tyre plus the weight of the rider.
It's that sort of thing, yes. When a car aquaplanes, it's because the pressure the car's weight is exerting on the contact patch is low enough that surface tension can momentarily support the car's weight. Deep tread helps displace the water before this can happen, provided speeds are low enough.
On a bike, the contact patch is much smaller and is only two wheels, leading to a much higher contact patch pressure. Hence, it's impossible for a pedal bike to aquaplane.
Wet roads are of course more slippy, but getting more contact rubber on the floor is more important than having measures (tread) against something that can't happen (aquaplaning). Dropping the tyre pressures slightly gives you a slight increase in contact patch, hence increasing your limit of friction on corners and for power transmission.
There's a really good Sheldon Brown article about all this somewhere.
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