Winter maxi-scooter tire suggestions
I'm trying to decide whether to use something besides the stock Cheng Shin 130/60-13 tires for winter riding. I don't expect to ride in snow, but will be riding in 30-40F temps (maybe down to 25F, who knows?). I don't seem to find any reviews on this tire as to suggested range of use.
Please let me know what you have been happy using and if you have any feedback on these Cheng Shin tires.
MEroller was kind enough to post the following on another thread; any other recommendations out there?
Winter tires: Definitely do NOT use the Cheng Shins in any weather colder than freezing temp. Even on whet roads those tires work only marginally. At least those on my ride.
What I rode for 7 years (ALL year, on my old ICE scooter) is not a special winter tire, but an all-weather tire. I am not sure if you can get a hold of them in the US, but I can wholeheartedly recommend the German Heidenau K62:
It works very well in the whet, good on dry and even hot roads, and if not too old yet also very good on snow, and occasionally I had to ride on icy roads too. THAT is not fun, but with these tires and a very smooth throttle response it is possible too. Heidenau also has a decided winter version (with the M+S mark) of this tire with identical tread but slightly softer silica rubber with some kind of fibres embeded, probably to reduce wear. They call those "Snowtex". But as long as there are no laws that compel you to use M+S tires on snow I would go with the standard K62. It should last you some 8 000 km / 5 000 miles on the rear if you can keep your throttle at bay :-) The front I had run down on double that.
The only drawback in comparison to the Cheng Shin might be a slightly rougher "feel" at slow speeds and in new state a slightly undecided tracking when going straight ahead, as it sports a groove in the middle. So the front wheel will move from one groove edge to other and back again, until the edges have worn down enough to react normally again.
What I just put on my Thunder is a Japanese-Swiss co-production called IRC Urban Snow that allegedly is used by the Swiss Post all year. But I cannot really recommend it as it howls like a pack of wolves when going straight ahead (louder than the wind at speeds up to 40mph!), though this dies down as soon as I bank it a little and the tire begins to run not only on the center blocks but also on the neighboring ones. I bet it could only be beaten on snow by spiked tires though. It is a decided M+S winter tire with very fine "gills", lateral in the mid-section for good traction and longitudinal on the sides for better side guidng. I only changed to this type as M+S tires are now mandatory here in Germany also for two-wheelers when riding on snow... It has a more spherical cross section than the Cheng Shin and thus has a larger circumfrence and in the case of the Thunder with it's strongly slanted front fork it causes a straightening moment in the handle bars during cornering. The same is true for the Sava Win Scoot M+S that my dealer puts on his Thunder for the winter.
In any case you will be positively surprised at the additional grip particularly on whet roads with any of these tires, in comparison to the Cheng Shin "slicks".
Also, do most people rotate the tires, or just leave them on until they wear out? From an on-line video, it doesn't look difficult to change the tires.
I am still undecided if I should change back and forth between the Cheng Shin and my winter tires twice a year as it IS a hassle, no matter how easy it may look on a video. The IRC tires are also claimed to work in summer, but I am not really sure about that given the soft rubber...
My all-weather tires I left on all year and rode them till they were either flat or run down, on their respective wheel, without changing front to rear and vv. But this may be down to personal preference. Particularly these all-weather or winter tires tend to have directional patterns and thus need to be mounted correctly in order to work as designed. That's another little detail that can easily overlooked.