Iran and Pakistan are waiting for me to continue my trip towards the south pole. My bike for the world-tour is still in Iran, where a kind local keeps it for me, as usual.
Iran was such an exotic and unordinary country; I miss many people I have met there. Their sense of hospitality is still echoing in my thoughts.
I do know that I wouldn’t be capable of living for a long time in a country like Iran; the car-culture and many other government issues would definitely be the primary concern in that region. Nevertheless, I am still looking forward to visiting more places there.
For the moment, I am wintering in Finland.
In this country, even in the coldest situation, cycling can still be fun and eventually the best mean of transportation. This is not only my opinion but actually a fact if you see how people in the subarctic city of Oulu move around.
On the other hand, one crazy thing that I have noticed in Helsinki is that many people don’t want to make an effort to change their tires with winter tires.
In Finland, using the bicycle just six months a year because it snows; it seems to me like in England, not wanting to go to your workplace because it is raining outside.
Yes, I am aware that Finland’s seasons are different; some people say that there are six seasons in this country: winter, second winter, fake spring, early summer, proto winter, proper winter.
However, having bicycle studded tires means having no problem at all for cycling on snow or ice. You have a better grip even than walking!
Does it seem strange?
No, I would say.
If you walk on ice and you have regular shoes, you will most likely fall. Even the best winter shoes don’t have much grip on smooth ice.
On the other hand, a bicycle with studded tires has a perfect grip even on an Ice Hockey field, even if only the front wheel has studs.
Cycling all-year-round is essential for your health, for motivation, for your independence, for sustainability, and your pocket.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have easy to install winter tires with studs, and one could do the tire change in just 60 seconds?
Well, it seems incredible, but I have found the solution to this cyclist and cyclists-wanna-be dilemma:
There is a company that makes interchangeable tire treads in a modular tire structure to have a 5-in-1 system.
I came across reTyre tires just short ago, and as I have tried them, I loved them.
It’s a new concept of tires, where you can change the outer part—‘ the skin ‘—just as you change your jackets, with a zip!
I was surprised to see that the tires had an excellent grip, even with the worst winter conditions, even better than my previous traditional studded tires. In sharp turns, I noticed a superb adherence and stable drive.
You install first the reTyre-one, the base tire, which is like a regular tire but has a zip to hold the ‘skin’ on top of it. The installation is relatively straightforward. You should leave it inflated for about a day in order to let it expand before zipping the second tire on it.
The second tire, called ‘skin’, needs a bit of stretching to fit, but that’s all you have to do.
From now on, there will be no more wheels to change or tools to bring with you if you want to replace your external tire.
And probably, you will never get a flat tire again, because everyone knows that ‘two is better than one!
The ReTyre system can be handy also for those who alternate between off-road or road cycling. After the first time, it takes only a few minutes to figure out how to change skins.
This system is advantageous in countries like Finland, where you may need to change between winter tires and more than twice a year because of its unpredictable weather.
If Norwegians find it useful, Finns should probably find it helpful too. It seems that those tires got sold out quickly after the first lunch in Norway. I am sure that people in the land of the thousand lakes may love them too cause
the folk here has always been pragmatic and practical, choosing for quality. Like the Finn-Swedes say: ¨there is no bad weather, but just bad clothes; this applies to bikes too!
It will be also harder to get a puncture on those reTyre tires cause of their double-layered structure.
You can carry those external tires, the skins, in your backpack cause they fold and take the space of a book.
Their design is sober but unique and stylish; you can see and feel high quality.
There is a blue stripe around the side of the tires that gives them a specific character. The under-tire, reTyre one, also has a reflective strip covered when you put the skin on top, unfortunately.
Above all, changing only the tire that touches the ground, and not the whole tire, is also better for the environment and more efficient.
What about you? Have you ever tried those tires?
Let me know your opinions in the comments!
Are you cycling in Helsinki and want to give feedback to the city administration?
You can do it here.
I am not paid for this review; I have just got the tires for free from reTyre to try them.