Winter Cycling - Running studs up front only...
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01-23-08, 08:08 AM
I am new to riding on studded tires. Bought two 106's for my commuter in early December and have only used them a few times. This winter has been esp mild here in Pittsburgh and whatever the weather, the roads have been clear of snow & ice. So I thought I will experiment: split the difference, just run the studs up front to avoid any surprises and still ride faster in traffic.
Tuesday morning: 2"snow on everything, esp the roads. Put a studded tire on the front. Rode to work to see how a studded front & continental city-contact rear tire would work.
This worked ok. The trade off loss of speed wasn't too bad & I had more confidence riding fast through the snow/slush/ice/wet-pavement combinations. But once I got up to 25+ mph and hit a curving stretch, I realized that I couldn't brake w/out wiping out. So I feathered the brakes (favoring the front brake) & managed to slow down.
Does anyone else ride with this set-up? I know PWhite recommends against it but the roads I commute on are most often clear of ice. It seems dumb to run the studs & yet these conditions change daily & even hourly.
01-23-08, 08:48 AM
You quite right in that studs in the Front are the most important. If you are running on 26" wheels with fairly knobby tires in the back this should get you through most conditions fine. The same applies to cars as well. The Front is where most of the turn and braking force is applied. From a stability point of view I'd also much rather have the rear fish-tail than the front wheel slide out from under me. As you ride the front wheel also clears a bit of a path for the rear wheel to follow. I've been to Pittsburgh and have noticed that it is very hilly. The only reason I'd run studs in an area that may not get get snowy wintery weather is that you may still get frozen precipitation. Some frozen patches of road can be much worse to deal with than a layer of snow.
01-23-08, 09:24 AM
I find the 106 Nokian's to be quite fast compared to tires with more studs. Put max air in them and they are OK on tarmac as well. It is that one spot of ice that will send you down, why take that chance just to save a few minutes ?
You'll low-side (crash) in an instant trying to corner on ice without studs on the back. I agree with Plodder, above. It's that one ice spot that's going to get you.
I'm running the Hakka 106's and they're pretty quick for snow tires but not really intended for serious rutty trail riding. Look at it this way: You'll build more muscles and go even faster when you put the summer tires back on. :p
01-23-08, 09:14 PM
Hi again. Yes, this is proven to be true. But on my ride in (just after posting this morning) I had some difficulty with the front studded tire too. Very disconcerting. I imagine it was the speed.
So the plan for tomorrow is 1) to lower the PSI from 65 (the max) to 50 for my ride in & 2) to run studded on the back tire.
Also, please check my other Winter Cycling post: my rear hub froze again! Had to walk the bike home for the last 300 yards.
01-23-08, 09:19 PM
When I tried this my issue was downhill braking... on ice the rear of the bike would swing around and I'd end up pretty much backwards.
Better than no studs at all.
01-23-08, 09:54 PM
[Better than no studs at all]
I agree! I've definately felt the difference. But this particular morning, on downhill straightaways, it was apparent that the front was going to dump on me, studded or not. I gritted my teeth, cursed Peter's good name, and survived. Its all a learning experience.
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