Winter Cycling - Studded Tires When There Is No Snow
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09-28-04, 04:04 PM
How do studded tires perform when there is no snow? In Calgary due to warm chinook winds from the Pacific ocean we can have snow in the morning on the roads but by afternoon the snow is gone and the roads bone dry.
Do the studded tires have any problem with handling or performance when there is no snow?
I use Nokian W106 tires from December to March. These tires have a pronounced tread, which means more rolling resistance than a slick or semislick. I find no performance degredation when I have only a front one on. However, the bike is somewhat harder to pedal with both front and rear installed. They are probably no worse than knobby mountain bike tires. On the other hand, the carbide studs show no detectable wear.
The main drawback I have found is a sort of nibble feel when riding over metal grates in the road.
If you only have snow (no ice) and just for a part of the day at that, studded tyres may be an overkill. Studs are great on ice or hard-packed snow, but on loose snow with no ice beneath an aggressive MTB thread will work quite as well. It will also be lighter and have less rolling resistance.
Then again, studded tyres make a nice sound on dry paved road :D!
I belive that a double row tire like the Nokian M&G160 when run at high pressure will roll on the rubber down the centre and not the studs while fully vertical. When there is ice just lower the pressure so the tire studs contact the ground.
Nokian Studded Tires (http://www.nokiantyres.com/bike/winter/index.html)
I'm still debating between the 160's and the 294's, not sure if the 294's are overkill for commuting. Whatever you do, don't buy cheep steel studded tires, they will wear out in no time on pavement.
scott L R
10-01-04, 04:35 AM
I rode last year with MTB knobbies, gonna get studs this year. Nearly went down several times last year, bad winter with lots of packed snow that turned into ice.
10-12-04, 11:04 AM
I was wondering the same things actually since in Iceland (studying in Reykajvik) the winters tend to vary, sometimes itīs icy and sometimes itīs not, from what Iīve heard at least. (Iīve only been here since August) For normal commutes I think that KrisAīs suggestion of the Nokian 160s is probably the best idea. I had that idea as well but didnīt know if it would actually work :p A quick 1 minute pressure adjustment and you have either a very good ice tire or simply a normal tire that wonīt wear the studs out as quickly. Anyone know what the least expensive place is for the Nokian 160s? The cheapest Iīve found is $50.
10-12-04, 02:44 PM
Innova studded tires have relatively soft steel spikes which don't resist too long on asphalt.
Schwalbe: I don't know, but I heard studs are steel, not carbide. Check.
Nokian: studs are carbide and will last many winters, even if you ride on asphalt.
As far as their behaviour, with Nokian Hakkapeliittas 106, there is some noise and a little bit of vibration due to the studs contacting the ground. The studded tires are a little bit more slippery than non studded tires, which means you should avoid high speed cornering and the like. Nothing dangerous however.
I haven't tried my luck too much on steel. Probably not too good, comparable to a tire on wet or oily steel. IOW, don't turn on a steel plate.
Studded tires slide like mad on wet (not cold) smooth rock paving (not asphalt)
had one of my worst crashes this way (a heated walking district street) back in '02
10-15-04, 06:28 AM
What about having two set of tires mounted on two different wheel sets. You could get a cheepo wheel-set for the winter and use the one on your bike for summer (or non snowy days ) that way you can easily swap them out when needed.
10-21-04, 07:14 PM
I'm another calgary winter bike commuter
take a look at the new tires at MEC $62+GST
the tires don't have studs in the middle so at max inflation your not wearing down the studs
an added bonus to the tire it has a 3M reflective rim edge, very noticable to cars
used the tire all week, works really good
10-22-04, 06:56 PM
I'd spend a little extra and get the carbide studs. They will last several seasons, steel will probably last you one season, especially in calgary where the roads are clear half the time. Bike Shop and Bow have the Nokian tires, but not all models. It may be easier to order from the states (peter White) and don't believe everything the local shop staff tells you. Do your own research on the web.
Good riding, maybe see you out there.
10-23-04, 11:47 PM
The studs on my M&Gs get plenty of road contact even at max pressure so the resistance is definitely noticeable - maybe a two gear difference. We're in a weird time in Saskatchewan right now. Monday I rode over ice and hardpack snow. By Wednesday the roads were clear and dry. Thursday was sleet. Friday, a snowstorm with snow build up (snow hurts your eyes when its blowing hard I've noticed). Today, I should have been back on my Continental Town and Country tires - dry and clear. Tomorrow? Who knows.
I thought about switching to Knobbies for now. I got through half of last winter with them and know of a guy in Edmonton who went through two winters with them without a fall. Once the snow and ice are here for good, nothing but Nokians.
At this time of year its tough to know and the long range forecast is just a guess. As long as its near freezing and there's a chance that I'll be hitting an ice patch while riding between a curb and a bus, I'll keep the studded tires on. Hate the rolling resistance, though, and I do find them a bit wonky on pavement.
10-24-04, 03:35 PM
<snip> We're in a weird time in Saskatchewan right now. Monday I rode over ice and hardpack snow. By Wednesday the roads were clear and dry. Thursday was sleet. Friday, a snowstorm with snow build up (snow hurts your eyes when its blowing hard I've noticed). Today, I should have been back on my Continental Town and Country tires - dry and clear. Tomorrow? Who knows.<snip>
I'd have to argree with you about the weird weather this year... I think I'll keep my studded tires on unless we get a string of warm weather. The weather's a little too unpredictable & I'd rather spend money replacing worn-out studded tires than have my wife spend money on my funeral if I slip in front of a bus!
10-26-04, 11:51 AM
I have studded tires for my winter riding. I only use the studded tire on the front my thinking is that its the tire that needs all the traction, tryed studs front and back it was not a good ride felt like i was dragging dead weight.
Hey fellow Saskatchewanians! Wierd weather indeed, I was riding my winter beater with just one studded tire up front all last week, this week I'm back on my Jake the Snake tearing up the roads. If it stays nice for the weekend I hope to make it out to the trails.
On the studded tire issue, I was planning on splashing out for 2 Nokians, but after negotiating through last week on one old worn out studded Innova on the front and a knobby on the back I think I might just skip it. Besides I can spend the $150 on new gear for the 2005 racing season! :D
10-29-04, 12:43 AM
Yeah, I switched back to my Continental Town and Country tires a couple of days ago. I'm not sure what to expect next. The fog is kinda cool with the headlight in the early morning right now.
The Nokians are expensive; I got mine on eBay for a decent price and I use them on both wheels in the winter. Maybe overkill, but I'm not an especially skilled rider and I didn't like riding through snow-covered ice ruts too much last year. But the drag is a killer...
As for going with a knobbie and a worn out Innova: that's not for me, but I went through half of last winter with just knobbies and know of a guy in Edmonton who rode for a couple of years with just knobbies.
10-29-04, 04:22 AM
how do they perform? Depends on the engine driving them, but to answer the question that you wanted to ask <g> they're fine. As long as they are Nokian...I've ridden them almost every day, no problems for three winters.
The only time I fall now is if I get hit by a car or ride my racing bike too fast in the wet.
I love my Nokians. W106. Can't beat them!
are there any good studded tires or otherwise good winter riding tires that are skinnier than 700x35 mm? Maybe a 700x32 or 700x30? All I've seen are the 35s.
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