Winter Cycling - studded tire recommendations?
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09-24-12, 05:07 PM
im looking to keep riding this winter and im looking into studded tires
i live in nyc suburbs that get a good amount of ice (sometimes black) and im looking to keep commuting on a 5-8 mile ride with some hills, not trying to find myself under the wheel of a plow truck
i have an old 87 fuji flair that is built for 27 1/4 wheels and im not quite sure how big of tires i could fit
it would be on a fixed gear with 700c wheels
im really just trying to get a feel for what brands and makes are good in the world of studded tires, since most regular road tire manufacturers dont get into studs
09-24-12, 06:24 PM
I love my Schwalbe Marathon Winters, 700x35.
09-24-12, 07:15 PM
+1 for Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires, but anything from Nokian or Schwalbe should be ok. Some of the other studded tire brands are cheaper at first but much lower quality.
09-25-12, 07:16 AM
I purchased a pair of Nokian Extreme 294 tires for my mountain bike last year and they are unbelievable. On glare ice I slam on the front brake and bring the back wheel off the ground. These are 26x2.1" tires, so they obviously wouldn't fit your 700c wheels. If you can fit a 40mm wide tire on your bike, check out the Nokian W240, nearly the same thing as my Extremes, but in a 700x40mm size. I think that would give you all the traction you could ever need. The next step down is the W106 which is offered in a 700x35mm size if the 40mm width is too wide.
I don't know much about the Schwalbe tires, but they seem to have a pretty good reputation.
09-25-12, 07:17 AM
Oh, one other thing. Whichever tire you end up purchasing, make sure that the studs are carbide, not steel. You'll be lucky to get an entire winter season on steel studs before they wear down; whereas carbide studs should last the life of the tire.
I have a pair of Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106s, they're great for commuting and city riding.
+1 on carbide studs. I like to err on the safe side and start riding with studded tyres when we first get black ice. That means I'm riding quite a bit on bare pavement with studded tyres too. Good quality studded tyres won't mind that.
Riding with studded tyres is great fun, but be prepared for more workout than usual. Especially if you have any snow on ground.
09-25-12, 06:55 PM
thanks a lot guys, much appreciated
does the tread knobs really make that much of a difference in ice/snow? i feel like the studs would be more critical than the knob size/pattern
Studs are there for ice and/or hard packed snow. Loose snow, slush etc. - they don't do much. Thread pattern is the exact opposite, aggressive thread / knobs work in loose snow, slush, mud and so on, but provide little help on glare ice.
In city commuting environment, I find I seldom need aggressive thread, but studs are essential. The W106s are narrow (for a studded tyre) and cut through the loose layer.
09-26-12, 12:37 AM
I made my own for use in Alaskan winters back in 1992. Panaracer Smoke tires, then drive sheetmetal screws through each side knob. It will indeed take some time and likely make your wrists very sore by the time you finish. Then line with layers of duct tape and also use tire liners to protect your tubes from screw heads.
I was able to ride across frozen lakes and ice as if I were on new tires and dry pavement. Seriously, I don't think you can get better traction on dry ground and the sheet metal screws are absolutely amazing. A few years after I made these I saw production models and tried them. There was really no comparison to my home-made super grippers. My home-made ones were a lot better than the production ones with the little metal things sticking out. Heavier? Maybe, but you're probably picking up enough snow that you wouldn't notice anyway.
09-30-12, 10:35 AM
I have both the Schwalbe and Nokia 294s and I'd tell you that if you are going to ride mostly on dry road with some ice then the Schwalbe are much better. They roll better and are less noisy and much more comfortable of a ride. Of course that's because they are less agressive with smaller knobs and fewer studs. If you're on serious ice for a decent period of time on a regular basis then the Nokia 294's are the ultimate. There are Nokia's with fewer studs that are probably in between the Schwalbe and 294's. My wife rides the Schwalbe because her bike won't take the 294s and she does just fine even on glare ice but there's no question that she has to be just a bit more careful than I do. If I were commuting on busy streets and needed maximum grip for safety I'd also go with 294's without question. It snowed here last night ;0.).
09-30-12, 01:39 PM
The lesser studded 160 count Nokian Mount and Ground W have been fine
on roads with a mix of scraped down to the pavement 'bare'
and continually re freezing spring's runoff black ice across the road as well ..
here It is an occasional, rather than consistent weather situation.
my tires are still fine being 20 + years old..
a long wearing rubber compound that keeps the studs in place,
none have come out..
09-30-12, 03:18 PM
I made my own
I run the nokian hakkapalitta (sp) in the 700 x 35. They should fit in your frame. Nice tread and plenty of studs.
10-01-12, 07:31 PM
Well, came across a killer deal on some Nokian Extremes at work today. We were cleaning out our selection of used tires and I found these buried.
10-02-12, 08:12 PM
thanks for the tips guys, ill see how this pans out in the coming months if im gonna actually need them (last years winter was pathetic)
10-02-12, 09:21 PM
Agreed about last year...except for about 2-3 weeks in Feb when it hovered at -55 to -65 the winter was rather wimpy.
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