Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,439
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What 26 " Winter Tires Do You Like?

    I am looking for recommendations for winter tires from you Commuting gurus. I commute every day in a mid-Michigan city. Some years we get a lot of snow, some years not so much. I ride a lot, mostly on city streets, so rolling resistance is somewhat of a concern. I need good traction in snow and ice, but I don't want studded tires. Realistically, they do plow the streets, so heavy snow and ice are a problem only a few days a season. My commuter is a mountain bike with 26" wheels. Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    293
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you really have no ice and snow, just get slicks. Your choice.

    I like my studded tires, though.

  3. #3
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,439
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth
    If you really have no ice and snow, just get slicks. Your choice.

    I like my studded tires, though.
    Well, we do get ice and snow. In previous years I used knobbies. I've been using slicks since spring, and like them for dry and wet roads, but I'm wondering if I should change back to knobbies this fall. Any ideas on tread pattern, brands, etc.? Anybody have experience with slicks on winter streets? How did they work for you?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,177
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The way I look at it, it is the tread that causes most of the rolling resistance, so, if you are going to have to spend part of the year on knobbies, they might as well have studs.

    A bike with slicks on non-icy winter streets with an inch or two of snow is somewhat bettter than my rear drive car. If the snow is either a fine powder or a wet semislush, slicks will bite right through to the pavement and work well. If you have a freeze-thaw cycle or big blocks of ice, it is a different story. On ice, slicks and knobbies work (or fail to work) about the same.

    The caveat is that both ice and snow have really different friction characteristics depending upon temperature.,which depends upon climate What works for me may not work for you.

    Paul

  5. #5
    gwd
    gwd is offline
    Biker gwd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    DC
    My Bikes
    one Recumbent and one Utility Bike
    Posts
    1,917
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulH
    The way I look at it, it is the tread that causes most of the rolling resistance, so, if you are going to have to spend part of the year on knobbies, they might as well have studs.

    A bike with slicks on non-icy winter streets with an inch or two of snow is somewhat bettter than my rear drive car. If the snow is either a fine powder or a wet semislush, slicks will bite right through to the pavement and work well. If you have a freeze-thaw cycle or big blocks of ice, it is a different story. On ice, slicks and knobbies work (or fail to work) about the same.

    The caveat is that both ice and snow have really different friction characteristics depending upon temperature.,which depends upon climate What works for me may not work for you.

    Paul
    When I commute on snowy days the conditions change drastically from location to location. Some streets get plowed and salted some just plowed. The dedicated bike lanes get nothing but still the amount and quality of ice changes with the amount of bike and foot traffic in the various sections. I haven't learned to predict how the friction characteristics will change based on the changing snow-ice-slush-sand ratios before I feel it through the tires. Each winter I get better. I don't change tires for the few days of ice/snow we get, I just go more slowly and try to learn more about winter bike handling.

    I've commuted in snow and ice on Continental Goliaths widest, Schwable Marathon mediumest, and Narrowest 26mm Specialized Armidillos. I can't say there has been a big difference because the conditions changed so drastically along the routes. The narrow tires on the road bike seemed to cut down to pavement well in many conditions but get "stuck" in deeper packed snow where the wider tires seem to "float" on medium snow pack. They all slide on sheet ice. When the bike starts sliding on ice I put both feet down not just one.

    I've never seen studs.

    It was an eye opener for me when we had ice storms or blizzards and I biked to work while SUV drivers were calling in to say they were stuck. This has happened several times over the years. I never knew bikes worked so well in the snow/ice.

    It was so fun in 2003 to help a guy in a jeep cherokee get unstuck. I couldn't resist talking about the car advertisements as we pushed and dug. He just muttered something about how it was new and he'd never used 4wd before and something must be broke and he'd have to take it to the dealer....

    The point is that regular bike tires can get you around in conditions that SUVs get stuck in.

  6. #6
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    In the 212
    My Bikes
    Haro Vector, IRO Rob Roy, Bianchi Veloce
    Posts
    8,757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i used knobbies in about 4 in. of slightly mushy snow and the bike slid out from under me twice on the same ride. that's how i lost the clear lens covering my gear selector.

    i'm sticking w/ slicks this year and riding careful.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Wilmington, DE
    My Bikes
    2003 Specialized Hardrock, 2004 LOOK KG386i, 2005 Iron Horse Warrior Expert, 2009 Pedal Force CX1
    Posts
    8,849
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I tried riding a BMX bike with semi-knobbies in college through snow. Luckily, the ground isn't too far away as I hit it a couple of times. This year (first real year commuting) I'm buying studded tires for the snow (probably Nokians but maybe Kendas if I'm feeling cheap(er)).

  8. #8
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Knee-deep in the day-to-day
    Posts
    5,484
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gwd
    It was so fun in 2003 to help a guy in a jeep cherokee get unstuck. I couldn't resist talking about the car advertisements as we pushed and dug. He just muttered something about how it was new and he'd never used 4wd before and something must be broke and he'd have to take it to the dealer....
    I played that game this winter in The Great Blizzard of 2005, only my guy was much more of a sport. He drove, I pushed, no BS'ing involved, very gracious.

    I have a Ritchey EleVader out back and a WTB Velociraptor leading the way. They do me right. They're a little buzzy on the clean stuff but when it gets snowy, you can't beat some tread.

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,439
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good advice, even if some conflicted. Gwd's post convinced me that the question is a lot more complex than I thought, and different tires might be better for different conditions. I'm starting to think that a lot of the solution is increasing bike-handling skills in different kinds of weather, not focussing only on your rubber. The first day I rode on snow, I fell twice and cracked a rib. Now I hardly ever fall.

    Anyway, this morning I saw that my rear tire had a cut on the sidewall with the tube bulging out. I carefully rode to the LBS and bought a new tire. So now I have a 2 " slick with small knobs on the sides. I doubt if those little knobs actually do anything, since they don't seem to contact the pavement. The LBS owner said knobbies don't help on snow, but slicks cut through to the pavement better. I still have the 1 1/2 inch slick on the front, so any advice on replacing (or keeping) that will be heeded.

  10. #10
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Knee-deep in the day-to-day
    Posts
    5,484
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's the big controversy: whether it's better to go with a high pressure skinny slick and cut through to the pavement or to float on top with tread.

    I've done both and I prefer a fatty with some traction, but I can understand and respect the opposite position.

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode almost every day last Winter (in Madison WI) on my fixed garage sale Peugeot with an old cross type tire on the front and a regular tire on the back. Both 27" by 1&1/4. I'd agree that most days this worked just fine -- i.e. on wet pavement, slushy snow. Things got a bit more dicey once we got into the frozen rutted conditions of January and February, but I just had to be a little more cautious. The only conditions that left me defeated were major heavy snowfalls. I tried an MTB with knobbies and pretty much slid all over the place. I rigged up some studded 26" tires with sheet metal screws which I ran on another fixed bike. That was okay, but in wet heavy snow it was WORK, which may have been more due to gearing. I took the same bike out on a lake that had been plowed off for snowmobile racing and it worked great. Am putting together another fixie and am considering investing in some studded Nokians . . . any thoughts on those?

  12. #12
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Redline Conquest, Cannonday, Specialized, RANS
    Posts
    1,929
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We get about 10 to 15 days of frozen precipitation per year here, and I ride through it. One important lesson I've learned is that a two-wheel vehicle handles very differently than a four-wheel vehicle in low-traction conditions. A two-wheeler depends on friction to stay upright; if you lose traction on either wheel you will go down quicker than you can imagine, whereas in a car a little skidding is not a big deal. Frozen puddles are a major hazard on a bike for instance, and I've taken a few nasty spills on ice with my slicks.

    I have a set of studded Nokians -- Hakkapeliitta, 26x1.75 -- and I find them very useful in the winter. On dry pavement they are not particularly pleasant -- they are heavy, the tread is slow, and the studs make the ride rough and noisy -- so I have them mounted on spare rims and switch them in only when I need them. On hard snow or ice they are excellent, I'm able to go up hills that cars have trouble with. In deep snow, say more than three inches, they work less well. It takes a lot of effort to push through the snow, and the rear tire can't get enough traction to deliver the force, so it spins out and over you go. Reducing the tire pressure helps somewhat, but you get to a point where it is easier to walk than ride.

    Riding in traffic requires extra caution in the snow -- you may not be able to control your bike, and motorists may not be able to control their cars.

    Some people say that the cost of snow tires is not justified considering the limited use. I feel just the opposite. Around here, many people don't handle snow well, and the entire transportation system shuts down when it snows. The roads become clogged with stopped cars, and public transportation nearly shuts down under the burden of additional riders who normally drive. With snow tires on my bike, a snowstorm adds only five or ten minutes to my daily commute, whereas without them I'd probably stay home like everyone else. So the tires pay for themselves in a single storm.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Wilmington, DE
    My Bikes
    2003 Specialized Hardrock, 2004 LOOK KG386i, 2005 Iron Horse Warrior Expert, 2009 Pedal Force CX1
    Posts
    8,849
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    DCC, thanks for the feedback on the Nokians. I'm really hoping to be able to make it through this winter biking which means at least one day with a good amount of snowfall on the roads and other days with plenty of ice to contend with. Your experience helps me to know what I'll be up against. I hate driving in the snow because most people around here seem to think that 4WD makes their car invincible. I've seen enough in ditches and on their roofs to know they are not and on a bike I feel I have a better chance of avoiding a nasty collision with one.

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,439
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by peugeotjoker
    I rode almost every day last Winter (in Madison WI) on my fixed garage sale Peugeot with an old cross type tire on the front and a regular tire on the back. Both 27" by 1&1/4. I'd agree that most days this worked just fine -- i.e. on wet pavement, slushy snow. Things got a bit more dicey once we got into the frozen rutted conditions of January and February, but I just had to be a little more cautious. The only conditions that left me defeated were major heavy snowfalls. I tried an MTB with knobbies and pretty much slid all over the place. I rigged up some studded 26" tires with sheet metal screws which I ran on another fixed bike. That was okay, but in wet heavy snow it was WORK, which may have been more due to gearing. I took the same bike out on a lake that had been plowed off for snowmobile racing and it worked great. Am putting together another fixie and am considering investing in some studded Nokians . . . any thoughts on those?
    What is a cross type tire? I think this is what I got, but I'm not sure of the term. My new tire is a 2" slick, but with little knobbies on each side that barely touch the surface. Is that the same as a cross type tire?

  15. #15
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Knee-deep in the day-to-day
    Posts
    5,484
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No, what you have is a probably a 26" tire for a hybrid. The argument is that in a straight line, it's nice and smooth for low rolling resistance but if you take it off-road, it gives you some traction in the dirt on corners. In practice it's not really worth anything.

    A cross tire is shorthand for a cyclocross tire, a 700C tire with decent girth (anything above, say 30mm) and some light tread.

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,439
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    No, what you have is a probably a 26" tire for a hybrid. The argument is that in a straight line, it's nice and smooth for low rolling resistance but if you take it off-road, it gives you some traction in the dirt on corners. In practice it's not really worth anything.

    A cross tire is shorthand for a cyclocross tire, a 700C tire with decent girth (anything above, say 30mm) and some light tread.
    Yeah, I didn't think it was worth much. I know I won't match it on the front wheel, and I will probably replace it soon. OTOH, it isn't really slowing me down much. It's a half inch wider, but just as hard as the old slick.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I run Nokian Mount and Ground on my winter commuter in Portland, ME. Great tires. I like being able to ride on Jan - Mar ice @ 0 degrees or below. Also the extra weight makes you enjoy taking them off in spring that much more!

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    My Bikes
    Stycle Aluminium 26" (Professional Bike! I'm Hot!)
    Posts
    49
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use a pair of Nokian Hakkapelittä steel studded. Expensive but grips icey roads nicely.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •