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  1. #1
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    Icy roads on hills?

    Hello again!

    I hope I'm not driving you crazy with questions, but I have a one-track mind and right now the track is bike commuting.

    I want to ride to work through the winter, if I can afford the gear and don't wimp out, but I have to ride on hills and in Oregon winters, everything freezes overnight. If I get hakkapeliita(?) studded tires, will I be able to stay in control of my bike down steep, pot-holed hills, and around curves (sometimes all at once)? Sometimes there will be oncoming traffic, too, and I really don't want to skid underneath their tires.

    Thanks again! You guys are awesome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    The studs will help. Some of it also comes down to being a good bike-handler and being alert to surface nuances. And being alert to surface nuances can require a potent headlight so you can see a ways in front of you and plan ahead a few seconds.

    To give an example, I was riding on a street that was mostly down to just a thin glaze of ice on pavement, but I suddenly found my front wheel being slid to the right by the edge of a small plate of "ice plaque." It probably was only about 1/2cm high, but it was enough to almost take me down. I turned the front wheel into the edge of the piece of ice a bit, and could feel and hear the studs clawing at the rounded edge of the ice, trying to get up onto it. This was all compressed into less than a second, and then the tire found some grip and I was able to steer the front wheel back under me.

    All things considered, you probably will be OK as long as you keep those tires pretty softly inflated, but if you had the option to use a mountain bike, you could use some grippier tires like the Nokian Extreme 294's at 25psi and lay down a bigger contact patch with more ability to wrap around irregular ice, and way more studs to grip with. With the Hakka 700C tires, I probably would've crashed on that piece of ice in my example.

    2manybikes can probably give you some more good tips, he rides on ice a lot

  3. #3
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    hey thanks!

    were you using those extreme 294s on a mountain bike in your example?

    i don't think i'm particularly good at handling the bike yet. sometimes i'm surprised by its movement. heh

    i'm not sure about up in the hills (where hopefully i will be riding this winter) but a little bit lower, where i drive my car, the ice is very thin, but some days it's enough that you'll fall over if you walk on it at a regular pace. we don't usually get a good thick crust of ice. do you think i'd need the big, serious mountain bike tires for thinnish ice like that?

    again sorry to pester you but i can't afford to make mistakes buying such expensive tires

  4. #4
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wild animals
    hey thanks!

    were you using those extreme 294s on a mountain bike in your example?
    Actually that was with my 112-stud IRC Blizzards on a mountain bike, which were not bad tires either, especially since my co-workers bought them for me


    are we almost home yet...?

    i'm not sure about up in the hills (where hopefully i will be riding this winter) but a little bit lower, where i drive my car, the ice is very thin, but some days it's enough that you'll fall over if you walk on it at a regular pace. we don't usually get a good thick crust of ice. do you think i'd need the big, serious mountain bike tires for thinnish ice like that?
    If the ice is nice and flat, then that's the best-case scenario. If it gets rutted or lumpy, and freezes like that, then that's where it gets tricky, in my experience.

    The difference is partly that you get nearly 3x as many studs with the Extreme 294's, and partly that they can be run at super-soft pressures where they can wrap around stuff a bit better, and lay down a lot of studs at once, without risking a pinch flat. But I'm aware that you don't have a 26-inch type of bike, so I'm trying to be realistic that you're not going to run out and buy one.

  5. #5
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    oh but i do! my bike has 26" wheels, and i just checked and if i remove the fenders i bet i could fit pretty big tires there. (i'm not sure, though, since i've never tried it.) but if i remove the fenders i guess i'd be all wet. it still rains here even if the ground is frozen. :/

    i might end up with a new bike anyway and that's the kind of thing that could help me choose which one i get

    do those tires slow you down a lot? that picture is awesome, and makes me all excited for being inside during the winter while it's beautiful and cold out. but i don't know about riding a bike through it! you're hard core

  6. #6
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    If you liked that pic, here's more: http://freepages.thesecretlabs.com/~...ute/index.html The tires are heavy and slow, and they growl angrily down the road

    Ok, if you have 26-inch wheels, then remind me again what model of Bianchi it was? As for fenders, you could get an Apex rear fender that hovers over the tire, or a seatpost-mounted fender. Neither of those would compete with your tires for clearance between the frame tubes. And if you can measure the clearance between the frame tubes, that would help determine what tires would fit, too.

  7. #7
    original bike rider nycballer0591's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what size my tires will be but i will post that tomorrow. so whats some good advice for me since i ride up and down a hill before and after school ? its not that steep but walking down the sidewalk with ice or snow gets tricky so i'm guessing that i will need to change my speed. i have some 26" unused knobbies in the garage can i turn those into studded tires ? also as wild_animals asked will it slow me down ?
    James WAS Here !!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I don't have the Jedi skillz to modify regular tires into studded, but some people could probably tell you how if you ask over in the Winter Riding forum One thing about "real" studded tires is that good studs are carbide-tipped (extremely wear-resistant material) so they just last forever. If your time is worth something then it could be worthwhile to just pick up a set of Nokians, they should last for several seasons and won't need weird anti-flat-tire measures like a second tire casing stuffed inside of them to protect the inner tube.

    Nokian Mount & Ground, 160 carbide-steel studs, $42 each



    These would probably work in wild_animals' Bianchi with good clearance, too, since they're 1.9" tires.

  9. #9
    original bike rider nycballer0591's Avatar
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    ooo nice but kinda expensive lol i will make a post in the winter riding forum or search the web on how to do it.
    James WAS Here !!!

  10. #10
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    hahahaha oh my god, those photos are TERRIFYING. if you ride near those trucks in the snow, i shouldn't be so afraid of riding my highway on frosty mornings! good god! i love the last picture, even if it does look a little indecent. hehe.

    my bike is a bianchi milano and you have an excellent memory. i just took really, reeeally rough measurements and in the back i think there's about 2" between stays where the tire is, and in the front i have more room, with between .5 and .75" to each side of my 1.5" tire. it's hard to say because there's lots of stuff in the way of my measuring. hey i actually have mtb tires from my sister's bike that i could try on my bike! then i'd have a better idea. and like you say, i can always get different fenders, which wouldn't be a big deal (i don't think).

    so just to clarify because i'm not totally sure, do you think i need the extreme tires if i ride on thinner, flat ice, and many or most mornings there's no ice at all? if we get heavy ice or a decent amount of snow, everything shuts down and i don't have to go to work

  11. #11
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    hey, yeah, those look good! i think i should be able to fit 1.9s, at least in the front.

    this is so informative!

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I'll see if we still have a Milano at the bike shop where I'm working, and if we do, I'll eyeball the fit with regards to the bigger tires &/or fenders.

    so just to clarify because i'm not totally sure, do you think i need the extreme tires if i ride on thinner, flat ice, and many or most mornings there's no ice at all? if we get heavy ice or a decent amount of snow, everything shuts down and i don't have to go to work
    If the ice is flat then I'd get those middle tires, the Mount & Ground 160-stud ones Whether it's thick or thin ice, the studs should deal with flat ice OK. It's still not like bare pavement, I still have to brake and steer more gradually. I seem to have a definite edge in acceleration versus cars, at any rate *gloating*

  13. #13
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    I'll see if we still have a Milano at the bike shop where I'm working, and if we do, I'll eyeball the fit with regards to the bigger tires &/or fenders.
    thank you, you're awesome! that is really very kind of you.

    If the ice is flat then I'd get those middle tires, the Mount & Ground 160-stud ones Whether it's thick or thin ice, the studs should deal with flat ice OK. It's still not like bare pavement, I still have to brake and steer more gradually. I seem to have a definite edge in acceleration versus cars, at any rate *gloating*
    hahaha, that's good. i think i'll try those tires out, as soon as i can. 42 bucks isn't bad at all, either, considering what i thought they'd cost!

  14. #14
    original bike rider nycballer0591's Avatar
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    well now you have got me rethinking my desicion wild_animals lol . i will see if we have a weak el nino or a strong one then i will make my desicion. (Weak el nino means lots of snow) Strong one means less snow more rain. sorry if i got all scientific lol
    James WAS Here !!!

  15. #15
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    have you seen peter white's studded tire page? some of those tires cost $76 apiece! on another site, i saw a certain nokian tire for $108! shocking. but if $84 is a lot to you, you could buy one at a time. there's a place near here that sells them for $46 and you go pick it up from their warehouse so there's no shipping charge. $84 is a lot to me, so that's probably what i'll do

    edited for clarity and this link and dealer praise: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...1066&category= universal cycles is unbelievable and i love them. i wanted to buy schwalbe marathons from them, but they were out of stock, so the guy there LET ME BORROW(!!!) tires to use for the providence bridge pedal, until the marathons came in! amazing, amazing customer service.

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