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  1. #1
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    Riding studded tires during mostly wet not icy winters.

    Here in the Seattle area where it usually rains but ice can come at anytime. I figure on leaving my studded tires (Schwalbe Marathon Winter) on until Springtime. Just like cars do.

    My thinking for keeping them on is never knowing when ice will be present and avoiding if at all possible since falling on the ice a month ago and the bus doesn't run on Saturday.

    If anything I accept riding a little slower over the 18 miles route each day. I'm running at 45 psi in the tires.

    Any thoughts on this?
    Last edited by sourdoughT; 01-04-10 at 07:27 PM.
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  2. #2
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I always leave my studded tires on all winter. I never thought it was much of an option. It only takes a couple square feet of unexpected ice in the night to ruin your day (or more).

    Besides, it makes it SO NICE in the spring when you put the road tires back on - in comparison to the studs you've been riding all winter it feels like riding a pat of butter across a hot skillet!
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  3. #3
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    I don't know what size you've got, but unless it's really icy and snowy, 45 is probably too low. I run my 26 x 1.75 marathon winters at 70psi unless it's really snowy. Then, the lower pressure helps but why drag them around when you don't really need it? The higher pressure will easily handle the odd patch of ice.

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    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
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    I'm running studded tires on my cross bike during the winter. It seems like I never need them until the day I decide to take them off. They really slow me down unfortunately. I run mine @ 65psi, but they are 700 x 35mm.
    Idaho

  5. #5
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    I'm running 700 c 35 mm
    "The antithesis of self-reliance is collectivism..."
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  6. #6
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughT View Post
    I'm running 700 c 35 mm
    I run the exact same tires. I lowered them to 35 psi for the snow; it helps with the grip. Before we got any serious snow I had them at 65 psi.

    Gettin' my Fred on.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
    I don't know what size you've got, but unless it's really icy and snowy, 45 is probably too low. I run my 26 x 1.75 marathon winters at 70psi unless it's really snowy. Then, the lower pressure helps but why drag them around when you don't really need it? The higher pressure will easily handle the odd patch of ice.
    Same here, but I have a well-tended route where ice and hard-packed snow without ruts are the usual treacherous conditions. I also leave them on all winter.

    Off topic rely to irclean, post #6: Did you hear about the dyslexic devil-worshipper who sold his soul to Santa?
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-05-10 at 07:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughT View Post
    Here in the Seattle area where it usually rains but ice can come at anytime. I figure on leaving my studded tires (Schwalbe Marathon Winter) on until Springtime. Just like cars do.
    Ice is pretty rare and predictable up here. Watch the weather reports and keep an eye on the temperature, because the roads won't ice up unless the temperature drops below freezing for a day.
    I only throw the studs on my bike when I know there's the possibility for ice on the roads.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  9. #9
    SkreaminQuadz jhhall's Avatar
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    I was wondering the same thing today. I mounted studded a couple of weeks ago and I've kept them on ever since. I've noticed most commuters I've seen are off them now, but I've taken a few too many falls on ice that I'll keep them on for a couple more weeks at least. My concern is premature wearing of the studds from riding on 98% asphalt vs. snow/ice. So far, I haven't lost any studds and they all look to be in good shape.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhhall View Post
    I was wondering the same thing today. I mounted studded a couple of weeks ago and I've kept them on ever since. I've noticed most commuters I've seen are off them now, but I've taken a few too many falls on ice that I'll keep them on for a couple more weeks at least. My concern is premature wearing of the studds from riding on 98% asphalt vs. snow/ice. So far, I haven't lost any studds and they all look to be in good shape.
    FYI, see this recent post on longevity of studs:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-studded-tires

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    That's what I have been doing. My Nokian Hakkapillitas are on their seventh season now and still doing fine.

    Paul

  12. #12
    rain-forest commuter
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    Same tires

    I'm running the 700x35s at 70 psi as well in Vancouver (so same weather conditions as Seattle). I agree that they slow me down, but considering that I can stand on my pedals on black ice with these bad boys on, it's worth every penny not to suddenly slip and end up with a broken collarbone.

    I'm on my 3rd season with the tires and they still look great, even though I've lost a few studs to quick stops. Plus, I still love watching people looking around trying to figure out what the ratatatatatatatatatat noise is while I pass them .
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sourdoughT View Post
    Here in the Seattle area where it usually rains but ice can come at anytime. I figure on leaving my studded tires (Schwalbe Marathon Winter) on until Springtime.
    That's what I'm doing although I'm mightily tempted to take them off now. Last year's black ice season ran way late. Maybe this year it's back to normal. I think of normal for Puget Sound as done by xmas. But my weekday schedule is fully booked, no time for tire changes, so if it does freeze, then I am kinked up if I have to change back (or drive).

    I would pump up your pressure though, 700x35s I would run around 60psi for sure. I am right now running 700x32 studdeds at 55-60psi. 26" studs I'd run below 50.

  14. #14
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    I have a love/hate relationship with my studs (Marathon Winters). I love them when there's ice or compacted snow on the road, and hate them when the roads are clear. They add an extra 20 minutes to my 2 hour commute. I've taken them out on some long weekend rides on clear roads hoping to wear down the studs a little to reduce the rolling resistance, but the studs still look as fresh today as the day I put them on. I've also been tempted a few times to change them out with my normal tires, but I keep them on because, well, it's January and I know I still need them.

  15. #15
    SkreaminQuadz jhhall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    FYI, see this recent post on longevity of studs:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-studded-tires
    Thanks JFB!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    because the roads won't ice up unless the temperature drops below freezing for a day.
    A couple of points about that.

    First, it can, and does, freeze when the temperature gets below freezing at night. It doesn't have to get that low for a whole day. It can also freeze when it gets within a few degrees of freezing at location A, since microclimates can vary by a few degrees within a 1/2 mile of each other.

    Also, black ice can form at around 35 F.

    Secondly, it tends to get the coldest on the clear nights, which makes it so that the coldest temperatures occur in the hour after the sun comes up. For my current gig I wake up at 4:30 am, and I've checked the temperature then to have it around 38, only to watch it drop to 34 or 33 F by the time I would have left at around 6:30 am.

    I do agree that ice is pretty predictable though. It just varies how much margin for error you want to give yourself, and I think the advantage of leaving studs on would be you just wouldn't have to think about it too much. I imagine studded tires are stiff and not exactly a five minute job to pop on.

  17. #17
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    Have gone round and round with this issue, but have held off buying studded tires because of the nature of my commute. Many drivers in the Seattle area are only marginally competent on ice to begin with. Sure, I could manage it on studs, but don't want to be riding in close proximity to cars on 30-40mph 2 lane arterials in those conditions!

    In any case, will probably be moving closer to the city in the next year or 2 and then I'll be more inclined to give studs a try.
    Last edited by rnorris; 01-05-10 at 12:12 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnorris View Post
    Have gone round and round with this issue, but have held off buying studded tires because of the nature of my commute. Many drivers in the Seattle area are only marginally competent on ice to begin with. Sure, I could manage it on studs, but don't want to be riding in close proximity to cars on 30-40mph 2 lane arterials in those conditions!
    This is an excellent point and one I didn't fully consider before getting my studs. Sure, my bike is in a lot more control on hard snow or ice, but if I'm sharing the road with cars which are sliding all over the place, am I really better off? We recently got a lot of snow and I decided to take the train (multi-modal commute) because I didn't feel safe riding in traffic, even though the bike handled well. Without traffic (e.g. riding on a MUP), it would be a non-issue, but it's something to consider if your commute largely consists of riding on roads.

  19. #19
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    Cars here are fine on black ice that bikes can't handle. My wife wiped out on black ice a couple years ago (BAM) and a guy pulled over to get out of his car and check, and as soon as he got out of his car, BAM down he went. I got studded tires, she stopped riding <40F.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I got studded tires, she stopped riding <40F.
    So who's smarter?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
    So who's smarter?
    So it turns out that studded tires are not bombproof either...

  22. #22
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    My wife and I have this debate too. I think it's smart to find ways to adapt to adverse conditions, and she thinks it's smart to avoid them. She's probably right, but then again, she's missing all the fun.

  23. #23
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    I don't know if it's smart or even efficient but it's entertaining. Until I wind up in the ER...

  24. #24
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    The roads can freeze when the air temp is not down to freezing. Once the ground gets down close enough to freezing, radiative cooling when the sky is clear (surfaces emit infrared radiation into space) can cause freezing. This is why you can have frost on your car when it's like 38 degrees out.
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  25. #25
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Cars here are fine on black ice that bikes can't handle. My wife wiped out on black ice a couple years ago (BAM) and a guy pulled over to get out of his car and check, and as soon as he got out of his car, BAM down he went. I got studded tires, she stopped riding <40F.
    I find that with studded tires, I can ride on surfaces that I wouldn't want to drive a car on, and have trouble walking on. I have yet to wipe out when my studs were mounted, but I've fallen after stopping and putting my feet on the ground, and I've watched cars spin out and into ditches on roads that I rode on just fine a few seconds later.

    I had scheduled some recall maintenance on my car for today, so I threw the bike in and drove it to the dealership, and rode from there to work. I was NOT happy about driving today - it was freezing rain, and I didn't feel safe. I kept it down to 25-30 MPH the whole way (50 MPH roads, pretty much no traffic at 5AM). I would have been happier on the bike.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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