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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-14-04, 06:53 PM   #1
madhouse
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Do I ride studs all winter?

Based on your expansive experience, what is my best tire/combination option?

Do I commute with studs at the first sign of frost ‘till spring?
Do I swap studs with my slicks as conditions dictate?
Do I swap studs with cross tires (yet to be purchased) as conditions dictate?
Do I put studs on my mountain bike and keep slicks on my commuter and swap bikes as conditions dictate?
Do I put studs on my mountain bike and put cross tires on my commuter and swap bikes as conditions dictate?

I commute 13miles one way. My only route option is a single lane country road, without a shoulder, and slight rolling hills. They don’t do a great job of plowing the roads in the area. Depending on the year/month the road may be clear of snow/ice for weeks at a time or snow pack for weeks at a time.

I currently commute on a hybrid with 25c slicks. I bought Nokian studded tires that fit the hybrid but they are heavy! (875grams) (Not that I’m a gram counter… but I’m a wimp!) I could return the tires for MTB studs.

I bought my commuter (Fuji Royale) as a commuter specific bike because I wanted to keep my mountain bike as a mountain bike. (Although I’m not exactly sure why… as I rarely ride it that way!) But I won’t be mountain biking during the winter.
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Old 10-14-04, 07:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
why don't they make tires with sandpaper like grit on them instead? it would rip into the ice better and still be fairly efficient.
You are not far off, they make snow tires for cars with "ground walnut shells" in the rubber to supposedly help with traction.
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Old 10-14-04, 07:32 PM   #3
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I put mine on in December and take them off in March. Swapping them whenever the weather changes is too much work for me. I don't know why you would want cross tires. I use semi-slicks except during the winter.

At 13 miles you have a fairly long commute. You may want to switch bikes as conditions dictate. I have never ridden a mountain bike, so I can't comment on the relative merits of the Fuji and the MTB.

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Old 10-14-04, 09:59 PM   #4
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> Swapping them whenever the weather changes is too much work for me.

i'm sure you thought of this, but why not invest in a second set of wheels Paul?
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Old 10-15-04, 05:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpave777
> but why not invest in a second set of wheels Paul?

That’s what I do. Two wheel sets. I wouldn’t want to ride on them all the time. On snow and or ice they are amazing, but they are loud and feel a bit squirrelly on dry pavement. I know once I have them on, I can’t wait to get them off, but they are a necessary evil. I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t ride without them many winter days.

Maybe you could pickup a used mtb at a garage sale or something just for the wheels and spare parts.

What ones did you get ?
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Old 10-15-04, 06:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpave777
> Swapping them whenever the weather changes is too much work for me.

i'm sure you thought of this, but why not invest in a second set of wheels Paul?
Swapping wheels on my bike is too much of a hassle -- it would take about half an hour. My trip is only 5 miles each way, so the slight extra resistance of the Nokians is no factor. Besides, there is a chance of black ice nearly every winter morning, because a daily thaw/freeze cycle is typical here.

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Old 10-15-04, 06:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH
Besides, there is a chance of black ice nearly every winter morning, because a daily thaw/freeze cycle is typical here.
I'm answering to madhouse, but I think above is the key question to be considered. Myself, I rather play safe than play dead. In my experience Nokian studs are very durable, so you need not worry about wearing them out prematurely. Rolling resistance is a factor, but if there is any amount of snow on the road, you will not be exactly rolling freely in any case. Keeping the tyre pressure up also helps there.

I would probably ride the hybrid with studs, and change to MTB or have another tyre set for the clear, 100% certifiable non-icy days.

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Old 10-15-04, 07:28 PM   #8
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I use my MTB with Nokians for winter commuting from first snow or ice storm predicted, (usually early to mid-December) until things are well thawed and overnight ice up ends, (usually early to mid-March). If it turns out to be a dry winter, I will ride my hybrid with slicks, and I even took my road bike out for a New Years day ride this year. But those tend to be isolated days, when it is clear and dry, and forcasted to remain that way for a few days. 90% of the time in the winter I want my studded tires in the morning for the black ice. Use the studded tires, after all you are supposed to ride the Nokians on dry pavement for 50 miles to "break them in". Mine are starting their 3rd winter.
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