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  1. #1
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Higher stud count = WIN!

    I just want to give a shout out to how much i really like my new schwalbe marathon winter tires. they had their first real taste of sustained ice today (there's a stretch of chicago's lakefront bike path that gets inundated with lake waves that then freeze into a thick layer of ice). last winter i rolled on schawlbe snow studs (half the stud count of marathon winters), and they were not the best for long sustained ice sheets (i went down a few times), but the marathon winters performed flawlessly this morning. they really are the prefect tire for my winter commuting where ice is public enemy No. 1.
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 01-23-12 at 12:27 PM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  2. #2
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    Takes a brave soul to go ice riding! I don't have any ice worries, here in Phoenix!

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Nokian, here . same tires now, 20 years, just enough studded,
    so there is bare, lug, tread in the middle, so it rolls well
    on "Dry" pavement, fringe of studded lugs on the edges, M&G W.

    And a wide rim, [Snow Cat] the tire more D section than, round,
    so , effectively, in a larger radius casing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Consularrider's Avatar
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    I'd give the Schwalbe Maraton Winters a mixed review. We just got our first real winter weather this past weekend, one to two inches of snow followed by freezing rain. This left most of the MUPs mostly ice covered with patches of ice covered snow. The bridges and overpasses were the ice covered snow. These tires were great on the plain or crusty ice. Even with the small amount of snow, I found the rear wheel spinning on uphills and especially when crossing the many wooden bridges around the area. Once the snow got packed from pedestrian traffic, it was much easier to handle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Consularrider View Post
    Even with the small amount of snow, I found the rear wheel spinning on uphills and especially when crossing the many wooden bridges around the area. Once the snow got packed from pedestrian traffic, it was much easier to handle.
    What pressure were you running? On hard ice, I'll go up to 75 psi (700x35). In loose snow/ice, I find that 50 psi does much better. Wet/frozen wood is slippery no matter what you ride.

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    I'm riding Nokian Gaza Extremes with just shy of 300 studs each. They are great for urban Alaska winters. The fat bikes have taken over the trails up here in winter, but studs are still preferred for commuting along icy roads. When I moved up here several years ago, I got some cheap studded tires (don't remember which brand) and they were horrible. I took a miserable spill and virtually gave up on riding in the winter. I'm glad I tried it again and got the right tires. Studded tires are an item that you shouldn't skimp on; go ahead and buy the absolute best.

    Also, I'm running about 25 psi.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    also like the MWinters. I feel safer on the bike than in a car!
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  8. #8
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    I run a set of Continental Ice Claw 120s but I would rather have the ones with 240 studs . Had fun slipping all over an ice sheet the other day.
    1997 Mongoose Hilltopper, 1988 Bianchi Specialissima, 2006 Surly Cross-Check, 2010 Norco City Glide, 1947 CCM Single-speed.

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  9. #9
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    I have Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 26" with 361 studs per tire. On hard packed snow I run at 50psi but on the frozen river with bare ice I drop down to 30psi. Awsome grip.

  10. #10
    Senior Member johnr783's Avatar
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    If you really want more studs just wait until its raining men.
    *All that was included in this comment was meant to be read with a light-hearted demeanor. If at any point I offended anyone or presented an idea that is contradictory to what they hold to be true please consider this post to be a joke. For the sake of keeping the post free of unnecessary clutter, please reconsider any "correction" to this comment you may or may not feel compelled to post.

  11. #11
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    Fietsbob, how wide is your snowcat rim?

  12. #12
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    it was way colder this morning and LOTS more ice patches from refreezes of yesterday's big snow-melt. going from the 100 studs on my old schawlbe snow studs to the 240 studs on my marathon winters makes such a tremendous difference for all the ice i have to deal with. the marathon winters aren't infallible on ice (no tire is infallible on ice), but all of those additional studs give me the confidence to head straight over ice, confidence that the snow studs never gave me after some spills on ice last winter.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  13. #13
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Happy to report I haven't even mounted my studded tires yet. May not happen this year, the way things are going. High in the mid-50s F today. A little ice yesterday left over from the weekend and a couple ice patches on my route from runoff, but no significant ice or snow to date. Lovin' it!

  14. #14
    Very, very Senior Member JPprivate's Avatar
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    Funny, just this winter I decided to use my Nokians only on the front wheel. And while I don't deal with the same amount of ice as you have it on the Lake Shore path, it works surprisingly well. I'd say the studs on the front wheel probably do 80% of the work. Let's see what the forecast says for the next few days, aybe I have to mount the rear tire after all.

  15. #15
    Senior Member genel's Avatar
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    Mounted my Nokia's last Sunday and just came in from trying them on the LIbertyville bike path. They work ok on the flat ice, but where the slush has frozen in foot prints and a lone bikers rut (which looks like the rider had some trouble) it's just impassable. Nearly fell a number of times, and only went about a 1/4 mile. Some years the town plows the path but not this year. I think an extra row of studs on the side walls would help to keep from slipping into all the tracks and divots. Don't want studs down the middle since I only have a mile and a half on the path then it's 12 miles of road.

    I'll have to wait for a good thaw to get things leveled out before restarting the commute.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member CharlieFree's Avatar
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    I have been running Marathon Winters for the past few years and they have been very good on ice and hard pack. A couple of weeks ago, I had my first significant spill and now I am reconsidering.

    There was a light dusting of snow over old ice, the tires weren't quite up to the task. I slid sideways and managed to put a foot down, but it slid out and I landed hard on my side. Broke a few ribs, now off for six weeks. Granted, the tires weren't brand-new and there was some snow on top, but now I'm a bit ***-shy. I was thinking about putting a more aggressive tire on the front at least. Anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Fietsbob, how wide is your snowcat rim?
    45mm outside width.. 1.9"/ 50mm, tire...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Consularrider View Post
    I'd give the Schwalbe Maraton Winters a mixed review. We just got our first real winter weather this past weekend, one to two inches of snow followed by freezing rain. This left most of the MUPs mostly ice covered with patches of ice covered snow. The bridges and overpasses were the ice covered snow. These tires were great on the plain or crusty ice. Even with the small amount of snow, I found the rear wheel spinning on uphills and especially when crossing the many wooden bridges around the area. Once the snow got packed from pedestrian traffic, it was much easier to handle.
    Personally, I think this is about the best you're going to get out of a tire. If your concern is that they slip out on a snow/ice mix - a fatter tire in my experience (I've use a 26" Nokian Extreme) - just slips out even more. A fatter tire with more studs has more grip on ice, I'm not saying it can't be helpful, but on snow/ice mix it slips more, though being fatter it also slips somehow slower and more controlled - a bit.

    There isn't anything that's *really* good for a snow/ice mix like that. I wish there was a studded Surly Pugsley tire, but even it would slip a bit going up hills (it would be so wide that it probably wouldn't matter as much).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    it was way colder this morning and LOTS more ice patches from refreezes of yesterday's big snow-melt. going from the 100 studs on my old schawlbe snow studs to the 240 studs on my marathon winters makes such a tremendous difference for all the ice i have to deal with. the marathon winters aren't infallible on ice (no tire is infallible on ice), but all of those additional studs give me the confidence to head straight over ice, confidence that the snow studs never gave me after some spills on ice last winter.
    lol, yeah, the Marathon Winters have a *way* better reputation on "real" snow and ice than the Snow Studs do. Thanks for writing and addition additional affirmation to their reputation. :-)

    Keep in mind that when there's not a lot of ice, you can change the tire pressure and change the number of studs that contact the ground. For maximum contact I use 35psi - the tires are funny, often 35psi feels like it gives me more traction than lower pressure, but then once using lower pressure worked better - go figure. Anways, when there's not much ice on the road I pump them up to 60psi (I think 75 is the max rated on the tire), when more fully inflated it causes the outer row of studs on each side to no longer come into contact with the ground and the tire rolls easier (though with less grip on ice).

  20. #20
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Light snow over black ice can be very slippery. If the tire tread becomes packed with snow and the studs do not engage the underlying ice, you will have no traction. You would probably be a little better off with knobby studded tires since the studs are more likely to be clear, but the same limitation applies. I always slow down on ice, even more so on rutted ice or ice/snow conditions as described.

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