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  1. #1
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Studded Tires - they're not all created equal!

    I just found an article that made me think again before ordering the $35 studded Nashbar tires... read on:

    "Everyone has fallen victim to the good deal that hadn't turned out so well. Sometimes a doodad that looks perfect in the store fails miserably outdoors. Or you might save a dollar only to discover that the manufacturer cut costs by reducing performance in a critical area.

    "In my case, the good deal came with limits, and I ignored those limits.

    "The steel studs in the $40 Innova mountain bike tires lacked the durability of the carbide-tipped studs in the $80 Nokian tires. I knew that when I bought the cheaper tires, and had their use been restricted to snow- or ice-covered trails, the durability of the studs probably wouldn't have been an issue.

    Read the rest of the article at http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/59...-5874186c.html
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    I went straight to the Nokians, 700C. I paid $100 for a pair at Peter White. It didn't seem to make sense to me to pay $70 a pair for crud when I could get the best for $100.

    In my case I'm riding roads (though gravel 40% of the time) and they're clear and dry most of the time, so steel studs would have been silly; they wouldn't last long. I only have 250 miles on the carbide so far so we'll see.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jerrryhazard's Avatar
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    I think it's a poor review.

    "Steel mountain bike winter studs: left, new; right, has been used one month on pavement."

    and:

    " It took only about a month of commuting in mixed conditions for those good-deal Innova tires to go from studly to worthless."

    I think he's full of it. Wonder how much ice he acatually encounters? He went from mixed to conditions, to one month of on pavement, to getting smacked down so much he became discouraged. Was he getting smacked down on pavement, or ice? Hard to say since the conditions were mixed. (I assume he's speaking of ice of course)
    He needs to give a set of Nokians the same test before he can make an accurate comparison, but I'm sure they would fare better. I bet that the large amounts of asphalt he rides will cause some unexpected wear, and I also would wager that the amount of ice he actually encountered was negligible.

    I ordered a studded tire from Nashbar for my front wheel. I have an extra rim to mount it on, so I can just change out my front wheel when it gets icy. The conditions here are very mixed, and I wouldn't want to ride with the extra drag from the studs in non ice conditions anyhow.

    I'd hate to spend a lot of money on some tires, then find out that I may not really need them. I think that's what he did.

  4. #4
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    I was thinking about getting some studded tires for this winter, because if we do get ice, it can be pretty bad here. On the other hand, I would only need them for 1-3 days a year, and not every year. So I think I'll skip the studs. Now, what about plastic tire "chains" for a bike???
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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  5. #5
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    Jerry,

    I could say his experience goes fairly much in line with what many others have observed and with my own experience.

    I had bought an Innova tire a few years ago. Installed it on the front wheel, tried it, didn't like the vibrations and removed it after 1-2 days. Then I travelled for a 2-3 years with knobbies (no studs).

    In October 2003, I decided to take the plunge and ordered 2 Nokian Hakkapellittas 700x37. And in December, when we had a nasty cold front that transformed fresh snow into hard frozen ruts, I decided to install a new Nokian in front and my "old" Innova in the back. I removed them in March, when it was evident we wouldn't have any other ice spell.

    Well, the Innova is shot. Studs are flat, and even though the tires have great thread, the rubber is so hard that the tire slips on the ice. I had thought of installing it on the rear wheel of my tandem to get some traction, but it slips more than a slick! And to add insult to that, when I removed the unefficient tire, I discovered it was about to separate from its steel wire bead. IOW, good for garbage. As for the Nokian : it still looks as new, and studs are as long and as "spiky" as those of the brand new tire. The test is not totally scientific because the rear wheel carries more weight and is the driving wheel, but still.

    This year, I found a beater bike, which I have equipped with 2 Nokians... and I have used that bike 2-3 times so far. My regular commuter is fitted with "ordinary" knobbies. And for the tandem, I found that the Continental Super Twister tires have a very soft rubber that clings well on ice, without the drag and the vibrations of studs.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  6. #6
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of IRC Blizzard tires for my Ice bike. I rode on them for one winter. The studs were totally shot. It was easy to see. They stated out with long studs made from steel and they wore out quickly. They did work well on the ice when new however. I bought some Nokian tungsten carbide studs for the IRC tires. I put them in but the nest or hole in the IRC tire was a little too deep for the Nokian studs, as they were shorter. I rode the tires one winter and then sold them. No visible wear on the studs. I bought a pair of $80 Nokian 296's with (tungsten carbide studs). Shorter studs
    but 296 instead of 112 per tire. The knobs holding the studs allow the studs to work better too. Hard to describe exactly.

    I have had them for four (4) years now and they have a lot more pavement miles on them than the IRC tires ever did. I took out a few studs and measured them and compared them to a few unused new studs I had left over from the IRC tire re-studding project. 10 used studs were an average of .003 shorter than 10 of the the unused new studs.

    HELLO ! They are not wearing out. !

    The studs are a little more pushed into the tire, I think the rubber tire is wearing a little under the studs, but , so far no difference in traction. I also noticed that If I take out the studs and reinstall them they stay out farther.

    The blizzards were half the price of the Nokians. But, it was a huge waste.

    When a manufacturer has someone write ad copy for a catalogue, they put every benefit in there to sell more tires. If it does not say tungsten carbide studs then they are probably not. I can ride straight over 2" deep footprints frozen into the ice for hours. No problem.

    Frozen foot prints for 14 miles .............one way only... And..... one of the lakes I ride on every winter..
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 01-03-05 at 10:47 PM.

  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    I was thinking about getting some studded tires for this winter, because if we do get ice, it can be pretty bad here. On the other hand, I would only need them for 1-3 days a year, and not every year. So I think I'll skip the studs. Now, what about plastic tire "chains" for a bike???
    They sell metal tire chains for bikes !!

  8. #8
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrryhazard
    He needs to give a set of Nokians the same test before he can make an accurate comparison, but I'm sure they would fare better. I bet that the large amounts of asphalt he rides will cause some unexpected wear, and I also would wager that the amount of ice he actually encountered was negligible.
    That's the whole point. "The large amounts of asphalt he rides" will not wear down quality studs / tyres the same way. If there are sections on his route that really require studded tyres, he can ride studded and not worry about wear and tear on the non-icy sections. The only noticeable drawback will be added rolling resistance.

    I am running a set of Nokian W106s for the fourth winter in a row. I put them on when it gets icy and keep them on until spring. So they have seen their share of dry asphalt during the years, but they still have good grip. And I ride safer, because I don't have to guess every morning whether riding conditions today will be bad all the way, or just the usual bad spots, or perhaps the usual bad spots with some unexpected ones thrown in.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  9. #9
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    They sell metal tire chains for bikes !!
    indeed! I was just funnin'! I wouldn't use chains, plastic or otherwise on my bicycle - I'd be afraid of beating the paint off the forks and/or getting them caught up in the brakes or drive train! Not good!
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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  10. #10
    Senior Member jerrryhazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    I am running a set of Nokian W106s for the fourth winter in a row. I put them on when it gets icy and keep them on until spring. So they have seen their share of dry asphalt during the years, but they still have good grip. And I ride safer, because I don't have to guess every morning whether riding conditions today will be bad all the way, or just the usual bad spots, or perhaps the usual bad spots with some unexpected ones thrown in.

    --J
    I agree. I just don't see what his point of the article is, because states "I knew that when I bought the cheaper tires, and had their use been restricted to snow- or ice-covered trails, the durability of the studs probably wouldn't have been an issue." It's like he just wanted to slag on the cheaper tires or something. Kinda like writing an article about going out in the rain, and complaining because he got wet. I just thought it was a poor article

    I'm comfortable with regular tires for the majority of the 'mixed' conditions I ride in. I just want something that I can throw on when we get hit with freezing rain so I feel safe the whole ride. That circumstance does not happen very often here, so I don't feel I need full time studs. I'm glad to know they work very well for you though Were I to get a set for full time, based on what you and others have said - I'd get the Nokians.

  11. #11
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Yes, I too think it sounded a bit like he was on a mission. The point (to me) is, I would find it restrictive to plan my routes so that there's enough snow / ice for the most of the ride to prevent excess wear. My bike is my primary means of transportation. That's why I don't see the idea of using studs like Innova etc. even if it were on temporary basis.

    But that's me, your mileage may vary. I know we have vivid discussions on our local bike boards as to whether one needs studded tyres at all around here. I know there are people who bike the same routes as I do without studs and are quite happy with that. I have tried it a couple of times (mostly because I switched on the Nokians too late or took them off too early) and I would not go there.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  12. #12
    Knowen as "Crazy Bike" shadghost's Avatar
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    I live in Anchorage alaska, and read the artical when it was prented, annd the week befor the artical was prented we had a layer of snow on the ground and ir raned at a temp bgarly above freezing in the day at at night it was compltly iced over a nice glaze of ice tha twas verry slippery in the day, all of the sidewalks were verry icy, true the roads were not but most peopel here dont ried o n the roads, when you have a nice sidewalk to go in expesialy in winter when somtines there is blakcice and cares may not stop in time, so i think he was not rieding just on pavemint... Shadghost aka crazy biker =>

  13. #13
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    My 700c Nashbar studded tires are holding up fine, no discernable wear in maybe a hundred miles of pavment and many more of snow and ice. They are made by Kenda and have carbide studs. http://www.kendausa.com/bicycle/wintertire.cfm

  14. #14
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithr
    My 700c Nashbar studded tires are holding up fine, no discernable wear in maybe a hundred miles of pavment and many more of snow and ice. They are made by Kenda and have carbide studs. http://www.kendausa.com/bicycle/wintertire.cfm
    That's a good thing to know about. I didn't know there were any other carbide stud tires out there.Did you pay $62.99 as show on that page? I think My Extreme 296's were about $85.
    I did not see in my Nashbar catalogue that it said carbide studs. If it did I may have bought some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    That's a good thing to know about. I didn't know there were any other carbide stud tires out there.Did you pay $62.99 as show on that page? I think My Extreme 296's were about $85.
    I did not see in my Nashbar catalogue that it said carbide studs. If it did I may have bought some.
    Heck no, I paid $30 each at Nashbar, they are only $20 now.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jerrryhazard's Avatar
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    I got a nashbar studded for my front. It's the Kenda. I've ridden a couple hundred miles on it so far, and the studs show some wear, but nowhere near what I'd expect. For an experiment, they were worth it. If I knew I'd be in a winter climate for the next couple years, I'd probably get Nokians, but I am more than satisfied with the Nahsbar tire.

    Note, I'd get both front and rear. While flat-tracking corners can be fun, it is a little disconcerting when you're not expecting the back wheel to wash out
    Last edited by jerrryhazard; 01-31-05 at 11:28 AM.
    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." Its only after the "believers" have their faith shaken sufficiently that progress can start again..."
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  17. #17
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithr
    Heck no, I paid $30 each at Nashbar, they are only $20 now.

    WOW......

    Someone has got to call Nashbar and have them add "carbide studs" to the description in the catalogue, I have to believe they would sell more tires that way. I didn't think they were carbide.

  18. #18
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    Becca, Becca, Becaa

    You are so misguided. Maybe I am missing something here but what does Innova have to do with the Kenda tires sold by Nashbar? I happen to own a pair of the nashbar 1.95x26 studded tires. I have put about 200 miles on them so far this year. So far i can detect very little if any wear.

    I was like a lot of folks and didn't want to drop $100 + on studded bike tires. We have only so many days of ice here in Kansas. This year, we have actually had quite a few so it has been nice to have the studded tires. Last year i was stuck inside. This year i ride and ride.

    It seemed foolish to spend over $100 on studded mountain bike tires. I thought it made more sense to buy a set of wheels for less money and then kick in a little more money for the nashbar tires. I made the right choice. I picked up a nice set of Sun rhyno lite rims on LX hubs for around $90. Then I bought two studded tires that cost a little over $50.

    Now instead of having all of that money wrapped up in something i don't need most of the season, i have a new set of rims. I took the old set and mounted the nashbar tires on them. THey hang in the garage until ice hits and then i quickly slap them on and ride off.

    Now in the summer i have a spare set of rims to put slicks on, etc. I am very happy with the Nashbar studded tires and have ridden over a LOT of ice this season. I can only recall a couple times where i even felt any slippage, and that was on refrozen glaze ice. If you are looking for studded tires to ride on asphalt all season long than maybe the Kendas aren't cut out for that. I don't know because i would rather ride a non studded tire on dry pavement and/or dirt. I have ridden quite a few miles on dry pavement as it is inevitable, everything is not always covered in ice.

    If you want a very capable set of studded tires then don't think twice about the nashbar tires. BUY EM!!!


    Last edited by Portis; 01-31-05 at 11:30 AM.

  19. #19
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithr
    Heck no, I paid $30 each at Nashbar, they are only $20 now.
    Anyone have a link handy? I did a search & couldn't find their Kenda studded tires. Did find another brand for about $80 an end though...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfbiked
    Anyone have a link handy? I did a search & couldn't find their Kenda studded tires. Did find another brand for about $80 an end though...
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

    They aren't on sale anymore. I got mine for like $27 if i remember correctly.

  21. #21
    been ridin? shaq-d's Avatar
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    studs are for ice. otherwise u don't need'm. i'm still running 23c's this winter... in city, so paved and semi-cleared of snow... otherwise i'd just run ur usual treads.

    sd

  22. #22
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

    They aren't on sale anymore. I got mine for like $27 if i remember correctly.

    Dangnabit! Thanks for the info. Spring thaw is coming early to minneapolis anyway...

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