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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 11-08-12, 10:31 AM   #1
chefisaac
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Ride in this morning with studded tires

Well, it snowed yesterday and last night so, after watching the news forecast, I decided to put on one studded tire up front for traction just in case. They were calling for more snow later in the night and I didnt want to get up any earlier to switch tires.

This morning came and most of the snow melted but I rode on. A strong headwind of 15-20 mph along with studded tires and the rolling resistance they give, it was a tough ride in. Average speed..... 10.5 mph. Every time I was getting some speed, wind would slap me around like a little boy.

I now know why people have dedicated winter bikes or at least different rims and tires to switch out for snow.

It was still fun though!

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Old 11-08-12, 10:34 AM   #2
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A strong headwind of 15-20 mph along with studded tires and the rolling resistance they give, it was a tough ride in. Average speed..... 10.5 mph.
Very nice work ! Sounds like a tough ride.

How many miles did you end up riding?
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Old 11-08-12, 10:36 AM   #3
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It's 11 miles to work. The only time I got to actually ride in the snow was when I cut across the bike path in the grass. lol

With all the work of the wind and the rolling resistance, if there was snow on the ground, it might have taken me two days to get to work. lol
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Old 11-08-12, 10:53 AM   #4
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If it is just snow and conditions have not occured that are likely to make ice or hard-packed snow (very cold temps, heavy snow on the ground long enought o get packed down by cars) then IMHO, you don't need studded tires.

But still, better safe than sorry!
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Old 11-08-12, 11:07 AM   #5
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If it is just snow and conditions have not occured that are likely to make ice or hard-packed snow (very cold temps, heavy snow on the ground long enought o get packed down by cars) then IMHO, you don't need studded tires.

But still, better safe than sorry!
I am learning this for sure. I just wanted to be more prepared just in case. I thought about chancing in and going without them.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:23 AM   #6
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I will have my studded tires mounted probably early next month and leve them on until march or April next year. There may be ~10 times that I actually need them, but they will be there all the time nonetheless.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:29 AM   #7
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I will have my studded tires mounted probably early next month and leve them on until march or April next year. There may be ~10 times that I actually need them, but they will be there all the time nonetheless.
Better than that one time you do need them but don't have them and you end up falling and cracking your clavicle or something. Then you'll think, "Why didn't I have those studded tires on?"
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Old 11-08-12, 11:31 AM   #8
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It's just extra strength. My studs go on at the first hint of ice/snow, come off after threat is pretty much gone. That means early Nov to late March usually.
Headwinds here can be brutal - prevailing westerlies, and my route goes through a couple of miles through farm fields which are bare in the winter, which means nothing to stop the wind.
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Old 11-08-12, 01:08 PM   #9
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I will have my studded tires mounted probably early next month and leve them on until march or April next year. There may be ~10 times that I actually need them, but they will be there all the time nonetheless.
Was it hard for you to get used to them? The rolling resistance is very noticeably and thats with only the front one on!
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Old 11-08-12, 01:23 PM   #10
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Just wait until you have both of them on -- you might think your heart is going to explode.
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Old 11-08-12, 01:33 PM   #11
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Just wait until you have both of them on -- you might think your heart is going to explode.
Funny. The first time I rode with two studded tires I thought I could overcome the extra resistance and maintain a similar speed to my non-studded tire average. I made it 2/3 of the way to work before I had to stop and puke on the side of the road.

If you take your time and ignore your speed, the ride won’t be any harder – it will just take longer.
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Old 11-08-12, 02:46 PM   #12
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One thing about riding with studded tires, at least for me, is I have to get up earlier to leave at least 15 mins sooner to make up for the added resistance. And if they're calling for a snowstorm overnight, I've left as much as 45 mins ahead of when I normally do. You learn to listen carefully to the weatherman, especially if they are a good one at forecasting. Usually at this time of year the pavement is too warm for the snow to stick to and it clears off quick. That's the kind of stuff you want to pay attention to coming from your weatherman. But once everything gets frozen over a few times and they're calling for 10 inches overnight then you can start panicking, wondering whether or not you should do it. That's when you're thankful if your town does a good job of clearing the snow. But I've ridden thru plenty of snowstorms and only had the right tire track to ride on to stay up and keep moving. And I did that at 4am. That's when you're doing some winter biking. Every commute turns into an adventure.
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Old 11-08-12, 03:34 PM   #13
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One thing about riding with studded tires, at least for me, is I have to get up earlier to leave at least 15 mins sooner to make up for the added resistance. And if they're calling for a snowstorm overnight, I've left as much as 45 mins ahead of when I normally do. You learn to listen carefully to the weatherman, especially if they are a good one at forecasting. Usually at this time of year the pavement is too warm for the snow to stick to and it clears off quick. That's the kind of stuff you want to pay attention to coming from your weatherman. But once everything gets frozen over a few times and they're calling for 10 inches overnight then you can start panicking, wondering whether or not you should do it. That's when you're thankful if your town does a good job of clearing the snow. But I've ridden thru plenty of snowstorms and only had the right tire track to ride on to stay up and keep moving. And I did that at 4am. That's when you're doing some winter biking. Every commute turns into an adventure.
Can you pass on any other advice about riding in the snow and such?
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Old 11-08-12, 06:40 PM   #14
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I had studded tires on my hybrid commuter last year. We rarely get snow that lasts on the ground more than a day, but I've had frost/ice on the pavement in the mornings that is a concern. The tires were Schwalbe Winter Marathon...apparently the studs were high carbon steel less prone to wear out and corrosion than cheaper brands.
Bike was stolen this spring with those tires...so need to sort out what I'll be using on the new bike this season.

Anyone have thoughts on the purpose built Continental Winter tires? These are not studded but have a very small tread block pattern.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:34 PM   #15
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Can you pass on any other advice about riding in the snow and such?
My first winter, I would read previous posts from jan and feb. in the "How was your commute today?" thread. Go back to winter of 2008 or 2009, something like that, and read previous posts of what others went thru. The thing about cycling in the snow is, it's doable. It might take longer, sometimes a lot longer. But it can be done. Once you overcome the cold, the rest is easy. And your getting one heck of workout, one that a lot of people couldn't even imagine.
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Old 11-09-12, 11:11 AM   #16
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Chef, I feel your pain. I love my studded tires for what they let me do, I hate them for what they make me do.

I understand you have been eager to get on the studs and try them out but I think you might now understand why I wait until the last possible minute to throw them on the commuter. Studs are for ice. The extra tread on my studded tires can provide some added stability in snow but I can ride really any tire in snow alone. I have ridden in snow on everything from a 23mm road tires to now my 4.8" Bud and Lou's on my Moonlander. All good. But the studs get put on the commuter when the ice starts to form around there that hasn't happened yet thankfully.

There is almost nothing more demoralizing to me than riding a single speed on studs in the snow in the dark into a 25mph headwind after a long day at work. Yeah yeah yeah, I know it makes your legs stronger and you'll be a beast come spring.... blah blah blah. That doesn't matter when you have your head down and you feel like you pedaling squares and going backwards and you just want to get home.

My point is, it might not be time to put them on yet. If it's icy, then go for it. If it's just snow that melts, wait.
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Old 11-09-12, 02:11 PM   #17
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Chef, I feel your pain. I love my studded tires for what they let me do, I hate them for what they make me do.

I understand you have been eager to get on the studs and try them out but I think you might now understand why I wait until the last possible minute to throw them on the commuter. Studs are for ice. The extra tread on my studded tires can provide some added stability in snow but I can ride really any tire in snow alone. I have ridden in snow on everything from a 23mm road tires to now my 4.8" Bud and Lou's on my Moonlander. All good. But the studs get put on the commuter when the ice starts to form around there that hasn't happened yet thankfully.

There is almost nothing more demoralizing to me than riding a single speed on studs in the snow in the dark into a 25mph headwind after a long day at work. Yeah yeah yeah, I know it makes your legs stronger and you'll be a beast come spring.... blah blah blah. That doesn't matter when you have your head down and you feel like you pedaling squares and going backwards and you just want to get home.

My point is, it might not be time to put them on yet. If it's icy, then go for it. If it's just snow that melts, wait.
Thank you for your post. I do think I was shooting from the hip too early when watching the news the night before. My quads are still paying the price and that was on only ONE studded tire. Think if I had the back one on and there was snow/ice. geeeze
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