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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 12-18-12, 08:15 PM   #1
dcr
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Wow! Just rode on studded tires for the first time!

Snowstorm coming tomorrow, so I headed out tonight to the bike shop in the dark--with ice forming--to get my studded. Felt very precarious. Bought two Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240 Studded Tires and rode home---felt incredible. Was going to buy thinner studded tires, but in the end choose safety and stability over speed. Just turned 50 and not feeling like I'll bounce back after a spill. The commute tomorrow will leave me huffing a bit more, but really looking forward to the cold and crunch of biking on snow.
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Old 12-18-12, 09:10 PM   #2
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+1

I have been looking to get some studded tires for my commuter. Right now have treadless road tires. It makes for a slow/stressful ride in the snow/ice.
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Old 12-18-12, 10:11 PM   #3
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It looks like those Nokian Hakkapeliitta things have a nice, aggressive tread for dealing with snow.

Tires that are simply studded tires don't do well in the snow. Take my word for it. I now have studded snow tires on my bike and the old studded tires in the corner.
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Old 12-18-12, 10:22 PM   #4
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Be sure to pace yourself on those first few rides -- the studded tires will wear you out faster than you expect. I thought I was going to have a heart attack on my first studded-tire trip, and I'm not particularly old!
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Old 12-19-12, 12:22 AM   #5
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Be sure to pace yourself on those first few rides -- the studded tires will wear you out faster than you expect. I thought I was going to have a heart attack on my first studded-tire trip, and I'm not particularly old!
This is great advice! Expect to lose a couple of mph off of your normal speed, and you may have to use an easier gear or two. Don't kill yourself trying to keep the same speed you are used to with summer tires, you can injure yourself that way. Winter tires have more rolling resistance, and a different feel. They are cool in their own way, though. Embrace the slowness and enjoy your winter rides!
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Old 12-19-12, 10:09 AM   #6
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You're going to love the studded tires during the icy, snowy season. But, yes, they are the hair shirt of bike commuting and it feels so good when you take them off!

Last edited by buzzman; 12-19-12 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 12-19-12, 10:59 AM   #7
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I have the same tires and they work really well on ice. You may still have some difficulty in snow depending on how deep it is and how much it's been pushed around. Keep your weight back and off the front wheel as much as possible.
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Old 12-19-12, 09:34 PM   #8
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I have some Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires. Do well after getting used to them. Oh yeah, don't forget when putting your foot down the tires have studs but your shoes probably don't. You get the picture........
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Old 12-19-12, 10:16 PM   #9
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If anyone knows how to make winter tires, it's the Finnish. Look up Hakkapeliitta.

I'm envious of you folks who get real winter. I'm dying to try snow and ice cycling.
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Old 12-19-12, 11:18 PM   #10
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I'm envious of you folks who get real winter. I'm dying to try snow and ice cycling.
Same here. If it ever does snow in Athens, it's usually less than an inch, is gone within the day and all this happens once or twice a decade.
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Old 12-20-12, 09:09 AM   #11
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Got it. Biking to work yesterday and got quite the work out. The snow had melted and it was a cement ride. But today school's closed due to the storm--tomorrow I'll have some real snow! I brought my bike into the classroom to keep it warm. (Plastic bags on floor so the custodians don't have an extra mess.) The night before my old cheap panniers had strap issues, got caught up in the hub during the ride home--had to toss them. So I've been riding with a big backpack (not pleasant) and now must get new panniers. This is getting a tad expensive--but they are good investments in health and planet.
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Old 12-20-12, 09:39 AM   #12
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" noglider" the novelty wears off soon. Gatorade slush anyone? Off road on some nice packed snow at 30F can be fun. 1.5 hours road commute at 20F is not always fun.
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Old 12-20-12, 10:43 AM   #13
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I have a set of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240 and liked them alot. Last years winter was pretty weak here but i did get quite the workout over the winter using those tires.
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Old 12-20-12, 11:10 AM   #14
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Glad your enjoying the winter riding. I have the Nokian W106's on mine and these are very good on black ice or icy pavement. Pretty good in the snow too as long as it isn't deep. Deep snow is just too much work to make an efficient commute. I enjoy riding snow on weekends just duffing around. They are definitely slower and rolling resistance is huge so take it easy and enjoy the slowness instead of trying to keep up a fast pace.
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Old 12-20-12, 11:29 AM   #15
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Schools closed due to blizzard. Took my new bike/tires out for a spin just to test conditions--great experiment! Plowed roads fine for biking, but too dangerous with cars. Bike path plowed, but ruts and accumulating snow made for a sometimes precarious ride. Unplowed side roads meant walking bike. This rig will work with several inches of snow and/or ice---but anything more feels unstable. Still, got fresh bread from our local bakery and the owner clapped as I walked in. And threw in a free chocolate chip cookie for my biking efforts.
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Old 12-20-12, 12:16 PM   #16
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Schools closed due to blizzard. Took my new bike/tires out for a spin just to test conditions--great experiment! Plowed roads fine for biking, but too dangerous with cars. Bike path plowed, but ruts and accumulating snow made for a sometimes precarious ride. Unplowed side roads meant walking bike. This rig will work with several inches of snow and/or ice---but anything more feels unstable. Still, got fresh bread from our local bakery and the owner clapped as I walked in. And threw in a free chocolate chip cookie for my biking efforts.
what kind of bike are you riding, road or mountain?
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Old 12-20-12, 12:35 PM   #17
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What do you do about the snow/ice buildup under the fenders? I'd think that would be the most annoying, weight-and-friction increasing nuicance of snow-cycling.
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Old 12-20-12, 12:39 PM   #18
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My bike:

http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...e#.UNNaj45wbna

It's a wet, somewhat heavy snow but it didn't build up under the fenders, which surprised me.
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Old 12-20-12, 01:03 PM   #19
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What do you do about the snow/ice buildup under the fenders? I'd think that would be the most annoying, weight-and-friction increasing nuicance of snow-cycling.
I have buildup of snow and ice on mine when its wet but the only issue I have with it is added weight. You have to have high clearance fenders like mountain bikes have. Commutor bikes with the full fenders, not so good in snow.
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Old 12-20-12, 03:00 PM   #20
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very nice! so you're riding 700c wheels. I'm wondering if any manufacturers make winter tires without studs? I'm on a road bike (700x25) and don't really need studs but could use some aggressive traction for the few days of snow we get
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Old 12-20-12, 03:12 PM   #21
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narrow is better. the wide ones make you float more and you don't get down to pavement and so you are less stable. the narrow ones make landfall and give you control. the wide ones will use up more of your power and you will roll slower. this applies if you will be riding over pavement, and pavement that gets plowed. or some other hard packed surface with just a couple inches of snow. if you are off road and there is more than a couple inches of snow then you want to float over it all and you won't be concerned with speed, you'll be concerned with getting stuck.

I like cardboard sheets under the bike so as it drips it also gets absorbed somewhat. those plastic sheets will have puddles and you'll have to figure out what to do with the puddles.

got pics of your tires on your bike?
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Old 12-20-12, 03:24 PM   #22
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You're going to love the studded tires during the icy, snowy season. But, yes, they are the hair shirt of bike commuting and it feels so good when you take them off!
Yes, they are great on ice and less than ideal conditons. But we had 13 inches of snow last night... I have those exact tires and love them in anything less than 2 inches of snow.

And yes... I really like taking them off in the Spring.!
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