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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 07-14-17, 04:52 PM   #1
1989Pre 
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Winter utility Tires

I don't want to invest in studded tires, so I am researching 26" tires that will keep me (usually) upright on the snow, slush and ice this coming stormy season. I have a couple of questions: 1.) are the 2.35-2.4 width tires any more stable than 2.1 on these kinds of surfaces, and 2.) should I deflate my tires from the 60 psi I usually run my mtb tires at?
I actually just bought some 2.1" Hutchinson Toros, but that's cause I couldn't find the 2.4's in clincher.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:58 AM   #2
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Wider tires offer more "float" on soft snow, but doesn't have (much) better grip on ice and hardpack.
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Old 07-15-17, 12:17 PM   #3
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Consider chains in lieu of studs for ice.
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Old 07-17-17, 12:34 PM   #4
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last winter, was riding a newly plowed paved bike trail. it was cold enough for snow AND ice. the plow didn't get everything. was really impressed with a guy on a mtb riding ahead of me. until he slipped an fell. my 1st winter I swore I would NOT get studded tires. that changed early one morning while descending a hill in traffic on a patch of black ice. I didn't go down but I turned right around & made it home safely. I wish you good luck without the studs, especially on wide tires
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Old 07-17-17, 12:48 PM   #5
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You don't want to invest $34 in winter tires?
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Old 07-19-17, 02:36 PM   #6
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Wider tires offer more "float" on soft snow, but doesn't have (much) better grip on ice and hardpack.
What psi would you run 2.15's at for maximum traction?
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Old 07-19-17, 02:37 PM   #7
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Consider chains in lieu of studs for ice.

Who sells chains?
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Old 07-19-17, 02:37 PM   #8
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You don't want to invest $34 in winter tires?

Wow! I thought all studded tires were about 100 dollars a pop.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:09 PM   #9
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Most any non-slick tire will work pretty good on snow covered pavement. Nothing beat studs on hardpack and ice.
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Old 07-19-17, 07:28 PM   #10
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Who sells chains?
Try these or go to youtube and learn how to make them yourself.

https://www.slipnottraction.com
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Old 07-20-17, 03:53 AM   #11
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Wow! I thought all studded tires were about 100 dollars a pop.

Depends on what mileage you're hoping to get out of them, and your riding conditions.
Over here, the department stores still sell studded tires where the studs are regular construction steel.
They can still give OK mileage on all-snow/ice surfaces, but as little as 200 miles of mixed riding can render cheap studded tires effectively "toothless".


Good quality studded tires use studs with a Tungsten Carbide core. In these, it's near enough impossible to wear the studs out. The carcass might give out, and the studs get a bit blunter. But that's about it.


The SW is a decent but not great Winter tire. The tread pattern is fairly shallow and poorly self-clearing. They don't do well in mushy or soft snow.


And at a 100 stud count it'll save you from Bambi moments, but you still need to adapt your riding/braking considerably when traversing ice or hardpack.


Studs are good quality though. They are a good choice for casual riding on mixed tarmac/ice roads.
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Old 07-20-17, 04:03 AM   #12
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What psi would you run 2.15's at for maximum traction?

I'm a fairly dedicated all-year commuter.
I rather lose a few known minutes due to poorer roll than losing unknown time to a fall.
So I use winter tires with high stud counts these days. 200-300 range.
PSI don't change traction on ice or hardpack much for me.



What'll happen a few days each season though is that we get thick layers of fairly thick, soft snow.
It's not only traction, it's more about tracking.


That happens, I'll either not ride those days, or if caught out, will lower the pressure until I begin to feel the rim bottoming out, add a few strokes of the pump, pray not to pinch flat and ride.


As this happens along the road I don't have an accurate idea of pressure, but at a guesstimate it's below 2 Bar. Maybe 1.2-1.5.
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Old 07-20-17, 06:57 AM   #13
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What psi would you run 2.15's at for maximum traction?
kinda depends on road or trail surface, conditions of the day (temp & precip) & also what's underneath the day's precip. obviously if it's just cold & no precip that's like now, you get a little rain on pavement it's a little different than rain on dirt making mud. you get sleet on top of wet mud, that's one thing. if that mud freezes hard & you get rain that's another thing. if you have dry conditions & get a cpl inches of fluffy powder that's another thing. you get a base layer of snow & ice & then get 2-6" of fresh wet gloppy snow that's another. dry pavement with fresh wet snow with road salt mixed it to make super slush that's whole different animal altogether. I'd start with close to max pressure. but air down the front cuz the rear takes more of your weight. then judge your weight, the road or trail, the conditions & fine tune your pressure from there. as an example, when I commuted through the winter using a 700c roadified hybrid with 35mm Marathon studded winter tires (on plowed roads) I maxed the pressure but then tapped the valves to soften them just a tad. I wanted the tires hard enough so the studs dug down to find whatever pavement they could. but soft enough to flex over irregularities (like frozen lumps under the snow & slush) to maintain contact & not rebound abruptly. with wider tires you'll just have to find what works best for you. I had an epic blizzard ride on an old MTB that took twice as long as it should have cuz I was riding thru 4-5" of fresh cold snow, with tires aired waaaay down & riding on grass & sidewalks that were not plowed or shoveled. major mistake for the 13 mile 1way trip. after turning around I aired up the tires as hard as I could with my hand pump (still well under max) & rode home on pavement through the plowed snow & slush another 13 miles & it took half as long as the 1st 13 miles

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Old 07-20-17, 10:45 AM   #14
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I don't want to invest in studded tires, so I am researching 26" tires that will keep me (usually) upright on the snow, slush and ice this coming stormy season.
From where I sit, you look like setting yourself up for failure. After I ripped a third or so set of clothes in falling on ice, I suddenly realized that an investment into studded tires was a cheap solution. It would have been so much cheaper if I bought them before ripping all the clothes and it would have been so much more comfortable without the involved aches and bruises.

After riding many winters I realize that I do not need to rely on the studded tires as much as at the beginning, but this is because the studded tires gave me the breathing room where I could hone my winter riding skills.
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Old 07-20-17, 11:21 AM   #15
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& it's a drag to get a taste of ice, mount your studs, then get no ice for weeks. you're riding your studs on dry rds & feel like a fool. some ppl have 2 sets of wheels, or better yet, 2 bikes!
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