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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 11-02-05, 04:38 AM   #1
andygates
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Tyre choice (again!)

We live in UK in the hills in very rural Devon: two miles of our commute is farm roads, the other thirteen are gritted main road or urban and even in winter, are kept clear. Problem is, our top two miles are very unclear: they can be muddy, snowed-up and as water leaches from the fields on either side, we get a lot of glass ice.

Normally I ride road slicks. That's fine even in winter as long as the roads are gritted, fast and efficient and fun. I have mud-type offroad tyres for the MTB and 'cross tyres for the fixie, which are fine on frosty mud but still spin uselessly on glass ice.

I'm thinking about studs. But I'm told that they're not suited for tarmac, and I've got thirteen miles of tarmac to do with just that two-mile stretch of evil. Would studs be smart or dumb?
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Old 11-05-05, 03:41 PM   #2
2manybikes
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The studded tires will not have good traction on the tarmac. The tarmac will wear the studs faster. You can spend more and get longer lasting studs. It depends on what you think is important. How many miles on the tarmac would you put on these tires in one winter? I'm thinking the wear and the cost of keeping good studded tires on the bike may be high with that much. For me that would be the deciding factor.

I find just being careful on the road with the studs is easy, but there is not much you can do about the wear and the cost. The control on ice is incredibly good.
On a lake it's almost like tarmac.
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Old 11-07-05, 11:35 AM   #3
jscott
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I just put nokian 160 studs on my bike. There is just a little hum from the studs when i go straight. Lean into a corner and the studs start to hum real good. I dont seem to have lost any traction on bare pavement. I can still stand the bike up on the front wheel when braking.

But when you lean into that conrner and there is a ice patch they are just great.

Coming down a sonwy muddy icy path. I stood the bike up on the front wheel.

These things are great so far.
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Old 11-07-05, 07:17 PM   #4
cerewa
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Quote:
We live in UK in the hills in very rural Devon: two miles of our commute is farm roads, the other thirteen are gritted main road or urban and even in winter, are kept clear. Problem is, our top two miles are very unclear: they can be muddy, snowed-up and as water leaches from the fields on either side, we get a lot of glass ice.
I would consider riding on MTB slicks. MTB slicks should be fine in the snow. (not ideal, but way better than anything on ice) They should hold ice a little better, because of the larger amount of contact with the ice, than tires with knobs.

If in riding carefully (and not too quickly) you can reliably get through the ice on MTB slicks, then I would recommend that. Don't be afraid to put a foot down if a tire slides.

If you really can't make it without studs, or if you feel you could be put in a position of being hit by a car without studs, then use the studs. Otherwise, I'd recommend MTB slicks.
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Old 11-08-05, 11:45 AM   #5
GGDub
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Right now my commute involves 8.5 km of dry pavement and 1.5 km of snow-covered ice on a narrow-switchback downhill. I'm still on 700x28c slicks at 80 PSI. The time saved on the dry pavement far outweighs the loss of traction on the ice. I just have to take the DH a little slower (no leaning into corners). If you're a nervous rider on ice, studs all the way, but if you can handle the patches then studs will just be annoying on the dry pavement. Once winter is really here (when all the roads are completly covered with snow and ice in Calgary) I'll switch to knobbies, but still find studs too slow.
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