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  1. #1
    META Severian's Avatar
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    Ow ow and triple ow...

    So last tuesday I tried to hit out for a ride to work... note:

    I currently have a set of specialized semi-road tired on my Fisher MTB that I use as a commuter. Little did I know that at 5:45 am on a day when they were expecting temperatures to hover around the freezing mark and 90% humidity that there might be ice upon the ground... I fell twice before I even left the parkinglot of my apartment complex.

    query: do studded tires even HELP for a situation like that or would it be as if I had put ice-skates on my feet and decided to drop down one of those famous norwegian glaciers?

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    In my third year of winter commuting, I am just now using studded tires for the first time. They greatly reduce sliding and falling on ice.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Oh my yes. In my (limited) experience, a good quality (Nokian) carbide-studded tire will make riding on any surface seem like dry pavement. (with rice-crispies crunching under you as you go)

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    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    as long as you keep the bike upright and do not allow it to lean over then a studded tyre will work fine. No problem on flat ice but on irregular ice you just have to watch out for ruts or holes that can lead to the front wheel being at put an angle to the ground (where there are no studs in contact with the ground). If you don´t then the front wheel can slip out with the result that you hit the floor. You can see this effect off the bike by standing the bike up on the ice and leaning the bike over and increasing the angle until it starts to slip.
    Last edited by royalflash; 01-02-06 at 06:49 AM.
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  5. #5
    META Severian's Avatar
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    Dig, thanks for the tips. The ice I was dealing with was the sort that forms on misty mornings where the temperature hovers, as I mentioned, around freezing. So ALL surfaces have this nice film of wet super-slick ice.

    But, second question, is a 12 mile commute to work really worth it when I can't go as fast as I should to make the ride efficient?

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian
    But, second question, is a 12 mile commute to work really worth it when I can't go as fast as I should to make the ride efficient?
    Is it a race or a ride? No matter how slow, you're saving resources, not polluting, saving money, and HAVING FUN. This seems super efficient to me!


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    I agree with all the points made about studs. Riding with a little care they can get you over all types of icy and snowy conditions. I rode with them for a few days and then foolishly took them off thinking it had been warm enough to clear the trail. After a fall on the ice, the studs went back on and I haven't had a problem since. The studs are slower, but given the extra work it takes to make them spin I'm not sure you're not getting just as good a workout.
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  8. #8
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    It's really quite simple:

    Studded tires + ice = no crash. (at least i never have yet)


    No studded tires + ice = crash. (have done that a couple times)

  9. #9
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Smooth ice like that is where studs excel. Even if you slip a little, you still have plenty of friction. A bicycle depends on friction to stay upright, and without it you'll go down faster than you can say triple ow. With studs you will always have enough to at least stay upright.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    It's really quite simple:

    Studded tires + ice = no crash. (at least i never have yet)


    No studded tires + ice = crash. (have done that a couple times)
    I use the same formula.


    Severian, search the forums for studded tires, there are ice riding photos.
    Look at the large version of this photo and look at the studded tire tracks right in the middle. The
    traction is amazing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 01-01-06 at 09:07 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    That's a great explanation and it's exactly how my Nokans react. I can ride the 8k's to work with steep rolling terrain and be fine if I take smooth lines. Then when I get in the work parking lot, the tires might slip as I'm unclimping and nearly at a stop.

  12. #12
    One Tough Cookie. Black Bud's Avatar
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    The point of using studded tires--or winter riding in general--is don't make sudden moves! Even studded tires take a moment or two to grab, especially when the surface covering is very loose and/or slippery (deep slush or wet ice). As for slipping when unclipping/pulling out of a PowerGrip, toe clip? I don't find slippage to be a problem.

    Jesse...you might be leaning the bike too much out of habit...try not to lean it like that when you pull out of the pedals.
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work!!

    My discussion board, another resource for the "utility" and commuter cyclist: "Two Wheeled Commuter: The Everyday Cyclist"

  13. #13
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Also, there are differences in how the studs are spread over the tyre surface. Some tyres have studs more closely centered, and will not allow as much leaning as others. For example, see the difference between two Nokian Hakkapeliitta -tyres: W106 and W240.

    I run the W106s, they're very capable tyres for commuting and errands, but have limited traction towards the edge of the tyre. I'm OK with that, but it might be a problem in trails, for example. Then again, that's not their intended purpose.


    Quote Originally Posted by Severian
    But, second question, is a 12 mile commute to work really worth it when I can't go as fast as I should to make the ride efficient?
    Define "efficient". If you mean a workout, then winter riding is extremely efficient even with the reduced speeds. But if you mean not losing much time over the course of the 12 miles (as compared to running slicks in summer), you're in for a challenge. It's probably not doable if your winters are harsh enough to require studded tyres.

    --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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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I don't have a computer, so this is just an impression:

    The main loss of "efficiency" with studded tires is in acceleration rather than running speed. In other words, I seem to cruise at the same speed, it just takes longer (and more effort) to get up to that speed.

    I have been riding with the tires at maximum psi on all the non-slippery days we've been having this year. I let out some air when the roads get slick. But that's when I would be going slower anyway.


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  15. #15
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I don't have a computer, so this is just an impression:

    The main loss of "efficiency" with studded tires is in acceleration rather than running speed. In other words, I seem to cruise at the same speed, it just takes longer (and more effort) to get up to that speed.

    I have been riding with the tires at maximum psi on all the non-slippery days we've been having this year. I let out some air when the roads get slick. But that's when I would be going slower anyway.
    In my experience, I have found the studded tires to be VERY slow. However, that must also be tempered with the difference between running slicks, which I normally do, and treaded tires. Since the studded tires have aggressive treads as well, that could make them seem really slow. If you run big knobbies most of the time, maybe you wouldn't feel any difference when you put the studded tires on.

    Here is a story of how well the studded tires work. One winter's day after an ice storm, I rode to work with my studded tires. Some of my colleagues were outside having a smoke as I pulled up. They expressed their amazement that I could ride on that ice. I made some comment about how skill was something unknown in these technological days. Then, after I dismounted, slipped and fell right on my a$$ in front of them. Guess I need studded shoes too.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  16. #16
    META Severian's Avatar
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    Well... background: 12 miles, leaving at 5:30 or so in the AM... have to be at work by 6:40 in order to grab breakfast, change into my uniform and relieve the person on duty. 2 miles of my ride are through a protected local park that doesn't allow sanding or salting of ANY of the roadway (http://uwarboretum.org/) So I'd be dealing with re-frozen slush most of the rest of the winter.

    No, it's not a race, but I do have at time limit. And some of my turns are nearly 180 degrees over a short distance, enough so that if I had to avoid glare ice I'd be better off walking.

    As for efficiency, I've been stuck riding local pubtrans for the past month and it sucks. (the fact that I have to ride pubtrans)

  17. #17
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars
    Then, after I dismounted, slipped and fell right on my a$$ in front of them. Guess I need studded shoes too.
    I did something similar, but nobody was around to see me. That's much better!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  18. #18
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian
    Well... background: 12 miles, leaving at 5:30 or so in the AM... have to be at work by 6:40 in order to grab breakfast, change into my uniform and relieve the person on duty. 2 miles of my ride are through a protected local park that doesn't allow sanding or salting of ANY of the roadway (http://uwarboretum.org/) So I'd be dealing with re-frozen slush most of the rest of the winter.

    No, it's not a race, but I do have at time limit. And some of my turns are nearly 180 degrees over a short distance, enough so that if I had to avoid glare ice I'd be better off walking.

    As for efficiency, I've been stuck riding local pubtrans for the past month and it sucks. (the fact that I have to ride pubtrans)
    I do see how getting up earlier is a pain!

    There's no need to avoid glare ice with good studded tires, the traction is better. If you have big enough tires and you can run 25 psi you can ride right over the refrozen slush. Just keep the bike as upright as possible and be prepared to keep it straight up even if it fishtails. Learn to control the bike in a slide. I use flat pedals so I can actually anticipate a slide a little bit if needed and get my foot down. There's no reason to have lots of power and efficiency when riding on ice, in fact that's worse. A little slop in the pedal connection is good. Just like starting off in second gear in a car that is stuck. Or like a car or bike with less power is easier to control in the slippery stuff. No reason to ride clipped in on the ice and snow. Unless you just don't want to change pedals. Plenty of good reasons NOT to be clipped in.

    Short radius turns on ice are not a problem with practice, just don't bank the bike if it's really bumpy or slushy. The more you ride on the ice the better you get.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  19. #19
    META Severian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately I've got CB 'beaters on both of my bikes and no way of swapping em.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severian
    But, second question, is a 12 mile commute to work really worth it when I can't go as fast as I should to make the ride efficient?
    I round trip 22m+/- per day on studded tires and though they are definitely slower esp. combined with the extra clothing, ice and snow, cold temps, wind etc of winter they are a great workout and will have me in much better shape come the spring than training indoors on a stationary/spinning bike. And how "efficient" is a stationary bike?- actual distance travelled for the effort- "0", energy to heat, light and maintain the health club- "$$!"

    On a good spring day and lighter tires I can bike into work in a little less than 35 minutes. In snowy, icy conditions on the studs it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour.

    I've been cycle commuting in New England winter's for literally decades and in the past always rode until I had a good hard fall, usually on the kind of ice you just described and then gave it up and took the bus until the ice melted enough to ride again.

    This year I am now trying out Nokian Mount and Ground studded tires and am amazed at what I am able to ride over without slipping.

    The shortcomings seem to be:

    #1- Over confidence in the tires especially on corners, descents and rutted wet ice- all of these are manageable but require focused attention.

    #2- rolling resistance is increased considerably over slicks. (but it makes for a great workout)

    #3- The cars on the road have a higher susceptibility to skidding on the ice and hitting you- making commuting more dangerous.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Silverexpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    I did something similar, but nobody was around to see me. That's much better!
    Checkout yaktrax.com for slip on stainless steel with rubber straps for your shoes. Prevents slippage on icy surfaces.
    Regards,
    Jose

  22. #22
    accident-prone gboy's Avatar
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    From what I gathered, everyone seems to be saying the obvious: that compared to slicks, studded tires are much slower, but compared to knobbies? Is there any significant difference in rolling resistance say between a 700x35 knobbie and a similar tire with studs?

  23. #23
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverexpress
    Checkout yaktrax.com for slip on stainless steel with rubber straps for your shoes. Prevents slippage on icy surfaces.
    I have the Yaktrax Walker model, and love them. While everyone else is slippin' and slidin', I walk along with no problems. They are very easy to put on or remove, so its no hassle to take them off your boots when you step into malls etc.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    It's really quite simple:

    Studded tires + ice = no crash. (at least i never have yet)


    No studded tires + ice = crash. (have done that a couple times)
    ha ha! Good one! Hey Ranger, I'm always pushing to get to work on time...how much extra time do you allow while running the studded???

  25. #25
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    I don't commute often but i ride daily. So time is usually not a concern. Studded tires in general will add some time but the snow and or ice will be the bigger factor in slowing you down. I have ridden with studded tires on pretty dry surfaces before and figure that maybe they slow me down 2 mph at most.

    I run 1.95 MTB tires. So really it is hard to say how much it will slow you down. I only put mine on when there is snow and ice and again, that snow and ice itself slows you down.

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