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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 01-17-06, 07:22 AM   #1
jimmibudd
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hello folks!
i commute regularily and in all kinds of road conditions (i live in canadian prairies) and had to ask some questions about tire pressure...
i've run my studded tyres the last few days at 36/40 (F/R) and it seems good... i had them at 40/40 with a fresh snow over ice and the front tire seemed skittish over.. the 36/40 mix seems good... when roads clear a bit or become hardpacked i will increase presssure... but this lead me to wonder..... ??.. my questions:

1 - what pressure does most people run their studded (or studless for that matter) tires at? what conditions? what would your max pressure and min pressures be?
2 - do you run front and back tires at the same pressure? why or why not?

thank you thank you

jimmi
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Old 01-17-06, 07:35 AM   #2
2manybikes
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What size tires? What kind? What load?

As low as possible without pinch flats for your setup for the best traction on ice. Your speed and ability to miss big holes counts too.

Fresh snow over ice is one of the worst conditions. The studs need to hit hard ice to grab.

My Nokian 294's are at 22 front 25 rear. The rear looks like it will flex too much below that. I can feel the loss in traction as the pressure goes up. If your tires are smaller you may need more pressure to prevent pinch flats. It depends on you and your set up.
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Old 01-17-06, 10:06 AM   #3
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I run 700c studded tires and the roads I ride are usually well salted so I'm mostly dealing with fresh snow and occasional ice patches. Given those conditions and my weight (220 lb) I run my tires at max pressure (85 psi). If the roads were hard packed or covered in ice I would run it much lower. Still a 35mm tire would support me if I drop it much below 50 psi.
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Old 01-17-06, 03:49 PM   #4
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Urban winter sludge for me and I'm running max preassure. If it gets deep or particularly bad, then I'll drop to minimum preassure.
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Old 01-18-06, 09:15 AM   #5
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my tires are studded tires made by my LBS...
http://alteregosports.shop2.mtsyello...txtProdID=3469

they use stock tires (tioga on the front and serf on the back, in my case.... they have used other brand apparently) and drill special screws into the knobs along the edge... these screws are origianlly designed for motorcycle ice racing... the heads are a 1/4 inch and have 2 sharp edges... they are also tungsten carbide.... the sizes are 26inch x 1.95 on the front and 26x2.0 on the back... i really like the tread pattern too....

i ride an aluminmum framed bike and i weigh about 175lbs... i carry a backpack... so total wiehgt, bike included, may push 200lbs...

2manybikes, i see you ride at 22/25psi with nokians.... do you primarily ride trails/paths or pavement/hardpack?

thanks for the replies!!!
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Old 01-18-06, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmibudd
my tires are studded tires made by my LBS...
http://alteregosports.shop2.mtsyello...txtProdID=3469

they use stock tires (tioga on the front and serf on the back, in my case.... they have used other brand apparently) and drill special screws into the knobs along the edge... these screws are origianlly designed for motorcycle ice racing... the heads are a 1/4 inch and have 2 sharp edges... they are also tungsten carbide.... the sizes are 26inch x 1.95 on the front and 26x2.0 on the back... i really like the tread pattern too....

i ride an aluminmum framed bike and i weigh about 175lbs... i carry a backpack... so total wiehgt, bike included, may push 200lbs...

2manybikes, i see you ride at 22/25psi with nokians.... do you primarily ride trails/paths or pavement/hardpack?

thanks for the replies!!!

I think those may be the same screws I used on motorcycles on ice many years ago. They work on the motorcycle very well. They are very heavy! The motorcycle has bigger tire knobs and keeps the screw away from the tube a little more. I don't know what they will be like on a bicycle tire.

The pressure you run is what you learn is best over time for you. Every bike/rider/terrain/tire condition is different. You have to experiment and see what works for you. Start by talking to the people who made your tires. An opinion over the internet is just going to be a guess.

My Nokians have a little more volume (not much) than your tires but I'm carrying a heavier load. I use about 25psi most of the time as I primarily use those tires on frozen ice with 3" ruts and footprints in it. And off road over the ice etc. I want the cushion, it also helps with traction on the snow and ice, plus I'm good at not hitting big things like rocks and holes. If I had to go a long way on the road I would run them up to 65psi. (I think that is the maximum). I don't mind the slow speed in exchange for maximum traction on ice and snow. I don't use this bike on the road unless it's to get to the ice, or most of the road is icy. I just use a bike without studded tires for pavement.

If you want the best traction start low and see if you get pinch flats. If you do, increase the pressure a little at a time. Start with the low limit of what it says on the tires (probably about 35 -40 psi) and experiment. If you don't ride in the snow and you just want a little traction on occasional ice go higher. Experiment, ride in different conditions at different pressures..

When I started at 35 It was a little too bumpy on the worst ice and I discovered the traction in loose snow and hard ice was a little better about 25. I did not go below 25 on the rear because i can see how far the sidewall flexes when I am on the bike.
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