Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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The Nokians are the only studded tires with carbide spikes, so they are the only ones that will last through many Winter, especially when riding on asphalt. In other words, the Continental may be as good or even better when new and the Schwalbe (relatively cheap at MEC if your bike uses 26") is very very good, but only as long as you ride in snow or ice, i.e. on packed snowmobile trails or iced-up lakes, for example.
For riding on Montréal streets, I'd suggest you stay with Nokians, but rather go with the Mount & Ground (160 studs) or the Hakkapeliitta (106 studs). I have the 700c Happapeliittas at home and, when I install them, they are great for the few days we have iced ruts as well as for ice patchs at night, and the thread design bites well in snow or sleet. They even work well on the chemin Olmstead (the gravel road on Mt. Royal), which is usually only partly cleared. And on the day we had something like 5 cm of ice under 5 cm of water in the streets, I had no problem riding to work, except for water spray, that is.
The only thing to remember is to be careful when you put your foot on the ground. Spikes are not as effective when you offload the bike... and you don't have any under your feet.
BTW, you have all the dimensions and explanations of the different models on Peter White's website