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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 08-19-07, 01:36 PM   #1
JasonC
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when to put on the studs...

We're still several months out from getting some snow, but I'm curious when you put on your studded tires? Do you leave them on during the snowy months?

Just curious... I took off from bike commuting for about 2-3 months last winter, but this year I think I'll ride through it.

thanks,
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Old 08-19-07, 04:34 PM   #2
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I put mine on when forecast temps dipped below freezing. It's the ice, not the snow, where the studs help. Patches of ice can form anywhere, even in the absence of snow. Most commonly in my routes, under bridges, past the car wash (soapy ice is even slipperier!) and near the falls on the river.

I left them on unless there was a stretch where temps stayed above freezing for a few days. Boy did I feel fast when I took them off!

As it worked-out last year, I put them on in early December, took them off after Christmas, put them back on in late January, took them off again in late March.

Last edited by tsl; 08-19-07 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:28 PM   #3
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I usually put mine on sometime in November and leave them on until the thaw.
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Old 08-20-07, 05:44 AM   #4
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I generally put them on while new snow is still humid, but seems to start adding up on streets instead of getting cleared away. They stay on for a couple months. By the time the weather gets back to humid snow and streets on mostly pavement, I want them off pretty bad.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:08 AM   #5
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I have an old winter beater with studded Nokians permanently on. I can just choose which bike I take in the morning and not change tyres back and forth. I appreciate the tough carbide studs on Nokians. Not having to worry about stud wear allows me to err on the safe side in the morning.

--J
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Old 08-21-07, 03:13 PM   #6
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I'm always taking mine on and off. I've even started carrying them in (folded up) with slicks on the bike when the roads are clear in the morning.

This is something that I do, not something that I recommend.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:03 PM   #7
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My solution: 2 sets of wheels. (single speed) They're very quick to swap. The Nokians are life savers and I think they make it possible to bike through the winter. But I HATE riding on them if I don't need them. So I just really watch my route, and the weather, and if things are dry, I'm on the road tires.

I agree with the earlier post by tsl. Ice is the nemesis. Snow get's plowed around here really quickly. It's what's underneath that'll make you pay. And the most dangerous time is early spring, the freeze thaw cycles with snow melting days and cold nights, the mornings are the worst.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:40 PM   #8
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My solution: 2 sets of wheels. (single speed) They're very quick to swap. The Nokians are life savers and I think they make it possible to bike through the winter. But I HATE riding on them if I don't need them. So I just really watch my route, and the weather, and if things are dry, I'm on the road tires.
Damn, that's also what I do. I also have days when I only run the front studded tire on my SS. As stated, it's ALL about the ice.

... Brad
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Old 08-22-07, 06:38 AM   #9
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I put them on in mid December and take them off in late March. I agree that its all about the ice.

Paul
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Old 08-22-07, 08:27 AM   #10
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IN response to the question "when to put on studs", the answer is "when you think you might need them."
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Old 08-22-07, 08:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
I have an old winter beater with studded Nokians permanently on. I can just choose which bike I take in the morning and not change tyres back and forth. I appreciate the tough carbide studs on Nokians. Not having to worry about stud wear allows me to err on the safe side in the morning.

--J
Me too except I have cheapie steel studs.

Speaking of that, and while we are on the subject...

I know steel studs wear faster than carbide but do carbide studs provide any safer of a ride than steel studs?
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Old 08-22-07, 11:11 AM   #12
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Me too except I have cheapie steel studs.

Speaking of that, and while we are on the subject...

I know steel studs wear faster than carbide but do carbide studs provide any safer of a ride than steel studs?
YES!!!! I switched from cheap steel studded Inova tires to Nokian 296 Extremes and was BLOWN AWAY by the difference. The steel studs have a blunt "point", whereas the tungsten studs on Nokians have a sharp spike that bites into ice. Once you go Nokian you can never go back, and you won't have to as they last ages. I have one that's 3 years old, one that's 2, they likely have about 3000km on them and have no visible wear on the studs. The tire will fall apart before the studs wear out. My rear Inova was worn to uselessness in one winter, and I tried to avoid bare pavement whenever I could.
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Old 09-17-07, 12:18 PM   #13
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Damn, that's also what I do. I also have days when I only run the front studded tire on my SS. As stated, it's ALL about the ice.

... Brad
Does JUST running the front really help in the ice/snow?
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Old 09-17-07, 12:43 PM   #14
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thats funny...
this thread comes back _every year_!!. this time i think we are a little earlier though...

i could say, i put my studs on: two months after the creation of a "when to put on the studs" thread ...

seriously, i put them on the first or second day when the streets go from black to "white"... (unless they forecast warmer weather to return quickly after an "isolated storm"...). this description is for streets with little traffic since cars mysteriously transform nice white snow into brown slush....
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