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  1. #1
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    I just gained a total respect for winter cycling. (Also, recommend me some tires.)

    I bike commuted on Monday and Tuesday this week. It was decently cold -- 20-25˚F -- but there was no snow until the return trip on Tuesday, and even then it was just melting on contact with the ground. Now that 2 days have passed, the streets and sidewalks of Chicago have bulked up to their winter best and are coated with compacted snow, frozen puddles, not-yet-frozen-for-some-reason puddles, miniature ice boulders kicked aside by traffic, and copious amounts of hardened slush at every edge and corner of anything. I just took my bike out for a spin around the neighborhood and I was pretty much in a constant state of oh crap I'm about to wipe out. My 1.75" semi-slicks were reduced to a pair of cowering children. I had been confused with the meaning of the word "float" in the ad copy for winter bike tires. Now I know, and I want me some of that.

    I'd like to commute by bike when possible this winter so I'm in the market for winter tires, or perhaps more accurately, in the market for asking for winter tires for the holidays. I had been leaning towards Schwalbe Marathon Winters but now I'm thinking that they're not wide or knobby enough. What do you people recommend as a good studded winter tire to run at lowish pressure and get solid traction on these treacherous Chicago streets?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    I just got Nokian Mount and Ground 160's. Both for under $100 here. Free shipping too. Plent knobby for me, and I used them today and they were great.

  3. #3
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    How are they over ice? He seems to think the Hakkapewhatever 106's are better over icy patches.

  4. #4
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Just about any Nokian studded tire that fits should serve you well. One caveat: they don't have much in the way of flat protection beyond the robust tread itself.

    Personally, on my hardtail, I run 296's and today would replace them with Nokian Freddies Revenz Lite. These tires tend to be heavy and slow (but very sure), so you might as well get the beasties. They don't seem to wear out, however.

    The Hakka 106's are for 700c bikes. I have them on my CX rig. Good tire for icy patches but not much snow.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  5. #5
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    They make a 26" version.


    I can't decide between the Hakka 106's and the M&G 160's. The 160's seem like more robust tires all around... but what about the issue of having the studs centered vs. more towards the outside?

    I worry -- perhaps illogically -- that if I ever have to brake hard and fast over an icy patch because the car in front of me stops or something, I might wipe out with the 160's because the studs won't be making contact with the ice as directly as they would with the 106's.

    I guess I'm probably overthinking this.

    Edit: It appears that Peter White has addressed my very concern right under his description of the 160's. That makes me feel a bit better.

  6. #6
    Senior Member striegel's Avatar
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    Read the comments by Steveroot on the Marathon Winter tires he's using (also in Chicago). Yes, they're on a bike with 20-inch wheels, so there will be some differences, but it should still be useful.

  7. #7
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    Hmm... it tells me I "do not have permission to use this feature." I registered and it still says the same thing when I click your link or just try to read any of the forums.

    Would you mind pasting some choice quotes here?

  8. #8
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    I just gained a total respect for winter cycling.

    Keep up the winter cycling, and instead of respect for others, you can strut around as one of the few... the proud... the wide-smiling crazy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by destro713 View Post
    How are they over ice? He seems to think the Hakkapewhatever 106's are better over icy patches.
    I don't know how you interpreted that. I'll take 160 studs over 106 any day of the week.

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    ex-everything. soze's Avatar
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    If you're using too many studs on asphalt you tend to skitter off underneath a bus. I actually don't enjoy riding my W106's on dry pavement because of that.

  11. #11
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    Just ordered a pair of W160's for $42 each and some 60mm silver Planet Bike Cascadia fenders for $26 from eBikeStop. Pretty good deals on that site.

    Yeah, I guess there's a slight chance that I could wipe out and kill myself as a result of running studded tires... but I'm pretty sure there's a bigger chance that I could wipe out and kill myself as a result of not running studded tires. I'm calculating my risks as best I can.

  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I build my own studded tires with no centre studs to prevent the skittering on dry pavement and give me excellent control in off camber situations.

    I rin a front studded tire on my fixie and a semi slick Schwalbe Hurricane in the rear and have not had any traction issues.

    My cross bike runs non studded 700:35 Schwalbe CX Compe tires and these have been showing themselves to be amazing on the hard packed snow and icy section on our roads and they cut through the piles of slush really well too. I feel as confident on these tires as I do with the tires on the fixed gear and also run this bike at much higher speeds.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mulchie's Avatar
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    e bikeshop has ridiculous shipping. >$20?
    hate that.
    same price here in the long run and you'd be supporting a good local shop in Maine http://www.bikeskideals.com/BikeSkiD...p?idproduct=31

  14. #14
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soze View Post
    If you're using too many studs on asphalt you tend to skitter off underneath a bus. I actually don't enjoy riding my W106's on dry pavement because of that.
    Then I think you should lower the pressure in the tire. The studs should not be the only thing contacting the pavement.

    To whom ever asked, I like the 160's. They are narrow, and the tread isn't too knobby for me, I think for the winter this tire is just right.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulchie View Post
    e bikeshop has ridiculous shipping. >$20?
    hate that.
    same price here in the long run and you'd be supporting a good local shop in Maine http://www.bikeskideals.com/BikeSkiD...p?idproduct=31
    Same link I put up above. I bought mine there, seem to be nice people.

  16. #16
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    Yeah, but eBikeStop also has a deal right now for free shipping on any order with 6 or more items. I padded out the order with some tire levers, one spare tube and a new set of cheapie pedals (Wellgo 953's to replace my stock MTB pedals that require me to look down and flip them right side up so my 13EEEE feet don't slip off), so shipping was $0.

    It's always nice to support a mom & pop of course, and I follow that rule when I can, but a pair of those tires for $84 and set of Cascadia fenders for $26 with no tax or shipping was too good to pass up. I may have felt differently if this was a Chicago mom & pop store we were talking about.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mulchie's Avatar
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    You got a great deal, then.

  18. #18
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
    Just about any Nokian studded tire that fits should serve you well.
    +1

    ... Brad

  19. #19
    Senior Member striegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by destro713 View Post
    Hmm... it tells me I "do not have permission to use this feature." I registered and it still says the same thing when I click your link or just try to read any of the forums.

    Would you mind pasting some choice quotes here?
    Sorry that didn't work for you. (Maybe you need to enable cookies for the site?) Anyway, here are some of the specifics:

    I rode in to work this morning on the MW tires. Last night it looked as if I might have snow and ice to ride in, but it did not pan out. On dry pavement, these tires are comfortably soft (at 60 psi; the range is 30-70 psi). They do seem to take a little more energy to push them, but they are after all knobby with spikes. The most ... well, "interesting"... feature is the sound. I had the distinct impression that there was a pan of frying bacon somewhere in the vicinity! Several other bike riders noticed the sound and one recognized the source ("Ooooh! Studded tires!!").

    I put about 35 miles on the Marathon Winter tires this week. My average speed was about 0.5 mph less than typical for the Marathon Racers. This could be due to other factors, but seems consistent with the slight perceived additional effort required to push these tires.

    First impression: WOW!!

    The weather got warmer overnight and the hard ice melted. if I pushed the slush off my driveway, leaving a slippery slimy layer of ice. It was slick to my feet wearing running shoes. Best I could do at present.

    The MW tires showed no loss of traction at all. I tried to skid and could not. I tried to spin the rear wheel in low gear- the front wheel came up, but no spinning occurred. I tried riding in tight circles at progressively higher speeds with no slipping. I rode through some berms of shoveled snow 2 or 3 inches deep without a hitch.


    I just got back from a 4-mile trip to the bank and coffee hole. Every place there was snow on the street or trail, I went for it. This was mostly slush now, but the traction is impeccable. Going over a few spots where cars (or in one case, another bike!) had compacted the snow, the going was a bit bumpy, but completely predictable. At one point in a slush-covered parking lot I made a turn sharper tan I had intended and reflexively put out my foot... but the bike didn't slide!

    Before I left, I took out the Helios and repeated my earlier maneuvers. By this time, the snow had melted further so the comparison may not be accurate. The Marathons have pretty good traction in slush, but I was able to make them slide easier than the MWs... and the Mu's brakes are better!

    I predict most people are going to like these tires if they ride in snow and ice. The only complaints will be the slightly higher rolling resistance and the noise. We'll see!


    Whooeeeee!
    There were light patches of snow on the streets on the way to the train this evening, which I ran right over. Bo big deal. However, when I got off at my stop, there was an inch of fresh snow on the platform. Feeling the bike was stable, I tried to spin the rear wheel in low gear and the front wheel came up! I rode across patches of snow packed down by car tires; no problems with traction, though I was able to skid the rear at will. Riding down the side streets at speeds close to my normal rate, the bike felt stable and secure. Car were giving me an extremely wide berth smile.gif probably expecting me to wipe out in front of them at any time. I made a wide turn at about 10 mph with nary a slip. Climbing a small hill I overtook a car with its front wheels spinning (I think the driver saw me coming and tried to bolt!) and zipped around it. I tried braking on snowy surfaces in several locations. It felt like riding on bare pavement. I cannot adequately describe how solid-feeling the ride was. I actually saw someone on a BMX bike wipe out as I rode by. Wonder what he thought?
    Also, the tires are *silent* in the snow!


    By the way, based on Steveroot's comments, I bought a pair of the Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires for my Dahon folding bike with 20-inch wheels and they are WAY better on ice and packed snow than the Marathon Racer tires I normally ride. The most noticeable factor against them is the constant vibration transmitted to my hands when riding on clear pavement.

  20. #20
    Senior Member destro713's Avatar
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    I was able to get on the forums eventually. It just took a few days for their administrator to approve my registration. I hate that. Still, it's nice for that stuff to be archived here for future BF generations.

  21. #21
    Daily Rider hairlessbill's Avatar
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    Got the Mount and Ground 160's (from AEBike last year for $36/each) and have ridden them three times in the snow and ice here in Boulder. They work but they are not magic. I still have to be careful around corners with them especially through piled up frozen snow. Have been running 40psi in them and I think I need to get that down to 30psi to be more effective, otherwise the rear tire seems to wander a bit. These tires are super heavy and it's a lot of work to keep them rolling fast but I doubt any studded tire would act differently.

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