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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 01-18-08, 03:02 PM   #1
kmcrawford111
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Studded Tires and Road Damage & Legality

Hello winter folk,

I became a bicycle commuter midway through last year. I want to ride instead of drive as much as possible (safely). I have been riding in the winter irregularly - the cold hasn't stopped me and I've gotten clothes for that, but ice has stopped me. I check the hourly weather forecast ahead of time on weather.com and see what's projected before I make a decision. I have a Mongoose SX 4.3 MTB. Considering getting some Marathon Ice Spiker or Ice Spiker Pro tires. Will these tires damage the roads? Are they legal? I am in Northwest Indiana. Are there better winter tires than these Marathons? Marathon seems to be rated highly here which is why I've been looking at those. These tires are expensive - I like to buy the best, most durable stuff, but if there are only small differences between the tires the extra $ may not be worth spending. My commute is 7 miles 1-way and I weigh right around 200 lbs.

I currently am using a stock knobby tire in the back and a mostly smooth tire in the front. I grazed (slowly) over a bit of ice with this combo and immediately began to slide. if I put the other stock knobby in the front, will that be good enough for snow and ice, or should I definitely get studded tires?

Thanks for any help!

Kevin
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Old 01-18-08, 03:05 PM   #2
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These tires will NOT damage the roads. I have no idea if they are legal but it's pretty unlikely anyone would ever arrest you for it. I own Nokian Extremes and Nokian Mount and Grounds. The extremes are an amazing tire and will allow you to ride on anything.

I don't know anything about the tires you listed but if you search the forum you will probably find others that do. Also your commute is pretty short but i still recommend a good set of studded tires for icy conditions. They are a cheap insurance policy against serious injury.
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Old 01-18-08, 03:25 PM   #3
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It's a non-issue on a bicycle.
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Old 01-18-08, 07:15 PM   #4
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bikes have no where near the capability of a car when it comes to damaging the roads so studs are legal for bikes.
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Old 01-18-08, 09:36 PM   #5
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cars rip up the road when turning or spinning the tires

bikes don't have enough weight to cause enough friction, and you
don't have the guatts, to rip asphalt
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Old 01-18-08, 10:52 PM   #6
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In addition, the old automobile studs that were causing road damage were quite a bit bigger than anything you'd install on a road-going bicycle.

Given the increase in the number of heavy commercial freight vehicles on the roads in the last 20 years, the road-wear-rational ban has become a bit of a moot point here, and the province is in the process of reviewing and perhaps repealing the ban.

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Old 01-19-08, 11:08 AM   #7
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Indiana allows studs October 1 to May 1 on vehicles, and prohibits them the rest of the year. Indiana considers bicycles vehicles, and the law makes no distinction between motor vehicles and non-motorized vehicles.

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IC 9-19-18-3
Protuberances on tires
Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) through (d), a tire on a vehicle moved on a highway may not have on the tire's periphery a block, stud, flange, cleat, or spike or any other protuberance of any material other than rubber that projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire.
(b) Implements of agriculture may use tires having protuberances that will not injure the highway.
(c) Tire chains of reasonable proportions may be used upon a vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.
(d) From October 1 to the following May 1, a vehicle may use tires in which have been inserted ice grips or tire studs of wear-resisting material, installed in a manner that provides resiliency upon contact with the road, with projections that do not exceed three thirty-seconds (3/32) of an inch beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire, and constructed to prevent any appreciable damage to the road surface.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.7. Amended by P.L.210-2005, SEC.30.
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Old 01-21-08, 08:31 AM   #8
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Go ahead and get them. Even if they were illegal, no-one's gonna pull you over for using them! Wear on the road surface will be non-existent, and you will be a whole lot safer.
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Old 01-21-08, 04:00 PM   #9
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Just don't ride on hardwood floors with them.
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Old 01-21-08, 04:03 PM   #10
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Go ahead and get them. Even if they were illegal, no-one's gonna pull you over for using them! Wear on the road surface will be non-existent, and you will be a whole lot safer.
+1

No one is ever going to even know you are using studded tires unless you tell them.....

FWIW I don't ride during winter without studded tires. Period.
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Old 01-21-08, 04:38 PM   #11
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Hello winter folk,

I became a bicycle commuter midway through last year. I want to ride instead of drive as much as possible (safely). I have been riding in the winter irregularly - the cold hasn't stopped me and I've gotten clothes for that, but ice has stopped me. I check the hourly weather forecast ahead of time on weather.com and see what's projected before I make a decision. I have a Mongoose SX 4.3 MTB. Considering getting some Marathon Ice Spiker or Ice Spiker Pro tires. Will these tires damage the roads? Are they legal? I am in Northwest Indiana. Are there better winter tires than these Marathons? Marathon seems to be rated highly here which is why I've been looking at those. These tires are expensive - I like to buy the best, most durable stuff, but if there are only small differences between the tires the extra $ may not be worth spending. My commute is 7 miles 1-way and I weigh right around 200 lbs.

I currently am using a stock knobby tire in the back and a mostly smooth tire in the front. I grazed (slowly) over a bit of ice with this combo and immediately began to slide. if I put the other stock knobby in the front, will that be good enough for snow and ice, or should I definitely get studded tires?

Thanks for any help!

Kevin
No chance they'll damage the roads, don't sweat it. They will however scrape paint off *anything* you slide them along, so be careful not to bump the door with the tire when you bring the bike into the garage like I do, or you'll have a door that looks like its been attacked by a wildcat of course, this isn't a problem if you don't have to do this.

I presume you're talking about the Schwalbe tires? The "Marathon Winters" are the new pick.

Nokian is also very reputed as a winter tire manufacturer, but my experience is with Schwalbe. Buying the top end stuff in this case is a *very* wise decision, as Schwalbe and Nokian both stock their tires with tungsten carbide studs that will last a very long time and perform admirably to the end, whereas cheaper plain steel tires will wear out long before the rubber is gone.

Ice Spikers are an extremely good tire for winter traction, depending on your situation they can be overkill. They've got moderately high rolling resistance and high weight, and no sidewall reflectors. They do also however feature 304 tungsten carbide spikes per tire, kevlar puncture protection, and a whole lot of grip. I put these on my Xtracycle and ride with 100lbs of cargo and no worries in the worst of it. If you're not *needing* that much, don't feel like you should feel obliged to go with it, but the only thing you loose is a little weight and speed.

Ice Spiker pro tires have more spikes, but less durability. These tires are lighter, and possibly faster, but they're not as tough as the regular Ice Spikers (does not have the KevlarGuard lining), and are geared towards winter racing and gram counting rather than longevity. I wouldn't personally pick these unless you're all about that kind of thing.

The Marathon Winters actually seem like a *really* good pick for commuting when you want a little more then the "minimal" studded tires like the Snow Stud. They've got stud placement that I personally like a lot more than the Snow Stud, the same Kevlar lining on the Ice Spikers, reflective sidewalls, and a lower price tag than the Spikers all combined. If these were out when I bought my studded tires, they would've probably been the ones i'd have picked.

The Snow Stud would be the only model i'd avoid, there's just not enough there to help out with rutted conditions.
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Old 01-23-08, 03:16 AM   #12
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I'm running Schwalbe Winter Marathons. I've put close to 400 miles on them,
many of those miles on bare pavement. I like them a lot and have seen
virtually no wear on the tires at all. I'm running at 70 psi and they have
handled snow, ice and bare pavement well. I'm looking foreward to riding
home on them this morning as we have about an inch of fresh powder and
I'll be making first tracks!!!!!
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Old 01-23-08, 02:11 PM   #13
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Safety and common sense or the letter of the law? I know which one I'd pick. No law writing body in history has ever been able to foresee all possible limitations, exceptions, or applications to a law. Good grief.


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Indiana allows studs October 1 to May 1 on vehicles, and prohibits them the rest of the year. Indiana considers bicycles vehicles, and the law makes no distinction between motor vehicles and non-motorized vehicles.
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Old 01-28-08, 06:21 PM   #14
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Wow, thanks for the great replies everyone. It looks like the Marathon Winters are not made in my size, 26" x 1.95". Both of the ice Spikers are, but I'm still split on which of the two would be better. I've also looked at Nokia; either their Hakkas or Mount & Ground W160s may get the job done.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:24 PM   #15
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My Nokians will be retired this spring with three winters and about 4k/miles on 'em. Still good, but clearly on the decline.
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Old 01-31-08, 08:34 AM   #16
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I recently put a set of marathon ice-spikers on my ride and they work great. A little wide at 2.1 inches or so but feel light and handle well. I didn't fall once during a 4 hour ride last Saturday up here in Michigan. the roads were snow covered ice for most of the time. These tires are VERY loud on asphalt though. When you get back on the snow you realize how loud they were as the noise stops. Very nice tires for snow and ice.
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Old 01-31-08, 07:58 PM   #17
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How loud are studded tires when they aren't in snow? If it depends on the tire, then which one would you recommend to someone who doesn't want to make a racket on spots where the snow has melted?
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Old 02-01-08, 12:55 AM   #18
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Wholy s h i t, I didn't realize how ******** biking in the snow is. I basically have road tires on my MTB from the summer, but still a couple of inches makes it impossible. Anyway, how much do these snow tires actually help? How deep is this snow you guys ride in, and what is under it?
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Old 02-04-08, 01:06 PM   #19
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noise is not that bad. Its kind of like the dapple of a light rain. If you are riding in snow, you will see dramatic improvement with either knobby tires or winter tires (tires with studs...assuming they are also knobby). Studs don't help much with snow, but if you slide down onto ice, they help out quite a bit. Its like the difference between a sidewalk with glare ice and one that has sand on the surface of the ice.

Anyway, studs help with ice, knobs help with snow. A slick studded tire (if such a thing exists) would probably not be any better in snow than what you see.

I usually never see snow deeper than 3-5", with a constant depth more like 1-2". The roads are clear very quickly, and if you ride in the tire-paths of cars, snow doesn't accumulate very much.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:16 PM   #20
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Just don't ride on hardwood floors with them.
Or the tile in the kitchen. Super slippery, and grey lines on the tile.

Do not roll them over your neoprene booties. Do not crash into a friend.

The carpet seems to be ok.
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