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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 03-11-08, 08:41 PM   #1
sknhgy 
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Second thoughts on them studded tires

I just finished my first winter with studded tires. I had the Nokian Mount and Grounds, and its been fantastic being able to ride all winter long. However, I took the M&G's off tonight and replaced them with my Michelin Country Rock tires. MAN what a relief! I didn't realize how much rolling resistance the studs have. At one time I thought that I would rather have the most aggressive studded tires I could get, like the 294's. I have changed my mind. The M&G's are a knobby with studs. If I was going to buy another set, I would get a road tire with studs. Something with low rolling resistance. I ride a bike, not a snow plow. I don't need to be able to barrel through snow drifts. I need to be able to ride down the road and not slip on the ice and fall on my butt.
Maybe next winter I'll set up my hybrid with studded road tires.
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Old 03-11-08, 09:33 PM   #2
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The nicest thing about studded snow tires is when they come off.

This season I sprung for a second wheelset. That was a total revelation. Everything except for the tires and tubes are the same as on my three-season wheelset. I grind along with the snows, then fly with the road tires. The snows have increased my leg strength though.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:43 PM   #3
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If you live in an area where they are good about clearing the streets and the pavement is mostly bare and dry all winter (i.e. Winnipeg), you can easily get away without studded tires.
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Old 03-11-08, 11:11 PM   #4
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I am clinging to my studded tires until I KNOW that there is no more freeze/thaw or snow/ice.

The worst thing that will happen is that I will be stronger in the spring.

AND hopefully will not have crashed on ice until then .

(this is until I take off the studded tires and realize where the time difference came from during the winter- and say I had just blamed it on the cold...)
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Old 03-12-08, 06:02 AM   #5
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I recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Winters. Typically heavy for studded tires, but rolling resistance is decent. Or I could be just out of shape and not know the difference with my regular tires!
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Old 03-12-08, 10:53 AM   #6
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The nicest thing about studded snow tires is when they come off.

This season I sprung for a second wheelset. That was a total revelation. Everything except for the tires and tubes are the same as on my three-season wheelset. I grind along with the snows, then fly with the road tires. The snows have increased my leg strength though.
I did the same thing. I put the 294's on my older wheels, and built a new set with CK classics and XC717's. Now I don't have to wrestle the steel bead twice a year!
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Old 03-12-08, 11:51 AM   #7
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I did the same thing. I put the 294's on my older wheels, and built a new set with CK classics and XC717's. Now I don't have to wrestle the steel bead twice a year!
There's that too, but the reason I went with the second wheelset was for fast changes on nice days. Snows off, road tires on, in under a minute.
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Old 03-12-08, 05:11 PM   #8
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If you live in an area where they are good about clearing the streets and the pavement is mostly bare and dry all winter (i.e. Winnipeg), you can easily get away without studded tires.
This is very true, and not emphasized enough, IMO.

But the studs are nice when you want to ride off the main streets, and for the commute home when snow has been falling all day.
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Old 03-13-08, 04:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
The nicest thing about studded snow tires is when they come off.

This season I sprung for a second wheelset. That was a total revelation. Everything except for the tires and tubes are the same as on my three-season wheelset. I grind along with the snows, then fly with the road tires. The snows have increased my leg strength though.
I agree. It is such a relief to do without the Snow studs. But, boy am I glad I have them. I also have a second wheelset with the studs on them. 294's up front. M&G 160's on the back. It takes me 10 mins to switch wheelsets. The only time I ride with knobbies is in bad conditions. And if I'm going to ride with knobbies, then I want some studs on them. Once you go back to the road tires, it's like night and day. By the way TSL. I read your Blog.

Last edited by scoatw; 03-13-08 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 03-13-08, 04:22 PM   #10
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I recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Winters. Typically heavy for studded tires, but rolling resistance is decent. Or I could be just out of shape and not know the difference with my regular tires!
Personally speaking. I found the Schwalbe Snow studs to be junk. I don't know about the Marathon Winters or the Ice Spikers. I rode on hard pack and ice with the Marathon Snow studs and they didn't do the job. I went with the Nokians and they made quite a differcence.
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Old 03-13-08, 05:03 PM   #11
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I trust nothing less than the best. The wet and fluctuating climate here makes ice especially unpredictable.

One day you have +6-7C and light rain. Then the clouds clear up in the afternoon and radiative cooling brings the road surface below freezing, turning that water into black ice. Uneven patches of road surface catch water and turn into smooth ice patches

What I just described is a VERY common situation during the winter here. In fact, it's a risk factor from maybe October to May, if it's colder than usual. And the high humidity year round means that even when it's way below freezing and no precipitation, with streets cleared of snow, ice still forms during the night due to sublimation of the massive amounts of water vapour in the air. Dry and clear streets are very rare during the colder half of the year.

That said, however, I actually took the studded tyres off yesterday...
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Old 03-13-08, 06:58 PM   #12
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This is very true, and not emphasized enough, IMO.

But the studs are nice when you want to ride off the main streets, and for the commute home when snow has been falling all day.
I'm seriously considering investing in studs for next year as I'm hoping to be car free by then. However, where I live, it is opposite of what you'd think. I live north of town, work south of town, have to ride through town. North and south is usually cleared well before the main road through downtown - which is about 4 of my 7 mile commute.

But my 'other' factor is whether to find a clunker commuter for the bad weather or get the studs for my 'bent. Anyone know about commuting with studs on a 'bent?
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Old 03-14-08, 10:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
The nicest thing about studded snow tires is when they come off.

This season I sprung for a second wheelset. That was a total revelation. Everything except for the tires and tubes are the same as on my three-season wheelset. I grind along with the snows, then fly with the road tires. The snows have increased my leg strength though.
+1 on all points
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Old 03-18-08, 02:48 PM   #14
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A second wheelset with studded tires for when you need 'em is the best solution!! Your studded tires last a lot longer plus they're readily available to put them on the good mountain bike to do a little snow trailin' when there's ice underneath.
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Old 03-18-08, 06:48 PM   #15
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Cruiser tires

I actually ride cruiser tires. In southern CT the roads are pretty clear, and the sand/salt they spread all over the roads is a much bigger traction problem than the threat of black ice. The cruiser tires seem to love the sand, and they provide an awesome amount of rolling resistance for off season power training.

I've only seen black ice out here once in two seasons of daily riding, and it was late in the winter when you get temps well above freezing during the day causing snowmelt to run onto the roads, and then sub-freezing at night which makes it freeze.

I don't ride when there's actual snow falling from the sky and accumulating on the road, but that's less a matter of my bike's traction than it is concern about cars sliding around.

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Old 03-19-08, 01:43 PM   #16
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Think of it as jogging with weights on. When they come off, you're that much stronger! I ride like a banshee after breakup.
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Old 03-20-08, 09:37 PM   #17
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So Monday I pulled off the 26" Nokian 294s and put on a set of 700C road wheels with slick tires...

.. and had consistently slower rides in this week than last week.


I have a number if theories as to why this is, none of which are credible-sounding enough to present here.
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Old 03-29-08, 06:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If you live in an area where they are good about clearing the streets and the pavement is mostly bare and dry all winter (i.e. Winnipeg), you can easily get away without studded tires.
True, however, if you live in Calgary where snow clearing is mostly left up to the Chinooks and the weather can do whatever it feels like with zero notice..........
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Old 03-29-08, 10:13 PM   #19
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Last week I thought "Yay spring!" and switched to knobbies on my mtb. Yesterday I crashed after my front wheel went somewhere it wasn't supposed to.
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Old 07-01-08, 08:22 PM   #20
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Last fall I bought all the clothes I needed for a few winter rides. There was so much fallen snow or snow melting on every day I had off, I didn't get one ride in. The previous Chicago winter I could have ridden three times a week! My concern was that the ice that never melted, or the snow that had melted and became ice last night, was going to take me down hard. I don't tolerate pain as well as I used to.

Now I learn about studded bike tires, and I think I might not have to stay off the bike this winter???? Can this be true?
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Old 07-04-08, 07:10 PM   #21
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True, however, if you live in Calgary where snow
clearing is mostly left up to the Chinooks and the weather can do whatever
it feels like with zero notice.(
I live in Calgary, commute year long and don't think I will ever swing
over to using studded tires. Fortunately I have about as perfect a commute
as is possible. From Bow Trail and 40 St, to the municipal building
downtown. I am usually going early in the AM and beat the traffic straight
down the long hill, then get my exercise on the way home.

The simple sig site article is mostly about winter commuting in Calgary,
with a bit of entertainment thrown in. Actually even in winter I really like
it. Compared to floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, mosquitoes that can kill you,
heat, skin cancer, volcanoes, having a bug free winter sounds great to me.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:40 PM   #22
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here in minnesota i rode 4 miles a day all winter to my favorite hangout thanks to my snow tires. my 100$ set of tires costs more than the bike they are on lol.
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Old 08-29-08, 11:46 PM   #23
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I live about about 60 miles east of Chicago, and the winters are harsh one year, and mild the next. I bought a mountain bike for winter, and have ordered studded tires for it. My summer bike has been a trek 720, and I hope to ride it on the nice days. I was thinking of buying more winter-like tires for it. I don't want to put studded tires on it. Can anyone suggest a set of winter-like tires. My LBS does not ready have much knowledge about winter ridding. They just sell, and make general repairs.
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Old 08-29-08, 11:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
I just finished my first winter with studded tires. I had the Nokian Mount and Grounds, and its been fantastic being able to ride all winter long. However, I took the M&G's off tonight and replaced them with my Michelin Country Rock tires. MAN what a relief! I didn't realize how much rolling resistance the studs have. At one time I thought that I would rather have the most aggressive studded tires I could get, like the 294's. I have changed my mind. The M&G's are a knobby with studs. If I was going to buy another set, I would get a road tire with studs. Something with low rolling resistance. I ride a bike, not a snow plow. I don't need to be able to barrel through snow drifts. I need to be able to ride down the road and not slip on the ice and fall on my butt.
Maybe next winter I'll set up my hybrid with studded road tires.
This is very true. Many think that 'more is better' where studs are concerned; it's just not so. Where I live many of the roads are unplowed, and turn to sheets of ice for the whole winter, I've always been very stable with my Nokian 106 tires; any more studs would just be a burden.
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Old 08-31-08, 03:50 PM   #25
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I started winter commuting last winter. It was a record snow fall year with over 5 METERS. Never crashed, never fell and yet still had decent riding times (when the winds permitted...) through out my 800km ridden... How you might ask? I rode all winter long with Schwalbe CX Pro cyclo-cross tyres in 700x28C. When the guy at the LBS (an old messenger) recommended them I was a little sketched out. At first I wanted to buy studded tires. But I trusted him and did not regret it. Granted the roads are cleared fairly fast, but the couple days after a fall or coming back from work after it snowed all day didn't get me stuck. I never missed a day of riding.
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