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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 08-25-08, 10:10 AM   #1
marshall2389
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I'm new to biking with one quick question...

I'll be going to school in Spokane and I think I'm going to buy a 2001 Specialized Crossroads A1 Sport off of craigslist. However, there is snow on the ground much of the year so to avoid falling five times each trip I'm going to buy snow tires. Does this setup sound good? Any input would be appreciated.

Marshall
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Old 08-25-08, 10:13 AM   #2
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Might I assume that the majority of your riding will be on paved surfaces?

Getting some studded snows is a great idea for ice. However, if your surfaces are generally cleared off and dry it may be overkill. I rode last winter in upstate NY with semi-slicks. Some ice spots were a little sketchy but they were OK. Snow was never an issue, it is usually removed and the fresh stuff isn't hard to get through.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:06 AM   #3
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What Podolak says is generally true. Studs help in ice. Lugs (or tread) help in snow. I run a pretty aggressive, lugged and studded tire where I live. But Nokian, the brand I buy, makes a wide range of studded tire. You can, for example, get a studded tire that is very much road-tire-like, except for some minimal studding to help with the occasional icy patch.

Here's a link:

http://www.suomityres.fi/winter.html

Compare the Hakka SW300 with, say, the Mount and Ground W160. As you can see, there's quite a bit of room to match the tire with your specific application. I don't really know Spokane though, so I can't help much with the choice. I run the 300s, because I frequently ride on hard-packed, sometimes icy snow. (Streets in my town are never plowed to the pavement). I need the lugs for traction, and the studs to save my behind. Were I mostly on plowed pavement, I might look at the W240s or the W160s.

Riding in winter is fun, btw. I love it that I can actually seek out the ice and ride on it without fear of crashing.
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Old 08-25-08, 11:30 AM   #4
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Riding in winter is fun, btw. I love it that I can actually seek out the ice and ride on it without fear of crashing.
And this statement is why I am seriously considering some studs to play with this winter. I get by without them but it might just be a bit more fun with them.
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Old 08-25-08, 01:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by marshall2389 View Post
I'll be going to school in Spokane and I think I'm going to buy a 2001 Specialized Crossroads A1 Sport off of craigslist. However, there is snow on the ground much of the year so to avoid falling five times each trip I'm going to buy snow tires. Does this setup sound good? Any input would be appreciated.

Marshall
For me the studded tires got me a lot more secure ride home knowing that if I hit some icy patches that the front wheel would not slip out from under me. Do buy the Nokia or Schwalbe tires. Innova makes cheaper winter tires. I tried them, and they just didn't hold up as well and one of them failed all together. The Winter tires tend to cost at least $50. I rode in weather last year where once I stopped, I found the streets to be completely unpassable on foot as it was so icy.

Don't forget fenders. You will be riding in all kinds of weather, and the fenders will keep the rain/sleet and other slop off your body and also will help keep a lot of the junk from getting to the front of your drivetrain. Planet Bike and SKS are the two most popular. I personally perfer the SKS as they use stainless steel hardware. Either brand can be had for well under $45.

Happy riding,
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Old 08-25-08, 03:05 PM   #6
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Completing the Upstate troika, I used a hybrid similar to the Crossroads in my first winter. Worked just fine. The Crossroads, at least the '08 version, has fender mounts, so you're good to go there. Lower gearing of a hybrid is nice since maintaining a high cadence helps control wheelspin.

I'm with André on the studded snow tires. I love 'em.

What convinced me was one of my very first trips. The neighborhood hardware store is on a side hill. The parking lot slopes away in two directions. I rode up one morning, stopped, hopped off the bike and promptly fell down. It was too slippery to stand, yet, I'd just ridden across it, just fine. That's when I knew I'd made the right decision on studs.
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Old 08-26-08, 01:17 PM   #7
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I rode up one morning, stopped, hopped off the bike and promptly fell down. It was too slippery to stand, yet, I'd just ridden across it, just fine. That's when I knew I'd made the right decision on studs.
Yep! I've had similar things happen to me. It is downhill from my house into town. It is often safer to ride than to try to walk without falling. In general, I have learned to be extra careful when dismounting from the bike.

Studded shoes. Now that's what I need.

(One of my neighbors races motorcycles on ice during winters. You should see the serious studs that he's got on his machine. They stick out quite a bit, maybe 3/8s inch or so, but only on one side of his tires. Why only one side? The courses are all circular, and always in the same direction.)
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Old 09-01-08, 11:03 AM   #8
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Thank you very much everybody for the input. I'll use this information when I am preparing for winter riding in a couple months.
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Old 09-01-08, 04:02 PM   #9
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Are you a Zag?

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Old 09-08-08, 10:30 AM   #10
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Yea I am. I'm a sophomore. You?
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Old 09-20-08, 12:41 PM   #11
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Yea I am. I'm a sophomore. You?
Alum '69 and native of Spokane and environs.

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Old 09-22-08, 06:10 AM   #12
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(One of my neighbors races motorcycles on ice during winters. You should see the serious studs that he's got on his machine. They stick out quite a bit, maybe 3/8s inch or so, but only on one side of his tires. Why only one side? The courses are all circular, and always in the same direction.)
Yes, they race an oval course, studs would be on the left side as that is the side they lay down to crash....I mean corner.
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Old 09-29-08, 09:13 PM   #13
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I ended up going with a specialized globe sport 2008, and so far I am very satisfied with the purchase. I will definitely go with winter tires later this year when it gets too icy to ride on.
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Old 10-06-08, 12:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
What Podolak says is generally true. Studs help in ice. Lugs (or tread) help in snow. I run a pretty aggressive, lugged and studded tire where I live. But Nokian, the brand I buy, makes a wide range of studded tire. You can, for example, get a studded tire that is very much road-tire-like, except for some minimal studding to help with the occasional icy patch.

Here's a link:

http://www.suomityres.fi/winter.html

Compare the Hakka SW300 with, say, the Mount and Ground W160. As you can see, there's quite a bit of room to match the tire with your specific application. I don't really know Spokane though, so I can't help much with the choice. I run the 300s, because I frequently ride on hard-packed, sometimes icy snow. (Streets in my town are never plowed to the pavement). I need the lugs for traction, and the studs to save my behind. Were I mostly on plowed pavement, I might look at the W240s or the W160s.

Riding in winter is fun, btw. I love it that I can actually seek out the ice and ride on it without fear of crashing.
Listen to this guy, he's from Munising so he knows winter.

Down here in southern Michigan we get less than half as much snow, and they plow and salt the main roads (but not side streets). So studs are still almost required, but you could get along without them if you were willing to curtail your riding some.

I like the heavy duty studs on one bike because I also do a lot of riding on our frozen lakes--just for fun. This year I'll have a set like the W240s on a second bike for my street commute.
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