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  1. #1
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    Studs in front, no studs/slick in back

    Will I die?

    I'm thinking of a 700x35 Nokian W106 on the front and either a 28mm slick on the back or something with inverted tread, like a 700x32 Conti top contact. I wonder how much better it would be with inverted tread on the back.

    Stats:

    I live in Western Mass. and commute on roads that are mostly well plowed and salted throughout the winter but that get a decent amount of snow and melt/thaw frequently.

    Going on a road/commuter bike with disc brakes.

    I rode a beater Fuji with 32mm through last winter on my very short (5 miles round trip with virtually no hills) commute. It worked OK but the brakes are very sketchy on this bike. Yay steel rims! Traction also leaves something to be desired. I broke out my mtb a few times for snowy days. So I've spent a good amount of time riding in the snow and ice already, and tons of time driving in it. I think that the only falls I had last winter were walking on icy sidewalks. Ouch! Walking is so freaking dangerous. We should just be born with wheels...

    The reasoning: I don't intend to do tons of riding - certainly not fast riding - in very wintery conditions but I would like the option of added traction and safety with the ability to convert back to a relatively fast bike with slicks with only 1 tire or wheel change. Here in New England we get a lot of random, freakish, warm days in the middle of an otherwise freezing winter and those are the days where I am actually likely to ride. Also studs only on the front seem like they would give 65% of the traction benefits with only 40% of the increase in rolling resistance. I am familiar with the spinout possibilities of studs only on the front as exhibited with cars. Mostly I ride roads where I am quite familiar with the conditions on as they change from day to day. It is 95% dry, salty, cold pavement.



    P.S. I envision things this way but perhaps others will chime in:

    Descending a moderate hill at a moderate speed on an icy road with a studded tire int he front only: You can brake, a turn, with some possibility of the bike wheel sliding out during a hard turn. Doing the same thing with no studs you can't reliably brake or turn without the front wheel sliding out from under you. I realize that it's not black and white, and know people who train through he winter on 25mm slicks, but I've always found the front wheel to be the traction-critical one.
    Last edited by dromond; 09-15-08 at 09:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Peter White addressed it best:
    One Tire in Front?

    People often ask me if one studded tire in front is sufficient.
    Well, one studded tire in front will help keep you from crashing hard and breaking your collar bone or your pelvis. When the front tire slides, you go down quite fast and without warning. If the rear tire slides you can still go down, but not as fast, and the results are usually not so calamitous, since you usually have enough time to get a foot out of the pedal. But with just a front studded tire, you can still crash. You can still not be able to climb a hill with black ice. You can still not be able to get out of an icy rut. You can still spin on a downhill curve. You can still lose control in a busy intersection with lots of traffic. And you can still spin during hard braking. So, for the life of me, I can't see any reason to use a single studded tire in front, except to save a few dollars.

    I do occasionally sell a single tire to someone who's been told by a friend that you only need a front studded tire. Similarly, there are many folks who think you can get away with snow tires just on the drive wheels of an automobile, which leads to cars spinning out of control because the front or rear has so much more traction than the other. Invariably I get a call a week later from the same customer ordering a second tire. He ends up with no cost savings, since he has to pay twice for shipping.

    If you are buying tires for riding single track in winter, and you need to save money, there is a way to do it. Get a very aggressive tire for the front, an Extreme 294 or Ice Spiker, and then use an Extreme 120, Mount & Ground or Snow Stud in the rear. You won't get quite as good grip while climbing a steep trail as you would by having aggressive tires front and rear, but if your trails aren't too steep, you should be just fine. The more aggressive front tire will still be there to get you through icy ruts. For the commuter riding paved roads, there really is no alternative to having the W106 or A10 on both wheels. So unless you're riding to work on rail trails, I strongly recommend you use studded tires on both wheels, not just the front.
    Mike
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  3. #3
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    Fair enough. Perhaps A10s front and rear, or an A10 in the back and a W106 in the front would be a better solution. I am much less worried about snow than ice. Snow is visible and predictable, but that black ice can really sneak up on you.

  4. #4
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Yes it can. Shadows, snow melt flows, God knows what. It's why I run studs on both tires of two bikes deep into spring.
    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
    AEO
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    you don't want slicks in winter, trust me.
    aggressive mud tread is the least I'd want for a rear tyre.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  6. #6
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    i would just go with both studded if youre going to go with one already, it doesnt cost very much in the long run. bike tires arent really that expensive, even high end ones

    and like AEO said, at the very least id have a real treaded tire on the back, a slick is suicide
    2008 Raleigh Mojave 2.0

  7. #7
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    With studs front only (or too few studs in the back), the bike always wanted to do a 180 on me when I was braking down a hill. Bad scene.

  8. #8
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    peter white is right.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
    peter white is right.
    Obsolutely. I started last Winter with Innova Studded tires (steel studs). I had one blow a bead and even though it would have been replaced under warrantee, I could not wait 3 to 4 weeks for a replacement tire in the middle of Winter. I ended up buying a Nokia W106 from Peter White as he had them in stock. I put the Nokia on the front and left the Innova in the back. The Innova and Nokia have a tread design that looks abolutely identical. from 2 feet away you'd never know the difference. The major difference is the cabrite studds on the Nokia. After about 1.5 months of use I noticed that the Innova studds had worn smooth with the tread. During early Spring we had a nasty ice storm. We had a solid 1/4" of ice on all the roads. I nearly fell getting on my bike (that should have been an indicator that going on two wheels was not a good idea). I was riding home OK until I had so make a slow left turn. The Nokia's were gripping just fine, but the Innovas lost grip and the rear of the bike slipped out from under me. I let the bike go and tried to get my left foot on the ground. The problem was that the road was solid ice so my foot slipped out from under me as well and I hit the ground hard on my elbow. That HURT! After a minute of laying there I was able to collect my self and slowly slid the bike and myself off to the side of the road. I was already 1/3 of the way home and the other roads were busier so I hoped the ice would be melted a bit. After a few minutes the pain in my arm and shoulder subsided enough so that I could ride home. I made it home ok, but was off the bike for the next week and a half due to shoulder pain. Luckily I didn't do any permanent harm. I WILL be buying an additional Nokia W106 for rear this year. I will NEVER trust a steel studded tire again. They are find the 1st few weeks, but after that they are just not predictable. The grip with the Nokias is just amazing. You could not walk because the roads were so icy, but the studded bike tires could get a good grip.

    DEFINITELY get TWO matching tires. The $50 savings isn't worth it. If you hit the ground hard just once, the medical bills to get checked out will cost your about that much. The only debate is WHAT tires to get.

    - The Nokia W106 are good in snow and ice, but are definitely slow and make you work a little harder
    - The new to USA market Nokia A10's look like a tire for folks that don't have to worry about deep snow, but need to studs to gain the protection of frozen roads with ice patches.
    - The Schwalbe Winter tires now have carbite studs and look like they are somewhere between the A10 and the W106 in tread design, yet claims to be less effort than the W106. It also has double the studs, but I am not sure if that realy makes any difference. It also cost about $15 more than the W106.

    For me, most of the roads are plowed descent, except for the 1st few hundred yards. For that reason I have to go with the W106. With the A10's also being the cheapest of the GOOD Winter tires, they make a compelling choice for those in the icy, but less snowy areas.

    Happy riding,
    André

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kenay's Avatar
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    I didnt know studs meant little metal studs like with cars! I have a mtn bike with I guess knobby tires. Will I need the metal studs down here in oregon?? It isnt supposed to snow but maybe 5 times and it doesnt stick-but the constant rain-and possible ice is where I am concerned....anyone??

  11. #11
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    I realize that Peter White will be carrying the A10 this winter, but does anyone know if regular shops will be able to get them through QBP?

    It snows quite a bit where I live, but the roads are also well trafficked and well plowed. It would be easy enough to find poorly plowed back roads but I don't have much desire to ride there in the winter. If there is that much snow I would rather go skiing

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenay View Post
    I didnt know studs meant little metal studs like with cars! I have a mtn bike with I guess knobby tires. Will I need the metal studs down here in oregon?? It isnt supposed to snow but maybe 5 times and it doesnt stick-but the constant rain-and possible ice is where I am concerned....anyone??
    Studs don't help with snow... but they are invaluable on ice. I put my studed tires on mid October because that is when we get the nice frost and wet leaves, wet roads + over night frost can leave some very unpleasant suprise slick spots. Lat year I left the studed tires on till the end of March or beginning of April, In don't remember the exact time. Now that I have a road bike in addition to my hybrid (setup for commuting) I at least have the option to ride "light" on those days that the weather is definitely going to be nice, and then leave the hybrid ready for the bad weather days. Spring can be strange around here... one week last March we had near 70 degree weather. A week later we got nearly 2 feet so snow in about a day. A week after that snow storm we were back to near 70 degree weather.

    Happy riding,
    André

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