Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Bikes: Priority Bicycles Continuum, Priority Bicycles Eight
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I recommend that you go for the studded tires. That you're "very concerned" is reason enough. Having to deal with random, icy patches on your ride is definitely reason enough. Your mountain-top road seems reason enough too.
Once you get them, you'll find yourself actually looking for icy patches, so that you can ride on them. I look forward each winter to riding on glare ice whenever I can.
p.s. If you do look for ice to ride on, here is what I've found: Take turns and corners very easy. Your front-tire can slide out if you corner aggressively. But stopping on the other hand -- just hit the front brake and those studs dig right in. Weight-transfer works in your favor with studded tires. Just use your front brake, and do take a little care not to totally lockup the wheel.
Lastly, I've had some issues on one of my 29ers with the hydraulic front-brake locking the front wheel too easily -- not good. Not sure whether the issue was really hydraulic brakes. My go-to bike last winter used rim brakes, and those modulated very, very well in winter conditions. I preferred them over disc, actually. This year, I'm building up a winter 29er with cable-disc brakes (BB7s). We'll see how those work out.
Last edited by JonathanGennick; 11-02-08 at 05:48 AM.