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Thread: Winter Tires

  1. #1
    Roadie
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    Winter Tires

    Hey
    Im gonna be training, and commuting in the winter with my Iron Horse MTB This winter, and im wondering what tires you think i should get...

    Right now im riding on Michelin CountryRock, and its like a road tire, so i have to get em off

    im sorta low on cash, but i was looking into these tires
    Michelin DH Mud 3

  2. #2
    tsl
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    There are those who disagree, but I'm of the opinion that if you're going to be riding below freezing, studded tires are a must. Knobbies are for mud. On ice they're no good. You need studs for that. Unless, of course, you *like* falling in front of traffic...

    Road tires are just fine in snow and slush. Knobbies offer no great benefit there either, although there might be some benefit on hardpack.

    Now if you're going off-road, that's an area where I have no experience, so I couldn't say.

    But you said commuting, so I'm assuming pavement. Skip the knobbies. Stick with the road tires if it's not icy, or get studded tires if it is.
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    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Something with a mellow tread and some studs would probably work, like the Schwalbe Snow Stud. The studs take forever to wear out, and the less aggressive tread [compared to full-knob tires] rolls well on hard surfaces.
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    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
    Something with a mellow tread and some studs would probably work, like the Schwalbe Snow Stud. The studs take forever to wear out, and the less aggressive tread [compared to full-knob tires] rolls well on hard surfaces.
    +1 These perform well for me, they can cope with deep crud, up to the point my legs give out, and they are OK on pavement. When the surface has some ice and snow they give great confidence. If you are gonna be riding nothing but icy crud, get the heavy duty full studded tires. Whichever studded you go for, semi or full, they will build up your leg strength for the Spring, either that , or you'll park the bike till then. Easy rolling they are not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    There are those who disagree, but I'm of the opinion that if you're going to be riding below freezing, studded tires are a must. Knobbies are for mud. On ice they're no good. You need studs for that. Unless, of course, you *like* falling in front of traffic...

    Road tires are just fine in snow and slush. Knobbies offer no great benefit there either, although there might be some benefit on hardpack.

    Now if you're going off-road, that's an area where I have no experience, so I couldn't say.

    But you said commuting, so I'm assuming pavement. Skip the knobbies. Stick with the road tires if it's not icy, or get studded tires if it is.

    I'll have to differ on that point. If the slush is soft enough that it squashes out of the way, any tires will be fine. But on thick snow that has had a few cars run over (not hardpacked yet), regular studs and road tires are useless.

    Wide knobbies with big lugs are all I have ever gotten to work under those conditions (they were studded too, but the studs weren't doing anything). I had that scenario day after day last winter, it seems.

    Of course, that the same road could well be icy ruts by the commute home that evening, which may require studs and render knobbies useless.

    If your town uses road salt, this can create bare pavement, or it just might create the additional variable of the snow 'floating' on the road on a thin layer of brine slush... and even tires that grip the snow are of little help.

    Tire selection is often an exercise in compromise.

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    thanks guys
    the guy at my local shop(Dirty Harrys) Said instead of paying so much for studded tires to just get knobby tires and they will be the same..
    so ill look into studded tires

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    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxxisRider View Post
    thanks guys
    the guy at my local shop(Dirty Harrys) Said instead of paying so much for studded tires to just get knobby tires and they will be the same..
    so ill look into studded tires
    Geez.

    Under some conditions this is sort of true. But under other conditions it is fabulously and painfully wrong.

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    Most studded tires also are knobby. Personally I advise you just get the aggressive studs, keep your power output the same, and allow yourself a couple extra minutes to get there.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

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    i had a blast last winter with schwalbe cx pro 26x1.35

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    ohh..
    were could i get a pair of rather cheap studded tires(well what brand is cheap for studded tires)

    cuz i already spent like 120 bucks in tires for my road bike so i dont wanna spend near that cuz i dont have the money, cuz i need new pedals for the roadie

  11. #11
    Creamy pack filling stevemtbr's Avatar
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    I've used Panaracer's Fire XC Pro for many years in the snow on the trail and road running about 25psi. They've performed well and if you search on line you can get the good 127 TPI version for $25 each. The only studs I've used were home made, old Specialized tires with about 200 or so sheet metal screw per tire. Actually worked well.

  12. #12
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxxisRider View Post
    were could i get a pair of rather cheap studded tires(well what brand is cheap for studded tires)
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/suzz/...s/products.htm

    Avoid the Innovas unless you're really destitute. They use plain steel studs which don't last as long as the carbide ones. Plus there's a reason why they have an optional stud replacement kit and the others don't. But, in a pinch, they'll get you through a winter.
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  13. #13
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    alright thanks man.. ill have to check em out...
    i would go to my local shop, but they only sell the nokian studded tires... are those any good

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    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    ...but they only sell the nokian studded tires... are those any good

    Yes. I've ridden these two season. Great tire.

    +1 on the carbide studs. Don't even consider steel.
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    ohh hmm there expensive, but ill look into them

    and since were already in the winter riding section
    and i dont wanna start a new thread

    but were can i get winter riding gear
    cuz shorts, and a hoodie aint cuttin it

  16. #16
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    My HO on studs: ideally you would have two winter wheelsets; one wheelset with studs for icy conditions. one wheelset with 2.1-2.4 knobbies for all other winter conditions.

    Studs work great in the ice, but provide little to no benefit in deep snow. Studded tires are heavy and have huge rolling resistance on the pavement, which I hate. I find myself using studs during the typcial 1-2 week window when the roads are glare ice around here. Then I take them off when there's snow, or when the ice melts.

    I know guys that run studs until spring, but I just can't justify the rolling resistance, not to mention the expense of replacing studded tires when they were out. I have Nokkians and they actually wear pretty well; I've been running the same set for 3 winters and the only damage I've done to them is while riding over boulders that weren't icy. The carbide studs are so hard that they grabbed the rock and tore themselves out. Now I have missing studs.
    Last edited by Mtn Mike; 11-20-08 at 08:12 AM.

  17. #17
    Neither rain, snow... dsm iv tr's Avatar
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    I like to make my own studded tires with #6x1/2" self-tapping sheet metal screws in cheap knobbies.
    Total cost around $25 for two. $14 for a new pair of knobbies, $5 for screws, some taxes and old inner tubes from donations to the shop. I make one for my front and give the other to someone else for their front tire.

    If you decide to go this route, check the screw size versus the lugs you want to stick them into, because you really only need a little bit of a point sticking out, and you don't want to split the lug in half with a fastener too large for it.

    In my experience, they work really well on road ice and that hard ice-snow combo you get on city streets.

    Directions are here: http://www.icebike.org/Equipment/tires.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/suzz/...s/products.htm

    Avoid the Innovas unless you're really destitute. They use plain steel studs which don't last as long as the carbide ones. Plus there's a reason why they have an optional stud replacement kit and the others don't. But, in a pinch, they'll get you through a winter.
    You are being too kind to the Innovas. I found the studs to nearly useless well before my 1st Winter was over. The tire quality was marginal. I had one blow out its bead within 2 months. I could have gotten it replaced under warrentee, but they were expected to be out of stock for a few weeks. I can't do without Winter tires in December/January in Buffalo NY! I therefore ended up buying a Noklia W106 from Peter White and had it on the front. Last February I went down hard because the Innova rear studded tire lost its grip. The steel studs had already worn smooth with the tire tread in just 2.5 months of use. I hit the ground so hard that and was in enough pain that I sat at the side of the road contemplating if I should call for medial help. After a few minutes I was able to get up and ride home. I was off the bike for nearly 2 weeks. So my Innovas cost me about $75, a set of Nokias costs around $100. The $25 is NOT worth the savings. I waisted that much money in extra gasoline when I had to drive because I could not ride. I don't know if spending $150 for a set of Schwalbe Winter tires is worth the additional cost. The Nokias are an excellent tire. Sure you'll have to work MUCH harder to ride at the same speed. During the Winter I am not motivated to go for long rides, so no my rides are shorter but more intense... By Spring I'll feel like Superman when I put my Summer tires back on the bike.

    Happy riding,
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/suzz/...s/products.htm

    Avoid the Innovas unless you're really destitute. They use plain steel studs which don't last as long as the carbide ones. Plus there's a reason why they have an optional stud replacement kit and the others don't. But, in a pinch, they'll get you through a winter.
    Have you bought studded tires from BTD? I only ask because the quoted prices are very nice, but I was wondering if there's a reason. I'm looking at the Marathon Winters, and at prices that look to be $40/set cheaper than elsewhere when you consider the below-cost shipping they offer, it's attractive enough to actually make me skeptical.

    What's the deal? Are those guys good, or do the tires come missing half the studs?

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    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    Using Marathon Winter studded tires
    excellent even under the harshest condition.

    just 1 thing..... Do not pull a fast turn, if there are no snow or no ice on the road.

    ironically, the studs, are great for when the roads are a mess, but when it's just clear road, then the studs becomes a bit of a.... surface breaker....

    basically you don't get enough contact on the ground, and it's like riding on ice, when there is no ice.

    LOL

    but is cool now that i got used to them.
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    mounted marathon winter tires on the touring bike but had to take off the fenders and rack to do it. look forward to breaking them in tomorrow (8-9 degrees but only 2-3 mph winds) and then am ready for winter riding with lots of layers, bar mitts and lake winter boots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    Have you bought studded tires from BTD? I only ask because the quoted prices are very nice, but I was wondering if there's a reason. I'm looking at the Marathon Winters, and at prices that look to be $40/set cheaper than elsewhere when you consider the below-cost shipping they offer, it's attractive enough to actually make me skeptical.
    I'm not sure what studded marathons usually go for, but the prices on the tires there aren't really blowing me away. Shops in town sells the snow stud at the same price, for instance.

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