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  1. #1
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    Road bike tires for icy, winter conditions

    Are there any road bike tires designed for winter road conditions with potential for slick, icy patches? Or any recommendations on ones that might possibly handle better than the standard?

    I'm sure this has been discussed before but can't find a thread specific to road bikes. Thank you for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    A fatter tire will help with cornering in slippery conditions, any slim tire (especially those designed for wet conditions) are good in snow and slush. For ice the best is probably studded tires which you can find at MEC if you're canadian. I use Vittoria open paves because they're designed for racing on rough and wet roads but there's much cheaper stuff out there.

    Personally if it's only a few patches of ice, I just keep my slicks on but if the whole road is ice I might switch to studded, I don't feel it's worth it if you want to go fast and there's not much ice. Keep in mind you also have to have the clearance for studded.

  3. #3
    Steel snob by accident iwegian's Avatar
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    just run slicks *****. j/k I'm running slicks and if i'm in a lower gear i can get through packed down snow and slush ok. but i have a schwinn conversion with clearance for fat tires w/ 35 cross tires on it. gets through 3-4" snow good. once i get a lower gear on it, it'll do even better.

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    I was coming on the forum to ask the same question.

    I don't have a problem with snow, we simply don't get enough of it for that to be an issue.

    No, my problem is 1/4" - 1/2" of ice, in some cases stretching for a couple of miles without a break. I don't have an alternative route. After the ice, I have miles of salted, ice-free roads.

    So I could do with a bit more grip on the icy bits, with a tyre that rolls well on ice-free bitumen.

    If I was using a 26"-wheeled bike, I'd get Conti Contact Winter tyres, but they only seem to make em in 26" and I have a 700c-wheeled bike.

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    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    I've got some shocking news for you: road bikes don't do well in the winter.

    If your frame and brakes can handle wider tires, you might try some studded or non-studded 700 x 30c cyclocross tires. Otherwise, your best bet is to get an old mountain bike or 'cross bike for winter.

  8. #8
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Get a cheap MTB and some fat studded tires for ice. Then just switch bikes. As mentioned, road bikes are not for ice.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike View Post
    I've got some shocking news for you: road bikes don't do well in the winter.
    News to me. I (and many others I'm sure) have been doing well on a road bike throughout the winter for years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwin View Post
    News to me. I (and many others I'm sure) have been doing well on a road bike throughout the winter for years.
    Thank you.

    What tyres do you use? I'm currently using Panaracer Paselas, 28mm. Fine for wet, slimy conditions, just no good for the ice we are getting currently.

    As I've only just bought a new bike, saying I need to buy yet another bike will not go down with with SWMBO. There just isn't the budget.

  11. #11
    Icebike Junkie tdreyer1's Avatar
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    I use Schwalbe's studded tires [Schwalbe] and they work great on ice! They're not bad on regular pavement, either, though they do make a lot of noise.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdreyer1 View Post
    I use Schwalbe's studded tires [Schwalbe] and they work great on ice! They're not bad on regular pavement, either, though they do make a lot of noise.
    another one here.

    Marathon Winter, very good
    Mu SL Gone in 10 sec!
    Matrix The perfect commuter bike for all terrain!

  13. #13
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairytoes View Post
    Thank you.

    What tyres do you use? I'm currently using Panaracer Paselas, 28mm. Fine for wet, slimy conditions, just no good for the ice we are getting currently.

    As I've only just bought a new bike, saying I need to buy yet another bike will not go down with with SWMBO. There just isn't the budget.
    I use these:


    But I don't recommend them for ice unless there's only the odd patch here and there, they work just fine in the snow and slush. If there's a lot of ice I'm thinking about switching to the same Schwalbes mentioned below, which you can get at MEC, if there's enough room on my old steel norco, most modern road bikes won't have the clearance.

  14. #14
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    For icy/snowy conditions you can't beat studs, but you won't find any off-the-shelf studded tires skinnier than 700x35, which is what my Kenda Klondikes are.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Snow only? You have a lot of options, slicks even.

    Ice? I say you need studs.

    If drag is your issue and you have long dry stretches, it sounds like form reading user feedback that the new Schwalbe Marathons are winning the prize for lowest rolling resistance studded tire with plenty of ice bite.

    Again though on a road bike clearance is frequently the issue. That's why so many ride cyclcross frames.

  16. #16
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Marathons come in 35mm. Both Schwalbe and Nokian also make 32mm studded tires. If your bike can accomodate them, they're your best bet.

    You can ride non studded cyclocross tires too, but you'll be slower on rutted ice and you'll fall more.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  17. #17
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    I said I just had a few miles of ice, didn't I?

    I was wrong today, 20 miles of ice on the roads. Last 5 miles was just slush. Absolute chaos, but I got to work faster than people driving

  18. #18
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    i am a big believer in studded snow tires in winter even if the roads are partially clear BECAUSE i would rather spend the time/money on a bike that accepts the studded snow tires than spend the time/money recovering from a broken leg/shoulder/collar bone. many people put their studded snow tires on with the first snow/freeze and leave them on until springtime. an added benefit is the increase in power and conditioning you'll notice the first time you run your regular tires. even if you have to buy a cheap, used bike off craigslist and put the winter tires on it you will be thankful. the idea of falling and being run over is not appealing. that being said i have tried both schwalbe marathon winter tires and nokian studded snow tires and they both worked great in snow and ice.
    best of luck.

  19. #19
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    I use the older 27 X 1 and a quarter inch tires summer and winter. I can't
    imagine why fatter tires would help. Certainly not on the ice and in the
    snow they are just harder to push. Or am I missing something?

    I don't use studs but I am really fortunate that I can be on the road for
    my early shifts before there are more than 2 cars sharing it with me all
    the way to work. It isn't far, about 5 and a half miles and going is the
    downhill run. For my late shifts I take a hardly traveled street to a bike
    path and avoid traffic again. I do thump into the pavement maybe twice
    a year but it doesn't happen in traffic. Of course the heavy traffic streets
    are usually completely free of ice.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

  20. #20
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    I've got some shocking news for you: road bikes don't do well in the winter.

    bull****

  21. #21
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    Get a cheap MTB and some fat studded tires for ice. Then just switch bikes. As mentioned, road bikes are not for ice.

    Studded tires can be had at sizes down to 32mm. The Nokians I have are actually closer to 30mm though Nokian says they're 32s.

    Newer road bikes that are more competition oriented won't be able to take these tires but touring bikes, cross bikes, and older road bikes (as long as they have 700c wheels) can.

    My winter bike is a road bike. On icy surfaces with its studded tires I cruise by MTBs fitted regular knobbies all the time.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

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