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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 12-02-08, 01:40 PM   #1
jameseey
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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.
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Old 12-02-08, 02:05 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-02-08, 02:32 PM   #3
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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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Old 12-02-08, 02:49 PM   #4
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this is mine

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=18817
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Old 12-02-08, 04:35 PM   #5
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I run these and can't complain: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=10342
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Old 12-03-08, 08:04 AM   #6
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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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Old 12-03-08, 08:40 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 12-03-08, 08:49 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 12-03-08, 09:33 AM   #9
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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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Old 12-03-08, 10:09 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 12-03-08, 10:10 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-03-08, 02:52 PM   #12
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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.
another one here.

Marathon Winter, very good
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Old 12-03-08, 04:13 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 12-03-08, 08:01 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 12-03-08, 10:53 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 12-04-08, 01:13 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-04-08, 05:19 AM   #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
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Old 12-04-08, 09:14 PM   #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.
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Old 12-05-08, 03:20 AM   #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.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:25 AM   #20
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I've got some shocking news for you: road bikes don't do well in the winter.

bull****
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Old 12-07-08, 12:17 PM   #21
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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.

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.
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