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  1. #1
    Senior Member freediver's Avatar
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    Which one should I use

    I was looking at getting some studded tires for one of my bikes, to ride around Wisconsin this winter, and am having a hard time trying to decide which one to choose.

    I have a cyclocross bike that seems like it would be the perfect choice, but I also have an Xtracycle that I've read really good things about- longer wheel base= more traction in winter.

    Any help out there for someone who only wants to do this once?

    Jon
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  2. #2
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    You guys already got a pretty good load of snow already, no?

    Here in Lincoln Nebraska, we've only got about 3 inches and some ice, but I've decided that with careful riding, studded tires are not really necessary. Once the roads are plowed, the snowy surface isn't really hard enough for the studs to work, and its not *terribly* slick. I didn't get a chance to get studded tires before the winter hit, but now after having a few hours in the muck, I don't see them as a necessity.

    That said, I'd choose the bike that has the most comfortable handling. Be prepared to put a foot down on no notice and not rack yourself! A smaller stand-over height can be a good thing on slick roads! And, knobbie tires are great, if you have some to use. IMO, bike handling skills are *far* more important than anything else, though.

    I'd say give it a shot with what you got, and be careful

  3. #3
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    I ride skinny slicks in the winter. I have a set of Innova studded tires on my 'snow' bike, but they suck. Only good for times when there might be ice under hardpack or powder snow. Just awful in anything soft or loose, the slicks are way better. Some people swear by knobbie tires, but I prefer slicks. For days when the slop on the edge of the road is still icy or might be I use the snow bike, as I find the studs are a help. Having never used a good set of studded tires I have no comparison to the Innovas.
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  4. #4
    AEO
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    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    depends on what you expect to encounter.

    A long wheel base with 26" wheels will bottom out when going over snow banks.
    I smacked my long cage derailleur a few times with my CX bike over some small snow banks.

    if you're just riding on pavement and want your tyres to sink into the snow and touch the pavement, then adding extra weight to narrow tyres does a lot. With an extracycle I'm sure you can load up the rear for extra traction.

    if you're going off road and want to float on the snow, then having fat tyres with a normal wheelbase helps.
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  5. #5
    human bigfo's Avatar
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    Last year I rode my Xtracycle around in Madison for winter. I put a studded tire on the front and it wasn't bad. Make sure you have some kind of weight in the back, otherwise I found out it handles like a pick up with an empty bed in winter! I am riding my Cross Check with 2 studded tires this winter and no issues at all.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by freediver View Post
    I was looking at getting some studded tires for one of my bikes, to ride around Wisconsin this winter, and am having a hard time trying to decide which one to choose.

    I have a cyclocross bike that seems like it would be the perfect choice, but I also have an Xtracycle that I've read really good things about- longer wheel base= more traction in winter.

    Any help out there for someone who only wants to do this once?

    Jon
    From a fellow Wisconsinite facing another record snowfall, I would use the bike that you want to replace first...winter is hard on them

  7. #7
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I have Serfas Drifters on my Big Dummy, which are fine for plowed roads or a light dusting of snow, but when it's really snowy and icy, I use the snow bike with studded 700x35s, shorter wheel base and higher BB.
    "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

  8. #8
    Senior Member freediver's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Looks like it's going to be the cyclocross bike. I practically live on the xtracycle in the summer- especially when gas is $4 a gallon! So I don't want to trash it too bad over the winter.

    Jon
    Santana Arriva tandem
    Surly Pugsley Necromancer
    Surly Big Dummy
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