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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 01-12-09, 02:40 PM   #1
veggie_lover
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Should I get studded tires?

I live in the midwest near Chicago where it cycles betwen snow/ice and above freezing temps throughout winter. If I get studded tires, do I just keep them on for the whole season, or am I supposed to keep swapping them out when the snow/ice is all melted? I assume installation is just a matter of removing wheels and deflating tubes?

Also I have a 20" folding bike. Any particular brand you can recommend for that?
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Old 01-12-09, 02:57 PM   #2
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Schwalbe makes 'em in 20".

Near as I can tell, there are four ways to deal with studded snows:
  1. Put 'em on and leave 'em on.
  2. Swap the tires as desired.
  3. Use two wheelsets, swapping as desired.
  4. Use two bikes.

There is no correct choice, only whatever works best for you.

EDIT: This applies to tires with carbide studs. They hold up well against dry pavement. Plain steel studs are probably best swapped ASAP after a melt. /EDIT

My first winter I planned on "Put 'em on and leave 'em on". In 700C, they're much heavier than road tires, and I quickly adopted "Swap the tires as desired".

My second winter, I used two wheelsets, swapping as desired. The other advantage there was that I could use a lower-range cassette to help compensate for the added pedaling resistance. The road wheelset has a 12-23 and the winter wheelset has a 16-27.

Currently in my third winter, I put fenders on my fair-weather bike too. I have lots of choices now.

Last edited by tsl; 01-12-09 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-12-09, 03:10 PM   #3
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My schedule:
1. Look at studs.
2. Don't buy because riding will be 'mostly clear pavement' with some packed snow.
3. Fall violently on 1 patch of glare ice disguised as packed snow on a 'mostly clear pavement' day causing quite a lot of pain in both kneecaps.
4. Go back and buy studs.

Avoid this.

I bought a pair of Innova's on lbs recomendation. They are working fine but the poop on the net sounds like by next year I'll have a set of 700 35 knobbies with no studs.
If I had it to do over I'd get the carbide stud Nokians.
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Old 01-12-09, 03:41 PM   #4
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I was feeling ambivalent about my carbide nokians (A10s) that I bought on bikeforums recommendation. I wasn't sure they were really doing anything. Then we had some real ice. I could still bike to work, even though I could barely walk.
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Old 01-12-09, 04:43 PM   #5
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Thanks, I went and ordered the 20 inch Schwable Marathon's for $138 plus $2 Holiday shipping from Calhoun cycles. http://www.calhouncycle.com/
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Old 01-13-09, 11:57 AM   #6
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Holiday shipping?
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Old 01-13-09, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbcbc View Post
I bought a pair of Innova's on lbs recomendation. They are working fine but the poop on the net sounds like by next year I'll have a set of 700 35 knobbies with no studs.
On the other hand, you can buy a lot of Innova's stud replacement kits for the price differential between them and a set of Nokians or Schwalbes.
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Old 01-13-09, 03:28 PM   #8
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Innova also makes a 20" studded tyre called the Snow Fox.
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Old 01-13-09, 11:42 PM   #9
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On the other hand, you can buy a lot of Innova's stud replacement kits for the price differential between them and a set of Nokians or Schwalbes.
thanks much! Hadn't heard of the kits. Must be considerable labor involved though. Figure in the possiblility that I don't even mess around in the snow next winter and the decision looks much better.

btw - the lbs in question is Park Ave in Henrietta. Very happy with them in general.
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