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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 09-02-09, 06:09 AM   #1
erbfarm
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newbie needs tire advice

Am gearing up for my first winter biking experience. Have an early 1990's Trek 800 mtn bike that I'm going to appoint as my winter beater bike. One question: what kind of tires would be best for the icy, snowy roads in northern New England? I don't have any bike paths to ride on, I'd be mainly on paved back roads which are pock mocked and cratered from frost heaves and such. Would I wear down a pair of studded tires on the pavement? There would be black ice on the road from time to time, and snow after a storm, but b/c cars will be driving on the roads, I will probably be on bare pavement most of the time. Thanks!
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Old 09-02-09, 08:08 AM   #2
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Can you have two wheel sets? if it's 26" you should be able to pick up a second set of wheels for next to nothing (even if you have to pay $20 for another old bike). Then you could quickly swap wheels in the morning depending on conditions.

I found my studded tires (shwalbe snow studs) held up pretty good to bare pavement on my commutes, but I was for the most part on snow/ice and not the other way around.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:40 PM   #3
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I'm in Kansas. Even here there's enough ice that I went down last year, no injury but scary, which then dissuaded me from going out on days that would have otherwise been nice--subfreezing but beautiful. I had a three- layered kit, balaclava, goggles, serious-cold mittens, -25F-rated boots, plus bright flashing lights to keep cars at bay, but I was too old to risk slow-healing injuries, so intermittent ice really messed up my daily workout regimen, and it was frustrating.

I'm getting studs for a back-up set of wheels this time.

So, my vote is for you to go for it!
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Old 09-02-09, 06:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
you should be able to pick up a second set of wheels for next to nothing (even if you have to pay $20 for another old bike). Then you could quickly swap wheels in the morning depending on conditions.
+1

That's exactly what I do. Studded snow tires and a 14-27 cassette on one wheelset, road tires and a 12-23 cassette on the other.
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Old 09-02-09, 09:09 PM   #5
breakaway9
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+1

That's exactly what I do. Studded snow tires and a 14-27 cassette on one wheelset, road tires and a 12-23 cassette on the other.
+1 Again.

Last year I rode my touring bike with a singe studded tire in the front, this year the Xtracycle is going to be the snow/slush bike. I just ordered the new shifters and brakes for it, once those are installed I will be looking around to order a set of Marathon Winters for my extra set of wheels. Then I will be set for winter. That way if it's looking bad I can ride the X, if it's nice I will take the Sherpa... Two bikes is even easier than two sets of wheels...
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Old 09-03-09, 05:06 AM   #6
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I can definitely do two bikes, old mtn bikes are easy to find around here (NH) and I've got a lot of spare parts sitting around. I will be on the lookout for the studs though at a good price
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