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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 10-26-09, 09:46 AM   #1
cloudrider
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Snowing today: When to put on studs?

I'm looking forward to my second winter of sherpa biking here at 9,000 feet. Got about 2" of snow this morning that will probably melt by afternoon.

When is the best time to stud up? Last year, I bought my winter tires well into the snow season. Is it best to wait until snow and ice are hard-packed on the ground? Or should I put the studs on now? Hard to tell what's coming this year. Some years the snow doesn't really get going till Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Last edited by cloudrider; 10-26-09 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 10-26-09, 12:08 PM   #2
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For me, I put on my studs when the thought of injury is keeping me off of my bike. So, here at 7400ft on the Front Range of Colorado, I put mine on yesterday.

Sure, there will be plenty of days/rides where I won't need studs...but I'm lucky enough to have an extra bike that never has studs mounted.

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Old 10-26-09, 12:47 PM   #3
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Thanks, that's a wise guideline. Although I must say that the thought of injury is pretty much year-round for me, what with all the rocky hills and my having to zigzag between trees in the forest. Today's snow is starting to melt, so for now I think I'll just wait and see how it goes. I have only one bike, so once I put the studs on, I'd like to leave them on for the winter.
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Old 10-26-09, 01:45 PM   #4
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When I'd otherwise be slowing down due to slippery conditions.
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Old 10-26-09, 02:29 PM   #5
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We had our first snows a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn't much and disappeared fairly quickly. I have the studded tire for the front mounted on an extra wheel that I can change easily enough since it's a quick release hub. The back wheel is another matter--I installed an electric power assist kit this summer and the back wheel is where the motor plate is attached. I don't plan on installing the other studded tire on it until really necessary. Once I don't feel safe, I'll get the back wheel off and mount that second studded tire, but I don't want to do it prematurely. (I'm really hoping we get a break this year. The past 3 winters have been getting progressively worse with record snow falls and we broke a 50-year record for cold last year. I don't want to have to go up on my roof to shovel snow this year--last year I had to do it several times and it got old. I hate heights, especially when it's icy.)
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Old 10-26-09, 02:31 PM   #6
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No snow. I change out my tires before any hard freeze.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:32 PM   #7
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I had to put studs on October 9th this year. We had some snow on the 9th in the morning, it all melted during the day, and was frozen by the next morning (around -6C). The roads were an absolute skating rink. It's always so empowering to zip past cars skidding out at lights.
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Old 10-29-09, 03:45 AM   #8
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I had to put studs on October 9th this year. We had some snow on the 9th in the morning, it all melted during the day, and was frozen by the next morning (around -6C). The roads were an absolute skating rink. It's always so empowering to zip past cars skidding out at lights.
Always nice to hear from the Minnesota delegation on the Winter Cycling Forum. I decided to get studs in February of last winter, took them off in about April, and I'm guessing about mid December to put them on here in Boston. Last year on my most slippery commuter ride of the year it sure was fun to go up hills the cars couldn't ascend, with a clear route in front of me. However, earlier on the trip I accidentally knocked off my rearview mirror and lost it in the snow. If I ever really needed it, it was that day because of the possibility of errant, unpredictable skidding from behind me.

I had anticipated arriving triumphantly at work well before everyone else. I spent so much time searching for that mirror that I came in later than I usually do, and got a lot of grief because my colleagues were worried about me.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 10-29-09 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 10-29-09, 06:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll be studding up today. We just got several more inches of snow, and it's 18 degrees F out. Let the games begin!
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Old 10-29-09, 09:53 AM   #10
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We just got several more inches of snow, and it's 18 degrees F out. Let the games begin!
I know you guys are chomping at the bit to get out there with all your winter gear, but isn't there some part of you that might find these weather reports kind of depressing....I mean it's not even November,.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:18 AM   #11
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Looking outside, it seems like January here. Something about the 18+ inches of snow on the ground. I don't even think that studs will help me for another day or two.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:24 AM   #12
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I used to live in Alaska, so winter in October seems normal.
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Old 10-29-09, 01:32 PM   #13
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Old 10-29-09, 01:39 PM   #14
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Normally we get our first bit of wet sloppy snow right around Halloween. I keep an eye out on the long term forecast. So far there is no freezing weather in the forecast yet. We did have some slightly below freezing weather last week, but it was during a dry spell so I wasn't worried about keeping the slicks on for just a little longer. As soon as it appears there will be frost with freezing I'll be getting the snow tires mounted. Spring time is trickier as you may get a mild weeks here and there. I'll hold off as long as I can, but realistically I'll be swapping tires in the next two weeks.

Happy riding,
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Old 10-29-09, 02:43 PM   #15
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I know you guys are chomping at the bit to get out there with all your winter gear, but isn't there some part of you that might find these weather reports kind of depressing....I mean it's not even November,.
No way! I find it exciting. However, by late March, I will have had enough of it...
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Old 11-03-09, 09:27 AM   #16
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Putted my studded tire on my hybrid around the 15 october after the few first below zero temperature even if i didn't saw any patch of ice just in case.

I still ride with my hybrid that have 700x35 Studded, I will switch to my Mountain with the 26x2.3 when it get real snowy and crazy, most likely the first good snowstorm.. ^^
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Old 11-03-09, 01:11 PM   #17
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Old 11-23-09, 08:03 PM   #18
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I used to live in Alaska, so winter in October seems normal.
A> what part of alaska

B> i have not put mine on yet, the sidewalks are still some-what bare, and the only ice is on the intersections, as we had about a week of -5F before it snowed, so it brought the sidewalks tempture down to below freezing so no ice yet!
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