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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 07-23-10, 11:00 PM   #26
irclean
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To me the chances that my studs will keep me upright all winter seem much greater than the chances that my slicks will. It's just a little added security. Sure, on many winter days I probably could've gotten by without them, but on other days I was sure glad that I had them. BTW I use 35 mm Schwalbe Marathon Winters; IMHO they are a good compromise - not as aggressive as other winter tires and therefore not too much extra resistance, but grippy enough to get me out of an icy jam when I need them to.
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Old 07-24-10, 09:32 AM   #27
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But a good studded tire like a Nokian w106 costs $44/tire ($88/pair).
HA,HA,HA, no not in Canada. The W106's cost around $90/ one tire, that means $180 per pair plus tax. The Nokian Extremes cost around $150/ tire, that's $300 plus tax. Few years ago I bought them only because they were cheaper and I got a really good deal on them, plus I was still new to commuting and my riding skills weren't that great yet. From now on I will continue to make my own studded tires. I tested some out last winter and they worked great. But to be honest most of my last winter was spent on a fixie with skinny touring tires, studs are only neccessary few rides each winter. Now I am not a cheapskate, I have a lot of expensive stuff... but I will not be spending $300 on tires that will only see few rides each year, if it's very icy then my homemade ones have been proven to work very well. For the cost of one pair of studded tires I can get a ton of other cycling stuff and accessories which will see daily use. Sure tires are important but winter riding is more then just tires, riding skills and lot's of finnesse is very important too.
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Old 07-24-10, 12:15 PM   #28
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HA,HA,HA, no not in Canada. The W106's cost around $90/ one tire, that means $180 per pair plus tax. The Nokian Extremes cost around $150/ tire, that's $300 plus tax...
That may be true if you buy directly from your LBS. Check out biketiresdirect.com. You can get the W106's for $89.90 a pair plus $21.04 to ship via USPS. Since our dollar is close to par with the US right now this is a smokin' hot deal compared to your LBS prices!
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Old 07-25-10, 07:15 PM   #29
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Oh, yeah, right - same thing when there's ice under a thin layer of packed down snow. The snow gets sloppy, the ice stays ice, it's...unstable.

Lol, how did this thread go from "it's safe to bike without studs" to "even studs won't save you from the horrors of winter traction?" hehe. I didn't think winter was *that* bad!
Haha, yeah, OP is gonna throw in the towel in the middle of July! It's rare to encounter that glare-ice i was talking about, but the snow over ice is common, which is why it is a good idea to remember where the large ice patches are... or you soon won't forget!
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Old 08-05-10, 05:13 PM   #30
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I've been using a dept. store full suspension mtb for a couple winters. Nokian 26x2,1 Extreme 294s are great. Just about as good traction on black ice as on bare pavement. My only real problem so far is rusting cables from road salt. I'm getting ready to replace them with Teflon coated stainless cables w/ new housings. I like the rear suspension for better traction and control on frozen, rutted slush. To me, it's worth any extra maintenance headaches for the better control and safety.
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Old 08-05-10, 05:20 PM   #31
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I've been using a dept. store full suspension mtb for a couple winters. Nokian 26x2,1 Extreme 294s are great. Just about as good traction on black ice as on bare pavement. My only real problem so far is rusting cables from road salt. I'm getting ready to replace them with Teflon coated stainless cables w/ new housings. I like the rear suspension for better traction and control on frozen, rutted slush. To me, it's worth any extra maintenance headaches for the better control and safety.
Lol.

Cost of bike - $100.
Cost of a single tire? $88.
Cost of tires + new cables, housings, and parts that rust? $350.
Leaving out those additional costs and telling people the bike you ride only cost $100? Priceless.
Evidently, haha.

(Now to be fair, you might have to replace the cable and housings on a more expensive bike with more durable versions as well).

I could be wrong (though the only way to tell would be to switch up riding between 2 bikes), but I would be very surprised if the rear suspension on a $100-$200 bike does much. The fat Nokian tire provides a decent amount of suspension I bet, though.
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Old 08-05-10, 09:51 PM   #32
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I ride gravel roads and have found deep tread tires (mountain or hybrid) to hold in loose gravel. I bike on country roads in Alberta and don't see a lot of heavy snow around for most of the year until spring (March and April). Have been quite successful riding hybridized old 10 speeds before this weather shows up. That is until I hit some ice. Try hitting a patch of frozen, exposed gravel at 15 kmh. Any mountain bike tire or 32x630 will do a reasonable job keeping you upright in our conditions. The big issue from my perspective is when you're changing the direction of your momentum. If ice is in the mix - you're goin' down. Studs are a good insurance policy for those one off situations. It only takes one good pile up to ruin an otherwise enjoyable winter.
"Better to go slow in the right direction than fast in the wrong direction"
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Old 08-06-10, 06:40 AM   #33
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I could be wrong (though the only way to tell would be to switch up riding between 2 bikes), but I would be very surprised if the rear suspension on a $100-$200 bike does much. The fat Nokian tire provides a decent amount of suspension I bet, though.
I've done a/b comparisions w/ hardtail vs. cheap fs on the same off-road trails, and even a p.o.s. rear suspension does a very good job; so yes, you are wrong.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:02 AM   #34
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Lol.

Cost of bike - $100.
Cost of a single tire? $88.
Cost of tires + new cables, housings, and parts that rust? $350.
Leaving out those additional costs and telling people the bike you ride only cost $100? Priceless.
Evidently, haha.
I'm sorry I neglected to mention lights, fenders, and GPS receiver. Busting a gut yet?
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Old 08-06-10, 09:37 AM   #35
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I've done a/b comparisions w/ hardtail vs. cheap fs on the same off-road trails, and even a p.o.s. rear suspension does a very good job; so yes, you are wrong.
(rolls eyes) I've used front suspension on an $800 hybrid and found it absolutely worthless on the road, so yes I have had some experience with worthless shocks. :-P
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Old 08-06-10, 12:26 PM   #36
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(rolls eyes) I've used front suspension on an $800 hybrid and found it absolutely worthless on the road, so yes I have had some experience with worthless shocks. :-P
"on the road" is a key qualification here. On a reasonably smooth surface, suspension is not necessary, and rear suspension is especially undesirable. Off road is a different can of worms. My brother has a no-suspension mbt. When he tries to ride the rocky dirt trails that I like, he can barely see where he's going because his eyeballs are rattling around in their sockets so bad. What I dislike most about my cheap rear suspension is the amount that it pogos. You lose a lot of good peddling energy that way. I would definitely prefer to have lockouts on a full suspension bike.
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Old 08-06-10, 01:46 PM   #37
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"on the road" is a key qualification here. On a reasonably smooth surface, suspension is not necessary, and rear suspension is especially undesirable. Off road is a different can of worms.
It all depends on " how skilled the rider is" . I am not an expert but I can ride my singlespeed rigid mtb on some extremely gnarly and rocky trails. It's all about picking the right lines and using your legs and arms as suspension. I have seen some very skilled riders on rigid bikes do some amazing riding. So far I have had no problems keeping up with guys on full suspension rigs. Riding a full suspension off road is so easy it's almost boring. I love the challenge of riding my rigid bikes off road, it's a different experience alltogether.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:11 PM   #38
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It all depends on " how skilled the rider is" . I am not an expert but I can ride my singlespeed rigid mtb on some extremely gnarly and rocky trails. It's all about picking the right lines and using your legs and arms as suspension. I have seen some very skilled riders on rigid bikes do some amazing riding. So far I have had no problems keeping up with guys on full suspension rigs. Riding a full suspension off road is so easy it's almost boring. I love the challenge of riding my rigid bikes off road, it's a different experience alltogether.
Probably depends on how old the rider is (I'm 56). Even young guys probably get tired of standing on their pegs after several miles.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:41 PM   #39
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Probably depends on how old the rider is (I'm 56). Even young guys probably get tired of standing on their pegs after several miles.
I agree that age and fittness levels have a lot to do with it. I am only 40, still very young.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:04 PM   #40
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I rode a fixed gear with slick 32s for the last two winters in Minneapolis and it worked out quite well for me. Bike slid out from under me occasionally when turning on ice (especially ice hidden by a fresh layer of snow) but never anything more than a skinned knee. Did buy some narrow studded tires for the same bike for this winter though.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:19 PM   #41
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I've been commuting in Columbus for the past two years, and I'd guess that the weather is similar in Dayton. So far, I've driven between five and ten days of the year because I didn't feel safe on the snow and ice. This winter, I plan to get studded tires and not drive at all. I commute on a fixie most of the time, but have a touring bike with fenders and lights for wet days, long days, or for carrying lots of stuff. I'm probably going to put the studded tires on the touring bike, but only because it already has fenders and lights, and I'll definitely want the former in the snow, while the lights will give me the most versatility on that bike. If I had lights and fenders on the fixie, I'd consider putting the studded tires on that. If you have the clearance (and low enough gearing), there's no reason for a new bike.
Personally, I don't think you'd need suspension at all, but it's up to you.
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Old 09-05-10, 07:13 PM   #42
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Lol.

Cost of bike - $100.
Cost of a single tire? $88.
Cost of tires + new cables, housings, and parts that rust? $350.
Leaving out those additional costs and telling people the bike you ride only cost $100? Priceless.
Evidently, haha.

(Now to be fair, you might have to replace the cable and housings on a more expensive bike with more durable versions as well).

I could be wrong (though the only way to tell would be to switch up riding between 2 bikes), but I would be very surprised if the rear suspension on a $100-$200 bike does much. The fat Nokian tire provides a decent amount of suspension I bet, though.
My current bike for the past two winters has been a Wally World aluminum hybrid with Marathon Winters 700x35.

Other than the spokes not being stainless (they are FUGLY looking), the bike has held up pretty well. The 1x7 drivetrain is pretty simple, and has never froze up on me.

But yeah: $130 bike with $110 tires (which I scored on sale at Niagara Cycle Works)
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