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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 11-08-10, 03:12 PM   #1
Bat56
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Talk to me about the illogic of mismatching my studded tires

I've always rolled with this theory on my MTB: I like a smoother tire in the back. Right now I have a slick on the back and sort-of-knobby-but-not-really on the front for commuting.

Why? So I can have a smoother ride from the tire I am sitting on, but get traction on the front. Since I am sitting on back tire, I get all the traction that I need.

Before this, I rode mostly in the dry hills of Southern CA. There I had more aggressive tires than I do now, but I still had a smoother tire on the back. And I did pretty well.

Now, as I prepare for winter here in the Twin Cities, MN, I am thinking about my studded snows. I think I want to ride on a "street" rear with an off road front. So, less aggressive and less studs in the back, more and more in the front.

My butt is almost always in the saddle. I ride a fixed gear with a front brake.
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Old 11-08-10, 03:15 PM   #2
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If it's just for short commutes in the winter, I'd probably just roll front studded, rear knobby but no studs. If you want to do longer or faster rides in the ice or pack snow then I'd ride studs on both.

I'd never roll slick in the back for the winter, semi slicks are nice tho.
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Old 11-08-10, 04:43 PM   #3
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I should be clear - I want to run studs in front and back. I am thinking of something around 100 studs in the back and 200+ in the front.
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Old 11-08-10, 04:57 PM   #4
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Schwalbee Snow Stud on the rear and Ice Spiker on the front...or Nokian mount and ground on the rear and Nokian extreme on the front.
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Old 11-08-10, 04:58 PM   #5
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I should be clear - I want to run studs in front and back. I am thinking of something around 100 studs in the back and 200+ in the front.
Makes perfect sense to me. Front needs more studs out on the sides. Dunno how many 26" slick studded tires are out there, so probably gonna have to go knobbly in the back.
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Old 11-08-10, 09:09 PM   #6
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I'd rather have 300 spikes on the front and 100 on the back than an even distribution.

Unless I was doing some kind of icy hill climb event or something.
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Old 11-09-10, 12:03 PM   #7
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I think, after three winters commuting in Minneapolis winters, that what you've got is way-drastic overkill. You really don't need studded tires; a good set of semi-knobbies, like a cyclocross tire (I use Cross Wolfs) is fine. If you HAVE to have a studded tire, I would strongly advise against using one in the rear. One up front is really all you need.

Now, that said, if we have another episode like we did last year (snowstorm hit when it was about 34*, dumped a foot or so on us, then the temp plummeted. On Christmas Eve, too, so the plows didn't get out and about for a couple days. It sucked rocks.), you (all of us, really) might need studs. But otherwise, probably not.
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Old 11-09-10, 12:20 PM   #8
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Another thing to consider is that for the price of a pair of nice studded tires, you could pick up a used MTB on CL and make some DIY studded tires for it. Then you could use that bike on bad days only.

I just have a DIY studded tire on a spare front wheel. I pop it in on bad days. I do this because I hate riding on rainy days with scritchy studs.

As in post #2, it'll depend on what your goals are. Is it just to get through the winter commutes or are you looking to take some long fast rides on ice and packed snow?

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Old 11-09-10, 12:22 PM   #9
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I think it's a good idea.

it's not unusual to mix front and rear tires in MTB, so it makes perfect sense to mix tires for snow bikes.

actually, I ran studded front and slick rear for my commuter, because the roads were just too clean and ploughed for about 90% of the distance.
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