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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 11-10-10, 07:22 PM   #1
Chalupa102
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When do you go studded?

For the one's who use studded tires, when do you decide to change from normal slicks to studded? Do you have a set date or do you just keep an eye on the forecast?
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Old 11-10-10, 07:26 PM   #2
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after the first significant snow fall where it doesn't melt away by noon.
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Old 11-10-10, 07:26 PM   #3
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Where I live snow usually doesn't last for more than a day or two, so...

I check the temps in the morning and think about how wet the pavement was the night before and check the forecast for the evening. Based on these I just pop my spare front with studs on for days that warrant it.

I've gotten some more spare front wheels of late, perhaps I'll DIY stud another tire to keep at work.
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Old 11-10-10, 11:49 PM   #4
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...When I see a forecast of a week's worth of subfreezing temps.
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Old 11-11-10, 07:59 AM   #5
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Yeah it's a forecast thing. If the ground is still warm, the snow wont last and the stuff that would be ice is just slush. Slicks run pretty good on slush, although it is quite the mess. I'm more or less waiting for "real" ice. I'll be rinding on them for about 4 months or so. There's no hurry to mount them.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:03 AM   #6
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The morning of.

Last winter the studded wheelset just leaned against the basement wall most of the winter.

Maybe three or four days total.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:14 AM   #7
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Wet conditions, temperature below or close to freezing at night. Around here that's the recipe for black ice. Cold weather in itself is OK if it's dry, but wet is always suspicious this time of the year.
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Old 11-11-10, 01:23 PM   #8
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There is no need to put on studs just because it snowed. Studs help on ice. If getting snow means getting ice then put on studs. The bottom line is studs help if you are going to be riding on ice. I have my studs on my bike now because we will have ice and/or icy patches here and there along roads for the next several months without fail. No ice? No studs needed. Good mtn bike tires with open lugs will work just fine for snow. Studs are of no real help for snow, but wow...they are a huge help on icy roads.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:18 PM   #9
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I swap wheelsets (one with studs one without). I put the studs on one wheelset at the first major snow forecast. I put those wheels on when I see the need for it.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:20 PM   #10
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There is no need to put on studs just because it snowed. Studs help on ice. If getting snow means getting ice then put on studs. The bottom line is studs help if you are going to be riding on ice. I have my studs on my bike now because we will have ice and/or icy patches here and there along roads for the next several months without fail. No ice? No studs needed. Good mtn bike tires with open lugs will work just fine for snow. Studs are of no real help for snow, but wow...they are a huge help on icy roads.
Around here a real snow often means freezing rain right before it. So ours usually comes together. I agree with you though.

I think studs help on hard pack as well.
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Old 11-11-10, 03:51 PM   #11
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I'll put mine on as soon as the roads get slick. I'll leave 'em on for a while because I don't have a second wheelset.

It was a beautiful 76 degrees here today. Studs will wait.
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Old 11-11-10, 06:23 PM   #12
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I have a different bike , this spring or the post freeze-up occasion ,
I just parked it with the studded tires still on.

I'm a .. listen to the current local low temperature report ,
or look outside and try to walk on the pavement,
kind of decision maker.
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Old 11-27-10, 01:00 PM   #13
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Ok I have a question about kinda the same thing I guess. If I am going to be riding gravel rail trails when it snows should I go with a studed tire or just something with knobs and lots of tread for my Hybrid? Oh yea another thing if anyone has experience with studs in the tires will they last all winter? Some of the tires I have seen so far are not cheap and I would hope to get more than one winter out of them.

I have also read that you have to keep your speed down with studded but no one seem to state what is a good speed to cruise at, so I was also wondering how low does the speed need to be or is this more of a road thing for keeping speed down?
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Old 11-27-10, 02:16 PM   #14
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Snow-covered gravel trails generally dont ice-up so normal knobbly tyres should do fine.
Winter has come early in the UK and we have a lot of snow with temperatures bouncing around freezing. This means freeze/thaw action, compressed snow turning to ice and drivers unused to the conditions.
Ive just made some DIY studded tyres that should be good for a few weeks use. The carbide studs in ice tyres should last much longer.
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Old 11-27-10, 05:00 PM   #15
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speedy stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bendico View Post
Ok I have a question about kinda the same thing I guess. If I am going to be riding gravel rail trails when it snows should I go with a studed tire or just something with knobs and lots of tread for my Hybrid? Oh yea another thing if anyone has experience with studs in the tires will they last all winter? Some of the tires I have seen so far are not cheap and I would hope to get more than one winter out of them.

I have also read that you have to keep your speed down with studded but no one seem to state what is a good speed to cruise at, so I was also wondering how low does the speed need to be or is this more of a road thing for keeping speed down?
You definitely don't need studs on gravel rail trails unless you expect ice or highly compact icy snow. Knobby, open tread is fine for snow. Studs are just a tiny thing that are of no help at all unless they can get grip on a hard icy surface. Those made out of carbide will last a few seasons easily unless you do a heck of a lot of road riding that isn't on ice. The individual studs are user replaceable. Once you are needing studs you are on ice or icy patches and the tire size as well as conditions will dictate your own speed. I cruise at...22mph with my mtn bike and studs on...yeah...that's right...22mph. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 11-27-10, 07:37 PM   #16
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Well thanks MikeW digibud that helps me alot. I didn't think I needed them but want to make sure so I was ready when the snow flies here in Western PA. I will have to head to my LBS and get me some good knobies tyres then. Oh and hey dig's I won't be going much more than 10 or 12 MPH and thats my story I am sticking too. LOL
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Old 11-27-10, 07:47 PM   #17
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I generally put my studded tires on around the end of November, first of December. They stay on until about mid April, or later depending on the weather.
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Old 11-28-10, 11:13 AM   #18
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I'm lucky that I have a dedicated wet weather/snow Mt. bike. So when the snow flies I take the semi slicks off and throw on the studs and leave them there until spring.
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Old 11-28-10, 01:06 PM   #19
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This is my first year for studded, but I start riding my winter bike around the time they start forecasting snow. I like to have a couple of fair weather weeks to get accustomed to my winter bike again, since my summer commuter is radically different.
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Old 11-28-10, 09:40 PM   #20
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Broke my elbow on black ice on 12/12/09. Or was it 12/14? Anyway, that's a good date for me to consider! It was 38 degrees out and had rained the night before. Evaporative cooling turned my whole neighborhood into unwalkable ice for an hour or so. I can't believe I made it as far as I did on my bike that morning!

There was a frozen puddle on my driveway this week, so I'm getting ready to make the switch.
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Old 11-28-10, 10:33 PM   #21
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Usually works out to be mid-December. I play it by ear since they add significant rolling resistance, and the first snow/ice that sticks around sometimes isn't until January.
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Old 11-28-10, 11:52 PM   #22
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Locally, outside of Fairbanks, we normally get solid cold and stay there all Winter but just recently the temps shot up to +34 and it rained for two solid days. It was just a drizzle but it froze on the ground as it arrived. I did a bit of riding down the ice-road and was quite surprised at how solid I felt on my Nokia 294's. I'd always known they were great, but I'd only been on patches of ice here and there and solid frozen snow on streets. This was literally a half inch thick sheet of ice "forever" down the road. Not a problem at all. The tires didn't help me get on a snowmachine trail as they were pumped up too much but the experience gave me a whole new level of confidence -not cockiness- about how effective studded bike tires can be on glare ice.
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Old 11-29-10, 12:56 AM   #23
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There is no need to put on studs just because it snowed. Studs help on ice. .....
That's definitely what I have found. I'm lucky enough to have a MUP for the majority of my commute, and there's never enough traffic on it to pack the snow down to ice. It gets pretty rutted and busted up, but not very slippery - I'm still on 700x28 Conti tourers after a solid week of snow on the ground and they do fine.

On the other hand, two blocks of my commute are on polished ice, where I just take it easy and put a foot down if I have to. After awhile you get used to it, though I'd think about studs if I had to spend more time on ice.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:30 AM   #24
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I generally put them on end of November and take them off mid-March (because I'm impatient to be rid of them by then).

You can get away with waiting to put them on better than you can get away with taking them off too early, because the ground will be warm as winter arrives, but when winter is leaving and you have a nice sunny day but ride into a shaded area that's had a little melt and re-freeze . . . look out.

I try to judge my removal day by one of the many frost charts, but it's always a guess.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:51 AM   #25
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Do you put studdes tires on front and back? Or just on front? I know at least one local guy who does only the front.
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