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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 12-01-10, 01:59 PM   #1
chico1st
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Ploughed road winter riding?

I ride in an area with ploughed roads and dont travel too far during the winter (<5km).

I have ridden a number of winters with semi-deflated knobby tires and slip at times (usually too much snow) but never noticed ice. Those commutes were primarily on side streets though.

Now im in a new city, and my commute is on streets with heavy 60km/hr traffic. Would you feel that getting studded tires would be an increase in my bike happiness (couldnt figure out how to word that).

Im a little hesitant to be in these high traffic streets.
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Old 12-01-10, 02:00 PM   #2
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Yes... they won't make you invulnerable but will make your winter riding experience much more enjoyable.
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Old 12-01-10, 02:32 PM   #3
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The studs don't help much in heavy deep snow but, this morning they helped quite a bit when riding on driven over packed snow. You for sure will notice an increase in traction.
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Old 12-01-10, 04:07 PM   #4
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I love my studded tires.
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Old 12-01-10, 04:26 PM   #5
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for toronto?

only really need them a few times in the winter for ploughed roads.
You will want studded snow tires...
IF you ride over bridges in the early morning
IF you take the cycling paths
IF there's a snow storm heading in, and even then, this only happens 3~4 times during winter.
IF you ride the residential zones, which get ploughed later.

I would put the boundaries at 403/407 to the south west, 407 to the north and Markham Rd to the east. If you live outside of this box, you will want studded snow tires almost 100% of the time it says "snow" in the forecast.
Every single time there's a forecast for "snow storm" in Toronto, it ends up as a nothing notable. Now the only exception to that rule is when they put "severe" in front of snow storm and it's more than 3cm of snow fall predicted.
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Old 12-01-10, 05:25 PM   #6
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Why did you make that imaginary box?
I live in North West Mississauga (like the actual corner of mississauga) now... i just dont know how to change my location in my avatar.

I used to live in Hamilton where I dont remember ice really being a problem... just infrequent plowing
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Old 12-01-10, 05:31 PM   #7
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the imaginary box is the magical toronto weather zone.
everything outside of it is a different world.
if it drizzles in toronto there will be 10cm of snow in markham, that sort of magic
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Old 12-01-10, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzaly View Post
The studs don't help much in heavy deep snow but, this morning they helped quite a bit when riding on driven over packed snow. You for sure will notice an increase in traction.
Just doubled up the studdage on my extra bike to 128 in the rear... with no load the back end is a little light and I was spinning out a little on glare ice, while seated, in a middlin' gear.

Thinking that won't be an issue anymore and it means I can run a little higher psi in the rear.

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Old 12-01-10, 07:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
Why did you make that imaginary box?
I live in North West Mississauga (like the actual corner of mississauga)
I live in central Mississauga ,and I am glad that I invested in studded tires. I think it's a good idea to have them when living out in the suburbs. Sometimes I ride along mups which are not maintained in winter and that means riding on a sheet of ice. A lot of sidewalks can also be very icy for days at a time, a lot of side streets and residential streets can also be very icy. Studded tires are neccessary for me. I am just curious which roads do you commute on ?
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Old 12-01-10, 09:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
Now im in a new city, and my commute is on streets with heavy 60km/hr traffic. Would you feel that getting studded tires would be an increase in my bike happiness (couldnt figure out how to word that).

Im a little hesitant to be in these high traffic streets.
For me heavy + fast traffic is a good reason to get studded tires. Studded tires let me take the side of the road, the shoulder when necessary, sidewalks over bridges and overpasses, bike paths that don't get plowed, etc. Without the studded tires I would be stuck taking a lane on busy roads with the occasional 18 wheeler passing...

If you can take side streets it's not so bad, but wiping out in heavy traffic isn't just embarrassing...

When I lived downtown where the traffic was moving at slow speeds taking a lane all the time wasn't a problem. I was often passing cars in the next lane over. I didn't need studded tires because that far out the roads were clear or else the cars would've been stuck worse than me. I never saw any of the messengers running studded tires either (at least I don't remember any doing so).

But the further out you get the less the side streets are cleared and the faster the traffic gets on the main roads.

Edit: my commute is pretty similar to yours, a little over 5km in 60 km/h traffic.
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Old 12-02-10, 07:19 AM   #11
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Studs help with ice. Period. Knobs and/or wide tires help in snow. If you don't end up on ice, studs won't make much difference, but they don't hurt much either. I run Nokia 294 all Winter because we have a lot of icy patches all Winter. Hard, compact snow that's nearly ice can be helped by studs to be sure so the bottom line is always snow vs ice.
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