Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
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I commute daily in Buffalo and I can assure you that every year there are a few days that I am VERY grateful for the studded tires. Most of the time I would be able to get away with just using some knobby tires, but every so often you hit an unexpected patch of ice during the winter. If you've ever gone down on ice you'll know the pain it can cause. My rear wheel slipped out from under me because the 1st season I started with steel studded tires. You'd think it would be easy to recover from a rear wheel slip as all you have to do is get your foot out under you... it was slick so my foot slipped immediately as well and I landed hard on my elbow. I nearly puked from the initial pain. I was exceptionally lucky and didn't do any serious damage. I was off the bike for nearly 2 weeks, but neither broke anything no permanently messed up my shoulder either. Now I won't ride in the winter without studded tires. The weather is so changeable out here that you just don't know what conditions you'll experience an any given day.
I like the Nokia W106, but do wish I could use something wider than 35mm (the limit from my hybird). This works fine about 98% of the time. This is a bit thin when riding over packed loose snow. That stuff starts to move around like sand, and make the front end very unstable. All you can do is keep cranking your feel and power your way through. I don't like riding in that at all and slightly wider tires would help me float over that better.
I just put my snow tires on last Wednesday as we were looking to having some icy pathches on the road last Thursday. We got a dusting of snow here is Amherst, but 5 miles south of here they got almost 3 feet. Talking about localized snow fall! Today we had ourfirst real snow here in Amherst. When I left there was about 5" of powder on my local roads. The main roads were reasonable well plowed. I'll take the snow over heavy rain... this is more comfortable.