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  1. #1
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Nokian A10 Studded tires

    I understand these are a little hard to get, it took an LBS a month to get me a pair, so I thought I'd review them on my blog and share it here. I ride all winter and normally stick to the busy streets which are usually just wet. This year I decided to go with studded tires and Nokian A10 seemed to have the most practical stud pattern because they have 72 studs spaced along the outer edge of the tread. Most of the time the studs don't interfere much with the roll on pavement but provide extra grip in packed and rutted snow and ice. They are especially noticeable when turning on icy patches, then you can actually feel them grab and prevent the wheel from slipping out from under you. I've had numerous occasions already when I have stayed on my wheels rather than putting a foot down for stability. I still don't feel really aggressive on these, and I'm not racing across any frozen lakes with them, but it is a big improvement on the city streets. The studs are placed well enough that they help when you need them and are out of the way when you don't.
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  2. #2
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    paragraphs might make it readable

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I think they are fine for hardpack and ice on relatively flat surfaces. I could not get up an icy hill on them to save my life a few years ago. Not enough studs or at least not enough studs in the right places. I didn't find them to be very good in the snow either. They are sold in two different widths. Maybe the wider ones are better.

    One thing I've learned on these forums though is that people often have wildly varying experiences.

  4. #4
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    Nokians were hard to get this year. I ordered in August and received in December this year. 700x40c 240 studs.

    I blame Quality .

  5. #5
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I think they are fine for hardpack and ice on relatively flat surfaces. I could not get up an icy hill on them to save my life a few years ago.
    I agree, these would not be the right tires for iced over roads, or deep snow. They are however great on winter pavement with icy patches and packed snow.

    Marc
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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
    Nokians were hard to get this year. I ordered in August and received in December this year. 700x40c 240 studs.

    I blame Quality .
    I ordered my new Nokian 240s last Tuesday, had them on Christmas Eve.
    Now if the rest of the new snow bike would show up....
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
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    Yeah, for "I could probably make it without studs, but would like studs to be sure" riding, the A10's seem like a decent tire.

    I like my Schwalbe Marathon winters - pump them up to 60psi and I only lost 1mph at 35c versus the 28c non-studded tires I had on the same bike right before that. They also have a cool stud pattern where at higher pressures the outer row of studs doesn't contact the ground, but at lower pressures they do. However - they also cost about $80/tire, so like twice as much, so A10's are certainly cheaper if you aren't ever biking on sheer ice like I am. :-)

    Thanks for your thoughts on the tires! Would be curious to see what you think after you have more time with them, to.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    this. A10s are for commuters who ride plowed roads and occasionally hit a patch of ice. I get basically zero additional rolling resistance with them. but I would not want to charge down an unplowed MUP.

    very tempted to try the Marathon Winters ... Jim from Boston swears by them. would also be cute b/c my 13-mile commute means I ride a "marathon" every day :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Yeah, for "I could probably make it without studs, but would like studs to be sure" riding, the A10's seem like a decent tire.

    I like my Schwalbe Marathon winters - pump them up to 60psi and I only lost 1mph at 35c versus the 28c non-studded tires I had on the same bike right before that. They also have a cool stud pattern where at higher pressures the outer row of studs doesn't contact the ground, but at lower pressures they do. However - they also cost about $80/tire, so like twice as much, so A10's are certainly cheaper if you aren't ever biking on sheer ice like I am. :-)

    Thanks for your thoughts on the tires! Would be curious to see what you think after you have more time with them, to.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    this. A10s are for commuters who ride plowed roads and occasionally hit a patch of ice. I get basically zero additional rolling resistance with them. but I would not want to charge down an unplowed MUP.
    Awesome.

    Lol, I just had to mention something - sadly, there is *no* standard sized bike tire that you want to charge down an unplowed MUP with here in Minnesota. We got 1.5 feet of snow - even the Surly Pugsley riders were saying the going was more walking than riding. A couple weeks later 6 inches of snow and several said they had to periodically get off their bikes and walk (6 inches).

    Now riding across an ice skating rink, or a on MUP after 2 hours of "freezing rain" the night before...that's something I would do on the Schwalbe Marathon Winters but not the A10's...but an unplowed MUP that isn't packed down and has 1.5 feet of snow, there doesn't seem to be a bike in the world capable of that. :-)

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    I've been using a pair of A10s for three winters now, and overall I like them. They do produce noticeably more rolling resistance than my usual tires, and are noticeably heavier when I lift the bike, but nothing terrible on either count. They're great for plowed roads with patches of slush and ice. The tread pattern cuts through slush and snow better than slicks (though it's only good for stuff a couple of inches deep), and the studs bite just enough to make a difference, especially on turns. They definitely won't let you do hard corners on ice, nor will they let you stop on a dime, but in my experience they add enough traction to save you from the average icy wipeout. As long as you know their limitations, I think they're great tires.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Would be curious to see what you think after you have more time with them, to.
    This is my 2nd winter with them. I have a 10 mile commute, 7-10 blocks of which involve dead end streets, a seldom used road, a private road, and bike paths that only get plowed after the vehicle traffic has packed all the snow down. The first of these blocks is the street I live on. This is a desert though so there isn't usually any deep snow on these streets, just a series of icy patches ranging from a few feet to maybe 30 feet long. The A10 rolls quick for a studded tire and offers just enough traction on ice for me to recover before I completely lose it. I give them two thumbs up. I've also got Kenda Klondike 2.1's for the odd occasions when I need to ride with more than an inch or so of snow on the ground.

  12. #12
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    ...but an unplowed MUP that isn't packed down and has 1.5 feet of snow, there doesn't seem to be a bike in the world capable of that. :-)
    As much as I like bikes, there's a reason skis and snowshoes were invented.

  13. #13
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    Just South West of you in Salt Lake

    I have the Marathon Winters 700X35 similar commute but main roads with three subdivisions two optional. My personal subdivision is the worst and I am just not use to my front tires sliding around at all but if I hit any ruts I find myself in a Moab on the sand type experience. Could be fun in Moab not fun if I fall in front of a truck or on the ice along with all my biking/work crap yet traffic is not a large issue in subdivisions. Haven't fallen yet but it seems a possibility. I was never a great technical rider but I am feeling more confident each time, and trying to just keep peddling. The worst situation is when someone has snow blown/thrown their snow on top of the hardened snow, very unstable up front.

    Thin snow, slush and ice seem fine. I haven't trained myself yet to aim for the ice patches when in the snow. I am taking the lane a lot now as sometimes the side of the road is just not ride able. I also wish there were more bikes out there. I have only ran into and talk with one other guy commuting this season and it is my first winter doing a commute.

    If I felt I could justify it and that they would have fit I might have tried the 700x40 and something big and nasty in Nokian. I went for fast and hopefully adjustable ride with pressure. I initially went 60lbs front and 80lbs rear; I haven't touched the pressure in two weeks. I am also impressed by the construction of these tires they are well built, and I wanted the reflective sidewall. They do feel slow, normally ride on a road bike at 700x28 Conti gators. No room for anything bigger. Really wonder what the A10 could have been like what is their max PSI?

    Fingers and toes still get cold under 20F but thatís another thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by cachehiker View Post
    This is my 2nd winter with them. I have a 10 mile commute, 7-10 blocks of which involve dead end streets, a seldom used road, a private road, and bike paths that only get plowed after the vehicle traffic has packed all the snow down. The first of these blocks is the street I live on. This is a desert though so there isn't usually any deep snow on these streets, just a series of icy patches ranging from a few feet to maybe 30 feet long. The A10 rolls quick for a studded tire and offers just enough traction on ice for me to recover before I completely lose it. I give them two thumbs up. I've also got Kenda Klondike 2.1's for the odd occasions when I need to ride with more than an inch or so of snow on the ground.

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    "The worst situation is when someone has snow blown/thrown their snow on top of the hardened snow, very unstable up front."

    You may find that there are no tires or bikes that actually handle that stuff well. I hope I didn't post this already, but I was rather disappointed to find that the big-ass tires don't handle deep snow that much better than the skinny ones -

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rathon-Winters

    For the Marathon Winters, I've found that 35psi is usually the best for bad road conditions. Pressures above that (like 60psi) I only use for road riding where the streets are clear to the pavement, just don't want to hit a rare patch of ice and go down. Running them lower than that, twice I felt the tires actually road worse at less than 35psi (less grip and predictability), once on a very rutted and frozen trail I think about 15psi was a better ride...but again, twice before that I thought it was worse, so go figure.

    You'll find that no matter what tire it is, bikes are always slow in the cold when riding on top of snow. My road bike with road tires actually goes about 1mph slower when it gets to be 40 degrees versus the 70 or so it usually is. Many, many other people have commented about the same thing. Whatever the reason is, it probably just gets worse when it gets down below freezing. And any tire always seems to be slower on snow - it's not a solid surface where all the energy goes into propelling you forward.

    At least that's my theory - what I know is that switch from 28c tires in the fall to 35c Schwalbe Marathon winters @ 60psi made me lose about 1 mph when I tried riding them back to back. But once it gets cold and there's snow on the ground it's a much bigger loss - I just don't think it's a result of the tires.

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    Nice Thread PR.

    I do like the Winters and appreciate your info. Not knowing all the snow terms. They do fine in the packed down white snow but have trouble when hitting the grey snow on the white. Haven't fallen yet but fight the urge to put the foot down. I wonder if I will ever get used to the front tire washing around meaning not getting the adrenaline shot when it happens. I will measure the pressure (not sure what it is after 3 or so weeks). I am 200 lbs and not really wanting to pinch flat. These stressful snow situations make up less than 3% of my ride in the last week so might not be worth dropping it down for the whole commute but I would like to experiment.

    Anyone out there have both the Winters and the A10 and can give us a comparision????

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    Glad you found my thread interesting. :-) It was just one day of side-by-side observations so it's not "definitive", just what I experienced that day. fyi, I am also 200 pounds at run my Schwalbe Marathons at 35psi and haven't gotten a single flat since I got them. I think 35psi is the lowest rating on the tire as well. I know a lot of people regularly run their Nokians at much lower pressures all winter to and don't get flats - dunno why exactly, maybe it's the 35c part, maybe winter roads are somehow better for flats, who knows.

    If you won't go to 35psi though, I think you're avoiding a tire pressure the tires were designed to optimally run at though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldone View Post
    trouble when hitting the grey snow on the white.
    I'd much rather be on the Scwalbe's than the A10's. The A10's don't have enough tread to deal with chunder. I switch to a mountain bike with a drop bar conversion for touring and hauling when the mood to ride in such stuff strikes me. Of course I go from 16-17 mph on a commute down to 12-14 mph to and from the store or the park. I've never actually mustered the motivation to commute on it. I think 5-6 miles to a friend's party is as far as I've gone.

  18. #18
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    One thing I've learned on these forums though is that people often have wildly varying experiences.
    +1 This.

    The trouble is, snow and ice can be many things, is it an inch or two of fluffy stuff? That's great fun. Is it an inch of hard pack, with the occasional glare ice patch? Decent studded tires make it a non-event. Is it unplowed side roads, with hard pack under, and grey/brown car snot on top? That gets, interesting...

    I used the Schwalbe snow studs for a few seasons, I take them to be an equivalent to the A10s. I found them useful, but not enough for the harder terrain, and ineffective in anything more than a couple of inches. The last 2 seasons I have been running the Ice Spiker Pros, they are much more capable, and a good investment here in Calgary, where it is a good idea to put them on in November, and leave them there till March. Even so, you still need to get some skill. I am only now building up enough confidence, and strength, to hammer through the deeper stuff, some momentum allows you to ride through/over stuff, that would otherwise mean walking, or in my case falling. Of course, the falling almost always means falling on soft stuff, so, not much of an event. the spikers allow good hill climbing ability, even with the reduced weight on the back of my unladen Big Dummy. I find that a trade off, the reduced grip is off-set by the extra half second I get to deal with the wiggle caused by crossing ruts.

    I found the Spikers to be slower than my Big Apples, ( Duh! ) but not much more than I remember the snow studs being, and I just found out one reason why, the pro version uses an aluminum carrier for the carbide studs, and despite having many more studs, is one third lighter than the snow stud. Of course, the price goes way further in the opposite direction...

  19. #19
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    I used the Schwalbe snow studs for a few seasons, I take them to be an equivalent to the A10s. I found them useful, but not enough for the harder terrain, and ineffective in anything more than a couple of inches.(
    That's interesting. I have Schwalbe Snow Studs in a 700x38 and I find them to be a fantastic tire for riding through deep snow... they are excellent for riding through slop and slush, they cut right through and find traction. I used to run Nokian extremes
    in a 26x2.1 size and while they were excellent on all types of ice... they sucked for commuting through slop and slush and deep snow, they would float and loose traction a lot and it was hard to keep a bike under control. I find that the Snow Studs have a much better traction on snow, much less rolling resistence, they are faster and a much better tire for commuting... I don't know maybe it has something to do with the size of the tires 700x38 vs 26x2.1... it seems to me that a 700cc or 29'er bike does better in snow then a 26 inch wheeled bike.

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    [QUOTE=coldfeet;12047863 even with the reduced weight on the back of my unladen Big Dummy. I find that a trade off, the reduced grip is off-set by the extra half second I get to deal with the wiggle caused by crossing ruts..[/QUOTE]

    Do you find the long wheel base of the Big Dummy helps with balance in slippery situations?

    I think the A10/ Winter Marathon are pretty close in function tires when comparing all tires involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldone View Post
    Do you find the long wheel base of the Big Dummy helps with balance in slippery situations?

    I think the A10/ Winter Marathon are pretty close in function tires when comparing all tires involved.
    lol, the Marathon Winter's are not comparable to the A10's. They have way more studs and a much better reputation for traction on ice and for traction after going through snow (the snow seems to shed off the Marathon Winter's better than it sheds off the A10's).

    Schwalbe makes another tire, the "Snow Stud", that's probably comparable.

  22. #22
    RGW
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    I'm curious how the A10's would fit my Salsa Casseroll with fenders??? The Casseroll can take up to 700x32's with fenders, but I wonder if there would be sufficient clearance with the studs on the 700*32 A10s?? I currently have Kenda Klondike 700*35. and I had to doctor up some old fenders to work (actually cut them in half and afix on either side of brake caliper) I know it might be a longshot, but anyone ever see the 700*32 A10s work on a bike similar to the Casseroll??
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  23. #23
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGW View Post
    I'm curious how the A10's would fit my Salsa Casseroll with fenders??? The Casseroll can take up to 700x32's with fenders, but I wonder if there would be sufficient clearance with the studs on the 700*32 A10s?? I currently have Kenda Klondike 700*35. and I had to doctor up some old fenders to work (actually cut them in half and afix on either side of brake caliper) I know it might be a longshot, but anyone ever see the 700*32 A10s work on a bike similar to the Casseroll??
    can't speak for your particular fenders, but I'm running 700x32 A10s on my Trek Soho, which is designed to take regular tires of that size. no rubbing at all, though I should note that I am only using a studded tire in the front.

    that said, the studs don't stick out that far (and there aren't that many of them - it's not a knobby tire) so you are probably fine.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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