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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Which studded winter for a road bike on urban streets?

    I’m going to add studded tires to my winter road bike. I can fit 700x28 tires with fenders on my old-school sports/touring bike. I could also fit 700x32 if I eliminate the fenders.

    My need for studs is more about safety than mobility. Chicago keeps its streets and bike paths mostly clear during winter. Most days I can avoid slippery pavement easily. The need for studded tires has more to do with safety. I cannot afford to fall and injure myself and need to take every precaution to avoid this. I’ve ridden 8000 fair weather miles in the last two years with three minor falls. I would like to keep that level of safety while riding during the winter.

    What tires should I consider?

    Michael

  2. #2
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    If you will be riding on clear streets, Marathon Winter is what I suggest. Look at something else for riding in snow.
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  3. #3
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    The narrowest studded tire I know of is the Nokian A10, which comes in 700x32. I've been running a pair of these for a few winters now, and they definitely help in slippery conditions. You shouldn't go charging through slush on them, nor out across a frozen lake, but for the odd unexpected icy patch they make quite a difference.

    More info here: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Iím going to add studded tires to my winter road bike. I can fit 700x28 tires with fenders on my old-school sports/touring bike. I could also fit 700x32 if I eliminate the fenders.

    My need for studs is more about safety than mobility. Chicago keeps its streets and bike paths mostly clear during winter. Most days I can avoid slippery pavement easily. The need for studded tires has more to do with safety. I cannot afford to fall and injure myself and need to take every precaution to avoid this. Iíve ridden 8000 fair weather miles in the last two years with three minor falls. I would like to keep that level of safety while riding during the winter.

    What tires should I consider?

    Michael
    This is the fourth studded tire thread I've read this week. A particularly good one is:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-my-snow-bike

    which was started by a rider in the Boston area. Our Olde Towne does well with snow removal, though we have more narrow streets, and this week we had a major snowstorm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    ...I have commuted from Kenmore Square (next to Brookline) to Norwood mainly on "decently well-plowed and treated" roads for the past three years with Marathon Winters, which are noted for easy rolling, though less aggressive treads. I've only had one day that challenged them when my commute took me through about three inches of new, and mushy snow. On Centre Street past the Faulkner Hospital I was able to climb that hill that the cars could not manage. I went along pretty well, though when I got to Westwood the snow was about 4 to 5 inches and that was tough...

    For a few years I deferred buying studded tires because of stories of the increased resistance, but as others have similarly commented, the increase is essentially nil to me on the Winters. The Marathon Winters are IMO are ideal for my urban/suburban commute here in Boston where new snow, hardpack snow, and black ice are the usual most hazardous conditions...
    I later posted about my ride in the recent storm on posts #31 and 47.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I'll agree that resistance increase is minimal with some tires. I have a Nokian A10, which doesn't slow me down at all. In fact, it is probably a net speedup in snow and/or rain because I don't feel the need to slow down.

    I have been on the brink of springing for a pair of Marathon Winters to put on my folding bike
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  6. #6
    BBC Vintage Bikes bbcbikes2's Avatar
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    I agree, Nokian A10 is the way to go. I Wrote a little post here if for more info on studded tires.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    A studded tire helps a lot on ice, but there are limitations on how well a traditional bike is going to do in snow no matter what tire you put on it. A few inches or less is fine. More might be OK depending on a number of factors. Even a couple of inches can be treacherous depending on what's underneath it and how much it's been driven over.

    Your only choice in a factory studded tire 32 mm or less ASFAIK is the A10. For the occasional patch of ice on a flat surface, they work well. For trying to climb a hill covered in glare ice not so much. They're also not the best tire in snow.

    I know some people who ride year round on regular tires. They just skip the real bad days and most of their riding is on roads busy enough not to accumulate a lot of ice. I also think that they may be more skilled bike handlers than most. That's something that gets brought up now and then in this forum but probably not emphasized enough. Sometimes the difference between laying the bike down and staying upright has more to do with skill and experience than tires.

  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    A studded tire helps a lot on ice, but there are limitations on how well a traditional bike is going to do in snow no matter what tire you put on it. A few inches or less is fine. More might be OK depending on a number of factors. Even a couple of inches can be treacherous depending on what's underneath it and how much it's been driven over.

    Your only choice in a factory studded tire 32 mm or less ASFAIK is the A10. For the occasional patch of ice on a flat surface, they work well. For trying to climb a hill covered in glare ice not so much. They're also not the best tire in snow.

    I know some people who ride year round on regular tires. They just skip the real bad days and most of their riding is on roads busy enough not to accumulate a lot of ice. I also think that they may be more skilled bike handlers than most. That's something that gets brought up now and then in this forum but probably not emphasized enough. Sometimes the difference between laying the bike down and staying upright has more to do with skill and experience than tires.
    Yes, I'm beginning to understand that any road bike, even an old-school road bike with long reach caliper brakes and room for 700x28 tires and fenders, is not a good starting point for a winter bike. I'm going to keep road tires on this bike and ride it when the roads are 99.9% ice free. That is often the case in Chicago.

    I'll convert my Cyclocross bike into a winter snow bike next November. That bike can fit a 700x35 tire with fenders. I'll use that bike when there is a risk of black ice and when snow has been falling.

  9. #9
    I ride for beer. LFRanalog's Avatar
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    You might want to find a real-world measurement of the A10 as well...

    I have a pair of Nokian Hakkapel... (insert correct spelling here) W240s, with supposedly 40mm width, that measure 5mm narrow. They're literally the same dimensions as my 700x35 'cross tires...

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