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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 11-19-11, 05:37 PM   #1
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Opinions on studded tires

Hi All,

I've always used a single home-made studded tire (sheet metal screws and an old mtn bike tire) on an old mtn bike frame for commuting in the winter. I recently moved and have added about 10 km to the commute each way, so am thinking about buying a pair of real studded tires. I'm wondering about people's opinions regarding Schwalbe marathon winters ( ) versus a more knobby studded tire. My thoughts are that the Schwalbe would give me a bit more speed, but I'm wondering if I'd lose a vast amount of general grip without any knobs whatsoever. My home-made tires have had a rather minimal number of studs, so that when I'm rolling completely straight I don't have any stud contact, and am relying completely on the rubber knobs.

I live in Edmonton, Alberta, so it's cold and icy more than anything (no mid-winter thaws until April/May), and my commute is completely road/bike paths, so I don't need any off-road capabilities (though I do ride in some fairly treacherous "ice ruts" on residential streets--so being able to get out of those is nice).

Any opinions regarding Schwalbes versus other knobbier studded tires would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-19-11, 05:54 PM   #2
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I have marathon winters on my touring bike and got Nokian W240s this year for my mountain bike. The marathon winters aren't good in loose snow, but I found the extra knobbiness of the W240s isn't of much benefit in loose snow either. Yesterday on some fresh snow, the ride was squirmy even though it wasn't very deep. I'm convinced if I had been on my narrower marathon winters at max pressure, they would have just pushed the snow aside and dug into the hard pack below.

The biggest problem I had with the marathon winters was during the spring melt. The narrow tires would break through the weakening packed snow instead of riding on top of it. For a few weeks they were unusable on the MUP.

If I had to choose only one for cold prairie riding, I definitely go with the marathon winters for the speed.
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Old 11-19-11, 06:08 PM   #3
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New England coast here. Only experience is with Marathon Winters. They've held up through two winters. Including the last "snowpocalypse" winter, although I didn't ride immediately after any of the huge snowstorms. But after the plows come through, Schwalbes were great.
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