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  1. #1
    Certifiable wayback's Avatar
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    PSI on 700c studded tyres--how low can you go?

    Tried out my new 700 x 37/40 Suomi IceSpeeds yesterday. The tires have a 49-72 psi range marked on the sidewalls. Using the rough guide suggested by Peter White Cycles, I pumped them up to 55 psi before setting out on my Trek 750 hybrid.

    Ride quality didn't feel soft during a short stud-seating run on 60% wet pavement/40% brown snow and ice. Temperature was about 30 degrees F and traction seemed pretty good. Later, on an inch of fresh powder with the temperature dropping, the ride felt harder and I couldn't get any kind of consistent traction on city streets.

    Anyone here have experience with these tires? I'd like to try pressures below the 49 psi minimum to get around better. I'm using the 750 as an urban all-rounder, which includes winter grocery runs, so occasional heavy loads need to be taken into consideration. The streets I'm riding on are rarely snow and ice free.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Anyone here have experience with these tires?
    Only that specific tire .. ? be very patient .

  3. #3
    Certifiable wayback's Avatar
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    I'll certainly welcome input from users of similar size & design tires like the W106 in addition to those running IceSpeeds.

  4. #4
    so busy... fatso's Avatar
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    I have schwalbe marathon winter 700x40c tires and I never go above 50 psi. Have run them down to the mid-30's and been fine on my 20 mi commute. Just checked the printed range on my tires - it's 30-70 psi. You'd probably be fine running your tires at lower pressures.

  5. #5
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    Couple of questions. Your weight? Rim width? I'm 235lbs and run my nokian hakkas' 700x35 at 35-50 psi. My rim is around 18 mm wide. Experiment. My tires have really thick casings. Try sitting on the bike and lower the pressure until the tires squish out a little bit with weight on them. I usually run the front tire a little less than the rear. Keep notes. I change pressure depending on conditions too.

  6. #6
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    I ride 40mm Nokian Hakkapeliitta's. Partially out of laziness (I hate pumping up my tires, especially in the cold), I routinely drop down to 20/30 front/rear. I weigh 160 lbs, carry 15lbs, and am on velocity dyad rims. Overall, I "ride light", as I can get away with 25/30 psi when riding cyclocross with tubes. The thing is, these tires have such thick sidewalls, that you can get away with relatively low pressures, compared to a more pliable sidewall. If you carry a decent pump (I use the Topeak Mini Morph), you can always add pressure if you have a cargo run, then drop the pressure down afterwards.

  7. #7
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Nokian W106's on Salsa Delgado rims. Tire pressures are not an easy thing to relate to another person in another place on another bike, but...

    Basically I've learned to alter the psi daily per the conditions always trying to get a good balance between speed and needed traction. It takes practice and experience to understand the limits of your equipment your fitness and your local daily weather and route conditions. Basically if it's dry I'll go as high as they are rated 70psi, if it's super icy I'll run them at the lowest end 35psi. Then there are many options in between.

    I also ride my Fatbike in the winter and that takes the tire pressure balance game to the extreme and I've learned that getting it right makes a world of difference.

  8. #8
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    It depends. How good are you at missing holes or objects? It depends on the quality of the surface you ride on. It depends on how much you weigh. It depends on the construction of the tire. To really find an accurate answer is to lower the pressure a little at a time until you get pinch flats, then go up a little. Not very practical, especially if you are riding on the road.

    It is typical that you get varying traction as you ride over different surface/ snow/ice conditions.

    In general the following applies to any studded tire....studs will...

    Grab best on cold hard flat ice.
    Not grab well is the ice is a little soft, depending on how soft it is.
    Grab hard packed snow well.
    Are no better than other tires in soft snow. slush, etc.
    Don't grab as well as non studded tires on pavement.

    If the conditions are slippery at times, or there are very hard deep ruts frozen in the ice, or lots of deep footprints, you could be tossed in front of a car in an instant. If you are clipped in, forget about getting your foot down instantly, in time for support. Studded tires don't make everything safe. I don't recommend riding next to a car if the ground conditions are changeable. I've been riding Motorcycles in the ice since about 1969-69. Bicycles on ice with studs since about 1995. Lots of fun.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Certifiable wayback's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. To answer your questions: I weigh ~140 lbs., my Araya TX-310F rims are 23mm wide, and I can usually dodge objects but sometimes hit obscured potholes and heaves--especially at night.

    Riding surfaces and conditions are the same modernjess deals with; hard ruts are commonplace. I'm using Shimano MX15 platform pedals with Zefal half clips added to mitigate toe overlap on a too-small 17" hybrid frame sporting tall tires and full fenders.

    I appreciate the help. Based on your feedback it seems 30-35 psi might be the lower limit for my tires and how I use the bike...

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    My nokian hakkas' are like 850 grams per tire, I don't think I could ever pinch flat them. Keep notes, report back to us.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayback View Post
    Thanks for the replies. To answer your questions: I weigh ~140 lbs., my Araya TX-310F rims are 23mm wide, and I can usually dodge objects but sometimes hit obscured potholes and heaves--especially at night.

    Riding surfaces and conditions are the same modernjess deals with; hard ruts are commonplace. I'm using Shimano MX15 platform pedals with Zefal half clips added to mitigate toe overlap on a too-small 17" hybrid frame sporting tall tires and full fenders.

    I appreciate the help. Based on your feedback it seems 30-35 psi might be the lower limit for my tires and how I use the bike...
    If you have trouble avoiding some things at night, consider a better light. They go all the way up to as bright as a car, and even brighter than a car.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
    Certifiable wayback's Avatar
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    Noticed all the other tires mentioned here are made in Europe. Mine are not (Taiwan). The 49 psi minimum on the IceSpeeds seems to indicate lighter sidewalls. Still hoping other IceSpeed users will chime in. Meanwhile, I'll take a decent swing at it and try 45 rear/40 front and see how she rolls.

  13. #13
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Personally speaking, I'm not too interested in tempting fate when it's -10 degrees out. I pump my studded tires a little higher than the minima suggested by Frank Berto, knowing that my pressures will drop several psi after being out in the cold for a while, and that I'd rather trade a little comfort if it lessens the chance of having to stop and deal with my bike while I'm outside. I usually do 30-35 psi in front and 35-40 psi in the rear on my ~42mm tires, weighing about 160 lbs myself.

    In the summer, yeah, I boldly run my road bike at double-digit pressures.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  14. #14
    Senior Member WestMass's Avatar
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    I run w106s and always just keep the recommended PSI (it's 60 i think?)
    regular commuter, adventurer/explorer of backroads and mtb trails
    http://westernmass.craigslist.org/search/sss?userid=14603943

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I think I went down as low as 13 psi on some Nokians. At that stage, you start collecting debris into the interior of the tires but I do not recall actually getting penalized with an associated puncture. The absolute limit is when you might start hitting the rims. 30-35 psi is my front starting standard in winter when there are no seriously adverse conditions - I go down from there.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestMass View Post
    I run w106s and always just keep the recommended PSI (it's 60 i think?)
    60? Try something lower for much better grip. Like 35-50 psi.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayback View Post
    Noticed all the other tires mentioned here are made in Europe. Mine are not (Taiwan). The 49 psi minimum on the IceSpeeds seems to indicate lighter sidewalls.
    I don't remember the exact numbers and don't wish to run out in the cold to check, but my Nokians are rated with a minimum pressure in the upper 40's as well. Learn to ignore the lower edge of bike tire pressure ratings. Really. If you mountain bike, you will have presumably already learned this. Biking on snow and ice is more akin to mountain biking than road cycling, so it takes some changes in how we ride and what are the most important factors (ie rolling resistance vs traction).

    Based on your weight, I would not hesitate to drop to 30/35 front/rear; I race cyclocross with tubes (I am sure those tires have more compliant sidewalls than your studded tires) at lower tire pressure than that, and weigh significantly more.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I think you got the wrong tires for what you're doing. they look too wide
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  19. #19
    Senior Member WestMass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    60? Try something lower for much better grip. Like 35-50 psi.
    Mostly dry roads this winter - some ice, occasionally in snow.
    regular commuter, adventurer/explorer of backroads and mtb trails
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I think you got the wrong tires for what you're doing. they look too wide
    Too wide ? The skinniest studded tires are 35 mm X 700.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Too wide ? The skinniest studded tires are 30 mm X 700.
    AFAIK these are the smallest on the market, I was looking into this recently to try and fit studded tires on a road bike.
    http://45nrth.com/products/tires/xerxes

  22. #22
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    In trafficked snow I run 20 psi in the front with Hakkapelita 240s, which are 700cx40. I weigh 215# plus I've got two saddle bags with extra clothes, coffee thermos etc. Once the roads get plowed I pump it back up to the recommended 65 psi.

    I prefer the rut-climbing grip and float of 20 psi when the snow is trafficked. But once the surface is hardened I hate the exhausting resistance of low tire pressure so I pump it back up.

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