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Tires for Vancouver BC winter

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Tires for Vancouver BC winter

Old 12-07-17, 02:21 PM
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rgvg
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Tires for Vancouver BC winter

Hi

Any recommendations for 700c tires for vancouver bc winter weather? Just started riding my bike to work recently and took a spill on a little ice this morning...

If you're not from vancouver our winters aren't particularly bad as on the east coast and we don't get much snow. Today was frosty though, so there is a little ice on the road.

Are studded tires necessary? I don't actually see any bikes with them on around here... Or should I just try to find a mountain bike instead of a road bike for icy days?

thanks
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Old 12-07-17, 03:00 PM
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studded tires are fantastic for black ice. I use 700x35 schwalbe marathon winters. I might put them on today based on my kids' wipeouts (wipes out??) this morning. Or I might drive tomorrow and deal w/ studs over the weekend.
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Old 12-07-17, 03:08 PM
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Suomi Nokian rubber compound is harder than Schwalbes , apparently,

my tires still have all their studs, I read others using Schwalbe lose studs

I got them shipped from Finland in 1990.. and the bike I leave them on sits at the ready in the basement.



I'm not that far south of HongCouver..

but the Columbia River Gorge does let the cold air masses behind the Cascades freeze up out on the coast. for a little while..
Often its the cloudless nights that get the coldest, quickly.




....

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Old 12-07-17, 03:29 PM
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I'm a Vancouver BC commuter and will run 700x35 Marathon Winters occasionally, but haven't bothered in the current conditions. I'll qualify this though by saying that I know my routes and where the potential icy trouble spots are extremely well. If you have the option of running wider, lower pressure mtn bike tires on days like these and are prepared to be a lot more cautious (e.g. get all your braking done before cornering, gently apply rear brake 1st if you have any suspicion of ice being beneath your tires) you should be OK.

IMO conditions in Vancouver seldom justify the expense and trouble of swapping in studded tires. My 35s were far too narrow in the kind of snow we had last year, ideally I would've liked to be running plus or full-fat for those days. I've also had issues a couple of times with the bead wire breaking on my Marathon Winters, possibly as a result of running them at lower pressures I'm not sure. Schwalbe were great about replacing the failed tires but I wont bother buying replacement studded tires for my 700c commuter when these are done.
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Old 12-07-17, 03:48 PM
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Well *now* I know where the icy spot is. Yeah I was turning when I slipped on the ice. I will definitely turn more slowly next time. I don't actually have a mountain bike right now but I could look for one if there's any advantage over road bikes in these conditions. Are there?
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Old 12-07-17, 04:21 PM
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I had a pair of nokian studdeds, rubber definitely harder, smoother. Much less grippy though, *studded* tires would slip on thermoplastic street markers in the rain. Prefer the grippiness of schwalbe rubber, for Puget Sound style winter conditions anyway.
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Old 12-07-17, 06:12 PM
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I commuted in Lotus Land year-round for 15 years. My advice for riding during the conditions we saw this morning is to: do not change direction, do not accelerate, and do not decelerate.

My advice with respect to riding in conditions like last winter is: don't. There is no tire or level of riding expertise that can keep you safe.

Some additional hard-won advice from an old guy: injuries never really heal. The always come back..
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Old 12-07-17, 06:32 PM
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I live by the advice above "conditions in Vancouver seldom justify the expense and trouble of swapping in studded tires". I use 25mm gatorskins on a road bike year round. The city is pretty good about putting brine on the MUPs too.

Last winter I used my mountain bike a bunch of days. The big knobby tires and low pressure made the commute stable but painfully slow. I had Continental Mountain King tires but have since switched it with Schwalbe Magic Mary and Schwalbe Hans Dampf. Traction for days!! It was fun slowly grinding past stuck cars.

...But having read Dave Mayer's advice above, he is probably right on all counts.
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Old 12-07-17, 07:54 PM
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OK I'll pass on the studded tires for now and take transit if it's icy.
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