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Studded commute - ugh

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Studded commute - ugh

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Old 01-25-07, 06:49 PM
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Studded commute - ugh

The cold is blowing into Northern Virginia and the NW wind is whipping up (commute home is NW, duh). I rode my Raleigh 73 with the studded 700c x 35 snow tires. Talk about extra energy output - I kept checking to see if the tires went flat, wheel was rubbing on frame, brakes or fenders, or someone was copping a tow. I stayed in 1st/2nd and 8th/9th the whole ride. After a couple miles my LOOK cleats on the Lake winter shoes had problems staying clipped in. It turns out I had only tested the other two bikes equipped with LOOK pedals.
The good news is the NW winds didn't whip up to full force and I was relatively toasty, though my toes were a bit chilled. Now I either have to trade out pedals or perhaps risk normal tires tomorrow. The forecast is for sub 15F and sub -10F wind chill. High winds and wind gusts. The good news is these will be on my back I'll be testing the battery heated socks (not promising) and the wool shoe inserts.
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Old 01-25-07, 07:28 PM
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What kind of tires? My 700x35 Kenda Klondikes roll surprisingly well.
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Old 01-25-07, 07:35 PM
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Nonono! Don't swap the tires out.

I felt exactly the same way when I first put my Nokians on. A week later I was okay with them. Then we had all that warm weather and I swapped them out. I gained a shade over one MPH on my averages compared with before running with the snows.

I've had them back on my bike now for almost three weeks. I'm building massive, ripping thighs. I'm just as fast now with the Nokians as I was with the summer tires in November. I can't wait until the fair-weather poseurs show up in March and April, then try to drop the old guy on the commuter rig with a rusty chain. Mwahahaha!

As for the cold, since the first of the year, we've dropped from 60s to single-digits tonight. I was overdressed today for my afternoon commute in the teens and evening commute in the single-digits. Ordinary white waffle longjohns under my jeans, t-shirt, business shirt, fleece, scarf and windbreaker on top. Winter weight cycling skullcap under my helmet and lobster gloves. I was opening zippers and peeling things off after two miles.

The secret to staying warm on a bike in winter isn't so much what you wear, it's high cadence. Feeling chilly? Downshift a gear and spin faster.

And pushing snow tires helps too.
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Old 01-25-07, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom
What kind of tires? My 700x35 Kenda Klondikes roll surprisingly well.
They are the Nashbar rebranded ones on sale in December. I rode them 6 miles or so on dry pavement a week ago and they weren't that slow. The wheel did pull forward on an uphill and rub the tire against the frame - but that didn't happen tonight.
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Old 01-25-07, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by robtown
They are the Nashbar rebranded ones on sale in December. I rode them 6 miles or so on dry pavement a week ago and they weren't that slow. The wheel did pull forward on an uphill and rub the tire against the frame - but that didn't happen tonight.
Oh, I bet they are those Innova POSs. Another BF member ended up with those from that sale. When it comes to studded tires I think you get what you pay for. I love these Kendas (which is what the Nashbars are 'supposed to be', but it seems during that sale they were not) and I like the Nokians I used to have. I've heard good things about the Schwalbes too.
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Old 01-25-07, 08:45 PM
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Robtown -- I'd leave those studs on since there are more flurries forecast for Sunday. My only fall last year occurred when I took the studs off too early and hit an isolated patch of ice. And TSL is right you leave the studs on to build up thigh muscles that will be the envy of the gods. With any luck they will get so large one day you'll rip through your tights when hammering up a big hill. That should make the girls swoon!

TSL -- Congrats and my sympathies for commuting in Rochester. I lived there for about 10 years and winters are long and dreary. Of course spring and fall are kind of grey and dreary as well so you have time to practice.

Winds were very high going home and twice I got caught in flurries that were heavy enough to make visibility poor. I must admit I wasn't expecting that much. Fortunately all the gear worked well and I was comfortable on the trip.
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Old 01-25-07, 08:54 PM
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Studded tires drag, I think regardless of the type. I have Nokians and I dread putting them on because I pretty much must leave them on until April. Of course, they're lower pressure and have deeper tread than the slicks I usually run, so they'd be dragging even without the studs. But the alternative is driving a car.

The great thing is, when I put the slicks back on in the spring, it feels GREAT! My description of it last spring was "Feels like I'm riding a pat of butter across a hot frying pan!" I made great time for the first few weeks.

The ride home tonight was my slowest ever; 53 minutes for 10.5 miles. Blowing snow over the roads, cross and head winds, 4*F, and I didn't have quite enough for lunch. Bleh. I've been doing about 45 minutes, and in the summer I usually do 35-38 minutes.
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Old 01-25-07, 09:05 PM
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Obligatory +1 for leaving the studs on the bike. I have way more power after riding with mine. It's also a single speed, so the effect is enhanced. Don't take 'em off until the snow's gone...
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Old 01-25-07, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
Robtown -- I'd leave those studs on since there are more flurries forecast for Sunday. My only fall last year occurred when I took the studs off too early and hit an isolated patch of ice. And TSL is right you leave the studs on to build up thigh muscles that will be the envy of the gods. With any luck they will get so large one day you'll rip through your tights when hammering up a big hill. That should make the girls swoon!
Winds were very high going home and twice I got caught in flurries that were heavy enough to make visibility poor. I must admit I wasn't expecting that much. Fortunately all the gear worked well and I was comfortable on the trip.
I was quite comfortable (and surprised) on the trip home temperature wise. The LOOK cleats not working pissed me off. Without glasses the snow wasn't as much fun.
I have three road bikes, two vintage steel and one aluminum frame with brifters. The studs are on the 73 Raleigh cause it's the only one with clearance. I bought 700c wheels and have a nice shimano 7spd rear (6 spd usable). So I don't have to remove the studded tires, just ride another bike. Of course that won't help if I crash on some ice.
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Old 01-25-07, 09:23 PM
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I put them on in December and take them of in March. I'm too lazy to fiddle, or even take the bike to the shop so that they can fiddle.

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Old 01-25-07, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by robtown
So I don't have to remove the studded tires, just ride another bike. Of course that won't help if I crash on some ice.
I have 5 bikes to choose from, so the studs stay on the designated snow beater. I not only ride it when there IS snow, but when there is a chance of snow, when there is enough moisture and low enough temperatures for ice, and when all the damn salt is still littered all over the roads. Working a little harder with the studded tires won't hurt you - getting caught with your pants down by a suprise snow storm or ice patches can.
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Old 01-25-07, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Working a little harder with the studded tires won't hurt you - getting caught with your pants down by a suprise snow storm or ice patches can.
No, a little harder is good. I think the Seagull with 20mph winds and 50mph gusts was easier. Tonights loe would have me averaging 20mph normally. Well, I knew it would be hard and I was looking forward to the challenge. Since the howling cold wind will be at my back in the morning it should be a breeze .
I do have a MTB with new Panaracer Smoke rear tires and Panaracer Dart front tires. That was my snow bike plan before the studded tires went on sale.
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Old 01-25-07, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
TSL -- Congrats and my sympathies for commuting in Rochester. I lived there for about 10 years and winters are long and dreary. Of course spring and fall are kind of grey and dreary as well so you have time to practice.
Bah! Summers can be gray and dreary too. Trouble is, it's unpredictable. I work nine months of the year on the perfect pallor then, BAM! One afternoon, the clouds clear away and all that work goes down the drain.
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Old 01-25-07, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tsl
Bah! Summers can be gray and dreary too. Trouble is, it's unpredictable. I work nine months of the year on the perfect pallor then, BAM! One afternoon, the clouds clear away and all that work goes down the drain.
It's true, he did have a perfect pallor, it's a shame to think of it going to waste due to a sunny day or two

As for the snow tires, I haven't regretted not having any, until today. It's to cold for the salt to work properly, so now there's a nice layer of snow on all the roads, made the evening commute 'fun'. So now it looks like I'll prob. be picking some up this weekend.
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Old 01-25-07, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
Studded tires drag, I think regardless of the type. I have Nokians and I dread putting them on because I pretty much must leave them on until April. Of course, they're lower pressure and have deeper tread than the slicks I usually run, so they'd be dragging even without the studs. But the alternative is driving a car.

The great thing is, when I put the slicks back on in the spring, it feels GREAT! My description of it last spring was "Feels like I'm riding a pat of butter across a hot frying pan!" I made great time for the first few weeks.

The ride home tonight was my slowest ever; 53 minutes for 10.5 miles. Blowing snow over the roads, cross and head winds, 4*F, and I didn't have quite enough for lunch. Bleh. I've been doing about 45 minutes, and in the summer I usually do 35-38 minutes.
I'm riding 1.9 x 26 Nokians and yeah, they slow me down a bit but it's so nice to roll over the slick ice. The ride described above is just like mine and I had one like this the other night riding home into a steady 25- 30 mph headwind with gusts to 45 in temps in the low teens. I scrunch along slowly in the dark on my studs but I've got a little smile on my face thinking about doing the same ride some warm spring day with the wind behind my back.
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Old 01-26-07, 12:13 AM
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i say leave them on too. for one thing, if you get any snow your slicks aren't going to be any day at the beach either; and if it doesn't - well, i figure i'd rather skip the occasional ride if i'm really needing a rest from the studs. it's better than getting the kind of injury that doesn't leave you the choice for a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-26-07, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by robtown
The cold is blowing into Northern Virginia and the NW wind is whipping up (commute home is NW, duh). I rode my Raleigh 73 with the studded 700c x 35 snow tires. Talk about extra energy output - I kept checking to see if the tires went flat, wheel was rubbing on frame, brakes or fenders, or someone was copping a tow. I stayed in 1st/2nd and 8th/9th the whole ride. After a couple miles my LOOK cleats on the Lake winter shoes had problems staying clipped in. It turns out I had only tested the other two bikes equipped with LOOK pedals.
The good news is the NW winds didn't whip up to full force and I was relatively toasty, though my toes were a bit chilled. Now I either have to trade out pedals or perhaps risk normal tires tomorrow. The forecast is for sub 15F and sub -10F wind chill. High winds and wind gusts. The good news is these will be on my back I'll be testing the battery heated socks (not promising) and the wool shoe inserts.
Cheers
studded tires are slow. Put out the the same amount of energy and go slower. Why is that a big deal?
All sorts of things can make your bike slower.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Oh, I bet they are those Innova POSs. Another BF member ended up with those from that sale. When it comes to studded tires I think you get what you pay for. I love these Kendas (which is what the Nashbars are 'supposed to be', but it seems during that sale they were not) and I like the Nokians I used to have. I've heard good things about the Schwalbes too.
Yep, that was me and after I whined at length about it here I got a big load of crap (most of it deserved). I received Innovas, clearly different than what was advertised on the web site. I returned em.
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Old 01-27-07, 09:53 AM
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Epilogue - I rode the other steel bike with slicks and compatible LOOK pedals in yesterday morning. The trail was completely clear of snow or ice. The NW tailwind never showed up. The ride was still sluggish and slow. Actually "I" was sluggish and slow. I guess the studded tires were just one factor Even so, it was great to be out in the brisk air and bright sunshine
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Old 01-27-07, 11:04 AM
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Yeah, studded tyres are slower, but remember that you can look forward to a significant improvement when you go back to regular tyres in the Spring. You'll FLY!
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Old 01-27-07, 11:42 AM
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I switched from slicks to the studs (nokian 106 - 35) on my single speed and it felt like I had lost all my fitness in one day. It was stunning. On the other hand, I was easily and confidently going out of my way to ride on snow and ice that would have been impossible on the slicks. A very fun and worthy trade off.

The hardest part has been mantaining my cadence (rpm) with the single speed. I'm probalby going to switch to a slightly bigger cog in back just to keep my knees happy and keep the spin up. IMHO the pros out weigh the cons. I can easily afford the extra measure of fitness they're likely to produce, but I feel I can't afford to lose the extra safety they provide. The speed penalty at first seemed harsh, but for my commute a few extra minutes is really negligible.
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Old 01-27-07, 04:50 PM
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Hey modernjess, I was just up in Minneapolis on a business trip, and I was really impressed with how many people were commuting on bikes. Couldn't wait to get home and hop back on the saddle.

So, today was my first full day at home, and I needed to get groceries. Unfortunately, my heavy duty utility bike with the rack and bags also has the studded Nokians. And while I was gone, all the snow and ice disappeared from the roads and paths. It was abyssmally slow going, weighted down, high cadence, and a headwind that made me feel at times like I was making no progress. I have yet to take advantage of these studs.
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Old 01-28-07, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by robtown
Epilogue - I rode the other steel bike with slicks and compatible LOOK pedals in yesterday morning. The trail was completely clear of snow or ice. The NW tailwind never showed up. The ride was still sluggish and slow. Actually "I" was sluggish and slow. I guess the studded tires were just one factor Even so, it was great to be out in the brisk air and bright sunshine

The cold uses calories, 10 + lbs. of clothes slow you down, warm pants don't flex like tights, grease is stiffer, among other things.
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Old 01-28-07, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
10 + lbs. of clothes slow you down
I agree that the clothes slow you down, but 10 lbs sounds like a huge amount. Anyway, it's not so much the extra weight as the extra drag that slows you down. Bulky and loose clothes add a lot of wind resistance.
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Old 01-28-07, 02:00 PM
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Someone ran the numbers a while back and determined that air friction is something like 15% higher at a cold temp like 20*F than it is at 80*F. It sounded like a lot to me but I assume they knew the math.

I know that the headwinds in the winter suck the life out of me a hell of a lot faster than in the summer, even if they're not as fast. It's definitely a lot of factors adding up to a lot of energy suck.
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