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Yet one more stud report: Peter White is Right.

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Yet one more stud report: Peter White is Right.

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Old 02-23-09, 09:51 PM
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Yet one more stud report: Peter White is Right.

Originally Posted by PeterWhiteCycles
One Tire in Front?

People often ask me if one studded tire in front is sufficient. Well, one studded tire in front will help keep you from crashing hard and breaking your collar bone or your pelvis. When the front tire slides, you go down quite fast and without warning. If the rear tire slides you can still go down, but not as fast, and the results are usually not so calamitous, since you usually have enough time to get a foot out of the pedal. But with just a front studded tire, you can still crash. You can still not be able to climb a hill with black ice. You can still not be able to get out of an icy rut. You can still spin on a downhill curve. You can still lose control in a busy intersection with lots of traffic. And you can still spin during hard braking. So, for the life of me, I can't see any reason to use a single studded tire in front, except to save a few dollars.
After about 35 years of commuting to jobs in New England winters I started riding a pair of Nokian Mount and Ground Studded 1.9 snow tires 3 years ago and can attest to what an improvement they are- and I was a skeptic.

And now, due to me finally wearing out the back tire (after about 3 seasons and somewhere between 4-6k miles) I rode with a non-studded back tire and studded front. And want to say that what Peter White writes is dead on accurate. I rode home tonight on an ice strewn bike path and while I was fine when going straight as soon as I got to a corner- down I went ( I caught myself before I hit the ground). I've been riding this same ice patch all winter without the slightest slip or slide but not tonight.

If you're going to ride every day in an icy, snowy area in the winter and don't want to fall- buy studs- and get two. Just letting you know. It was BF that convinced me they were worth it and I am ever thankful.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:05 PM
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where is this ice patch, may i ask? There's one on the wooden footbridge under the BU bridge that almost took me down today (i'm using slicks), but i'm assuming it's somewhere else since you've been riding over it all winter.

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Old 02-23-09, 10:12 PM
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I love my studded tires. Awhile back we had a little ice storm. My ride home was uneventful. Well, I did have one slip but that is when I stopped for a traffic light and my foot slipped on the ice.
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Old 02-23-09, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by thehum View Post
where is this ice patch, may i ask? There's one on the wooden footbridge under the BU bridge that almost took me down today (i'm using slicks), but i'm assuming it's somewhere else since you've been riding over it all winter.
I went through that one just fine. This one is just before Western Ave in Brighton. It's a dark little corner by what I think is Northeastern's big red boat house. It floods frequently and has been frozen over since December 15th of last year.

I used to pride myself on riding all winter on regular tires but never really admitted how many times I fell (nor how hard I sometimes fell) usually I'd have one good slam to the frozen earth each season and end up off the bike for a week or so to recover. The studs have saved me a lot of hurt. At least having one on the front functioned just as Peter White described- I got that foot down just in time (and it got me over that patch on the wooden bridge)- BTW- that bridge can be just as bad in the rain. I've seen many a cyclist go down on that bridge.
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Old 02-23-09, 11:03 PM
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Peter White also recommends watching out for ice when you dismount after riding on studs.
I stepped off my bike about a month ago took a few steps and down I went.
My knee is still bothering me from that.
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Old 02-23-09, 11:05 PM
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careful folks, the ice is slippery!
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Old 02-23-09, 11:26 PM
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I can attest that you can't climb snowy hills with just a front stud. But it does look kinda cool to pedal as fast as you can and just stay in one place, with the rear tire spinning. I had some little kids falling down in the snow laughing when I did that once.
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Old 02-24-09, 07:55 AM
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I also got the M&G's (also from Peter). I'd been debating it for a while, but decided that, over a life of riding, they're almost guaranteed to save me one ER visit. That's good value.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:42 AM
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How often do you have to ride on ice to make buying a studded tire worthwhile? I've managed to get away with riding on occasional icy patches with no incident until this winter when I took my first fall on ice. Even still, I didn't go out and buy studded tires because it's rare that I ride on ice for very long, and studded tires sound like a real PITA to ride on.

Even the fall I took wasn't that bad. I got a bruise on my hip, but that was all. Of course if traffic behind me had been going faster things could have been a lot worse... Er... So I don't know. Maybe I should just bite the bullet... next winter, heh.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:57 AM
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I can't attest because i went straight for the studs, i haven't ridden in winter without them. I'm also not taking mine off until all the ice is gone and the temperature stays above 0 overnight.
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Old 02-24-09, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I can attest that you can't climb snowy hills with just a front stud. But it does look kinda cool to pedal as fast as you can and just stay in one place, with the rear tire spinning. I had some little kids falling down in the snow laughing when I did that once.
I bet they laughed later too... did you notice if one had a cell phone... and did you check you tube later?
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Old 02-24-09, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
How often do you have to ride on ice to make buying a studded tire worthwhile? I've managed to get away with riding on occasional icy patches with no incident until this winter when I took my first fall on ice. Even still, I didn't go out and buy studded tires because it's rare that I ride on ice for very long, and studded tires sound like a real PITA to ride on.

Even the fall I took wasn't that bad. I got a bruise on my hip, but that was all. Of course if traffic behind me had been going faster things could have been a lot worse... Er... So I don't know. Maybe I should just bite the bullet... next winter, heh.
If it's relatively rare, then you can probably get away with mounting them when you need them, and the tires will last you years. At that point, what's a $100 investment over at least 5 years?

Also, some tires are tougher than others to ride on. The Mount and Grounds I have are pretty tough, but they're great in ruts, snow, and offroad which I need. If all you're looking at is smooth ice, the Schwalbe Marathon Winters get great reviews for low rolling resistance.

The way I look at it, over the long term studs are almost guaranteed to save you from at least one nasty crash. You're lucky that you only got a bruise on your hip this time. Hit harder or at a different angle and you're looking at a fracture.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
How often do you have to ride on ice to make buying a studded tire worthwhile? I've managed to get away with riding on occasional icy patches with no incident until this winter when I took my first fall on ice. Even still, I didn't go out and buy studded tires because it's rare that I ride on ice for very long, and studded tires sound like a real PITA to ride on.

Even the fall I took wasn't that bad. I got a bruise on my hip, but that was all. Of course if traffic behind me had been going faster things could have been a lot worse... Er... So I don't know. Maybe I should just bite the bullet... next winter, heh.
Well, I took my no-stud touring bike out during a warm spell. On the second day, I found that last patch of ice in the county hidden under the surface of a puddle. Down I went. Down hard. Whacked my head hard enough to warrant a helmet replacement ($80 on sale), got road rash and bruises, and broke my thumb. A few hundred dollars there, and a whole lot of inconvenience. Luckily, I can still work and there is no loss of income.

The sad part is that I had a bike rigged with studs for nasty winter use, but all the snow and ice was gone! Well, almost all of it. So that very day I ordered my replacement helmet and some additional studs for the touring bike (nokian a10). Now I have a bike with far less rolling resistance for those days in spring when there MIGHT still be a patch of ice or two, but the winter bike with Nokian 240's is way overkill. For me, the costs of the crash in bike stuff replacement and medical costs was higher than the cost of the studded tires. Had I also lost income due to injuries, the balance would be shifted in favor of studs even greater.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:24 AM
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Every ride for most of the winter has several miles on ice for me. I have 4 miles of gravel road, and you can't use salt on gravel, so it is snow over ice. So for me, it's studded tires or don't ride.

And the rear is at least as important on this route, since it's also hilly. Glassy ice covered with a bit of snow on a hill = studs or walk. Even the studs slip a little if I pedal too hard.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:26 AM
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BTW, as related elsewhere, I tried Marathon Winters this year. Though they roll a little easier and are fine on pavement and clear ice, they stink in snow. I'm going back to Nokian W106s next time, though it will probably take me 3 years to wear these out.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:32 AM
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Totally agree on the Schwalbe Marathon Winters, that's what I used this winter and on straight ice they are awesome, rolling resistance is minimal, and I know they saved my butt a few times, but add some ruts and hard packed snow and forget it.

They just don't have enough bulk to the knobs to dig in. Don't get me wrong I'm keeping them on. But for Buffalo winters I may try the Mount and Grounds next year as I wasn't able to ride for a couple weeks because I knew the Schwalbe's wouldn't get through the road conditions.
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Old 02-24-09, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
BTW, as related elsewhere, I tried Marathon Winters this year. Though they roll a little easier and are fine on pavement and clear ice, they stink in snow. I'm going back to Nokian W106s next time, though it will probably take me 3 years to wear these out.
If that annoys you, wait until the inevitable shortage next December and sell your lightly used Marathons for full retail.
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Old 02-24-09, 11:05 AM
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I bought the Marathon Winters too, the day after the first snowfall (never ridden in winter before). I've posted a few times back when I was having lots of fun on the icy shortcuts and the skateway, but now that I've repaired my SS roadbike, I think the charm is wearing off.
I've switched from a pair of 200 stud tires and 45 gear inches (on average) to 25mm slicks and single speed at 70 gear inches and I'm instantly happier. I fell a LOT riding on the Marathon Winters. Dozens of times. It's easy to push them too hard on ice, but I'm not gonna complain about that, I was playing around. But like a previous poster said, they're crap in snow. I've never skipped a day because of the weather, and I'm pretty sure I'd rather take my chances with the ice than put up with the sliding and fishtailing (and sheer effort!) of riding in the snow. Skinny road tires cut down well enough to at least have some lateral traction, although I'm hoping for at least one more snow storm this year to come up with a good judgement.

I think in the future I'll be saving the studs for the black ice and freezing rain days, when WALKING is dangerous. For the rest, I'll take the dramatically faster road tires that can actually handle snow (heavy and light), skip the icy/hardpack shortcuts and use my better judgement to avoid ice hazards.
 
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Old 02-24-09, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
The way I look at it, over the long term studs are almost guaranteed to save you from at least one nasty crash. You're lucky that you only got a bruise on your hip this time. Hit harder or at a different angle and you're looking at a fracture.
When I fell, it was the morning after an ice storm. I was taking the lane in a busy, but not high-speed city street. Luckily for me when I fell, the traffic was slowing for a red light. There was a car maybe 15 or 20 feet behind me, and they stopped in time not to hit me. If we'd been going faster... who knows?

Obviously, almost any amount of money is worth not getting creamed by a car. It's hard to assess the relative risk though since the roads I ride on are hardly ever as icy as it was that day.
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Old 02-24-09, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
How often do you have to ride on ice to make buying a studded tire worthwhile? I've managed to get away with riding on occasional icy patches with no incident until this winter when I took my first fall on ice. Even still, I didn't go out and buy studded tires because it's rare that I ride on ice for very long, and studded tires sound like a real PITA to ride on.

Even the fall I took wasn't that bad. I got a bruise on my hip, but that was all. Of course if traffic behind me had been going faster things could have been a lot worse... Er... So I don't know. Maybe I should just bite the bullet... next winter, heh.
I ride Route 1 to Norwood and this winter it has been well-tended, so I demurred from buying studded tires. This following post, in reply to a thread, "Studded Tires or Fenders" by a subscriber who could afford only either one or the other, convinced me:

Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I dunno, maybe it's my age showing. Here in Rochester, at least along my commute, there's always ice that miraculously didn't get salted away.

I figure gunk washes off quickly and easily. Broken bones would keep me off the bike for weeks while they mend.
Even though ice patches may be small and easily seen, there may occur emergency situations where it is unavoidable to ride on them. I live by Jim's Law of the Road: No matter how lightly traveled and/or well-paved a road is, a car will likely pass you on the left as you encounter an obstacle [e.g. ice] on the right.

BTW, as posted by many on the Forums, and in my experience, Schwalbe Marathon Winters don't have a noticeable increase in rolling resistance.
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Old 02-24-09, 03:20 PM
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Sounds like I should check out the Schwalbe's. I went with Peter White's advice that the Nokian A10's would have the lowest rolling resistance, but I think he wrote that based upon his inspection of the tread, not any formal evaluation. I still haven't trialed the A10's after my crash, the broken thumb, a respiratory infection, and screwy work hours and situations have kept me off the bike. Maybe tomorrow.
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Old 02-24-09, 03:49 PM
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What is this ice thing of which you guys speak?

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Old 02-24-09, 04:12 PM
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There is one good reason why one might run studs in the front only! I have a spare front wheel with a studded tire which I can swap in quickly if conditions look worse than I anticipated. I do switch the rear tire for a studded one if there's a long stretch of bad weather, but if it's just a quick cold snap, I'll save my self some time and just switch the front wheel.
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Old 02-24-09, 04:43 PM
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I don't understand why people are having so much trouble in the snow with Marathon Winters. They may not be the best option in the heavy snow, but unless you're riding like an idiot there's really no reason to be falling so much. Drop your tire pressure, gear down, and keep your ass in the saddle for cripe's sake.

I've fallen maybe three times so far this winter. The first time was before I bought my studs on some black ice. Little sore the next day, but I was able to ride. The next two were mild enough that I was able to get back up and ride seconds later without so much as a bruise. Learning how to fall is part of the game.

Learn to exercise a little restraint out there. Brake early and gently. Mind your tire pressure, as tires grip better in the slop with lower pressure. Watch the road. Slow WAY down when you turn. Don't ride like it's bloody July out there and expect the studs to save your ass.
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Old 02-24-09, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
I went through that one just fine. This one is just before Western Ave in Brighton. It's a dark little corner by what I think is Northeastern's big red boat house. It floods frequently and has been frozen over since December 15th of last year.
I ride through there every day and I must agree it's a nasty stretch. The ice seems to build up from slow seepage of water from either side of the path so the ice is raised, wet, and lumpy. Add in the fact that you have to do a pretty hard corner and its dangerous enough I would walk it if I didn't have studs. I actually slow down to a crawl at that corner even in summer.
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