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Nokian W106's saved me from wiping out on ice...

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Nokian W106's saved me from wiping out on ice...

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Old 01-06-11, 12:24 AM
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sparknote_s
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Nokian W106's saved me from wiping out on ice...

I'm not doing a full review or anything, just wanted to put out a positive note about the studded Nokian W106 tires. I have the 700 x 35 version of these, and today I was *sure* I was going to wipe out....but nope, the studs are what saved me, no doubt.

I was riding along a bike trail that gets plowed, however there was one section that had iced over pretty bad. Most of the trail was smooth with no ice, but had a little snow over some parts. Then in a split second, I somehow found myself on a very thick, wavy, uneven sheet of ice, with crisscrossing bike tire tracks deeply formed into the ice, footprints, etc. My front tire was bouncing around all over the place, left and right. I was ready to put my arms out to brace for a fall, but just kept the wheels straight and somehow made it out of there. I truly have no idea how I managed to stay upright, but I know if I didn't have studs I would have hit the ground hard.

The rest of my 30 mile ride had almost no ice. Just very wet, and it was lightly snowing. The tire still handled fine in those conditions.

So...if you're thinking about studded tires....get them!
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Old 01-06-11, 01:42 AM
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Good on you for staying upright and riding through, and it's true that for cycling on ice studded tires are the bee's knees; but...

Originally Posted by sparknote_s View Post
I was ready to put my arms out to brace for a fall...
...don't ever do this. I used to work at a destination ski resort as ski patrol, and saw broken wrists and collarbones every week from (mostly) snowboarders trying to catch themselves with their arms, falling onto ice or hardpack. Keep your hands on the handlebars, tuck in your elbows, and try to keep your head of off the ground. A fall is gonna hurt, but bruised hips and ribs are preferable to a broken arm.
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Old 01-06-11, 07:58 AM
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There's no news here--no offense, mind you, but without studs you will slip and slide and fall on ice and snow. Riding without studs in the northern climates is akin to mountain biking down a hill with 23mm tires. Good luck.

(btw, I rode on my Nokian 106's today and would have falled a couple of times without them)
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Old 01-06-11, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by sparknote_s View Post
I was ready to put my arms out to brace for a fall,
Definitely the quickest way to a broken collar bone. Keep the elbows tucked in and brace for the impact.

Also, I have the same tires on my San Jose and I have not gone down yet on that bike. I can't say the same for the Mount and Grounds that I have on my mtn bike commuter. I landed pretty smartly on my tail riding a sheet of ice covered with a few inches of fresh snow last month. The soreness has just now worked itself all the way out. I'm not sure if something more aggressive than the Mount and Grounds would have helped or not.
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Old 01-06-11, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for the tip about falling. I guess putting the arms out is just a natural reaction, but from now on I'll be sure to hold the bars and tuck in the elbows if I'm ever going down.

Do you guys think a tire like the W240 would be significantly better in such situations because of the studs on the sides? The roads I ride on are all plowed, except now I'm worried about running into a situation like yesterday, where some rutted ice appears unexpectedly.
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Old 01-06-11, 03:44 PM
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Tires with more studs go hand in hand with more aggressive tread which will give significantly better traction in snow as well as on ice. The downside is much higher rolling resistance and weight.

But if you are out in really trying conditions there is no substitute.

Overall, only you can assess your needs. If you are on mostly clear roads with the odd ice situation now and then you probably don't need anymore tire than you already have.

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Old 01-06-11, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
Good on you for staying upright and riding through, and it's true that for cycling on ice studded tires are the bee's knees; but...



...don't ever do this. I used to work at a destination ski resort as ski patrol, and saw broken wrists and collarbones every week from (mostly) snowboarders trying to catch themselves with their arms, falling onto ice or hardpack. Keep your hands on the handlebars, tuck in your elbows, and try to keep your head of off the ground. A fall is gonna hurt, but bruised hips and ribs are preferable to a broken arm.
And a dislocated shoulder sucks worse than all of the above. Trust me, I know. I've had two broken wrists and a subluxated shoulder. The wrists healed with a cast, the torn labrum won't heal on its own and I will have to have surgery soon. You may be right about bruised ribs, but I don't know how to be sure you only bruise ribs and not dislocate/subluxate your shoulder.

I broke the wrists playing basketball, subluxated the shoulder from a bike crash. The front wheel got caught in a narrow gap in the road and the last I remember I started an endo.

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Old 01-06-11, 06:45 PM
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Good to hear!
I'm slapping a set of those very tires on my commuter this weekend. I had trouble finding the Marathon Winters in stock in the 32c-35c range and ended up getting the W106's instead.
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Old 01-06-11, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
You may be right about bruised ribs, but I don't know how to be sure you only bruise ribs and not dislocate/subluxate your shoulder.
In a fall, you can't be sure of anything. I feel you about the shoulder, my Lady's in the same boat (arm dragged behind her in a bad fall skiing 2 years ago, has been intermittently popping out of socket since, finally has insurance with surgery scheduled for April). But even if you can't be sure, knowing how to fall can help mitigate some injury. Catching yourself with your arms is a great way to injure said arm, from broken wrists to dislocated shoulders.

Learning to roll with a fall takes practice, though. Merely knowing that you don't want to catch yourself won't help when things happen so fast that all you have is instinct and muscle memory. I was introduced to the idea of rolling out of falls in Aikido, and spent about a year getting repeatedly knocked down and practicing rolling out and back up. Snowboarding for 6 years helped solidify the muscle memory for rolling during falls. Working ski patrol verified, for me, the validity of rolling and diverting force as a means of injury prevention (almost every arm/shoulder injury that I responded to mentioned something about "trying to catch myself").
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Old 01-06-11, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
In a fall, you can't be sure of anything. I feel you about the shoulder, my Lady's in the same boat (arm dragged behind her in a bad fall skiing 2 years ago, has been intermittently popping out of socket since, finally has insurance with surgery scheduled for April). But even if you can't be sure, knowing how to fall can help mitigate some injury. Catching yourself with your arms is a great way to injure said arm, from broken wrists to dislocated shoulders.

Learning to roll with a fall takes practice, though. Merely knowing that you don't want to catch yourself won't help when things happen so fast that all you have is instinct and muscle memory. I was introduced to the idea of rolling out of falls in Aikido, and spent about a year getting repeatedly knocked down and practicing rolling out and back up. Snowboarding for 6 years helped solidify the muscle memory for rolling during falls. Working ski patrol verified, for me, the validity of rolling and diverting force as a means of injury prevention (almost every arm/shoulder injury that I responded to mentioned something about "trying to catch myself").
Good points. I'm sure it's probably true that putting the arms out isn't good, but merely not putting your arms out isn't any guarantee of anything turning out better either. I gather from this that unless we embark on a long term routine of learning how to fall the extent of our injuries are up to luck.
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Old 01-06-11, 10:51 PM
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There have been occasions where walking was sketchy, after, biking down town, OK.
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Old 01-06-11, 11:47 PM
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+1 to the Nokians. I have the 45's. Peter White was out of the 35's at the time. No regrets. My commute is all city so it's usually nothing too nuts. If I were to get another set, I'd likely go a bit more aggressive--more studs. You have to pay the greater rolling resistance price. May as well have a very capable studded tire. The W106's have met their match a few times where I had to jump off the pedals...this is why I don't do clipless when winter riding. But I've never gone down completely.
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Old 01-07-11, 12:03 AM
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This is why I run studs in the winter, and always, ALWAYS, wear my helmet. If I'm gonna hit the ground, and I'm lucky enough to remember to tuck my elbows, I want my noggin covered when it bounces off the pavement.
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Old 01-07-11, 03:30 AM
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My experience when wiping out from ice is that it happens VERY quickly, much quicker than in a typical martial arts situation (leg sweep, low throws etc). A lot of people have a reflex to put their arm out and thus suffer nasty injuries as has been pointed out above. The problem is that this is a reflex and it takes training to "reprogram" it, you'll often not have time to think about keeping arms and chin in, rolling etc.

I've been practicing martial arts for over 25 years (ju-jutsu, judo, karate) am an awful skier and live in an icy climate, so I've had a fair bit of practice with falling even outside the dojo
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Old 01-07-11, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
I've been practicing martial arts for over 25 years (ju-jutsu, judo, karate) am an awful skier and live in an icy climate, so I've had a fair bit of practice with falling even outside the dojo
Really?

I feel your pain...been there done that
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Old 01-07-11, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by thdave View Post
There's no news here--no offense, mind you, but without studs you will slip and slide and fall on ice and snow. Riding without studs in the northern climates is akin to mountain biking down a hill with 23mm tires. Good luck.

(btw, I rode on my Nokian 106's today and would have falled a couple of times without them)
Studs are nice, dave, I love mine...but I have ridden more winters without them than with them.
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Old 01-07-11, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
Keep your hands on the handlebars, tuck in your elbows, and try to keep your head of off the ground.
Easier said than done.

When your front wheel goes out from under you unexpectedly, it will likely be very sudden, and there's a good chance you'll go almost straight down. If you manage to defy your reflex to protect your self with your hands out, you'll likely smash your face into the asphalt.

I broke my thumb when I hit a dog in the dark one morning (it was behind a bush and darted in front of me so I didn't see it until I hit it) and was thrown head first over the handle bars. I got scraped up pretty badly and broke my thumb, but I'll take that over what would have happened to my face if I hadn't put out my hands.

So, IMO, it's pretty hard not to put out your hands to protect yourself, and a questionable strategy to try.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
My experience when wiping out from ice is that it happens VERY quickly, much quicker than in a typical martial arts situation (leg sweep, low throws etc). A lot of people have a reflex to put their arm out and thus suffer nasty injuries as has been pointed out above. The problem is that this is a reflex and it takes training to "reprogram" it, you'll often not have time to think about keeping arms and chin in, rolling etc.
All of my ice wipeouts have happened so quickly, in fact, that I didn't even have time to put an arm out reflexively.

Interestingly enough, I don't believe I've ever hit my helmet on the ground, but given the small-ish sample size (probably about ten incidents in total) that might be mostly luck.
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Old 01-07-11, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
So, IMO, it's pretty hard not to put out your hands to protect yourself, and a questionable strategy to try.
If falling on your side it's better not to put your arm out to stop the fall - with a straight arm the force goes straight up and through your collar bone thus breaking it - or you'll injure your wrist or arm...

However with a true head over handlebars frontward fall, landing on your head is not a good idea, and you may even have the time in the air to put your arms up (almost like a diving position but with more rounded arms) and tucking your chin in. When your hands hit the ground let your arms bend in towards your head as slowly as possible thus braking your fall before rolling forwards. - (Technical aside. Optimally you'd grab one hand with the other to form a strong circle of your arms and shoulders)

I've actually gone over the handlebars once and landed on my feet after a cartwheely sort of thing - but that would be boasting - unless I told you about the stupidity which caused me to go over the handlebars in the first place!

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Old 01-07-11, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sparknote_s View Post
Thanks for the tip about falling. I guess putting the arms out is just a natural reaction, but from now on I'll be sure to hold the bars and tuck in the elbows if I'm ever going down.

Do you guys think a tire like the W240 would be significantly better in such situations because of the studs on the sides? The roads I ride on are all plowed, except now I'm worried about running into a situation like yesterday, where some rutted ice appears unexpectedly.
From reputation the 240's have noticeably more rolling resistance.

For your conditions, the Schwalbe Marathon Winters sound perfect. They have about twice as many studs (240 I think?). Half on the inner row, half on the outer row. And if ride at 35psi they all come into contact with the ground, if you ride at 60-70psi the outside row doesn't. So you can choose whether you want less rolling resistance (spring, fall, no snow for a week and roads are clear) or more grip. They also have a reputation for rolling a little faster than the w106's (though the 106's have a reputation for being a little better in snow) - though neither pro or come is really a huge difference. Their main drawback is being more expensive than the 106's.
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