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swen0171 01-02-14 12:32 PM

26-inch winter tire recommendations?
Hi all-

Commuting on a 26-inch wheel bike for the first time in winter (previous years I ran cyclocross tires on assorted 700c bikes) and I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a fast rolling knobby that can handle the occasional 2-5 inch snowstorm. I'm in Indianapolis so snow doesn't say around all winter, and I can hitch a ride if it is really icy or deep snow, so I don't think I want to spring for studs.

I'm riding a Surly LHT (60cm with 26-inch wheels) so I need tires no larger than 2.1.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

swen0171 01-02-14 12:41 PM

Here is a pic of the bike in some snow.

fietsbob 01-02-14 12:43 PM

Im using Nokian Mount and Ground Winter. 160 studs.. its a 1.9" (N+1, I have a spare bike for the purpose)

'fast rolling knobby' is a bit of an oxymoron .. but as the studs are not down the center
they are good for Icy-snow and dry mixed street surfaces..

Another direction slick center band of the Continental Travel Contact , is flanked by a row of knobs on the edges..

they intend it for touring past the end of the paved roads , adventures

fietsbob 01-02-14 12:48 PM

You may consider a duplicate wheel set . Sturmey Archer has a Drum brake -cassette hub.

for non Disc Brake frames .. so the rim brakes can be replaced for the winter ,

and re outfit the Same Bike ..

they also make a front drum brake~dyno hub for light power for the dark season.

[SA drum brakes, All Weather sports Snow Cat 45mm wide rims, and the Nokian tires ,
are now in their 25th year of Occasional Use..

It Ices up here for a few weeks , some years.

thechemist 01-02-14 12:53 PM

quazi relevant

swen0171 01-02-14 12:54 PM

Yes, maybe I'll just get a set of those studded tires. I like how the center is clear of studs. I'm running a fancy SON front hub and big light because about half of my 14-mile commute is on a trail with no lights and at least half of my riding is in the dark this time of year. This is also the problem for setting up a second winter bike. I have a couple projects that could work but I already have so much money into the light system that riding with USB headlight or lower level generator in the winter would be a drag.

I don't mind changing out the tires once or twice a year.


palu 01-02-14 05:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
For me, just about any tires worked for non-icy, packed snow. Even skinny 23's were ok (though not preferred). I was on a 20 mile ride last week on semi-knobbish tires (700x43), which I had zero issues with. Just about any MTB tire worked for me as well. I have Cont. T & C on my cargo bike and it works just fine right now (riding on some mostly dry, but with some snow patches).

dynaryder 01-02-14 05:58 PM

I've run Specialized Crossroads in 1.95";they're heavy,but roll well and are decent in snow. Also inverted tread tires like Serfas Drifters or Conti Town & Country do ok in snow.

If it's icy,I def run studs,but for just snow treaded tires will do ok.

Fizzaly 01-02-14 06:48 PM

I'm running Nokian extreme 294's but they are they absolute opposite of fast rolling :) but hey if traction is what you want you likely won't find more of it in the snow!

droy45 01-02-14 06:54 PM

The fastest rolling tires I found are the Nokian W106 studded tires. As far as studded tires goes, these are about the best for ice and feature minimal rolling resistance as compared to other more highly studded tires. Another good choice is the Schwalbe Marathon Winters.

chriskmurray 01-02-14 07:51 PM

I went to school in Indy, I still miss parts of it at times.

If your route has you on a lot of packed snow, these could be great.

They also have this which could be decent in all but very deep snow.

palu 01-02-14 08:00 PM

People, he specifically said he's not looking for studded tires and if it's icy, he'll hitch a ride.

fietsbob 01-02-14 08:40 PM

N+1 needs a fatbike.

swen0171 01-05-14 11:18 AM

Thanks all,

Yes, I need a fatbike! Especially today with 12+ inches coming down.

I settled on some high quality MTB racing tires. Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1. I took the advice of a local LBS guy (new neighborhood, trying him out) to run the tires opposite to their tread pattern. So I set them up with the front running the "rear" direction and the back running the "front" direction. Theory here is that they would throw more snow with the reversed pattern, who knows, but they REALLY ran great with a recent 4-5 inch snow on a very cold day (-3). Hard packed snow, slush, fresh powder all no problem. Fun to ride too. Very lightweight so even though they have huge tread they still spin pretty good on the bare pavement.


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