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Studded tires for fat bikes

Old 12-03-15, 09:52 AM
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Studded tires for fat bikes

Looking for info, I'm going to get a studded tire for the Pugsley (my old winter/ice bike died and the Pugsley will not handle both ice and snow). I know about the 45NRTH Dillinger 4 and that is my top pick. But, before pulling the trigger, I want to know what other options are on the market. Seems like fat bike options are popping up like mushrooms these days, hard to keep up with and hard to find info. Let me know what studded tire you're using and how you like it. Thanks!
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Old 12-03-15, 10:15 AM
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Using 4" or 5" tires? Vee rubber makes the studded snow shoe. Tried MTBR forums?
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Old 12-03-15, 10:47 AM
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I think the Pugs is limited on tire size to ~4-inches so OP can't fit the Snowshoe. But either way, the Vee studded is a fine tire. I have Dillingers and ride with people that use studded Snowshoes. Performance seems similar on ice.

Don't expect the same kind of grip you'd get from a studded mtb tire on ice. The mtb tires have more studs per inch and grip better. But the Dillinger wil do fine for a commute and is a great all-around tire. Good traction on snow, will save your bacon when you hit that icy patch of overflow, allow you to stay upright when riding over the frozen lake... worth the money for me. I don't know if they still make a version with the cheaper pointy studs, but the concave studs are better. Difference is noticeable.

Bontrager has a studded fat tire now but with only 160 studs vs the 250 on the Dillinger I'd choose the Dillinger.
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Old 12-03-15, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo
Using 4" or 5" tires? Vee rubber makes the studded snow shoe. Tried MTBR forums?
Forgot to add this note, this is a 2015 Pugsley with Moonlander fork. It can take the 5" in front.

Here's my Pugsley, 'cause pics are cool

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Old 12-03-15, 04:17 PM
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A few more options for pre-studded tires now. D4/5, Vee Snowshoe (comes both studded and unstudded), and Bontrager brought out the Gnarwahl this year.

I'm using a Grip Studded Bud & Lou, lots of grip but probably slower than any of the pre-studded tire offerings. On top of the price of the tires themselves there are about $150 worth of studs in each tire. But here in Canada that is still cheaper than a D5. Before getting a Moonlander I had a Pugsley and the grip studs worked great in a Nate as well.

Kold Kutter studs are much, much cheaper than grip studs. Though I'm not sure how well they would work if you frequently encountered bare pavement since you'd be riding on nothing but metal. And the screw tips seem likely to protrude into most tires. A thread on them here: Kold Kutter screws going in...- Mtbr.com
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Old 12-04-15, 09:20 AM
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If you are looking contact Freewheel Bike up in Minnesota they are doing a buy one get one 50% off on studded bike tires this time of year.
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Old 12-04-15, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
If you are looking contact Freewheel Bike up in Minnesota they are doing a buy one get one 50% off on studded bike tires this time of year.
Are they doing that this year again? I thought I recall them advertising that in previous years, but didn't see them announce it this time. I ended up buying mine from another shop that did have a sale going on, though not as good as that.
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Old 12-04-15, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingZombie
Are they doing that this year again? I thought I recall them advertising that in previous years, but didn't see them announce it this time. I ended up buying mine from another shop that did have a sale going on, though not as good as that.
They apparently are. Someone from another thread called them and they were doing the bogo.
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Old 12-07-15, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
If you are looking contact Freewheel Bike up in Minnesota they are doing a buy one get one 50% off on studded bike tires this time of year.
I was at Freewheel's Winter Bike Expo yesterday, didn't pull the trigger yet (since all the ice and snow has melted). Freewheel is one of the best winter biking and fat biking shops in area.

Based on what I've seen, I think the Dillinger is still my top pick. Bontrager is interesting, but I'm kinda loyal to 45NRTH and the Q brands. 45NRTH products have performed very well for me and it's hard not to continue to invest in them.
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Old 12-09-15, 04:16 PM
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I'm very happy with the Dillinger 5 120 tpi tires I put on my Specialized Fatboy. They rolled really well, and were barely any slower than my stock Ground Control tires (that roll pretty fast for a fat tire).

They set up tubeless easily, FWIW.

The Dillinger 5 measures 4.2-4.4", depending on the rim. On my 90 mm rims, they're 4.3"
The Dillinger 4 measures around 3.8", apparently.

If I were you, I'd buy a Dillinger 4 for the rear and a Dillinger 5 for the front. You'll probably appreciate the extra flotation of the 5 when it's snowy.

Some folks buy one studded and one non-studded, and then redistribute the studs across the two tires. That way, you can put a custom stud pattern with a bit less rolling resistance, save weight, and save money. But it's some work to remove and replace the studs.
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Old 12-10-15, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa
The Dillinger 5 measures 4.2-4.4", depending on the rim. On my 90 mm rims, they're 4.3"
The Dillinger 4 measures around 3.8", apparently.

If I were you, I'd buy a Dillinger 4 for the rear and a Dillinger 5 for the front. You'll probably appreciate the extra flotation of the 5 when it's snowy.
Most measures of weight distribution put more weight on the back than the front, wouldn't you put the 5 on the rear for more flotation there? Wouldn't you tend to ride like doing a wheelie (yes, I've exaggerated) in certain conditions if you've got the 5 up front?
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Old 12-10-15, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jrickards
Most measures of weight distribution put more weight on the back than the front, wouldn't you put the 5 on the rear for more flotation there? Wouldn't you tend to ride like doing a wheelie (yes, I've exaggerated) in certain conditions if you've got the 5 up front?
The OP has a Pugsley with Moonlander fork, which fits a 4" tire in the rear and a 5" tire in the front. I'm an advocate of maximum tire for fat riding.

But, your suggestion makes sense from a logical point of view. Weight distribution will always be slightly rear-biased, unless you're riding a funny bike. That's why it's recommended to inflate your rear tire to a higher pressure than the front.

Yes, the larger tire in front would give the bike a slight stance change, but I doubt you'd notice it much.
It may actually be welcome on a Pugsley; it would slack out the head angle a tiny bit.
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Old 09-08-17, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
Looking for info, I'm going to get a studded tire for the Pugsley (my old winter/ice bike died and the Pugsley will not handle both ice and snow). I know about the 45NRTH Dillinger 4 and that is my top pick. But, before pulling the trigger, I want to know what other options are on the market. Seems like fat bike options are popping up like mushrooms these days, hard to keep up with and hard to find info. Let me know what studded tire you're using and how you like it. Thanks!
Man, I forgot I started this thread....

I wasn't quick to pull the trigger, but back in January, I bought Dillinger 4 studded tires. Minneapolis turned into a skating rink this past winter and the only way to ride was with studded tires. I'm super happy with these tires for winter riding. They are great in fresh snow, little to now tire-steering, easy rolling on all surfaces, and they are great on ice:


If you're going to fatbike in icy conditions, these tires are worth the price.
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Old 09-08-17, 08:33 AM
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lol, it's funny when you look back, right?
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Old 09-09-17, 10:41 AM
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I got the same tires two years ago. Increased my confidence level tremendously. The only time I slipped was trying to climb up an icy curb at a sharp angle. Use your common sense.
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Old 09-12-17, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
I got the same tires two years ago. Increased my confidence level tremendously. The only time I slipped was trying to climb up an icy curb at a sharp angle. Use your common sense.
You reminded me of my only fall with the studded Dillingers:


It was a fresh layer of snow over bullet-proof ice, riding along a small creek. The back wheel slipped into a hole along the creek, somehow I kept my feet dry standing on a small shelf of ice. The "ow, OW!" was my left foot still clipped in under the bike and getting a calf cramp.

There are limits to everything!
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Old 09-12-17, 11:36 AM
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I've always gotten along with 'knobby' or 'MTB' type treads and last winter was the first time I found myself unable to use my Schwinn Cruiser SS as my winter bike.


It wasn't fit to ride ANY bike period. Getting a ride was the only option.
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Old 09-12-17, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast
I've always gotten along with 'knobby' or 'MTB' type treads and last winter was the first time I found myself unable to use my Schwinn Cruiser SS as my winter bike.


It wasn't fit to ride ANY bike period. Getting a ride was the only option.
Studded tires work really good on ice, even when you are not able to walk. If you only use knobby tires, I think you just " sort of " have winter. MA rider here. Deep snow is the only stopper for me, sometimes. They actually plow the bike paths here too.
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Old 09-12-17, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad
You reminded me of my only fall with the studded Dillingers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p58OCgvqDgo

It was a fresh layer of snow over bullet-proof ice, riding along a small creek. The back wheel slipped into a hole along the creek, somehow I kept my feet dry standing on a small shelf of ice. The "ow, OW!" was my left foot still clipped in under the bike and getting a calf cramp.

There are limits to everything!
Funny how we all gasp and huff and grunt the same. I could have sworn you had made a recording of me.
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Old 09-12-17, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
Funny how we all gasp and huff and grunt the same. I could have sworn you had made a recording of me.
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Old 12-11-17, 11:12 PM
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Vee Rubber studded, the cheapest I could find.

Rode them at 25F and they were fine (no snow yet, though)
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Old 12-11-17, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun
Vee Rubber studded, the cheapest I could find.

Rode them at 25F and they were fine (no snow yet, though)
There is a reason they are cheap. They are not a good tire.
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Old 12-12-17, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK
There is a reason they are cheap. They are not a good tire.
Do you have actual experience with those and compared them to "better" ones? and what defines good vs. bad for you? Longevity, rolling resistance, snow behavior? Pavement behavior? Ice behavior?

I realize less than half the cost comes with compromises. People made your exact comment to me before (without specifics, though) and i expected them to be like lead-filled. But they were surprisingly easy-rolling at 25F on pavement and on dirt the same as my normal tires. Yes they roll a bit harder and noisier, but I bet any studded tire regardless of cost will be noisier and a bit heavier to roll.

and if it wasn't for these cheap tires, I wouldn't have studded tires since i already bought 2 bikes this year. and I'm sure they will be better on ice than my standard tires.

If they don't work great, fine, I just use them up till they are worn out and buy "better" ones next time. It is only a 3-4 month season and I don't expect many thousand miles.
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Old 12-12-17, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun
Do you have actual experience with those and compared them to "better" ones? and what defines good vs. bad for you? Longevity, rolling resistance, snow behavior? Pavement behavior? Ice behavior?

I realize less than half the cost comes with compromises. People made your exact comment to me before (without specifics, though) and i expected them to be like lead-filled. But they were surprisingly easy-rolling at 25F on pavement and on dirt the same as my normal tires. Yes they roll a bit harder and noisier, but I bet any studded tire regardless of cost will be noisier and a bit heavier to roll.

and if it wasn't for these cheap tires, I wouldn't have studded tires since i already bought 2 bikes this year. and I'm sure they will be better on ice than my standard tires.

If they don't work great, fine, I just use them up till they are worn out and buy "better" ones next time. It is only a 3-4 month season and I don't expect many thousand miles.
High rolling resistance. Poor performance (traction) on snow. He colder it gets the worse they'll perform.

I live in Anchorage, I think there are more fat bikes per capita than anywhere else. You don't see VeeRubber tires. Three, four years ago every shop in town had them. After the first season shops couldn't give them away.

But they do cost less than Dillinger.
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Old 12-12-17, 08:43 PM
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What use cases are studded useful for? Is it purely ice riding, or all snowy conditions?
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