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Winter tires

Old 08-26-17, 04:08 PM
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Paul4444
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Winter tires

Hi

I live in Saskatchewan and have a short 5km commute to work mainly along a bike path. Until now I have only commuted from May to November before our harsh winters arrive. The paths and road here are generally packed with snow/ice during the winter months although snow fall amounts at a time aren't too bad, about 2 inches but it doesn't melt (www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/Saskatchewan/Places/saskatoon-snowfall-totals-snow-accumulation-averages.php)(I can't post urls yet). The paths and roads are cleared but potentially not by the time I leave in the morning. I bought a new bike this year so now have my old Trek 3700 to use as a winter bike. The bike currently has 26 2 inch tires. I am looking for advice on studded tires to buy for my circumstances. Our prices here are high and it is cheaper to buy in the uk. I have seen schwalbe marathon winter tires for about $50 each. Would these be good for my conditions and if not is there a better alternative. Also I'm unsure whether to get 1.75 or 2 inch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 08-27-17, 02:33 PM
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Those Winter Marathons look good for $50.00. I personally don't know of a better deal. Some people have told me that a narrower tire is better for traction in winter, so maybe go for the 1.75". That's 44.45mm, so it's plenty wide.
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Old 08-27-17, 03:06 PM
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The SMW have shown repeated instances of short and unreliable lifelengths.
While the SMW roll better, I'm more comfortable recommending the Suomityres W240 instead.
More consistent life, better performance on looser snow.
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Old 08-28-17, 11:57 AM
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Suomi Nokian mount and ground Winter, 26x1.9" .. [on Fairbanks AK Snow Cat Rims, 45mm wide]

Ice on the roads is an event not a season here, so the ones I got direct from Finland (1990)are still usable.







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-28-17 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-28-17, 08:50 PM
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Take a look on kijiji for used studded tires. I got my marathon winter set (700x35) for $25.

The studs look a bit rusty, but work fine. A couple rides and the rust is gone.

I haven't had any problems with them so far.
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Old 08-29-17, 09:25 AM
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Southern Ontario Salted Slush, accumulated snow-storm and occasional icing winters here.

I own a set of SMW (26x2.0 IIRC) - first set of studded tires for me. Got mine from bike-components.de for 65.90Euro a pair + shipping. Performance on Ice is good, just like a studded tire is supposed to work. Performance on compacted snow or lower amounts of loose snow is decent.
What really limits the use of SMW's for me is that I get significantly less traction out of them (*) once there has been more than ~5cm of fresh snow, possibly paired with car tracks. They just fill up very quickly with snow and don't allow you to float very well for the width they have (it's more a round tire). For 90% of the time in the conditions here, my Kenda's work better - for you it might be a lower number as you seem to be more on the ice/compacted snow side of winters.

(*) compared to my standard cheap Kenda MTB tires of similar size with a tread similar to this one.

I would say that SMW's work, if you are not so concerned about deep snow cycling (with or without car traffic). If I were to replace my studded tires, I would likely try/research something else if the prices are comparable. It's just that I can imagine more all-round studded tires than the SMW's.

Edit: On the eternal discussion on wide vs. narrow winter tires: I am on the wide side of the spectrum (float on top, rather than push down to the pavement with narrow tires). Maybe SMW's are much better when using the narrow tire philosophy?
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Old 08-29-17, 09:55 AM
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I've been using the Schwalbe Marathon Winter 26 x 2 (4 rows of studs). Not the Schwalbe Winter (this has only two rows). Does it make a difference? It sure does. When the roads are clear I pump up to the max 70 PSI allowing tire to run on center bead. When snow and ice I reduce the pressure to 35 allowing the spikes to make contact. The outer row helps in cornering. Adjusting pressure helps spikes last longer when on pavement. You also run smoother and quicker when you have a clear road. I have been doing this for 7 years commuting 14 miles round trip in Maine. These are my winter tires and then I have a set for marathon plus for summer.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:03 PM
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Thanks guys. I think I'm going to go with the smw. It's mainly compacted snow/ice I'll be riding on and if it snows more than 2 inches I'll probably just drive. It seems like they'll do the job and the price is hard to beat.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:07 PM
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Does anyone have an opinion on the cygolite streak 450, unfortunately I need lights too.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:26 PM
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Also looking at the cateye volt 400 rc
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Old 08-30-17, 03:27 PM
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So how far do you have to ride? battery lights work less well when the battery is cold.

that is why mountaineering lights have a separate battery pack you put inside your coat .

Hub Generator LED lights wont have that problem.




...
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Old 08-30-17, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Hub Generator LED lights wont have that problem.
I second that! The best option of all.

For city commuting, you might not require a 450 lumen light. Get one that has less lumen, it will last you longer. I have a 400 lumen light with 3 settings (100, 200, 400) and always run it at 100. If I could, I would even use 50 sometimes and have my battery lasting double the time.
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Old 08-30-17, 08:41 PM
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Thanks I'll have a look but they may be too expensive this year. One final question (I hope). My bike will be outside most days at work in temperatures as low as -30 C and then in an unheated garage at night. Will this be OK and if not what problems can I expect?

Thanks
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Old 08-30-17, 09:08 PM
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Got to say that I agree, marathon winter work best narrow.
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Old 08-30-17, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul4444 View Post
Thanks I'll have a look but they may be too expensive this year. One final question (I hope). My bike will be outside most days at work in temperatures as low as -30 C and then in an unheated garage at night. Will this be OK and if not what problems can I expect?

Thanks
Outside in the snow? Expect a completely frozen drivetrain if it gets heavily snowed on. Outside in your garage? Nothing really. It'll work fine.

The marathon winters are good tires. I've had mine for 3 winters now and they still look new. Admittedly mine are the 700c version.

I also have the W240 mentioned above (paired with a nokian mount and ground) and I put those on my "OMG the weather is horrible" bike.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:48 AM
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I have a 400 and love it.
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Old 08-31-17, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul4444 View Post
My bike will be outside most days at work in temperatures as low as -30 C and then in an unheated garage at night. Will this be OK and if not what problems can I expect?
Aside from frozen parts: your bike will love you if you clean away any salt residues as much as possible and keep your chain, and drivetrain as free as possible from dirt and well lubricated inside the roller pins. Keep joints and threads greased (especially V-Brake mounting posts*).

* riding on a steel department store beater. Posts rusted, had to clean them which removes metal, now the gap for water to come in is larger. That story continues until the frame is done, unless you have replaceable mounts.
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Old 08-31-17, 08:00 PM
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Thanks guys. I knew that wouldn't be my last question. I can also get these for a similar price but I'm not sure if they would be overkill. Like I said before its mainly going to be compacted snow/ice for most of the months with a few inches of fresh dry snow on top some of the mornings. Would these be better than the marathon, I'm more concerned with safety than speed

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobile/ca/en/schwalbe-ice-spiker-pro-winter-tyre-raceguard/rp-prod123204

Thanks
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Old 09-01-17, 08:35 AM
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be prepared for flats, meaning with new tires or new size tires you might need a cpl new tubes in matching size to keep in your bag. patch kit fresh? the winter I commuted, I started by keeping my bike outside & would spritz it off w my water bottle when I got to the office or at home (refilled w warm water at destination). heated loading dock at work, no problems drip drying on sheets of cardboard. at home one cable froze up outside. so I decided to bring it inside every night, down the stairs thru my bulkhead into my (mostly) unheated basement which stays 50 degrees, well above freezing. put down cardboard so it could dry off. keeping it clean & above freezing overnight helps a great deal. keep some paper towels nearby too
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Old 09-01-17, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
be prepared for flats, meaning with new tires or new size tires you might need a cpl new tubes in matching size to keep in your bag. patch kit fresh?
If frequent flats due to intrusion of objects becomes a concern, you could also use a tire liner. Has reduced my flats to almost zero at the cost of additional rotating weight. But when we're talking about the weight of studded tires already...
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Old 09-05-17, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
If frequent flats due to intrusion of objects becomes a concern, you could also use a tire liner. Has reduced my flats to almost zero at the cost of additional rotating weight. But when we're talking about the weight of studded tires already...
IHMO, studded tires are really bulletproof, way heavy with a very thick casing. never had a flat with 4 different sets/widths.
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Old 09-06-17, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul4444 View Post
Thanks I'll have a look but they may be too expensive this year. One final question (I hope). My bike will be outside most days at work in temperatures as low as -30 C and then in an unheated garage at night. Will this be OK and if not what problems can I expect?

Thanks
bringing it in the house where its warm and humid, and back out side can cause internal condensation based rust.

with battery lights best to bring them in, .... but be mindful many plastics are brittle at -30F









.....
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Old 09-06-17, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
bringing it in the house where its warm and humid, and back out side can cause internal condensation based rust.

with battery lights best to bring them in, .... but be mindful many plastics are brittle at -30F



.....
It's ok, -30c is only -22f. It only meets up at -40
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