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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-08-17, 03:03 PM   #1
tate.yotter
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Proper Winter Tire Pressure

I ride a hybrid 12 miles to and from work. The trails are pretty icy right now here in Minnesota and last night I bit it pretty hard. My rear tire just swept out from under me and down I went. When I was explaining this to my friend he asked me what my psi was at. I usually keep my tires properly inflated. The max psi on my tires is 75 so I guesstimate that it was between 65 and 75 psi.

He suggested that I should deflate my tires for better traction. I understand the mechanics of this but I'm already commuting an hour and 20 minutes in the winter (slower than my summer time of one hour). So I hesitate to take air out of my tires and reduce my speed even more.

I don't currently have winter tires. I have 700x32 tires. They're the stock tires that came with the bike. I know I should upgrade but there's a laundry list of things that need to happen before I can spend money on winter tires. So for now, I'd like to just work with what I have.

Any suggestions? Do other more experienced riders deflate their tires? If so, by how much? I've been riding since July. This is my first winter. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-08-17, 03:12 PM   #2
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If it is icy, studded tires are the solution. You can mess around with pressure but even a flat tire will slip under you on ice.
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Old 12-08-17, 03:45 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's icy part of the way, snowy part of the way and the last leg I can ride on cleared roads (about 2 mi). So I'm just not sure there's a solution. I don't want to be riding on pavement with studded tires, right? I think I'll just have to be careful and be ok with an occasional spill.
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Old 12-08-17, 07:05 PM   #4
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I put my studded tires on in December, take them off in March, and never think about them. The good ones have tungsten carbide studs that wear at the same rate as the rubber and consequently last for three or more seasons. I don't dink around with pressures. I pump them up every two weeks and that's it.
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Old 12-09-17, 05:49 AM   #5
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If you're riding on ice without good traction your speed will be reduced by caution or injury. Might as well get studded tires: yes, you will be a little slower, but at least you can keep going. I rode one winter without studs, and I'd never do it again. I fell about once a week.
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Old 12-09-17, 06:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tate.yotter View Post
Yeah, it's icy part of the way, snowy part of the way and the last leg I can ride on cleared roads (about 2 mi). So I'm just not sure there's a solution. I don't want to be riding on pavement with studded tires, right? I think I'll just have to be careful and be ok with an occasional spill.
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I put my studded tires on in December, take them off in March, and never think about them. The good ones have tungsten carbide studs that wear at the same rate as the rubber and consequently last for three or more seasons. I don't dink around with pressures. I pump them up every two weeks and that's it.
Apart from rolling resistance, there’s very little immediate punishment from riding studs on clear pavement.
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Old 12-10-17, 02:27 PM   #7
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I don't want to be riding on pavement with studded tires, right?
95% of my riding with studded tires ends up being on dry pavement. They're there as insurance for the icy patches. The better studded tires have carbide-tipped studs, which can go for years and years without wearing down.
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Old 12-10-17, 05:35 PM   #8
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Ok. Thanks everyone Sounds like I'll have to invest in studded tires.
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Old 12-11-17, 09:13 AM   #9
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If you think your tires are at 65 psi, they might well be 50 psi actual (check with a tire gauge!). I'd hesitate to take 700Cx32 tires much lower because of the risk of pinch flats. If you think your commute is long, try fixing a snakebite flat in the middle of it!
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Old 12-11-17, 02:46 PM   #10
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https://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cy...oly-grail.html

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Old 12-11-17, 04:50 PM   #11
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That was a good read! After a couple years of experimentation, I've ended up in the same ballpark for my 1.9" Suomi Mount & Grounds: 25psi front, 30psi rear. And if the bike is inside and warm while I pump up the tires, I'll add a few psi to account for the temperature difference.

I'm in the planning stages of a new front wheel with a wider rim for more flotational goodness.
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Old 12-18-17, 04:22 AM   #12
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Ok. Thanks everyone Sounds like I'll have to invest in studded tires.
Look used...here, at least, many people buy studded tires but don't actually use them much.
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