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When to Ditch the Studded Snow Tires

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When to Ditch the Studded Snow Tires

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Old 04-04-18, 02:17 PM
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parkbrav
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When to Ditch the Studded Snow Tires

Greetings! I just survived a mild winter up here in the northeast - Boston to be exact. We're getting wintry mix turning into rain over the next few days, and I'm thinking about ditching the snow tires back to the regular tires. Do the regular tires perform better in the rain vs the snow/ice than the studs? Should I get the tires installed this weekend or wait a week or two?
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Old 04-04-18, 04:38 PM
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I'd wait a week or two. The risk/reward is not worth it.

With studs I may lose about 5-7 minutes on a 20 km commute consistently. Not a whole lot when you compare about wiping out.
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Old 04-04-18, 10:06 PM
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I use transitional tires, Continental Top Contact Winter, during the transitional periods. They may take me fully or in practice across the season during milder winters. They pick stone pieces that act like mild studs. Michelin has similar tires but I have not tried them.
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Old 04-05-18, 03:17 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Greetings! I just survived a mild winter up here in the northeast - Boston to be exact. We're getting wintry mix turning into rain over the next few days, and I'm thinking about ditching the snow tires back to the regular tires.

Do the regular tires perform better in the rain vs the snow/ice than the studs? Should I get the tires installed this weekend or wait a week or two?
I'm here in Boston and I'm going nuts with this prolonged winter. Every week, I anticipate bringing out my pristine carbon fiber bike, and taking off the studded tires on my winter beater. Today is April 5, probably the longest I have kept them on.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… BTW,though I didn't ride today [2/27/18], I was thinking that after this weekend's heavy rains, the streets might be clean enough to bring out the pristine carbon fiber bike, in storage since December. The studs stay on the beater through most of March.

Carbide studs are reputed to last a long time. I ride studded tires all winter from December to March, nearly entirely on bare, wet, and/or salted pavement. However, now my beater bike is an aluminum Diverge Elite road bike and I have 30 C Schwalbe Marathon studded tires, the narrowest I know of.

I've not had a significant snow challenge with them since I ride well-plowed roads, but the previous (?) 35 C tires were good up to about 3 inches of new snow.

I really like the Schwalbe tires because I don't seem to feel the increased rolling resistance many claim for more aggressively treaded studded tires.
For me, the crucial change to “nice weather” riding is bringing out the carbon fiber. The earliest I recall was about February 28.

As I note above, the studded tires are not that big a hindrance, and are quite durable when ridden on bare pavement. And as our Toronto frère, @mcours2006 notes,
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I'd wait a week or two. The risk/reward is not worth it.

With studs I may lose about 5-7 minutes on a 20 km commute consistently. Not a whole lot when you compare about wiping out. [Subsequently, on 4/6/18,]
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I should have taken my own advice today. There was a light dusting of snow on the road when I came out of the house with the bike. Contemplated for a moment but decided to go ahead with the tires I had on anyway. No problems but some dicey moments.

I've actually had them off for quite some time now, even though winter looks like it's sticking around. -7*C this morning? I mean, c'mon!
BTW, @parkbrav, you might check out the de facto Metro Boston thread, “Metro Boston: Good ride today?,” on the Northeast Regional Discussion Forum. I don’t list my location on my profile, but it is “D’uh” (in Kenmore Square).


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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Whenever I see a series of nested quotes, I think "it's Jim from 'Duh' again."

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-07-18 at 03:43 AM. Reason: added additional quote by mcours 2006
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Old 04-05-18, 05:41 AM
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I should have taken my own advice today. There was a light dusting of snow on the road when I came out of the house with the bike. Contemplated for a moment but decided to go ahead with the tires I had on anyway. No problems but some dicey moments.

I've actually had them off for quite some time now, even though winter looks like it's sticking around. -7*C this morning? I mean, c'mon!

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Old 04-05-18, 07:33 AM
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ice on the ground this morning ...
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Old 04-05-18, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
They pick stone pieces that act like mild studs
I remember reading about those tires but wasn't aware of this feature & benefit!
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Old 04-05-18, 02:13 PM
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i took the 29x2 studded Marathon Winters off my hybrid last week and reinstalled my Continental Travel Contact's. it was a 5.5lb reduction in rotating mass. I forgot just how quick I can accelerate that old beast of burden with lighter tires.
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Old 04-05-18, 02:24 PM
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a Van carrying Vets to appointments goes over a 1600 foot coast range pass, they used the calendar, then rolled it on an Icy road..

they don't do it by the date any more...



I have an old MTB, it wears the studded tires.. I just park it in the basement and ride a different bike, the rest of the time..



But as the 3rd week of april passes, its 57 and sunny on the north west Oregon coast..






....

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Old 04-05-18, 03:00 PM
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I remember riding my old fixed wheel in high school with tubulars, (decidedly unstudded). It started snowing while I was out and on a downhill I was turning the rear wheel backward and fish-tailing.

Too old for that now...
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Old 04-05-18, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm here in Boston and I'm going nuts with this prolonged winter. Every week, I anticipate bringing out my pristine carbon fiber bike, and taking off the studded tires on my winter beater. Today is April 5, probably the longest I have kept them on. For me, the crucial change to “nice weather” riding is bringing out the carbon fiber. The earliest I recall was about February 28.
Same here in Iowa. There was a light snow this morning, and overnight temps below freezing for another week.

@parkbrav, leave the studded tires on for a while yet, and use another bike with regular tires on the occasional warm days. You have more than one, right?
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Old 04-07-18, 06:49 AM
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Last year I switched back in mid-March, which too early, and was rewarded with a slog. This year, I waited until two weeks ago. I'm enjoying the smooth quiet ride.
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Old 04-07-18, 11:29 AM
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Until 2017 I never had a winter that I couldn't ride with a simple aggressive tread. Last year I sat out most of the winter because it was insane period. My late father installed a lot of automobile tires in his life and I learned to also wait until people learned how to drive again before venturing out, when switchovers began in droves was a cue as well.


We had a lower moisture winter this year after the Snowmageddon of 2017 and most of our precipitation has been rain.
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Old 04-07-18, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
enjoying the smooth quiet ride.
like a light rain on a pond
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Old 04-16-18, 04:31 PM
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At the rate (non-)Spring is progressing here, should be safe to remove them by the 4th of July holiday.
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Old 04-16-18, 04:45 PM
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Puttin 'em back on for tomorrow.
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Old 04-16-18, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Puttin 'em back on for tomorrow.
So did I, this past weekend.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:44 PM
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Ha, I left one bike with studs on. Good thing, because they were necessary the past few days!

Hopefully things clear up, or I might be studding up another bike for the Wisconsin Bike Fed Spring Ride this weekend
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Old 04-17-18, 06:23 AM
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Yesterday, when I finished shoveling the drive, I removed my studded snows. I'm sick of winter, and that is my act of defiance to the weather gods. We'll see how they respond...
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Old 04-17-18, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
Yesterday, when I finished shoveling the drive, I removed my studded snows. I'm sick of winter, and that is my act of defiance to the weather gods. We'll see how they respond...
I took my car's snow tires off 2/28/18. that story did not end as planned. cuz then we had 4 nor'easters in March
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Old 04-17-18, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
Yesterday, when I finished shoveling the drive, I removed my studded snows. I'm sick of winter, and that is my act of defiance to the weather gods. We'll see how they respond...
You will incur their wrath; they will smite you.

I tried to ride today with studs, but after about 2 km and seeing the road conditions it was just way too dicey to ride. There's just too much ice on the road, some of which is invisible. I couldn't take the chance, studs or no studs.
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Old 04-17-18, 09:59 PM
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This is the worst time of year for taking off the studs (well I'm in minnesota so not as sure about other states). There's lots of snow, it melts into puddles during the day then freezes into black ice overnight. It's actually worse than the average day in the middle of winter as it's usually packed snow that there's at least a little grip on.

I've waited and waited for spring and summer, no frieking way I'm going to waste it in a cast because I broke something by taking the studs off to soon.

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Old 04-18-18, 07:27 PM
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Looks like I'm glad I waited. Monday was bumpy ice due to slush getting walked on and freezing. Today was heavy wet snow. This might be the last week of it, but who knows.
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Old 04-19-18, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
This is the worst time of year for taking off the studs (well I'm in minnesota so not as sure about other states). There's lots of snow, it melts into puddles during the day then freezes into black ice overnight. It's actually worse than the average day in the middle of winter as it's usually packed snow that there's at least a little grip on.

I've waited and waited for spring and summer, no frieking way I'm going to waste it in a caste because I broke something by taking the studs off to soon.
+1 to all this!
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Old 04-19-18, 05:50 PM
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Rode in with studs today. Glad I did. All that melting snow during the day produced a nice glaze on many parts of the road and trail this morning. In fact, I had to dismount and walk on a few sections. Studded tires are no match against frozen puddles. I almost went down one time, even with one foot planted on the ground.

The ride home was horrendous, not only because of the wind (30-40 kph sustained winds) in my face, but the studs didn't help matters. So frustrated with these conditions!
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