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Newbie question about studded tires

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Newbie question about studded tires

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Old 12-09-18, 02:37 PM
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Tandem Tom
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Newbie question about studded tires

Even though I work part-time in a bike shop I have not sold or talked with anyone who uses studded tires. So my question is are they "slip proof"". I went down a few years back and cracked my ribs so I am a bit timid about ice.
Will appreciate your advice!
Thanks!
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Old 12-09-18, 03:00 PM
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Some studded tires are better than others. I used to run Nokian Extremes 294s and they felt like velcro on ice, the grip was amazing. I would deliberately seek out frozen icy areas just for fun...Of course caution is required but those tires really inspire confidence.
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Old 12-09-18, 03:20 PM
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Bikewolf
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Studded tires take away the first fear, and really do help. Confidence will grow with experience (as there is snow and snow, ice and ice). Be brave! We too try not to fall ;-)
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Old 12-09-18, 04:09 PM
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dabac
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Thereís quite a bit of difference between studded tires.
The 100-something studs mostly protect against the wheels disappearing from under you even when youíre being somewhat cautious.
IMO, the 200-300 studs allow me to ride near normally even on ice for my commute.
Then again, Iím not pushing that hard on my commutes.
There are some high-performance tires where the studs actually comes to points.
These - when new - offer very good grip on ice.
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Old 12-09-18, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Even though I work part-time in a bike shop I have not sold or talked with anyone who uses studded tires. So my question is are they "slip proof"".
Not slip proof, but most do pretty well in straight line conditions. Corner with caution though, and try to always brake in a straight line.

What sort of bike do you have, and what brand/model studded tires are you looking at?
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Old 12-09-18, 05:54 PM
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I rode my Schwalbe Marathon Winter Tyre - RaceGuard over a street that looked like a sheet of glass. When I stood up on the pedals and cranked hard to get across an intersection, the wheel spun a time or two. So far thats the only time I know that I've slipped. That said, I don't think you can expect to ride the exact same in the winter as you do the rest of the time.
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Old 12-10-18, 09:47 AM
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yes, with rare exception, they are slip proof. hope that helps
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Old 12-10-18, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yes, with rare exception, they are slip proof. hope that helps
Ofc...it is all about the right pressure. Lots of folks overinflate, and surprise surprise, the crown of the tire doesn't deflect enough to let the studs make contact.


It needs noted as well...some places (My Fair City) put down a light spread of traction sand on solid sheet ice.....which judging by how poorly cars do even then--is pointless....I bring it up as the studs on say an SMW can get fowled with all the sand stuck around/on them, and they don't do much. Thanks NDOR.
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Old 12-10-18, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
some places (My Fair City) put down a light spread of traction sand on solid sheet ice.....which judging by how poorly cars do even then--is pointless....I bring it up as the studs on say an SMW can get fowled with all the sand stuck around/on them, and they don't do much. Thanks NDOR.
oh interesting, but I can see that. I've had the blocks fill with snow (just the right consistency & temperature) effectively lifting the tires off the studs. but that's been so rare for me
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Old 12-10-18, 11:19 AM
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On sheer ice, you can definitely buy studded tires that are as "slip proof" as regular rubber tires are on asphalt. Minimum I would do is schalbe marathon winters. For more grip 45nth gravdals are grippier and a bit slower. I've bike around an ice skating rink on my schwalbe marathon winters (at lower pressure).

But there's another condition that hard to solve with tires - a combination of mucky snow on top of solid ice. Your tire connects with the snow, but the snow is slipping around on top of the ice. Your studs don't reach the ice so they can't grip on them. There's nothing you can do to totally fix that.

The most stable bike would be a fat bike with studded tires. But they ride very differently, in my experience they always feel a bit floaty on top of everything other than dry pavement. They work better though, even when they start to slip out it's a very slow slip and you have time to either correct or get a foot down.
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Old 12-10-18, 12:10 PM
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No they absolutely not slip proof, some types of ice is just so hard studs can't bite into it.

Freezing rain that occurs just before a drop in temperature sets up incredibly smooth and hard. Flowing melt water that freezes up overnight is the same way, and since flowing implies a slope, you are much more likely to experience a front wheel slipout. Natural bodies of water that freeze over are also very hard and slick, particularly under bridges where there is no snow. And obviously skating rinks. On all of these types of surfaces even with 4.8" studded fat bike tires I have to be careful.

You really have to be extra careful anywhere there is ice and surface has a sideways tilt. The tilt will pull you towards the lower side, trying to steer against it, even lightly can make the front wheel instantly slide out from underneath you. I find the best thing to do in those situations is to just let it pull you and come to a stop if necessary.

Freezing rain with a little snow on top is really bad. The snow raises the tires just enough to make the studs nearly useless.

If you are place that hovers around freezing, you are less likely to encounter the really bad stuff. Here it generally stays below -10C most of the winter, so the ice just builds and builds.
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Old 12-11-18, 02:03 PM
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1990 I Got a Bundle of Studded tires from Finland, I still use a pair from that shipment, 26 x 1;9" .. still has all the studs

out here Ice and Snow, is an occasion, not a season. Further inland it's a different story..


...
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Old 12-11-18, 08:10 PM
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Here in Minnesota, the only winter constant is cold. Road conditions vary a lot. Studs are useful after a snow when everything gets packed down and turned to ice and when there's a lot of melting and refreezing. But for 75% of the time, streets are clear and studs aren't needed--you're better off with narrow slicks on a road bike. Also, fixed gear is a lot better because brakes tend to fail when gunked up. Having two bikes, an old single speed or fixed MTB with studs and a fixie with slicks works really well.
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Old 12-14-18, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by danmar View Post
Here in Minnesota, the only winter constant is cold. Road conditions vary a lot. Studs are useful after a snow when everything gets packed down and turned to ice and when there's a lot of melting and refreezing. But for 75% of the time, streets are clear and studs aren't needed--you're better off with narrow slicks on a road bike.
As a Minnesotan I'm surprised to hear this claim from another Minnesotan...in my experience the roads not-infrequently end up with ice on them all winter long. Many years ice never gets completely removed until spring and not-infrequently you have to deal with rutted ice left on the road all year.

The bike paths get "plowed" but usually seem to end up with a layer of ice on them as well.

Originally Posted by danmar View Post
Also, fixed gear is a lot better because brakes tend to fail when gunked up. Having two bikes, an old single speed or fixed MTB with studs and a fixie with slicks works really well.
I can see your point with a fixie...but would point out that disc brakes also work fairly well.
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Old 12-14-18, 03:06 PM
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As others have said - not COMPLETELY slip proof, but about a million times better than using summer tires! I've used Schwalbe Winter (used to be called Snow Stud, with 2 rows of studs) for ten years, and for my e-bike I have a Marathon Winter on the front. I bought one for the rear but haven't felt the need to add that yet, even though we've had snow since early October.

I'm in Calgary where the roads can get ugly with snow, packed snow, ice, "snirt", and everyone's favourite "there was a chinook and everything melted halfway and then refroze across the bike path/road". That last one can be nasty, because the black ice is sometimes just too thin for studs to bite in, but I've been riding in this stuff for over a decade and have only had a few spills, none at speed.
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Old 12-16-18, 07:59 AM
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I admit a fixie with slicks is counter-intuitive, but it really is doable. Even on packed snow it often handles better than my studded MTB. Conditions really do vary day to day, even hour to hour.

As others have mentioned, black ice and refrozen meltwater is the worst. If you're not careful, those will take you down no matter what kind of tires you've got.
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