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Studded winter tires a bear to mount - don't think I could fix a flat

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Studded winter tires a bear to mount - don't think I could fix a flat

Old 12-15-19, 08:59 PM
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MinnMan
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Studded winter tires a bear to mount - don't think I could fix a flat

I've got a fantastic set of Nokian W106s that are just perfect for winter riding on my cx, except that they are an absolute bear to mount. They have super-thick sidewalls and even with a tire jack in my basement, putting them on at the beginning of winter is a major undertaking, and taking them off in the spring is not a picnic either.

Maybe there's somebody out there with superior finger strength, but it ain't me. Particularly in the cold wearing thick gloves (lobster claws) and reduced dexterity, I am certain I would not be able to change a flat on the road. The odds of a puncture seem very low, but a pinch flat doesn't seem out of the question - thankfully it's not happened yet.

I've decided that rather than carry a tube and pump, I'll instead carry a small cable lock. In the event of a flat, I'll lock up the bike, call an Uber, hope I don't freeze while I wait for it, and pick up the bike later.

Is anybody else vexed by this challenge?
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Old 12-15-19, 09:59 PM
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For one it is very hard to get a flat with a studded tire. Second, if you struggle this is because you are presumably not very effective working with tires. There is nothing to be ashamed - we all learn. This video


shows how to get a tire off without any tools. There may be other similar instruction materials around. I would start with regular tires for the sake of training. From time to time I do it with studded tires for practice. In everyday life I am usually lazy and use the levers for speed, but just a little. You may say that rims vary and I presumably have the easy ones. OK, I do it with 16" tires too. On a small wheel you have far less margin than on large. Take your time, be patient, hands alone are actually sufficient.
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Old 12-15-19, 10:15 PM
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It helps to work your way around the tire pushing the beads in towards the center of the rim. That said I wouldn't bother trying to fix a flat out in the cold if I didn't have to. Fortunately winter flats have been quite rare for me, most of them were when my Marathon Winter tires reached the end of their life.

Worst studded tire I've had to deal with so far are Ice Spiker Pro TLR. Don't buy that tire in tubeless if you don't have to because they are a super tight fit. I can barely get it on the rim even though the sidewalls are far more flexible than most studded tires.
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Old 12-15-19, 11:55 PM
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The bike I ride in winter has single-wall rims. That helps a ton in mounting and dismounting my Suomi W160 Mount & Grounds by hand.
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Old 12-16-19, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
For one it is very hard to get a flat with a studded tire. Second, if you struggle this is because you are presumably not very effective working with tires. There is nothing to be ashamed - we all learn. This video

How to get tire off without tools

shows how to get a tire off without any tools. There may be other similar instruction materials around. I would start with regular tires for the sake of training. From time to time I do it with studded tires for practice. In everyday life I am usually lazy and use the levers for speed, but just a little. You may say that rims vary and I presumably have the easy ones. OK, I do it with 16" tires too. On a small wheel you have far less margin than on large. Take your time, be patient, hands alone are actually sufficient.
These types of videos are very misleading and prove absolutely nothing... There are certain rim/tire combinations which are impossible to work on without a strong set of tire levers. It becomes even more difficult when it's cold outside and a person is wearing gloves.
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Old 12-16-19, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
These types of videos are very misleading and prove absolutely nothing... There are certain rim/tire combinations which are impossible to work on without a strong set of tire levers. It becomes even more difficult when it's cold outside and a person is wearing gloves.
I do not invoke the video as a proof or call for abandoning the levers. I advocate training with bare hands when under comfortable conditions, without pressure of time. Experience gained turns out to be invaluable when challenges mount. With the experience the number of easy rim-tire combinations dramatically widens and of the impossible shrinks. I just went out to count and we have 11 bicycles and gazillions of rims and tires and I there is not a single combination for any bike that I cannot do with bare hands. Is it normal for me to work with bare hands? No, but it is not a big deal either. Do the gloves matter? Not really, if you know what you are doing. Does being cold, frustrated, wet, tired, not being able to see well what is going on matter? Sure, but you take care of what you can take care ahead of time.
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Old 12-16-19, 08:20 AM
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sounds like a plan if you're on the road, near civilization. just don't wander off into the woods ...

while I agree, the usual type of flats are less likely with beefy studded tires, I had 2 flats with studded tires one day. & I was alone out in the woods. it happens. but wasn't from road debris.



when mounting 1 set recently, I feel like getting old tires off is easier than getting them back on. my tire jack isn't big enough to use on my current 2 sets of studded tires 40mm & 2.25". I carry 2 toe straps cuz they help keep one side compressed down in the channel, w/o popping off (maddening) & allowing a bit more slack on the other side. learned that tip here & it really helps. I also carry 3 types of levers including a speedier lever which, when combined with traditional levers helps enough to keep carrying it



the toe strap thing works with road tires too, of course

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Old 12-16-19, 09:23 AM
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Those sound like sweet winter tires!

In three years of winter riding, I've been caught with a flat only once (knock on wood). I called Uber, they picked up me and the bike and the next day I walked it over to the mechanic.

I detached the front tire and loaded the bike frame first, then the detached wheel second
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Old 12-16-19, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Those sound like sweet winter tires!

In three years of winter riding, I've been caught with a flat only once (knock on wood). I called Uber, they picked up me and the bike and the next day I walked it over to the mechanic.

I detached the front tire and loaded the bike frame first, then the detached wheel second
I figure that my bike is going to be covered in awful ice and salt that becomes a slurry of filthy briny water when warmed. so that no Uber driver would let me put it in their car.
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Old 12-16-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Those sound like sweet winter tires!

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Old 12-16-19, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I do not invoke the video as a proof or call for abandoning the levers. I advocate training with bare hands when under comfortable conditions, without pressure of time. Experience gained turns out to be invaluable when challenges mount. With the experience the number of easy rim-tire combinations dramatically widens and of the impossible shrinks. I just went out to count and we have 11 bicycles and gazillions of rims and tires and I there is not a single combination for any bike that I cannot do with bare hands. Is it normal for me to work with bare hands? No, but it is not a big deal either. Do the gloves matter? Not really, if you know what you are doing. Does being cold, frustrated, wet, tired, not being able to see well what is going on matter? Sure, but you take care of what you can take care ahead of time.
You just gave me an idea. I'll just take you along on all of my rides. I'm glad you are so skilled and able. I'm not a slouch when it comes to changing tires, but this particular combination is beyond my ability without a tire jack. Your wisdom, though inspiring, doesn't really change my predicament.
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Old 12-16-19, 10:05 AM
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I've not gotten a flat on my Marathon Winters but haven't tripping thousands of miles on them either. I always use New tubes and mounting them hoping to keep Flats away. Fortunately they mount easily on the Weinmann rims I normally put them on.

I have a set of brand new 700x35c Marathon Winter Plus' in the for sale thread. $60 each shipped to the lower 47 (no California) if you buy 2.
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Old 12-16-19, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
while I agree, the usual type of flats are less likely with beefy studded tires, I had 2 flats with studded tires one day. & I was alone out in the woods. it happens. but wasn't from road debris.
I had flats tied to the seating of a tire. In one case I got already down to such a low pressure that the tire walked off the rim and the debris was freely getting inside. In another case I pinched the tube while seating the tire, the tube crept out and was rubbing against the brake, but I though it was ice accumulation. Interestingly, even though the tube outside was already rubbed through, the tire kept the air for as long as the tube was pressed to the rim. I just released the brake, pumped up the tire and made it somehow to my destination in time.
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Old 12-16-19, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I figure that my bike is going to be covered in awful ice and salt that becomes a slurry of filthy briny water when warmed. so that no Uber driver would let me put it in their car.
Nahhhhh! Ok Maybe just a little. Maybe leave a tip. Remember, your safety is important
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Old 12-16-19, 10:54 AM
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Great deal on the marathon, I got one this winter, too!
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Old 12-16-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
In another case I pinched the tube while seating the tire, the tube crept out and was rubbing against the brake, but I though it was ice accumulation. Interestingly, even though the tube outside was already rubbed through, the tire kept the air for as long as the tube was pressed to the rim. I just released the brake, pumped up the tire and made it somehow to my destination in time.
yikes! you don't hear that every day! good job keeping your "cool" & getting home
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Old 12-16-19, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Great deal on the marathon, I got one this winter, too!
even better prices for them on bike24.de

Schwalbe tires in general are cheaper in Europe
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Old 12-16-19, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
even better prices for them on bike24.de

Schwalbe tires in general are cheaper in Europe
Yup, but add in the $20 shipping and waiting to clear customs will put you further out. These took 3 weeks, most of which was to clear customs.
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Old 12-16-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
Yup, but add in the $20 shipping and waiting to clear customs will put you further out. These took 3 weeks, most of which was to clear customs.
Takes less than 2 weeks total shipping time. And winter is a pretty predictable season, one could get the bike ready in time?
Even if one only orders one tire, it already is cheaper. Most bicycles require 2 tires and they also sell other bicycle related items. So the flat shipping rate becomes less per item.

I'm not telling anyone how to order, I'm just putting the information out. sure, if you found out about winter today and you need to go to work tomorrow, paying twice the cost to an LBS who has them in stock may be worth it and be cheaper than an emergency room visit.
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Old 12-16-19, 04:10 PM
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Saw a bike hack vid where tie wraps, square tab to the ice, made supposedly adequate snow/ice tires out of your everyday fare....
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Old 12-16-19, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
You just gave me an idea. I'll just take you along on all of my rides. I'm glad you are so skilled and able. I'm not a slouch when it comes to changing tires, but this particular combination is beyond my ability without a tire jack. Your wisdom, though inspiring, doesn't really change my predicament.
My sarcasm sense is tingling.😄

Like others have said, flats rare with studded tires. Though end of life tires, beware of them. The studs will puncture through to the tube and give you a flat. Both my Schwalbe winters went the same way, in the same week.

It really depends the tire size and the rim. My 45 mm W106s are a breeze to mount and unmount.
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Old 12-16-19, 08:18 PM
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I will echo what mcours2006 said. My Nokian w106 tires are relatively easy to mount and dismount my old mountain bike. But I have had other tires on my other bikes that seem like they are the wrong size they are so hard to get on and off. At the moment, all three bikes are shod with tires that go on easily, and that's two pairs for the old mountain bike summer and winter.
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Old 12-17-19, 07:06 AM
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yeah 26er tires are cake
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Old 12-17-19, 05:28 PM
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Using smaller tubes makes the job easier. For example if you have 2 inch tires , use tubes that are made for 1.5 inch tires... If you have 700x35 tires, use tubes which are made for 700x28 tires. This is especially important if you have narrow rims which are tight and don't have a lot of room. One of the reasons why I prefer wider rims is because it makes tire install/removal easier.
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Old 12-17-19, 05:42 PM
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Studded winter tires a bear to mount - don't think I could fix a flat
Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I've got a fantastic set of Nokian W106s that are just perfect for winter riding on my cx, except that they are an absolute bear to mount. They have super-thick sidewalls and even with a tire jack in my basement, putting them on at the beginning of winter is a major undertaking, and taking them off in the spring is not a picnic either.

Maybe there's somebody out there with superior finger strength, but it ain't me. Particularly in the cold wearing thick gloves (lobster claws) and reduced dexterity, I am certain I would not be able to change a flat on the road. The odds of a puncture seem very low, but a pinch flat doesn't seem out of the question - thankfully it's not happened yet.

I've decided that rather than carry a tube and pump, I'll instead carry a small cable lock. In the event of a flat, I'll lock up the bike, call an Uber, hope I don't freeze while I wait for it, and pick up the bike later.

Is anybody else vexed by this challenge?
To the best of my knowledge after at least 10 years of using studded tires think I have never changed them.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
.”Who is getting a snow storm right now?"

...This Saturday prompted by the forecast I took my beater bike in to the shop to have the studded tires put on, kept on for the entire winter.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"How long does it take you to fix a flat?"

I carry two new tubes on a long ride, and I never seem to get around to patching flats though I do carry a patch kit for the worst circumstances.

As a year-round cycle commuter, time to fix is often critical, especially in the Winter
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Emergency Winter Cycling Kit?"

I too ride on urban / suburban routes with similar measures, but early, before 6 AM. I envision going to an indoor ATM machine to fix a flat, so I carry a bank card too... I don’t carry a lock and wouldn’t want to abandon my bike, with hassle of picking up later.

In my decades of commuting... I haven’t used Uber yet, so I don’t know how long wait (and inactive) times would be, especially in the early AM,so I would prefer to keep moving in the cold.

Since I have excellent Commuter Rail as an alternative commute, even on which to take my bike, I have frankly disdained busses, which are more accesible and frequent on my routes. Last week I did take a bus with my bike, and was pleased with the service, and carrying capacity, so now that looks like a primary emergency measure.

PS: I also use Kevlar tire liners year round, even on my fair weather carbon fiber road bike, to hopefully forestall flats.
About three years ago I bought a beater road bike that accepts 30C Marathon Winter studded tires, the narrowest I know of since I ride mostly well tended roads, for hardpack snow and ice. They look malleable enough, should the occasion arise to change them on the road.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-18-19 at 11:00 AM.
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