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Studded tire recommendations

Old 10-31-23, 10:24 AM
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Studded tire recommendations

I'm no stranger to studded tires. I have Schwalbe marathon plus tires on my Bullitt cargo bike. I'd also like studs on my gravel bike which has clearance for 45mm tires. I'm curious about the Conti Contact spike but generally speaking I'm just looking for a good snow and ice capable winter tire.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-31-23, 02:20 PM
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While we're at it, I could use some similar advice.

In winters past, I rode my Warbird with wide (unstudded) tires when the roads were clear, and the Masi CXGR with studs when conditions required it.
I too am using the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I'm quite happy with their performance on winter surfaces. It's putting them on the wheels that drives me nuts.
With two different winter bikes, studded and unstudded, the studs went on at the beginning of the winter and stayed on until the end.

But now the Masi is a commuter, with heavy steel baskets bolted on the back, and not really suitable for sport/workout riding. So the best solution (because I'm an idiot and got ride of the OEM wheels that came with the Warbird) is to swap tires on the gravel bike.

Are there studded tires with somewhat more supple sidewalls, that aren't such a bear to mount?
I too could go wider. My gravel wheels are 25 mm ID and the Warbird has plenty of clearance for wider tires.

(The alternative is to take those steel baskets off, but they get used for shopping and stuff. I'd be loathe to go without them.)
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Old 11-11-23, 08:18 PM
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As far as studded tires go, I believe you are already using the best ones available.
I have been using Schwalbe studded tires for many years during winters and have been very happy with how they perform.
Before I tried them, I used a different brand (Nokias?). They worked alright but they had fewer spikes and were very heavy. Once I switched to Schwalbe, I never felt the need to try any other brands.
During snow or icy weather, I use a mountain bike with front suspension (Litespeed with 26” wheel with studded tires) but in fair winter weather (usually quite cold but no snow or ice), I use an old Softride (winter beater) with normal road tires (26” wheels 42mm tires). Wheels can be swapped easily between them, when needed as it did happen once, the Softride shifter/derailure wasn’t behaving too well at around -5F but XTR set in Litespeed was doing just fine so all I needed was to swap the wheels - making it easy to not be late to work.
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Old 11-20-23, 11:28 PM
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My strategy is to ride as much as possible on the non-studded Conti TopContact Winter across winter. I start in the late fall and end in the early spring. Some winters I never go to studs and some winters for just a couple of weeks. Those winter non-studded tires are made from a compound that stays soft at low temperatures and they have a tread that reminds the gecko toes, that is grippy. Some other manufacturers may offer similar non-studded tires.
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