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Stud vs pavement lifespan?

Old 12-06-23, 10:29 PM
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Stud vs pavement lifespan?

How long do studs last if 3/4 of one’s commute is pavement, the other 1/4 occasional hard pack snow/ice? Looks like Schwalbe replacement studs are 50˘ each.
Scenario: my commute one way begins at 8,600’, above Jamestown, Colorado. I begin with two miles of dirt road with some short steeps, covered with hard pack snow and ice. Then I descend 3.5 miles on 7-15% grade, then 9 miles of 4% grade with intermittent snow/ice, and final 7 miles relatively flat at 5,100’, little snow. Of course this all depends on the season! Problem is I can’t commute on days with snow/ice, and there are too many of those days for my liking. Will studded snows last me a season?
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Old 12-06-23, 11:48 PM
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Yes, they should last at least one season.

Do keep an eye on them, just to be sure. As they get closer to the end of their useable life, you will start feeling the difference in traction on ice and packed snow. If you do, install new studded tires. Avoiding a mishap is worth far more than the price of two tires!
Be safe and enjoy the winter bicycling. 👍
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Old 12-07-23, 09:51 AM
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My Schwalbes see mostly dry pavement. I get maybe 1500 miles on the front tire before the studs wear to the point of making me paranoid. I then retire the rear and put the front on the rear, with a new on front. If the rear studs wear through the casing and into the tube before I'm not comfortable with the front, I do the switch anyway.

I have several old tires with pristine outer rows of studs and worn inner rows. And lots of good tread left. If I could get 50 cents for each of those pristine studs....
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Old 12-07-23, 08:20 PM
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The rubber wears much faster than the studs. With my Ice Spiker Pros when the rubber is too worn the studs will snap off, and if you replace them those will snap off too. The center row of studs on my Ice Spikers are done, but the outer studs still provide plenty of grip for when I use them. When I was using Marathon Winter tires on my touring bike, when the rubber got too thin the studs would get pushed in and start giving me flats instead of losing studs.

It would likely take more than a season to get to that point. I've done a lot of bare pavement riding with mine since I use that bike at the beginning / end of winter when there's still the chance of ice but not enough snow for my fat bike.
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Old 12-07-23, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K;[url=tel:23093097
23093097[/url]]Yes, they should last at least one season.

Do keep an eye on them, just to be sure. As they get closer to the end of their useable life, you will start feeling the difference in traction on ice and packed snow. If you do, install new studded tires. Avoiding a mishap is worth far more than the price of two tires!
Be safe and enjoy the winter bicycling. 👍
That’s great. Better than I expected. Thank you.
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Old 12-07-23, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeCommuter;[url=tel:23093367
23093367[/url]]My Schwalbes see mostly dry pavement. I get maybe 1500 miles on the front tire before the studs wear to the point of making me paranoid. I then retire the rear and put the front on the rear, with a new on front. If the rear studs wear through the casing and into the tube before I'm not comfortable with the front, I do the switch anyway.

I have several old tires with pristine outer rows of studs and worn inner rows. And lots of good tread left. If I could get 50 cents for each of those pristine studs....
Hey do you ever replace the worn ones? Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-08-23, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Hey do you ever replace the worn ones? Thanks for the info!
No, as it'd be way too tedious, plus it wouldn't extend the life of the tire for me. It's the studs wearing through the casing that is the death-blow for me--not stud or tread wear.

In some past post, a member said he uses a diamond file to "sharpen" rounded off carbide studs. I jumped on that and ordered a file. I played around with it a little but lost interest. The carbide dust is apparently "not good to inhale," so the recommendation was to do it outside or wear a mask, or both. Around here in MN, doing it outside would be best in warmer, not-winter-season temps. But being the procrastinator, with more important summer activities to attend to, that has never happened.
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Old 12-08-23, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Hey do you ever replace the worn ones? Thanks for the info!
No, I have never had the need to replace studs. The tedium of it wouldn’t be worthwhile to me; I change tires a little early rather than too late - it’s much safer that way.
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Old 12-08-23, 12:31 PM
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Carbide is pretty tuff if the aluminum base it is mounted into doesn't fail. The screw in Grip Studs in my fat bike tires are on their third set of tires, counting the first year they were on my Pugsley before I switch to a Moonlander frame. Probably 15,000 km of riding on those studs, though they don't see a lot of bare pavement. I'm glad they lasted so long since I paid around $300 for the studs alone, today it would be closer to $400.
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Old 12-08-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gecho
Carbide is pretty tuff if the aluminum base it is mounted into doesn't fail. The screw in Grip Studs in my fat bike tires are on their third set of tires, counting the first year they were on my Pugsley before I switch to a Moonlander frame. Probably 15,000 km of riding on those studs, though they don't see a lot of bare pavement. I'm glad they lasted so long since I paid around $300 for the studs alone, today it would be closer to $400.
Around a buck a stud, OUCH!
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Old 12-08-23, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Around a buck a stud, OUCH!


Pricey but given the price of studded fat bike tires it has probably saved me money in the long run. Plus there are no studded tires quite like the Surly Lou I'm running studded in the rear. I went that route back in 2013 out of necessity as the first studded fat bike tire had just come out and there was no stock of it anywhere.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Hey do you ever replace the worn ones? Thanks for the info!
You can buy studs and a special tool for removing and installing them. Schwalbe sells them.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:42 AM
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throw a set on & see how you like them
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Old 01-31-24, 08:05 PM
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I've been using Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires for many years. I've not noticed any particular degradation in the tires' performance due to stud wear. The studs don't wear much anyway, because the carbide is very hard.
The *only* issue I've had is the studs wearing through the casing and, if left unattended, eventually causing a flat. This happens faster on the rear than the front, so I keep the newer tire on the back. I know this runs against the general recommendation to keep the better tire on the front, but 1) my commuting speed is low enough that a front flat or other misadventure wouldn't lead to a catastrophe and 2) it's such a pain in the sitter to change the rear tire.
Luckily, I discovered that if I put a tire liner in after the first winter in service, I don't have any flats. I take the tires off and inspect the insides after the winter is over. I generally get about 3 winters on the rear tire and 4 or more on the front.


After one winter on the rear wheel, the studs are just beginning to show through so a tire liner goes in. This tire is good for another couple winters.



Here's a tire that has seen 3 or maybe 4 winters on the rear. It is toast. The tire liner prevented any flats though.
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Old 01-31-24, 09:16 PM
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Thank you! Really appreciate the response, photons and experience.
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Old 01-31-24, 09:32 PM
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I tried an early version of studs 50 years ago. Roofing nails pushed through from the inside, then lined with a sewup casing. I was riding all tubulars those days so I threw the tires on my original UO-8 wheels. Worked rather well but I only did a couple of rides on them. I was using them to ride into campus and back. And terrified a coed would step out in front of me. Stopping in the wet with those very heavy tires on those infamous steel rims in time to not shred her pantyhose and more with sharpened studs? Instead I laid the bike down in full view of a lot of them riding my CX tires. Exactly between classes. Embarrassing but nobody got hurt.
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Old 02-10-24, 04:46 PM
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I've never had to replace studs before, but this year I got a new set of Schwalbe Winter Marathons and have lost over a dozen studs on the front tire. I ordered the replacement studs with insertion tool from Schwalbe, but I can't get the new studs in. They're a lot wider than the hole that needs to receive them. Is there a trick to insertion, or is this a case of, "If force doesn't work, you're not using enough of it"?
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