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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-01-08, 06:39 PM   #1
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studded tires for winter errands?

I've been doing all of my grocery shopping by bike and other errands for the past few months but now heading into winter I'm wondering if I will need studded tires? I live on top of small mountain so our roads are often covered w/ snow, but once I get into town, I'd be riding on pavement which would usually be clear. What type of tires would be best for this situation? I'm really concerned about ice which even if the roads were mostly clear, there would still be patches of ice and snow to contend with in my daily round. Thanks!
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Old 11-01-08, 08:21 PM   #2
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I would say that if you are going up any kind of hill you would want the added traction that studded tires will give you.
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Old 11-01-08, 08:28 PM   #3
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Studs are genuinely safer as well.

I was skeptical for months but seeing as this is my first winter I'm going to just go for it and pick up a pair of 294's and be done with it.

Expensive but the way I see it, if they can prevent one of those spontaneous "slips" causing me to break a wrist or worse they are well worth the money. I love cycling and am interested in the winter experience but not at the sake of my health and/or well being.
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Old 11-02-08, 05:43 AM   #4
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I recommend that you go for the studded tires. That you're "very concerned" is reason enough. Having to deal with random, icy patches on your ride is definitely reason enough. Your mountain-top road seems reason enough too.

Once you get them, you'll find yourself actually looking for icy patches, so that you can ride on them. I look forward each winter to riding on glare ice whenever I can.

p.s. If you do look for ice to ride on, here is what I've found: Take turns and corners very easy. Your front-tire can slide out if you corner aggressively. But stopping on the other hand -- just hit the front brake and those studs dig right in. Weight-transfer works in your favor with studded tires. Just use your front brake, and do take a little care not to totally lockup the wheel.

Lastly, I've had some issues on one of my 29ers with the hydraulic front-brake locking the front wheel too easily -- not good. Not sure whether the issue was really hydraulic brakes. My go-to bike last winter used rim brakes, and those modulated very, very well in winter conditions. I preferred them over disc, actually. This year, I'm building up a winter 29er with cable-disc brakes (BB7s). We'll see how those work out.

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Old 11-02-08, 08:31 AM   #5
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Studs aren't about traction or climbing. They're about not falling on ice.

I run mine whenever it's below freezing due to random ice patches. One morning last March, it was dry, 30, forecast for 45, and I put on my road tires. Went down on a patch of ice.
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