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Nokian A10's - don't seem to be cutting it

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Nokian A10's - don't seem to be cutting it

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Old 02-05-09, 10:18 AM
  #26  
tjspiel
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Hmm... Per one bike that I use, I have 4 studded tires, so if put only one on, it is not for the lack of tires, but because that action is reasonable under conditions.



The circumstances for riding with one studded tire are those of mild winter conditions, so I am puzzled how having harsher conditions is supposed to provide more experience with regard to the above. You make a generalization that is simply incorrect to put it bluntly. When there is some snow and occasional ice, a front studded tire will provide a reasonable steering and a regular rear tire will give most of the traction one needs. When pushing it into any sort of conditions, such as riding on pure ice, I am sure one can get into trouble. This in itself does not make the statement valid of the general need to put on both tires studded.
I went to winter biking clinic put on by a local bike coop in the fall of 2007. In the opinion of the guy from the coop, studded tires were a waste of money and his advice was to take public transportation on the few days a year where conditions made biking too dangerous.

There are others like him who ride year round without studs. My guess is though that they stick mostly to well trafficked streets where any ice or snow wears away quickly. That's fine if you can do that.

Unfortunately I've become well schooled in winter crashes. In my 4 seasons of winter riding I've had a few front wheel related mishaps but no rear wheel crashes up until this year. This year I've had the rear wheel slide out from under me twice. Once was on a relatively mild day when snow melted early in the day and coated a hill with ice when temps dropped a bit in the afternoon.

I understand the logic behind putting a studded tire on the front wheel only, especially if you don't need to worry about climbing a hill that may be icy. Personally though my studded tires go on after the first ice or snow and stay on until April. I like to go fast too, but I'm too lazy for tire switching unless I can leave it in a particular configuration for at least a couple of weeks.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:53 AM
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I'm running A10s on a Pacer.

Rolling resistance is about the same as a Marathon Plus 32.

They handle some ice and some snow on the flats. It's a very square tire. It's not for cornering much, just going straight ahead and keeping the bike vertical.

They will not climb on anything beyond a small patch of ice or snow.

The stud count is so low that you will get slippage of a couple of inches between studs every time you apply power on even a small incline. The low stud count leads to the front sliding on anything gnarly and then it's game over.

They do what they are intended to do: light commuting on paved roads with enough gription to save you on the odd bit of ice.

I like them.

I also have Ice Spiker Pros on the bike I use for real snow and ice riding. Those hook up and stay hooked up even on the hills.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Hmm... Per one bike that I use, I have 4 studded tires, so if put only one on, it is not for the lack of tires, but because that action is reasonable under conditions.
Clearly from your post, if you only put one on it is because you choose to. But whether it is "reasonable" is a separate topic entirely.

Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
The circumstances for riding with one studded tire are those of mild winter conditions, so I am puzzled how having harsher conditions is supposed to provide more experience with regard to the above. You make a generalization that is simply incorrect to put it bluntly. When there is some snow and occasional ice, a front studded tire will provide a reasonable steering and a regular rear tire will give most of the traction one needs. When pushing it into any sort of conditions, such as riding on pure ice, I am sure one can get into trouble. This in itself does not make the statement valid of the general need to put on both tires studded.
No, that statement is exactly why having no studs in the back doesn't work. When you hit glare ice, or what looks like snow but is a thing layer of powder on top of glare ice, your rear tire provides next to no traction if you turn at all. Rubber has practically no grip while turning on glare ice, though it has decent grip on that "ice mixed with half melted snow" stuff.

I really do think the difference here is illustrated by your statement that "When pushing it into any sort of conditions, such as riding on pure ice, I am sure one can get into trouble. This in itself does not make the statement valid of the general need to put on both tires studded".

Where I am, riding on pure ice is something that's going to happen to happen to you eventually if you commute all over the place on your bike. Just last night I ran into these conditions in my car, where melting snow led to a huge puddle (20 ft across) at the bottom of a hill which my car slid right over with no traction. Only the fact that I saw it before I hit it saved me from going off the road - and I assure you, there was no hope of turning with purely rubber tires once you hit that ice. The difference between my bike and my car is that my car doesn't fall over when I lose traction, it loses steering. Had I not seen it (with no other cars around), I might have simply ended up over the curb or crashed into a telephone pole, which would have been expensive but probably wouldn't have cause me any real injuries. Had I been on my bike, I would have fallen over and either been bruised but fine or seriously broken a bone.

Some people have a higher tolerance for risk than I do. I was in Phoenix last year renting a mountain bike, and the guy at the shop had his arm in a sling - broke it mountain biking. His attitude was "That happens sometimes. Eventually I'll be to old to deal with broken bones, but it's so much fun I'm going to keep at it until I reach that point!" Obviously, other people have a different idea of what's "acceptable risk". On the other hand, when I visit my parents I often bike over on our local MUP. My parents feel the sketchier section of the MUP is to sketchy for me to bike back at night on. I disagree, so (though I always keep an eye out) I bike back on it anyways.

To me, anything above the "summer biking" risk of having an accident is to high, especially when it's a matter of a relatively small amount of money, convenience, or speed so while I do recommend winter biking, I would never recommend doing it with only 1 studded tire. Obviously other people have different opinions, but for me the fact that 3 people I've personally met started with 1 studded tire and bought a 2nd one after a spectacular wipeout because they didn't have studs on the back is enough for me to say that I don't recommend it unless you're comfortable with the idea that there's a good chance you'll eventually break a bone. Some people are.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:58 PM
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700 vs 26 studded tires

I have had similar experience to the OP but with Nashbar tires which I believe are made by Kendra. I bought the 26 " version 4 years ago and they are really reliable on ice and 'OK' in snow. The down side is they are heavy and slow. Like riding in sand.

Two years ago I bought clearance Nashbar 700x35 tires. They are much faster and lighter but also have less thread and studs. This winter I went down twice on slow turns on glare ice with the 700's. I also struggled to 'hook' up leaving stop signs on glare ice. I brought out the 26's and haven't gone down since. The 26's are much wider and I run lower psi so they really bite more.

I now use the 26's on really bad days and reserve the 700's for days when the roads are mostly clear and just a few rough patches. I treat the 700's almost like a cyclocross tire.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I went to winter biking clinic put on by a local bike coop in the fall of 2007. In the opinion of the guy from the coop, studded tires were a waste of money and his advice was to take public transportation on the few days a year where conditions made biking too dangerous
LOL.

Winter cycling clinic advice: Just ride the bus.
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Old 02-06-09, 06:39 AM
  #31  
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About one month ago I took a ride on frozen sea ice here in Helsinki. I have Nokian W106 studded tyres front and rear, several years old but still by no means worn out. They've been great on road this winter too.

There was no snow on the ice. It had formed quickly, maybe over a week or so, so it was the best kind (no freeze-thaw cycle, so no weaker ice layers in between). You could see right through it, which was unnerving at first. Weather was coldish, maybe -10C. I had great difficulty getting started due to almost no traction on ice. My boots and the unladen bike kept slipping in all directions. Once I got on saddle, studs provided enough grip to cautiously accelerate or brake. Absolutely no leaning on curves (heck, what curves, it took me the better half of a bay to manouver a careful U-turn).

Observations: riding on ice is fun. The W106, though a great winter tyre for road, is not the best choice for continuous glare ice surface. Riding on ice is fun. Stopping without crashing is very difficult. Getting going again is even more difficult, so don't stop. I might have had more traction if I had lowered tyre pressure, but I doubt it would have helped "cornering" one bit with these tyres. All long distance ice skaters have a lunatic grin permanently glued on their face, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I shudder to think how I looked to them, due to the fun part I may have mentioned already.

Regarding the A10, I believe the current model name is Hakkapeliitta Stud. I think the W106 has better thread design than A10/Stud for varying winter conditions. On glare ice conditions, I'd expect them to be about equal (that is, leaving something to be desired in one aspect or another). After this experience, if we had any harsher conditions, I'd have to start considering the W240s for commuting. More studs, and more evenly spread towards the sides of tyre too.

--J
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Old 02-06-09, 03:57 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
About one month ago I took a ride on frozen sea ice here in Helsinki. I have Nokian W106 studded tyres front and rear, several years old but still by no means worn out. They've been great on road this winter too.

There was no snow on the ice. It had formed quickly, maybe over a week or so, so it was the best kind (no freeze-thaw cycle, so no weaker ice layers in between). You could see right through it, which was unnerving at first. Weather was coldish, maybe -10C. I had great difficulty getting started due to almost no traction on ice. My boots and the unladen bike kept slipping in all directions. Once I got on saddle, studs provided enough grip to cautiously accelerate or brake. Absolutely no leaning on curves (heck, what curves, it took me the better half of a bay to manouver a careful U-turn).

Observations: riding on ice is fun. The W106, though a great winter tyre for road, is not the best choice for continuous glare ice surface. Riding on ice is fun. Stopping without crashing is very difficult. Getting going again is even more difficult, so don't stop. I might have had more traction if I had lowered tyre pressure, but I doubt it would have helped "cornering" one bit with these tyres. All long distance ice skaters have a lunatic grin permanently glued on their face, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I shudder to think how I looked to them, due to the fun part I may have mentioned already.

Regarding the A10, I believe the current model name is Hakkapeliitta Stud. I think the W106 has better thread design than A10/Stud for varying winter conditions. On glare ice conditions, I'd expect them to be about equal (that is, leaving something to be desired in one aspect or another). After this experience, if we had any harsher conditions, I'd have to start considering the W240s for commuting. More studs, and more evenly spread towards the sides of tyre too.

--J
I'm really really not trying to sound argumentative, but this last weekend I took out my new winter bike with Schwalbe Marathon Winters on a hockey rink and while I wouldn't have been able to turn "fast", I had no problem turning or starting moving. My dad who recently installed the Nokian Mount and Ground's on his bike (the 26" equivalent of the 106's with studs in the middle but not on the side) had no problems starting from a stop or doing relatively slow turns either (though he almost fell over trying to do a quick turn). Do the 106's have less grip on ice than the Mount and Ground's?
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Old 02-06-09, 09:40 PM
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Ice forming in different conditions has subtly different properties.

I used to ride my mountain bike on clear ice on a freshwater reservoir when I was at college... without any studs at all. There was no superb bike handling skills involved. It's just that while the ice was somewhat slippery, and visually looked smooth, there must have been some oddity of temperature or surface roughness that allowed rubber to stick just a little bit.

Similarly, my winter road conditions may vary from yours. And even with a non-studded tire on the back, or sometimes front and back, I don't think there is a "very good chance I will eventually break a bone"... at least not for that reason.
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Old 02-07-09, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
for me the fact that 3 people I've personally met started with 1 studded tire and bought a 2nd one after a spectacular wipeout because they didn't have studs on the back is enough for me to say that I don't recommend it unless you're comfortable with the idea that there's a good chance you'll eventually break a bone. Some people are.
Good. I'm glad that this ended up as a truth I could afford dying without knowing of.

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Old 02-07-09, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I'm really really not trying to sound argumentative, but this last weekend I took out my new winter bike with Schwalbe Marathon Winters on a hockey rink and while I wouldn't have been able to turn "fast", I had no problem turning or starting moving. My dad who recently installed the Nokian Mount and Ground's on his bike (the 26" equivalent of the 106's with studs in the middle but not on the side) had no problems starting from a stop or doing relatively slow turns either (though he almost fell over trying to do a quick turn). Do the 106's have less grip on ice than the Mount and Ground's?
You should have been on the ice here in Helsinki in the beginning of January. It was impossible to walk on it at all. I was riding on it with W240s at both ends, and the speed maxed out around 50 km/h not because of insufficient power but insufficient traction. The traction of the rear tire was equal to the air resistance at that point (well, in truth, part of the problem is the pulse nature of pedal power where the force is not steady and then you get slip at the point where your pedals are horizontal). That is really silly, normally you have to approach the speed of sound on a land vehicle to hit that particular problem.

Starting from standstill was rather tricky, as just standing on a pedal led to the bike sliding all over and then falling over. What you had to do was to position a pedal almost but not quite on the bottom, then stand on that and start accelerating v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

I've ridden on the ice here for thirty years, and that was the most slippery I've ever experienced.

Of course, in the end I hit a bad spot and had a nice swim. Juha can be glad he didn't have to do that.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:08 AM
  #36  
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I did wear a pair of ice spikes around my neck, just in case. I'm fairly confident I would have been able to pull myself out, but the bike would definitely have been lost. Hope you didn't lose yours, Teemu.

Regarding the traction on my trip: I pretty soon decided to follow some long distance ice skaters' tracks, for two reasons. First, I wasn't too sure the ice would hold my weight. I figured I'd either be safe following them, or at the very least fall in the same hole with them . Second, just their skate blade marks on the ice made small but notable difference in traction. At one point local kids had been playing on the ice. Skate marks everywhere. Riding through that, I had no problems with slipping. Beyond that area, a push on the pedals (while riding seated) would again cause the rear wheel to lose grip.

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Old 02-09-09, 10:03 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
I did wear a pair of ice spikes around my neck, just in case. I'm fairly confident I would have been able to pull myself out, but the bike would definitely have been lost. Hope you didn't lose yours, Teemu.

Regarding the traction on my trip: I pretty soon decided to follow some long distance ice skaters' tracks, for two reasons. First, I wasn't too sure the ice would hold my weight. I figured I'd either be safe following them, or at the very least fall in the same hole with them . Second, just their skate blade marks on the ice made small but notable difference in traction. At one point local kids had been playing on the ice. Skate marks everywhere. Riding through that, I had no problems with slipping. Beyond that area, a push on the pedals (while riding seated) would again cause the rear wheel to lose grip.

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20 years of playing broomball on outdoor rinks has taught me that not all ice is equal in terms of grip. In broomball you use special shoes instead of skates so you can easily feel the difference. We just finished up our 7th game this year and the ice hasn't been the same twice.

So I believe it when one person says he was riding on a hockey rink with ease and another person was having difficulty on a different ice covered surface.
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Old 02-09-09, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
20 years of playing broomball on outdoor rinks has taught me that not all ice is equal in terms of grip. In broomball you use special shoes instead of skates so you can easily feel the difference. We just finished up our 7th game this year and the ice hasn't been the same twice.

So I believe it when one person says he was riding on a hockey rink with ease and another person was having difficulty on a different ice covered surface.
Well fyi, I'm the person who replied about riding on a hockey rink and I'm not saying that what the guy said isn't true. I can certainly believe that, with some of the absolutely slipperiest ice you can find that the w106's are enough to stay upright but not really turn at all. I just responded because it sounded like they were saying the w106's weren't good enough for any ice, which wasn't my experience with similar tires, but it sounds like it's just that they aren't good enough for full control on extremely slippery ice, which I certainly find believable.

I just don't run across a lot of "perfect storm" ice conditions on my commute (and roads pretty much never have "perfect" ice on them) and that's my obsessive/compulsive obsession whenever anyone mentions anything concerning studded tires.
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Old 02-09-09, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
I did wear a pair of ice spikes around my neck, just in case. I'm fairly confident I would have been able to pull myself out, but the bike would definitely have been lost. Hope you didn't lose yours, Teemu.
The bike is not lost. It's just in storage. On the seafloor. But I know exactly where.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:27 PM
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Old 02-10-09, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
...because it sounded like they were saying the w106's weren't good enough for any ice...
That was certainly not my intention. If you got that picture, I didn't make it clear enough. My bad. As I mentioned the W106s have served me well on road, I don't expect that to change.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:07 PM
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Sometimes a little snow on smooth ice is deadly, for any tire. The snow keeps the studs from engaging and even if the knobs grip the snow, the snow slips because it's on ICE! I ride recreationally on Lake Champlain with Marathon Winters and find them to be a good all round winter tire.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:16 PM
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I have had the same thing happen to me with nokian W106 tires. Downhill, and a turn. I was just going way to fast for the corner.

W106 tires seem to shed snow well.
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