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studded or fat?

Old 11-26-11, 09:01 AM
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scale
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studded or fat?

ive got some wider meaty tires on my bike now. i think they are 2.25s. THey are non studded. I have a chance to some 1.9 studded nokians for like $30 a pair. IM wondering if i should do this or stick with the wide tires. Some say wide is better and some say studded. I know there is alot of snow here in MN. I mostly be on the roads but wouldnt mind finding some trails and trying that out. IM really hoping i have another set of rims in the garage....so i can just swap......icey and snow tires at will.
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Old 11-26-11, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by scale View Post
ive got some wider meaty tires on my bike now. i think they are 2.25s. THey are non studded. I have a chance to some 1.9 studded nokians for like $30 a pair. IM wondering if i should do this or stick with the wide tires. Some say wide is better and some say studded. I know there is alot of snow here in MN. I mostly be on the roads but wouldnt mind finding some trails and trying that out. IM really hoping i have another set of rims in the garage....so i can just swap......icey and snow tires at will.
I ride with 2.3-2.5 mtb tires in the winter and like being able to ride through and over the snow. I compared commutes with a co-worker last year; she rides a Bianchi San Jose with skinnier, studded tires. At one point I suggested she take a ride down the greenway because I'd been having fun riding on the snow (this was just after the big mid-December snowstorm we'd had). She tried it, but said she mostly got wallowed down and it became too hard to pedal. On the other hand, there have been times when I've hit patches of ice and went down...something that studded tires might help me avoid.

So anyway, there's my two cents. Probably worth exactly that to ya!

btw, I saw those nokians on cl! I was seriously thinking about taking that offer. You should snatch them up! (as long as they are in reasonable condition)
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Old 11-26-11, 09:24 AM
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yup...those are the ones i was referring too. If nothing else id like to try them out. THe price is good. Heck....i emailed the person last night although i have heard nothing. Either....its a fake.......or they are already sold.

I have to tell you i was really enjoying my fat tires during this past snow about a week ago. IT was slick as heck on the roads. I had a hard time getting traction at the intersections....but it would go like crazy in the fresh snow. THey say we might get more today. with my new fenders....and mudflap...i say bring it on.
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Old 11-26-11, 09:53 AM
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Studded if you expect to ride mostly in icy conditions, non-studded for everything else.
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Old 11-26-11, 09:54 AM
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If you're riding roads, studs. No question.

The help they give in getting started is really only a nice ancillary benefit. Their true value is in keeping the bike from sliding sideways out from under you on that patch of ice as that bus passes too close... No amount of fat tires or knobbies can do that.
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Old 11-26-11, 10:10 AM
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Fat, studded and skinny. Big knobs, small knobs. Higher pressure, lower pressure. Snow and ice change. Day to day. Hour to hour. Snow really is an amazing substance. It's nice to have an assortment of tires to handle different snow conditions and the snows characteristics for that day, hour, minute. With experience you figure out what works best in certain conditions.

I use my studded tires as a last resort. When I assume conditions warrant. Why use a 995 gram tire when I can get away with a 400 gram tire. The difference in weight is quite noticeable. My studded tires are very sluggish to accelerate.

If you can only have one set of tires. Studded would be your safest bet.
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Old 11-26-11, 10:11 AM
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For thirty bucks, I'd pick up those tires. Sitting here in a comfortable chair, I'm wondering if the small difference in width would make much difference in snow. (That's an invitation for the experienced to confirm or refute that thought. I'd guess the tread pattern would be more important? :-) Yeah, as mentioned, snow and ice are two different animals. The Greenway last Mon afternoon was all rutted ice, and even a bit hairy with studs. I wouldn't have tried it without, and the only two bikers I met had studs too. Sooo, pick your goals... :-)
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Old 11-26-11, 02:22 PM
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Get some studded tires. It's worth it. Fat knobbies are useless in icy conditions. Don't worry about the width.
For riding in the city a 1.9 studded tire is all you'll ever need, fat mountain bike tires around 2.3-2.5 is an overkill for riding on the roads and they are no better on snowy roads/mups then a 1.9 winter tire.
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Old 11-26-11, 05:17 PM
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for $30 per tire you should go for it. like others have said. If you only have one set the studded are the right choice.
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Old 11-27-11, 08:05 AM
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Though it depends on where you live, up here the question is skinny studded or fat studded. Ice is a given, so the main variable is how much snow you're riding through.

I agree that for $30, that is super-cheap winter insurance. I spent a fair bit more than that to get a pair of Marathon Winters (skinny - 35mm) AND a pair of Nokian Extreme 294's (fat - 2.1). Maybe overkill, but as I plan to ride every day, it's worth it to me to make sure I have the right tool for the job.

You can still ride studded when there isn't any ice with no ill effects to the tire (assuming carbide studs), and only an incremental rolling resistance penalty. Unless you have an extremely long commute, I'd just consider this a fitness bonus.

Last edited by Twonutz; 11-29-11 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 11-27-11, 08:32 AM
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I absolutely love my Nokian Mount and Ground tires. They will go on my mtb very soon and stay there till spring. I've done 40 mile rides on pavement with no problems. After several years use they are still going strong. Good studded tires are an excellent investment. They allow you to ride all winter and not break your bones.
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Old 11-27-11, 09:54 AM
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I have been trying to get a reply from that guy since he listed them. Not sure what is with that. For $30 for the pair it would be nice just to have them.
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Old 11-27-11, 10:41 AM
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he did email me back. Claims he meant that it was $30 per tire..not for the pair.
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Old 11-27-11, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by scale View Post
he did email me back. Claims he meant that it was $30 per tire..not for the pair.
That's way cheaper than a broken bone or two.
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Old 11-27-11, 07:51 PM
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When I didn't use studs I found out it was too slick for my tires as I hit the ground. Studded tires are cheaper than the hospital for my money. I ran one winter on home studded tires. And last winter on hakkepelita 106 and Nokian 240s. Good luck fellow ice crazies. Keep it up.
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Old 11-28-11, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by scale View Post
he did email me back. Claims he meant that it was $30 per tire..not for the pair.
Thats the same reply I ended up getting. Not going to buy them just on principal.
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Old 11-28-11, 12:08 PM
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I wish it was around here. I would buy them.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeCommuter View Post
For thirty bucks, I'd pick up those tires. Sitting here in a comfortable chair, I'm wondering if the small difference in width would make much difference in snow. (That's an invitation for the experienced to confirm or refute that thought. I'd guess the tread pattern would be more important? :-) Yeah, as mentioned, snow and ice are two different animals. The Greenway last Mon afternoon was all rutted ice, and even a bit hairy with studs. I wouldn't have tried it without, and the only two bikers I met had studs too. Sooo, pick your goals... :-)
I was out there on my knobbies. With the ridges and ruts, I deflated down to about 40 psi on my rear and a little higher on my front and had no problems cruising local roads, the greenway, and the hiawatha bike trail as I rode to my job in dinkytown. It was quite fun and I had a big smile on my face the whole time. The only person I saw on the Greenway was riding a 'cross bike with skinny tires and he didn't look too happy.

Having ridden plain old un-studded tires for years in the winter, I'm quite happy with mtb tires. (Though I am sure studded tires are fine for folks who like them.)

Full disclosure: I did crash once during those icy days: I got back to my place, cruised down the alley and, with the hubris that comes with almost making it safely home, attempted to skid into my back yard. Yeah. I hit the ground.
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Old 11-29-11, 10:46 PM
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Great thread. Haven't even read every post yet. I have plenty of experience with both. Worlds of difference. Let me give you the cliff notes then expound.

If mostly road go narrower studded.

If mostly trail or thick soupy stuff go for width.

If saftey is primary concern definitely studded.

So... I love the performance and saftey of my 38mm studded. 99% of the time they're awesome.

The only time they're not awesome is in thick soupy, uneven snow such as tracked up unplowed roads or trails. They rock because they cut right through loose, powdery, slushy and even crusty snow and hook up with the ground underneath. Fatty's will spin all over the place, both front and rear making them unpredictable. Their only advantage is really uneven tracked up snow but such snow is really the exception.

BTW bigger diameter is ALWAYS better. 26" just don't get the traction and control in the snow.

In an ideal world I'd have three bikes or three wheelsets on hand for winter riding and commuting

1) standard road, semi slick 32-34 mm, for use 90% of the time.

2) studded 38mm, for gneral snowy day road riding, icey or just plain extreme cold days where black ice can just magically appear... Probably only a tiny percent of winter days but of extreme importance for saftey on the road in such circumstances.

3) a 29r or even better fatbike... The wider the better for big storm days, trails, fun. There is no such thing as to wide. 2.5" are way better then 2.1's but 3.5" and the new 4-4.5" are a whole mother ballgame.

In reality I have a surly cross check with dual wheelsets containing my favorite Conti Travel Contact 34mm on one and schwalbe snow studded 38mm on the other. Then I have a 29'r which I can't wait to get my 2.5" on this winter.

One day I will have a fatbike. I have ridden them fairly extensively. I just haven't been able to afford one yet.
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Old 11-30-11, 11:00 AM
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Just got a pair of studded continental spike claw's for the lowly MTB build I hope to have up and running by this weekend , can not WAIT to try out studs . We've got a nice layer of ice on everything right now.



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Old 11-30-11, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SnowJob View Post
Full disclosure: I did crash once during those icy days: I got back to my place, cruised down the alley and, with the hubris that comes with almost making it safely home, attempted to skid into my back yard. Yeah. I hit the ground.
I like getting out on a frozen (shallow) pond and riding figure 8's. You see how fast you can go until you wipe out. Crashing is OK if you are prepared for it.
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Old 11-30-11, 04:48 PM
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I ride the trail/Greenway from Minnetonka to Minneapolis year-round. I did one winter without studded tires. Never again.

Studs are slower, and they suck in heavier snow, but they are, IMO, safer. I'm too old to fall a lot. My shoulder has already been reconstructed twice due to the Marines and hockey. The third time would NOT be the charm......
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