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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 12-06-13, 10:20 PM   #1
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Studded tires on a single speed?

If I stand a lot to pedal up hills, will I get anything out of studs? Or will the lack of weight on the back tire when I'm standing prevent the studs from biting into the ice?

Also, if I do get studded tires, how close in width should they be to my regular tires? I have 700 x 42 Continental Tour Rides. Would 35s be close enough? Or should I look for 40+?

I'm looking at the Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106, which comes in 700 x 45 and 700 x 35. There's also the Nokian A10, which comes in 32 (too narrow?) and 40.
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Old 12-07-13, 01:44 AM   #2
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I'd have to guess about the hill slope ,and whether your power input is smooth, or you stomp to climb.
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Old 12-07-13, 09:58 AM   #3
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Yeah, it totally depends on your style. If you do it right you can climb out of the saddle with your weight over the rear wheel.

Whatever the case, studs will help, not hurt, if you are riding up an icy hill.

As for width, get the widest tire that will fit in your bike if you want to be able to ride in the worst conditions.
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Old 12-07-13, 10:00 AM   #4
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Currently on my ss mtb I have a studded 2.1" tire in the front and a knobby 2.3 in back. In the past I've used two studded tires and have found that I prefer to remain seated when climbing very steep hills because the rear tire will occasionally break free. That said, you can usually "pick your line" up through icy hills and find less slippery spots where you can boost your power by standing for a few seconds.

Width of studded tires is up to you. Narrower tires with fewer studs make for a rougher ride over rutted ice and rough terrain. Fatter studded tires are slower and have more rolling resistance but add a lot of control in very very icy conditions and will cushion your ride through rough terrain.

Here in MSP we had a sudden deep freeze (temps at -10 F today) that froze a lot of the snow and water on the roads creating some major ice ruts. When I'm riding my bike with 2 35mm studded tires it can be very rough and hard to control through the ruts. On my ss mtb with two fat tires, only one of which is studded, the riding is easier because I have more stability and my traction patch is much larger.

In my opinion, if you are facing a lot of icy and rough terrain, I would go for the 40+mm studded tires. If it's more of just smooth ice glaze, the 35s should be just fine.

Good luck with your riding!
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Old 12-07-13, 08:15 PM   #5
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I love my Nokian Hakkapeliittas for Minnesota winters but you should avoid studs if you aren't riding on ice or packed snow much. The "noise, weight, and rolling resistance" will be a serious drag otherwise and you'll probably end up using them a lot less than the Continentals.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:12 PM   #6
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I love my Nokian W106's. I stand up to climb steep grades and yes, it does unweight the rear tire some but the studs are still the way to go. You will have to pace yourself a little more as the tend to have some extra rolling resistance and weight and the combination slows the bike down a lot. It take more effort to keep rolling at a decent pace. I just allow more time. Still very enjoyable.
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