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School me on studded tires

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School me on studded tires

Old 10-24-14, 10:57 AM
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School me on studded tires

My goal is to make it through the entire winter commuting to work this year. This is the thread on the winter commuter I built up last year:

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...ter-build.html

I have other commuters so I take this out once the weather gets nasty. Currently set up as a 2 x 6 but I'll probably run it as a 1 x 6 this year or I might go with an IGH rear. We'll see.

I gave up last year once the polar vortex hit. But I have a better lighting system and bar mitts which were the two of the weakest *****s in my commuting armor last year.

Next up are studded tires.

My winter commuter runs 26 inch tires. Here are my questions:

(1) I read Peter White's website. Any other good reads on studded tires I should look at?

(2) What I'm really interested in are what are factors or features you think make for a good studded tire?

(3) How many studs should I be looking for in a tire?

(4) How easy or hard is it to replace studs? I see replacement studs for sale and I'm curious whether any of have done this.

(5) Do you run your studded tires at the lowest pressure possible in winter? I would think that gives you the best float.

(6) Do you run studded tires front and rear or front only?
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Old 10-24-14, 12:23 PM
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If money is not of the biggest concern go for the best :Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro. I have several bikes set up with different studded tires and for really hard glary ice these are much better than the ones with smaller or fewer studs. They roll ok and are quite light as studded tires go.
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Old 10-25-14, 03:33 AM
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- Carbide studs
- The number of studs is less important than placement, make sure your tire has studs along the shoulders of the tread for cornering or those times when a wheel tries to slip out from under you.
- There are two ways to deal with snow, float on top like a fat bike, or dig through to a more solid surface where your studs can actually do something. If you are looking at primarily icy roads with shallow snow, the latter is likely the better approach.
- Since snow can hide surface obstacles, tires should be of adequate volume and run at adequate pressures to prevent pinch flats if you hit a drifted over pothole.
- Aggressive knobbies aren't the advantage you might think they would be in snow and will rattle the crap out of you on pavement or smooth ice. For commuting, a moderate tread pattern with plenty of well placed studs is suited to a variety of surfaces.
- Studded tires front and back if possible to prevent rear wheel washouts. If you can afford only one, I'd go with the front.

My personal preference for winter commuting in northern MN is the Schwalbe Marathon Winter in 26 x 1.75 or 700c x 35 or 40mm. Sorry, no narrow 25mm tires on icy roads for me.
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Old 10-25-14, 06:07 AM
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See - Best Tire Pressure for Studded Tires
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Old 10-25-14, 05:26 PM
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for convenience and to save on wear and tear. Mount your tires to a second set of rims. That way you only use them when you need them.

I went with the most aggressive tire that I could find at the time in 2007. And that was the Nokian Gazza Extreme 294. That tire will ride through anything. And it's going into its eighth season. Excellent in the snow and excellent on glare ice.
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Old 10-25-14, 05:47 PM
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Studded tires are a trade off between comfort, speed, and stud coverage. Which ones are best for you will completely depend on the conditions you are traveling through.

W-106 Nokians have worked just fine in Anchorage, Alaska for about five years on an old Kona mt. bike, and for many years before that in Fairbanks. We get about every condition imaginable, and have a lot of sheet ice (like you wouldn't believe), frozen rutted trails, roads so slipper with slight ice that you can't stand on them, and cycles of heavy snow.

This year I have a pair of 45 North Dillengers mounted on a fat bike for heavy snow days, as well as the brown sugar kicked up by plows and cars.

I also have a pair of 45 North Gravdals mounted on a Raleigh Sojourn (just finished mounting them and heat-gunning a pair of fenders to work with them about 10 minutes ago). I am certain (based on experience) that these will meet my needs 90% of the time.

I would definitely go for carbide studs, mounted front and rear. Heavy studding down the middle isn't really desirable if you are commuting. A bike going in a straight line isn't as likely to slide, they slow you down, they are loud, and can rattle you around a lot. They are also slippery on dry pavement. I like just enough studs in the center to keep me upright. I do like a few more studs as one progresses to towards the sidewalls. This help one climb out of ruts, and serve as a "catch" if you start going sideways (in which case you will lean your bike to keep your center of gravity over the wheels).

As for snow -- studs don't help, flotation, low tire pressure, and stout legs do. I adjust my TP constantly in the winter according to the conditions.


Google Peter White Studded Tires. He speaks the truth.
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Old 10-26-14, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jwarner
Studded tires are a trade off between comfort, speed, and stud coverage. Which ones are best for you will completely depend on the conditions you are traveling through.

W-106 Nokians have worked just fine in Anchorage, Alaska for about five years on an old Kona mt. bike, and for many years before that in Fairbanks. We get about every condition imaginable, and have a lot of sheet ice (like you wouldn't believe), frozen rutted trails, roads so slipper with slight ice that you can't stand on them, and cycles of heavy snow.

This year I have a pair of 45 North Dillengers mounted on a fat bike for heavy snow days, as well as the brown sugar kicked up by plows and cars.

I also have a pair of 45 North Gravdals mounted on a Raleigh Sojourn (just finished mounting them and heat-gunning a pair of fenders to work with them about 10 minutes ago). I am certain (based on experience) that these will meet my needs 90% of the time.

I would definitely go for carbide studs, mounted front and rear. Heavy studding down the middle isn't really desirable if you are commuting. A bike going in a straight line isn't as likely to slide, they slow you down, they are loud, and can rattle you around a lot. They are also slippery on dry pavement. I like just enough studs in the center to keep me upright. I do like a few more studs as one progresses to towards the sidewalls. This help one climb out of ruts, and serve as a "catch" if you start going sideways (in which case you will lean your bike to keep your center of gravity over the wheels).

As for snow -- studs don't help, flotation, low tire pressure, and stout legs do. I adjust my TP constantly in the winter according to the conditions.


Google Peter White Studded Tires. He speaks the truth.
So Jwarner, tell me this. As someone who has both styles of tires mounted on bikes. Will a fat tire go through any deeper snow than a normal 2" studded tire before you hop off and start hoofing it.
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Old 10-26-14, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by scoatw
So Jwarner, tell me this. As someone who has both styles of tires mounted on bikes. Will a fat tire go through any deeper snow than a normal 2" studded tire before you hop off and start hoofing it.

Absolutely. An unstudied 3.8" Surly Nate will go though snow a studded 2" Nokian Extreme tire will not. The difference is remarkable actually,and the fat tires are way more comfortable on frozen chunder. Studs don't help in snow. They are meant for biting into ice. Lower ground bearing pressure does help on snow. So wider tires run at low pressure (which increases contact patch) have lower ground bearing pressure and "float" over the snow. The trade off in both cases is speed, and in the case of studs, noise and ride.

Wanted to add, just because fat bikes have become so faddish, that I'm not a fan boy, but it is one of the tools in my stable that I go to when the conditions call for it.
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Old 10-26-14, 02:39 PM
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https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...zfmaaoay8p8haq

I bought a bunch in 1990, Shipped from Finland, built up a Drum brake** wheelset with All Weather Sports, Fairbanks AK , snow cat rims . 45mm wide singlewall.

and put them on an old MTB .. I pull it out on the occasional weeks It has ice on the roads , and they are still working fine ..

Just enough studs for the ice and Bare pavement mix we get where I live ..


** drum brakes seem ideal, on Ice. not as Grabby as the discs I have on the bike I use when the water on the streets is thawed.
and no frame fittings required,like discs either .

for super low PSI AWS suggested Using sew-up Glue and sticking 1 tire bead to the rim so it wont creep around the rim and shear the stem out of the tube.




a wide tire may be OK for new snow, but narrow tires get down to solid ground ..

The WRC rally race cars put narrow studded tires on for their Swedish snow races ..
OK a bit more HP than you on your Bike.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-26-14 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 10-26-14, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jwarner
Absolutely. An unstudied 3.8" Surly Nate will go though snow a studded 2" Nokian Extreme tire will not. The difference is remarkable actually,and the fat tires are way more comfortable on frozen chunder. Studs don't help in snow. They are meant for biting into ice. Lower ground bearing pressure does help on snow. So wider tires run at low pressure (which increases contact patch) have lower ground bearing pressure and "float" over the snow. The trade off in both cases is speed, and in the case of studs, noise and ride.

Wanted to add, just because fat bikes have become so faddish, that I'm not a fan boy, but it is one of the tools in my stable that I go to when the conditions call for it.
The issue with non studded fat bike tyres is that the low contact pressure makes them a bit of a nightmare on ice.

My old Raleigh mtb with non studded 2.2 tyres will go through most things my Pug would and it is better on ice, my Extrabike with 26 by 2.0 studs will crawl through a foot of fresh snow.
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Old 10-26-14, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...zfmaaoay8p8haq

I bought a bunch in 1990, Shipped from Finland, built up a Drum brake** wheelset with All Weather Sports, Fairbanks AK , snow cat rims . 45mm wide singlewall.

and put them on an old MTB .. I pull it out on the occasional weeks It has ice on the roads , and they are still working fine ..

Just enough studs for the ice and Bare pavement mix we get where I live ..


** drum brakes seem ideal, on Ice. not as Grabby as the discs I have on the bike I use when the water on the streets is thawed.
and no frame fittings required,like discs either .

for super low PSI AWS suggested Using sew-up Glue and sticking 1 tire bead to the rim so it wont creep around the rim and shear the stem out of the tube.




a wide tire may be OK for new snow, but narrow tires get down to solid ground ..

The WRC rally race cars put narrow studded tires on for their Swedish snow races ..
OK a bit more HP than you on your Bike.
Yep, I was in Fairbanks when they were still welding rims together side-by-side to create fat rims.
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Old 10-26-14, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
The issue with non studded fat bike tyres is that the low contact pressure makes them a bit of a nightmare on ice.

My old Raleigh mtb with non studded 2.2 tyres will go through most things my Pug would and it is better on ice, my Extrabike with 26 by 2.0 studs will crawl through a foot of fresh snow.
No disrespect intended. On the non-studded fat tires, I agree with you. With studs, as I am just back from testing , ice is no problem. We are still pretty dry up here. I will give a full ride report when we get some more.

As for powering through to the ice with skinnier tires, I have mostly had a different experience. This seems to work best for me when there is fresh cold snow with low moisture content, barely in shallower (guessing up to 8") wet, or loosely consolidated snow, and not very good at all in deeper snow, or in the brown sugar or roadside chunder I'm often biking through. It doesn't work well enough for me to consistently want to ride my 8 mile daily one-way commute. I've done it quite a bit, and it can be complete misery. Now that I think about it, bad enough for me to hop out on roads no-one should be biking on at 6:00 am in Anchorage -- something our fair populace will make quite clear with their horns, high beams, and close passes.

If I am staying on the roads, which I can't always do up here, I prefer to run a 700X38 or 40 studded tire, or the 26X1.95 studded tires on my old Kona mt. bike that got me through grad school. I don't have too much nasty stuff to deal with if I can stay on the road and the weather and roads are relatively clear.

More realistically, I am mixing roads, unplowed MUPs which are often used as a place for the blades to spill snow, if not outright snow dumps, and ski trails. This is really where the fat bike makes the difference in my opinion. Lower ground bearing pressure lets one float on top and avoid blowing all their energy trying to drive through this stuff. The ski trail folks also get pretty mad if I cut up "their" trails with my bike. It is dangerous for them as they can catch a tip and eat do-do. With the studded 4" tire, it really is sort of the best of both worlds, but not perfect for every situation by any means (I don't care to ride the fat bike anywhere where I don't really need it... like a road).

Like I wrote. No disrespect intended. Just my experiences from Fairbanks and Anchorage.
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Old 10-29-14, 02:00 PM
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I find this blog: Studded Bicycle Tires to be very informative. FWIW, I bought my Nokian W106 tires from them, and have been happy with their service and price.
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Old 11-09-14, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig


Next up are studded tires.

My winter commuter runs 26 inch tires. Here are my questions:

(1) I read Peter White's website. Any other good reads on studded tires I should look at?
My winter bike here in DC is a Surly LHT. I've used Nokian Mount and Grounds the past five years and they are the bomb. Peter White's site/and verbal discussion with him is where I decided which studded tires to get. Read through the Nokian right-ups and you'll end up with the correct ones for your area/conditions.
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