Strengths: Superior grip on ice and snow
Super light weight for a 29e studded tire
Extremely low rolling resistance for a studded tire
Very easy to mount on Bontrager Xlite wheels
Weaknesses: The MSRP of $175 would make these super expensive.
Got great price on the Ice Spiker Pros $98 from Univeral Cycles
Tires practically fell onto Bontrager Xlite wheels.
Rode 30 miles on pavement at 20 psi to seat studs as recommended by reviewers.
During break in noticed that bike rolled faster than friends bike with Kenda Karma tires did [amazing].
On hard packed snow and solid ice these tires hold like crazy! I think I can now ride the technical single tracks in NH faster in winter than in summer.
I've lost less than 10 studs after 150 miles of agressive riding.
I run these tires with tubes so I can swap them ought easily when the rocks and roots start coming through. These tires perform so well in severe icy conditions they are totaly worth the extra effort of the changeover just to make them last.
Like many winter trail riders, I've been using Nokian 2.1 studded tires because there are very few options for anything wider. Sure, you get decent traction with a 2.1 rear tire because it's narrow, but up front a 2.1 feels really unstable, especially after a season of riding 2.35's on my trail bike.
When I found the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2.3 online, I ordered one to use as a front tire. I can sum up the performance in one word: awesome. The confidence this thing inspires is amazing. It has a tall center profile (looks like a Highroller), which helps it dig in and also shed snow. I rode in sticky, wet snow yesterday and my Nokian was caked but there was no snow in the Schwalbe's knobs. Handling wise, you can lean into corners because there are studs on the side of the profile, unlike the flatter profile skinny Nokians. I did not ride on pavement much before hitting the trails as recommended, but I've only lost one stud so far and that was because I was really laying the bike over on slushy pavement to see when traction would break free. I'm still running a 2.1 Nokian for a rear tire for now.
So I can easily recommend this tire. It's a great design and just plain works great. Curious how it would work for a rear tire.
Photo of my tire: http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/nhmtns/SchwalbeIceSpikerPro.jpg
a Cross Country Rider
from Lyons, CO
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2011
Strengths: Good grip
Weaknesses: Too many spikes lost in a short period of time
My best advice: Stay well away from these tires. Schwalbe does not know what they are doing when it comes to spiked winter tires. I have used these tires now on 7 rides on local mountain bike trails under winter conditions and guess what -- almost 30% of the spikes are gone. My Nokians served me far better over past years. Yes, they too lost studs, but at a rate of only about 10% per tire per season, not 30% over a single week. Nokian also makes a tool for inserting replacement spikes (Schwalbe, to my knowledge, does not). Schwalbe customer service now informs me that Ice Spike Pro tires MUST be run in new on an asphalt surface for 25 km at 20 psi or less to seat the spikes into the rubber. When I spoke with them, it was my firm impression that Schwalbe are highly attuned to the issue of excessive spike loss; after my experiences with the Ice Spike Pro tire I am not surprised. It would have been helpful if Schwalbe had included run-in instructions with the tires when I bought them. Schwalbe says these run-in procedures will prevent spikes from coming out later. I would recommend following Schwalbe's run-in procedures for Ice Spiker Pro tires -- just in case they might work. A better alternative to these tires is to buy Nokian studded tires -- they have been in the studded snow tire business for decades and have the experience in this field that Schwalbe clearly lacks.
Similar Products Used: Nokian Gaza Extreme and other Nokian studded snow tires
Bike Setup: Giant Anthem 29er
a Cross Country Rider
from Manchester England
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2010
Strengths: Wow, these things are amazing on ice and snow...they allow you to ride up tracks that are coverd in solid sheets of ice on the trails...what was previously un rideable is now a new line...cannot believe how well these things grip on ice, was riding up hill on solid ice, with no problems...brain could not quite believe it!!!
Weaknesses: well they are very heavy at almost 1000grams each, but the grip they give you more than makes up for this, also as you run them at quite a low pressure riding on tarmac is very slow... but there meant for off road so not to much of a problem...
these tyres make a unbelievable difference on ice, they work good in snow too.... They are heavy, but it really dose not matter...so id really recommend them...they are the best upgrade i have ever made..ice riding is a bit like night riding, it makes it lots more fun!!!!!! These are not suitable for commuting, the only road work you want to be doing on them is stuff you come along on the trail, if you use these for getting to work add a few minuets to you're journey times as they seem to have a top speed of about 15 miles a hour on the road...also they make a very very cool noise!!!
Bike Setup: 2008 norco kokanee, rockshock dart 2, hayes mx4 brakes, much more
a Cross Country Rider
from Nine Mile Falls, WA
Date Reviewed: January 10, 2010
Strengths: Easy to mount, Grips great on ice and snow. Light for a studded tire.
Weaknesses: Ok they don't roll well on pavement. So what!
This review is for the Ice Spiker Pro. This month we had snow, heavy rain, hard freeze and a repeat weather pattern not even a week later, makes for some very icy trails. Riverside State park has over 50 miles of trails and due to the weather 80% of the trails was solid ice. Even the climbs/down hills was solid ice due to the wet snow freezing solid. Now what a testing ground for studded tires. Smooth ice, rutted ice, bumpy icy bob sled runs, icy climbs, these tires can handle it all. Best winter bike product purchase ever.
Bike Setup: Winter bike is a Cannondale CAD3 hard tail with rigid fork and mix of Shimano LX/XT,Avid and grip Shift.
a Cross Country Rider
from Menomonie, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2009
Strengths: Amazing traction on snow/ice! Durable studs (none have pulled out after 2 years of riding to class every day)
I say that I still have 3 years of riding left before they start to wear down pretty far.
Weaknesses: These are pretty heavy. Naturally they should be, because of all the studs.. but the pros and nokians have aluminum that saves over 200 grams. Noisy on pavement, and that's true with every studded tire. The steel inserts are also rusting a little bit.
I love these tires and wouldn't ever feel the need to get different ones. They have superb grip on snow ice and I can ride without being nervous. However be careful on concrete. My front tire slid out on me (I was being aggressive and fast though.) They are heavier than the top of the line models but sometimes you just have to live with it. If you're racing, then go for the lighter ones!! I did not like the rust spots on the stud inserts but it hasn't seem to cause any problems except some stains on the carpet.
I rate these a 4 because there ARE better tires out there, but all you're paying for really is weight and some more studs that you might not even notice. I have 2 years on these tires (I ride a couple miles a day and a lot of it is on concrete) and I feel confident that these tires will last me at least 2 more years.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bellingham, WA
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2009
Strengths: These tires are amazing on ice and snow. When the trails and pavement are icy or snow packed, Ice Spikers keep traction much better than other studded knobbies that I've tried. They shed snow, so the tread doesn't pack with ice/snow. The tread pattern works in snow, rutted ice and glare.
Weaknesses: Expensive. But, so are similar tires from other companies.
I use my bike for primary transportation, so ice and snow are just part of getting around. If you want to ride on snow and ice, Ice Spikers are a solid option.
Bike Setup: Trek 8500 hardtail. Shimano Deore XT. I keep air pressure between 35-40 psi in front and rear for ice and snow.
a Weekend Warrior
from Surgut, Russia
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2009
Strengths: Lightweight, long lasting wears and it do what you expect - grip on ice. I've got so many falls caused by slip on ice before, how could I live without them?!
I use Ice Spikers Pro with Notubes tubeless kit. Side walls seemed to be weak and there were small holes on sides the first time, but now they have disappeared.
My friend has bought not Pro version before me so I was able to compare. Double the difference in price and quality and you get the Pro version.
Ice Spiker Pro haven't bead, so they are foldable. Rubber is felt as rubber even on a frost while on Ice Spiker rubber is felt as plastic even at a room temperature. Also there is a considerable difference in weight but the main distinction is in studs. Cheaper tires has less studs and they are made from steel. More expensive tyres have an advantage in number of studs, and they are made of silicon carbide in an aluminium cover.
I avoided rapid braking as well as my friend first 50 kilometres, but he lost 3 studs already. However I still consider Ice Spiker as a good buy and it is your decision whether to choose Ice Spiker or Ice Spiker Pro.
from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2009
Strengths: Unbelievable traction and stopping power in all conditions.
Weaknesses: Heavy and slow, but it's a winter tire not a summer race tire, so no complaints. Pricy, but they'll last for years so the value is actually good relative to a high performance summer tire.
Amazing, Amazing, Amazing.
I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of winter studded tires for my mtb, but a friend convinced me I should give them a try, so I opted for the Ice Spikers (might as well go for high-end, or not go at all). My first impression after mounting them was that they were going to be slow, but that goes without saying since they are about three times heavier than the race tires I had on my XC bike. Not a bad thing, really, because the trade-off is long life.
I was blown away by the performance in all conditions. Climbing steep, boot packed single track was a breeze. In fact, trails where I encountered wheel spin when climbing in the summer, I climbed like I was on a tracked vehicle with the Ice Spikers. Not once did I spin the rear tire while climbing. Stopping power was unbelievable. On icy snowpacked roads where cars were crawling, I could approach an intersection at ‘mach schnell’, hit the brakes, and be at a full stop in about 15 feet. To say these tires inspire confidence would be an understatement.
I’m still trying to figure out their limits, but so far haven’t dumped the bike once. The only time they haven’t worked (but nothing would) is when I strayed off packed single track when in the back country, and broke through surface crust into 12’ of sugary snow while climbing. I stopped dead, but simply put the bike back on the track and took off again without any drama or wheel spin.
I would recommend these tires to anyone who wants to extend their riding throughout the winter, and to whom (like me) the prospect of riding a trainer indoors is akin to Chinese water torture. They’re pricy, but the longevity will ultimately make them less expensive that typical summer tires in the long run.
Bike Setup: Tricked out Santa Cruz BlurXC. Spinergy Disc wheels.
from Prattsburgh, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2008
Strengths: insane grip on ice, wet ice, and snow. Better stud placement than the new Nokian 294's I think.(I previously rode the Nokian 296's which were great).
Weaknesses: weight, but get over it, they're studs...what do you expect?
If you wanna rip winter trails, this is your tire....I'm becoming a big fan of Schwalbe tires in general and this tire is no exception. I lower the pressure to 20-25 PSI and the confidence they give climbing, cornering, and descending is incredible. Get off the trainer, get these and have some fun...
from ostend, belgium
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2007
Strengths: super grip at all terrain, even in muddy, sand, ice, hardpack, grind the noise they make, just like a tank. cornering, braking. wears very little on asphalt
Weaknesses: grip at asphalt (braking, cornering), fresh snow,
all year tire. i use my ice spikes for the whole downhill season, the grip you get from the spikes is awesome. not only the fact that there are spikes on it, but the tire pattern is also very nice for cornering.
Similar Products Used: Nokia HAKKAPELITTA W106, Nokian Extreme W296.
Bike Setup: Giant Reign 06'
from East Hartford, CT
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2006
Strengths: Aggressive tread with spikes that seem to stay put. Sounds like a Sherman tank when riding on pavement
Weaknesses: Blown bead after very short period of riding
The tire I received was faulty. After <30 miles the bead blew on the rear and would never seat properly again. It now adorns the basement wall even though winter isn't over. I believe the tire was slightly too large diameter from the start as it was easy to put on without tire irons and I had difficulty getting it to seat properly. I wonder if others have had this trouble (?)
The only benefit I ever got from this tire was the ability to keep control when hitting frozen spots (puddles) in the trail. Other than that, I'd rather be riding a fresh set of velociraptors to plow through any snow. Why lug the extra weight and expense on the trails?
I don't recommend this product or studded tires in general unless ice abounds on your winter trails.