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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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Yesterday, three 29er buds and I played in 5" of snow for a few hours. Allroy and I were using Exiwolves up front and Ignitors in the back. I'm not sure what tires Mordecai and Joyride used. I know there are a lot of variables, but for those of you that have had the opportunity, what tires have you tried in the snow? What did you like and dislike?

I liked the spikier knobs of the Ignitor. They punched into the snow and got better traction. Although I liked the higher volume of the Exis, they wandered all over the place because of the minimalist tread pattern. I'll try an Ignitor up front if I can dig one up in my pile o' tires in my basement.

BTW, those skinny cyclocross tires with real studs in them would be useless for most of my snow riding since I don't hit a lot of ice. Plus, I need the volume. Yesterday, under all the fluffy stuff were rocks that made themselves known when they clunked against my rim. I was running around 15 psi front and rear (about 5 psi less than usual) and fortunately got no flats. Great. I just jinxed myself. :D
 

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you guys don't look like you had that hard crust on top of your snow.

i went out for about 2 hours around philly (belmont) yesterday and where there were other tracks it was ok but slippery. breaking trail was no fun and even the slightest inclines had me pushin as soon as my momentum petered out. after about half a normal ride me and my buddy packed it in. happy to have ridden at all, but no longer having much fun slogging thrugh the crust.

i actually had more fun riding after last weeks 2 incher.

my exi/moto combo seemed ok... but snow is so freakin vairiable. you guys seem to have had completely different conditions a couple hours south.

i've said it before but exi's need bigger sideknobs, they'd be better in snow and everywhere else.
 

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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
max-a-mill said:
you guys don't look like you had that hard crust on top of your snow.

i went out for about 2 hours around philly (belmont) yesterday and where there were other tracks it was ok but slippery. breaking trail was no fun and even the slightest inclines had me pushin as soon as my momentum petered out. after about half a normal ride me and my buddy packed it in. happy to have ridden at all, but no longer having much fun slogging thrugh the crust.

i actually had more fun riding after last weeks 2 incher.

my exi/moto combo seemed ok... but snow is so freakin vairiable. you guys seem to have had completely different conditions a couple hours south.

i've said it before but exi's need bigger sideknobs, they'd be better in snow and everywhere else.
Yeah, the snow wasn't crusty at all. It was very packable and made perfect snowballs. I should have pegged Allroy in the head while he was going through a rock garden.

Last winter, I tried the Bontrager ACX and I thought they were excellent in the snow. However, they were severely distorted, visibly wobbling side to side when pumped up.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Last winter we had a rare 5" dump. Pics are on here somewhere.
I liked the XR tires for rolling resistance and more than decent climbing traction. Overall they were capable and predictable, at pretty regular pressures. Because I have so limited snow experience I can't compare it to much, but it was great fun.
 

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Damn all of you for having fun. I have exactly five hours to finish my last essay, and then I'm basically free. That trail with all of the boulders looks crazy in the snow. I'm guessing my Nano/Exi combo would have been crap out there. As for the ACX, the one I have is all wobly too; it never really impressed me as a rear tire anyway. See you all on Tuesday...
 

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SUBLIM8er
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My Fischer backcountrys work great in 5 inches of white. ;) For groomed trails I prefer my Rossi Skates. :D
 

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I was on the same trails yesterday, and I thought it was you guys breaking trail for us. Funny how you can recognize 29er tracks by the unpopular (for 26 inch) patterns like klaw and exiwolf.

I had the opposite impression from yours. I thought the small treads on the exi and nano floated, packed the snow and gripped better than the klaw and acx I used last year. It's tough to make a fair comparison though...traction was great yesterday, but it could suck next week. I would have liked to try a fixie in that stuff.
 

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try driving your car less
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AteMrYeats said:
Damn all of you for having fun. I have exactly five hours to finish my last essay, and then I'm basically free. That trail with all of the boulders looks crazy in the snow. I'm guessing my Nano/Exi combo would have been crap out there. As for the ACX, the one I have is all wobly too; it never really impressed me as a rear tire anyway. See you all on Tuesday...
The bontrager tires that came on my Rig are totally wobbly also! even when pumped up all the way to seat the bead.

but it doest really affect the riding too much. the seem OK in the snow a few days ago. but with that much snow, i dont think a bike is the best tool to have fun outside in the woods...

snows all gone here, but so many downed trees... i went road riding. and there were still some spots on the road where i had to carry my bike over downed trees! many folks still without power from the storm on friday... it's monday.
 

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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
joyride1x1 said:
What the second photo doesn't show is me endo'ing as soon as I clear the boulder. The exi in front and the Ignitor in the rear worked out pretty good in this snow. That is, after reducing the tire pressure to around 15psi.
This is a different one from what you are thinking. This is the one that pops right onto Little Canaan. You made this one. :D
 

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I used my karate monkey 1X9 with nanos front and rear to commute to work on Friday. The morning ride in had just an inch of wet snow/slush, but by afternoon we had about 6 inches on the ground. This was my first experience ever with snow riding and I learned the following things:
1) riding on plowed pavement where cars have driven is really tricky, especially when the nanos are packed with snow.
2) riding in 2-3 inches of fresh snow is like riding on deep wet grass..sluggish but traction is pretty good
3) riding in 5-6 inches of virgin snow is brutally hard

I didn't expect the nanos to be great snow tires, but they worked OK for everything but the packed slick stuff.

I think i'm going to invest in some studded tires. Even though they're pricey, the assurance of not falling over on teh side of the road will be worth it, plus i want to ride all winter off road too.
 

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This place needs an enema
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Drevil said:
I know there are a lot of variables, but for those of you that have had the opportunity, what tires have you tried in the snow? What did you like and dislike?
The reality is that any of the current true 29" tires are going to work about the same. In short, if the snow is sticky they'll all pack up fast. If the snow is loose they'll all be pretty skatey. If the snow is packed they'll all hook up pretty well. Some will be slightly better or worse (anything with a square profile will be a bit better) than others.

So, the best snow tire is the one with the most volume, so that it can be run at a low psi and give flotation without pinch flatting.

But really, the key is not the tire, it's the rim, and the pressure.

The wider the rim, the squarer the tire profile, which keeps the tires from squirting out from under you when you make slight directional changes.

The second part of that is to run the lowest psi that you can get away with. Yes, your tires will squirm all over the place, but that's the only way you're going to get traction on semi-packed snow. If the snow is soft and unconsolidated (won't pack into a snowball) you'll have a hard time riding, period, unless you happen to be riding a 26 x 2.8 (or bigger) tire, mounted on a 44mm wide (or wider) rim. Even then, you won't be getting anywhere fast.

If you find that you can't ride, drop a few psi from both tires. When riding snow, I'm most often at 10-12 psi. To be competitive in certain races, where riding wasn't faster than walking, but it did use less energy over the long haul, I've ridden as low as 3psi (photo below). That amount of pressure brings up a handful of other issues, but I wouldn't want to spoil anyone's surprise...

Enjoy.

MC
 

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DiscoCowboy
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All over the trail...

I started out with 30psi, didn't make it far at all before swearing began. Dropped the pressure a good bit and things worked much better. I found the Ignitors worked pretty well, I like the Exi's for the most part, since I'm still getting used to a quicker handling bike I found myself oversteering and they would was out pretty quick I guess because of the small knobs. I like the Exi's in the virgin snow with no tracks, not so much on the hard pack sections, not enough bite.

I have another Ignitor I'll have a go with on the front also.

Fun ride, hopefully I'll have the bike tweaked just right soon so I don't have to worry about that crap on the trail.

Cheerio.

Drevil said:
Yesterday, three 29er buds and I played in 5" of snow for a few hours. Allroy and I were using Exiwolves up front and Ignitors in the back. I'm not sure what tires Mordecai and Joyride used. I know there are a lot of variables, but for those of you that have had the opportunity, what tires have you tried in the snow? What did you like and dislike?

I liked the spikier knobs of the Ignitor. They punched into the snow and got better traction. Although I liked the higher volume of the Exis, they wandered all over the place because of the minimalist tread pattern. I'll try an Ignitor up front if I can dig one up in my pile o' tires in my basement.

BTW, those skinny cyclocross tires with real studs in them would be useless for most of my snow riding since I don't hit a lot of ice. Plus, I need the volume. Yesterday, under all the fluffy stuff were rocks that made themselves known when they clunked against my rim. I was running around 15 psi front and rear (about 5 psi less than usual) and fortunately got no flats. Great. I just jinxed myself. :D
 
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