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Snow Tire recommendations

839 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  wyatt79m
Seeing all the pics of people riding in the snow, seems like you all might have some good suggestions for snow tires. We don't get much down here in SEPA, but when we do, it seems to hang around for a week or so and I usually avoid riding. I have a mental picture of broken hip/collar bone/wrist/etc due to bike sliding out on snow or ice.

Any recomendations? Should you use a mud tire (skinnier with wide spaced knobs), all mountain, DH, XC race?
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Mud tires generally work pretty good in snow. I'm using a set of Maxxis swampthings for the winter on my DH bike. They are 2.5's but they are WAY smaller than a normal 2.5.

What ever you decide on, go with something with less knobs that are placed further apart
It's a pretty wide subject:

Run what you have now just drop the pressure a bit(It's free and worth a try) Also flat BMX style pedals help. Your going to be dabbing alot. Some guys still run clips, but the snow and ice plays with the interface making it a nuisance.

I run the same tires year round and not that it matters they're WTB Wierwolf 2.55 X 29. If we get lots of ice I have another pair of worn sacrificed tires with screws w/ liners.

Our guys run almost anything, and tires are not the cure all answer, your mind is the deciding factor. You have to go out with an open mind and don't think about the trails your use to riding will be anything like your used to. The same little hill you fly by in the warm weather is now an impossible challenge. It's all about just getting out and riding.

No one in our group runs the same tires.One guy has 2.1x 26 with studs another has 2.55 x 29 without studs. Most of our guys ride Moto in snow so we're used to it. Differences being pedaling throws your balance off and lots of steering is needed to correct it and keep you going. Sometimes its really comical as you think your going left and nope your 90 degrees right than trying to recover sends you in a whole new direction!... LOL

More so these things all play into being able to ride the white stuff. Snow depth,(usually 4 or less is ridable) new or old snow, wet or dry snow,(mash potato snow sux the worst) whats under the snow,(oak leaves, or ice are hidden dangers and will put you down quick if you don't have studs) Believe it or not rocks and roots are actually more friendly when frozen as long as they're not ice covered

I suggest, to make it fun, dress warm in layers,(of course you'll have to experiment to see what feels best for you) and being a bit cold when you start is a good thing cause you'll really warm up once you start pedaling through the white stuff cause of all the resistance. Don't venture too far out, find a small loop you can try to get going on, broken snow is usually easier to ride than fresh, so you might have to do laps to break the snow up a bit(sounds crazy but it works)

I think your best bet is just go try it. Find more level trails that aren't too tech and make it an adventure. I think you'll find it is a lot of fun.

Let us know how it goes!
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Hey Justriding! I am a totally newbie to snow riding and a relative noob to riding in general. I still have the original Continental Mountain Kings on my bike and the rear is getting pretty low on tread, but with my fat arse I don't have to worry about traction...LOL! Like NEPMTBA said just get out and do it. Lowering the tire pressures will give you more contact patch but will increase the effort required to pedal through the snow so don't be afraid to do some testing to see what works best for you. Just go out, have fun, and be mindful of your bike setup. Just don't try to go banzai down hills. Go out, have fun, and be careful!


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I would STRONGLY advise skipping any areas that you know collect water and vehicle/ATV ruts - there seems to be plenty of pooled water frozen there these days, and that makes for plate-ice covered in lighter white stuff, and for that nothing but studded tires will do it. Maybe.

Or at least that's what my ankle says.
I use Panaracer rampages, 29x2.35 year round and love them.
I run DH tires with DH tubes and ridiculous air pressure like 12 to 15 lbs.
I just use regular tires and fall a lot more.
The ones that Jay has for sale.... :thumbsup:
I've had good results with Kenda Nevegals, Panaracer Rampages & Conti Mountain Kings.
Thanks for the all the detailed info. Those specialized storms look similar to the IRC mud racer's I picked up on sale at price point for about $15. Next snow down here, I'll strap a set on (tires and balls) and go out and fall off my bike alot.
justriding said:
Thanks for the all the detailed info. Those specialized storms look similar to the IRC mud racer's I picked up on sale at price point for about $15. Next snow down here, I'll strap a set on (tires and balls) and go out and fall off my bike alot.
funny post dude..... Youv'e got the right idea :thumbsup:
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