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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been looking at studded tires to complete my winter bike. I did look in the reviews, but didn;t see a ton and wondering if any more experienced winter MTB'ers had some thoughts. I gather the field is pretty much defined by the following:

Nokian Hakka - 2.1 - Light (good), Nokian (good), seem to loose lots of studs (bad), $$$$
Nokian Extreme - 2.1 - Heavy (its studded), Nokian, relatively affordable (good)
Nokian Freddie - 2.3 - Heavy (see above), Nokian, can't seem to find them online(bad)
Schwalbe Ice Spiker - Heavy, Schwalbe (good), EXPENSIVE
Innova IA-290 - Heavy, no ratings anywhere, cheap

any opinions as to which people have had the best success with would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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I have heard nothing but good reports about all Nokian tires, and nothing but bad reports about every other studded tire I've heard a report about. I'd go with the Nokians. They have harder studs too and will last longer (made of carbide as to opposed to hardened steel for the other brands?). Personally I own some Mount & Ground's for commuting and light off-road use and have been using them for four winters, with a lot of pavement miles and the studs still look like new (ok, they've got a little rust, but they are still sharp).

I've heard that the studs pulling out of the Hakkas was an early production issue, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Unless you're planning on doing some racing, I'd go with the Extreme's, save yourself some cash.
 

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I own 6 Extreme 296, 2 Freddies Revenz, 2 Hakka 300, 2 W240, 2 Mount and Ground 160. The Freddies are this year's and are much lighter than they used to be, about 940g each. The 300s are impressively light at 670g each, but have a much smaller casing and narrow, tall and somewhat squirmy knobs. The Extremes (no longer make the 296s; now they are 294) have a burlier build and stiffer knobs than the 300s but are considerably heavier. Both the 300s and Freddies use an aluminum mushroom head sleeve to hold the carbide pin stud which saves weight. The Extremes use a steel sleeve. I find the alloy sleeves pull out of the tires more easily, but that may be a function of the softer rubber on the 300s allowing that. My Freddies have only lost one stud during break in while my 300s shed studs like a Repunzel on chemo losing hair. I keep an old Extreme around to canibalize studs out of.

Traction on ice on all of them is similar, with the Freddie having a slight edge. Whether the pointed studs of the Freddie and 300 hook up better than the squared off head of the extreme depends on the ice temperature imo. Cold ice benefits from the pointed studs, warm ice is complimentary to the square ones. The Freddies and Extremes offer similar float on snow, with the Freddies having a small advantage in casing width, though the area of tread profile is almost exactly the same. Overall I like the Freddies the best, but they are hard to find. Production seems slow. I called REI in Anchorage Alaska (I live in Kodiak) and they had 2 pairs of Freddies, so I bought a set. They may get more this winter, dunno. It's a lot of $$, but it keeps me riding ALL winter long, so completely worth it imo. A pair is cheaper than any of my HID lights.

I have many hundreds (thousands?) of miles on Nokian studded tires and recommend them without reservation.

Best performance: Freddie
Best value: Extreme
Best weight (if that is an overriding factor): 300

Don't bother with anything else.
 

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tscheezy said:
I own 6 Extreme 296, 2 Freddies Revenz, 2 Hakka 300, 2 W240, 2 Mount and Ground 160.
Hey tscheezy. I'd like to get some off-road orientated studded tires next winter. As I mentioned, I have the M&G's now, mostly for commuting, but they also see some winter trail duty. How much bigger the Hakka's and the Freddies then the M&Gs? Any eperience with the new Extreme 294? Basically I'd like something that would mate well with larger rims (Rhyno Lites for now, eventually Snowcats) and have lots of volume and float. Obviously, almost doubling the number of studs would be a big improvement right off the bat.

Do you have any idea if Nokian/Suomi is planning on coming out with any larger volume tires. Seems odd that they offer so many huge DH tires but no large snow tires.

Oh, and is there any noticable difference in rolling speed amongst these tires. I'm sure the surface makes a huge difference, but lets say, on hard packed snow?
 

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I doubt they will make any bigger tires. They would be extremely heavy, and once you are wanting float, it means you are on snow, and studs really don't do anything for you then. Studs are for very hard surfaces. Either ice or hard packed snow when float is not an issue. You generally EITHER need studs or huge volume, but rarely both.

The M&G and W240s are pretty fast tires. The tires with more studs get a lot slower/heavier feeling. The 300 is light feeling but offers noticeable rolling resistance. The 296 and Freddie are heavier still and not exactly fast rolling either. THis is mainly an issue on surfaces that the studs can't penetrate like on the road. Each stud gets pushed up into the knob and this constant shoving into rubber in sucks up energy. If you are on a soft surface like snow, dirt, ice, this effect is far less noticeable.

I have not used a 294, only the 296 version. I'm not sure why they changed, or much about the new version. I commute on 296s mounted on Rhyno Lites, and it's a lot of wheel to ride on all winter, but I never wreck. My GF is on the 240s and they are a lot more pleasant for commuting and still hook up. I'd commute on those also if I could find more.

If you want the best performance and a tire you can grow into for offroad, you have the $$, and you are actually a dedicated winter rider, just pony up for the Freddies. If you are on a budget, go 296/294. I would really only get the 300s if you are weight conscious or can find them for about $80 each. They are fine tires, but not quite as durable or verastile.
 

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I've been thinking about a set of Nokians too...

It looks likethe new Extreme 294 use the same aluminum stud base as the Hakka. The old Extreme 296 used steel as already mentioned. If so, then it seems to me that the studs in the new extremes will have similar reliability as the Hakka's. That could be good or bad depending which one of the three reviews you believe...

http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Tire/product_124258.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I Stand Appropriately...

chastised for rushing through your response.

"Read my post again."
 

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I've been just amazed at the Nokian WXC300's in the unusual bit of icey weather we're having on the west coast here. I have them on a hardtail with a Rohloff rear hub. Last weekend I rode up an ice covered hill past walkers who were walking off trail in the dirt and snow because the ice was too slippery to stand on. They work great right up to the point where the wheel starts to bounce (a bit sketchy with intermttent contact, best to stay seated and control the torque application). They are great on the sort of thick frost and black ice Vancouver gets on pavement on cold winter days. I'm amazed at how much braking force is available on ice too slippery to stand on (or stop and put a foot down on).

They're actually noisy enough on pavement to drown out the sound generated by my Rohloff hub, they sound like 50 square feet of bacon frying at normal pavement speeds but I'm getting used to it. Haven't lost any of the studs so far. The studs work great on slimey wood bridge decks and wet roots too. The knobs are tall and squirmy, you can't corner on hardpack or pavement like you could on normal tires, but they work great in mud and wet loose soil.

The lighter aluminium stud with the carbide center looks just like the studs that we used to use on the Hakkapelita ice racing and winter rally tires back in my sports car days (and they only had 330 studs on a 13" car tire). The aluminium wears about as fast as the rubber which always leaves the carbide center pin exposed about the same amount.
 

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I second the Nokians....

Another Alaskan here, but I'm in the Anchorage ice bowl. I'd like to second Tcheezy's comments. I'm on my thrid pair of studded tires and all have been Nokians. I'm on the new Extreme 294's 2.1, and they seem to perform as well as the older 296's. On a stud per area quicklook, the new 294's have more studs at the edge's of the tire and the concentration in the center of the tire has been reduced. This seems fine as the tire really hooks up nicely, but I can't really tell that much difference from the orginal 296's. Also, at REI in Anchorage I did see a pair of studded Nokian 2.3's, but can't remember if they were the Extremes or something else. I didn't pay that much attention since my winter bike will not take 2.3's.

Also, I'm running these on a pair of Snowcat rims without issues or need of rim glue. This setup really does add some good floatation and can be used to about 10-12 psi when you need to. Also, traction is enhance on the wider rim... they flatten out the tire and put more studs in contact with the ice vs. standard rims. Note: I've discovered consistent low pressure ( < 20 psi) riding will reduce the life the rear tire. The side walls will start so separate in "en echlon" type tears which is related to differental motion in the side walls in between the contact patch and the rim while under torque. I only reduce air pressure when I absolutely have to.

Good luck,

EndUser
 

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Nokian YES

Up here in Wasilla Alaska and I say YES to Nokian. Freddies are awesome but hard to find. Alaka Bicycle Center has one pair of Freddies left at $180.00 for the pair. I would put them on my winter rig if they fit. Currently turning Extreme 296' :cool: ers at 2.1. Great tire! Second the Air pressure comment. <20 PSI only for flotation. To extend tire life keep the pressure up.

Merry Christmas

EndUser said:
Another Alaskan here, but I'm in the Anchorage ice bowl. I'd like to second Tcheezy's comments. I'm on my thrid pair of studded tires and all have been Nokians. I'm on the new Extreme 294's 2.1, and they seem to perform as well as the older 296's. On a stud per area quicklook, the new 294's have more studs at the edge's of the tire and the concentration in the center of the tire has been reduced. This seems fine as the tire really hooks up nicely, but I can't really tell that much difference from the orginal 296's. Also, at REI in Anchorage I did see a pair of studded Nokian 2.3's, but can't remember if they were the Extremes or something else. I didn't pay that much attention since my winter bike will not take 2.3's.

Also, I'm running these on a pair of Snowcat rims without issues or need of rim glue. This setup really does add some good floatation and can be used to about 10-12 psi when you need to. Also, traction is enhance on the wider rim... they flatten out the tire and put more studs in contact with the ice vs. standard rims. Note: I've discovered consistent low pressure ( < 20 psi) riding will reduce the life the rear tire. The side walls will start so separate in "en echlon" type tears which is related to differental motion in the side walls in between the contact patch and the rim while under torque. I only reduce air pressure when I absolutely have to.

Good luck,

EndUser
 

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Lol

hey Rocky....`sounds like 50 square feet of bacon frying`...Ha ha ha, perfect description of my Hakkas on pavement, though I definitley try to limit pavement miles on my studs the Hakka is a pretty dope commuter for here in Switzerland. They are quite fast rolling and keep my upright....mostly. Though for trail riding i gotta put in my vote for the Freddiez........
 
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