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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I am looking at possibly getting some studded tires for where I ride as there is anything from hard pack snow to ice or any combination inbetween. I am sure on Ice they make a huge difference but how about snow?

I am rideing my single speed for the winter and on the hills I have to stand up and mash the pedals so apart from the super fun pulling almost a wheelie every pedal stroke I wanted to know if it was worth becoming a stud.
 

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Double-metric mtb man
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For the ice, definitely....for stand and mash, maybe. I've ridden year round for the last few years on singletrack, multiuse trails and the roads. On road, where the cars make lots of ice and "plate snow", studs help a lot. On the single track, they are useless. On multiuse for most of the year, I find they aren't needed until the spring when freeze-thaw cycles bring in a lot of ice. Then again, I also sit and spin more than stand and mash.

I'd personally say a good, open (mud-tire like) knobby should be all you need unless you're playing with a lot of ice.
 

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General Riding

A few weeks ago I was thinking about the pro's/con's to studded tires, before investing 200-some dollars on tires I took my Bontrager Jones ACX 29's out to test their traction in the snow/ice covered roads.

Overall, their traction was great on the packed base that had 2-3 inches of fresh powder cover; over pavement. During the first 20-mile (round trip) trek I hit two/three slippery patches that made me realize that there could be a need for more traction; however, those few patches weren't enough to justify the price tag on studded tires for a 29er. I didn't crash, or swerve into the passing cars around me!

I ride that same 20-mile trek every day, 10-miles one-way from home to work. With rolling hills and plenty of snow in upstate NY to keep my wits about me when I'm riding, and to challenge the tire's traction.

The best traction I have had, with zero slips in traction, was when the temperature was between 0-degrees and 5-degrees Fahrenheit. Over the past two weeks the temperatures have been between 0-degrees and 20-degrees Fahrenheit, with around 2-inches of snowfall every other day or so.

During that riding time, 15-days worth and counting, my Jones tires have been perfect for the packed and powdered snow.

I hope this helps you? I know that I've learned that I don't need studded tires through experience versus sales pitches.

V/R,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok thanks for the advice. I wish I could sit and spin on the trail but the 32/16 gearing does not really lend to the that lol. Would it be better traction to get a 2.5- 3.0 nobby for the back or stay skinny at 2.1?

I ride a Surley 1x1 so I can run up to 3 inch tires in the back and 3 in the front if i go rigid. I am currently running IRC Mibro 2.25 tires at 25 ish psi however torque on the back tire will set it loose when the hills get steep. I also planning on changing the gearing for winter to 32/20 which should help a lot.
 

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Got A Lust for Life...
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The thing about riding without studs is that one icy section that will kill you. I like to ride without them, but there are some sections that will f you up if you don't have them. I like riding everything, not having to stop and get off because there is glare ice is amazing. Studs are worth every penny. The first time you go down you'll wish you had them.
 

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DeForest Stump
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indyfab25 said:
The thing about riding studs is that one icy section that will kill you. I like to ride without them, but there are some sections that will f you up if you don't have them. I like riding everything, not having to stop and get off because there is glare ice is amazing. Studs are worth every penny. The first time you go down you'll wish you had them.
I agree with this. Your hips and elbows will take a beating on those icy slide outs.
 

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bi-winning
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Cobretti said:
I agree with this. Your hips and elbows will take a beating on those icy slide outs.
+11. With plain rubber, you have no traction on ice. Falling on ice hurts a lot, and can damage your bike or riding gear, like when your chainring rips your expensive clothes apart. When ice has a thin dusting of snow on top, you may not realize it is ice, until it is too late.

For riding on snow, a good knobbie tire is great though. Outside of thaw/freeze times, it is often just snow on the trails, aside from the spots you know there will be ice - like small streams.

Conclusion, you can do a lot of winter riding without studs, but certain weather conditions may lead to trail conditions that demand studs.
 

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Last year, every time I went out on the trails, I found very few spots that required studs. I ride on a creek bottom and even after floods when the whole thing was plates of ice, freeze/thaw cycles along with snow managed to give the ice the consistency of sandpaper.

I am starting to think seriously about studs for my roadie as cars tend to mash snow into icy chunks and polished sheets.

BTW, I'm using Continental Mountain King 2.4 and the trails, so far so good in the snow.
 

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For me, one crash, surprise at going down so fast, bruises and a severly bent derailleur hanger is all it took. Another pro: It is quite stimulating to fly down that icy trail at 20mph and wave to the runners yelling at you to slow down because you are going to crash.

I have hit ice under snow that made the studs worth it as well. If I know the ride is all snow, I leave the studs at home.

Occasionally, I will just run only the front stud. This helped me avoid sliding out once. Riding side by side with another mtbr, we turned a corner and didn't notice the black ice. He went down and I made the turn. Luckily I was on the inside as well.

I have been using IRC Mud Max with studs (found them on ebay 3 years ago) for most of my ice biking. I also have 2.5 tires with hardened steel screws for the real serious ice rides without pavement.

urmb
 

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The Beater said:
I am sure on Ice they make a huge difference but how about snow?
The studs themselves will make no difference on actually snow (except for that "plate snow" that Psycho Mike mentions). However, the widely-spaced lugs on studded tires do a lot to help shed the snow, and that matters.

Of course, you can get widely-spaced lugs on non-studded tires as well.

Another thing to think about is the rubber compound. I only know about Nokians, but they make their studded tires out of a compound designed for winter temperatures. I'm not really sure how much that matters. It might matter more than I realize.

The Beater said:
I am rideing my single speed for the winter and on the hills I have to stand up and mash the pedals ...
My experience is that standing and mashing works terribly in snow and ice. When I stand and mash on glare ice, there's not enough weight left on the rear tire for the studs to engage, and the tire spins. Ditto on the hard-packed snow that typically covers the streets where I live. For me at least, to stand and mash in the snow and ice is to guarantee that I lose traction in the rear.
 

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I remember ages ago people would put bolts through the tires to make studs for ice.

Does no one do that anymore?

Be good to be able to use a pair of old tires and just stick a bunch of bolts through them...
 

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TheDon said:
I remember ages ago people would put bolts through the tires to make studs for ice.

Does no one do that anymore?

Be good to be able to use a pair of old tires and just stick a bunch of bolts through them...
people still do DIY studs.
 

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You only need a front tire. The back is overkill. The front will keep you up-right. A little caution is still needed but way better than no- studs. And yes you can easily make them for a fraction of the cost.
 

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I am not for the "only front". I have ridden many seasons without and one full season with. I only ride with one other person who has invested in studded tires as well. Those who haven't the person who rides a 29 has better snow traction than a 26. He still cannot get out of the saddle. I can on a 26 w/ studs get out of the saddle more often.

The open lugs help tons with traction. I tried my first snow ride with my Nevegals and they were ok, never fell once. I switched on the next ride and it made a difference in snow. No contest on ice.

BTW the best conditions are those of snow on ice that forms sandpaper. I think it is faster than dirt, because of the berms.

Mine are heavy and it makes a difference after the second hour in the saddle (more of a workout!)

Rob
 

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ColoradoCoolBreeze
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SpartyBiker said:
Sheetmetal screws and tubleless I assume?
Old set of Nev's
Installed the sheetmetal screws with a drill and socket.
Turning the tire inside out and using a grinding wheel I took the points down flush with the rubber.
Cut an old intertube for a liner and using contact cement I glued the liner in place.
Added a slime tube and air.
So far so good. I do carry two spare tube until I know the screws won't work their way thru the liners and cut the tubes.

hth
 

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I Love my Rize
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I'm a stud

I've been running Nokian extreme 294's for 3 years (this is the third year) and all I can tell you is I will NEVER run another winter without them. I have done glare ice single track to sheeted bike paths. The Nokians have tungsten carbide grippers and I have thousands of road miles on them on regular pavement and the studs are like brand new still. Your tires will rot away before the studs wear. I agree if it's pure snow a good set of knobbies work very well but the Nokians work even better as their compound and the knob pattern is just what the doctor ordered. I can run on any trail with confidence. I now ride all the swamps that are frozen over and they are a blast. I also ride on the old Erie Canal where I live as it freezes over very nicely in the midwinter. I love my Nokian's. Home made studs you CANNOT ride on the road as where the Nokians you can ride them ANYWHERE you want. By the way studs are awesome on wet roots or small downed trees :D
 

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danoalb said:
I've been running Nokian extreme 294's for 3 years (this is the third year) and all I can tell you is I will NEVER run another without them. I have done glare ice single track to sheeted bike paths. The Nokians have tungsten carbide grippers and I have thousands of road miles on them on regular pavement and the studs are like brand new still. Your tires will rot away before the studs wear. I agree if it's pure snow a good set of knobbies work very well but the Nokians work even better as their compound and the knob pattern is just what the doctor ordered. I can run on any trail with confidence. I now ride all the swamps that are frozen over and they are a blast. I also ride on the old Erie Canal where I live as it freezes over very nicely in the midwinter. I love my Nokian's. Home made studs you CANNOT ride on the road as where the Nokians you can ride them ANYWHERE you want. By the way studs are awesome on wet roots or small downed trees :D
+1
BYW the 29" version is not quite as good as the 26" . same number of knobs and studs but bigger tire so the knobs are actually 1/8 to 1/4" further apart. you can really feel the difference on glare ice
 

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I'm just trying to decide which kind of tire to get. Price is a factor, Ideally like to spend not more than $60 per tire, which I think kind of limits me.

I was looking at the Peter White Cycles page last night and determined I would probably want a tire that is 26x2.1 or so without studs running down the middle, just on the edges. (Mainly due to cost but also so I can ride it on pavement when needed since I do a mix of urban and XC). But his website is not organized very well, some models he talks about don't list prices or have pics. I guess I'll call him monday.

As for if my normal bike tires might be fine, I'm one of the (far too) few people who run dedicated snow tires on their car in the winter. And seeing how I consistently outhandle and outbrake people in winter driving with my Nokian Hakka's on my car (and Blizzaks on my girlfriend's) while they are sliding about on all-season or even summer tires, it reminded me of how when I was younger and mountain biking I would constantly fall down on the snow and ice, so I'm guessing it's going to be the same that way now, so I'm just gonna go ahead and order some studded tires.
 
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