Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just mounted a set of studded Tires on my Specialized Hardrock. The tire indicated 40-65 PSI pressure. How much lower than 40PSI can I really go before I start seeing some sidewall wear?

This is the first time I've tried studded tires and tried them out today at 60PSI on the icy and snow packed roads here in Manitoba and they worked fine, but am wondering if I can take them cross country.

Thanks
 

·
on my 3rd wind...
Joined
·
1,827 Posts
I ran my nokian as low as 20psi when I encountered all hard pack/ice condition and no problem. I wouldn't dare go that low if trail contains many exposed rocks and riding speed is equivalent to dry condition.

Generally my pressure is set between 28-32psi.
 

·
Stay thirsty my friends
Joined
·
885 Posts
You won't lose any studs, run them as low as you like until they roll off the rims.

BTW I live in Winnipeg and gave up on studs, rode them for a few years and found they don't provide any more traction except on black ice and even then they still slide out from under you. The best winter tires I found are the ones with many small knobs like the Kenda SB8, more rubber on the road/trail = better traction under all conditions. Run large widths for snow flotation, 2.35" and above works well but don't expect to float over loose snow or climb a fresh plowed snow bank...nothing works for that.

Not to mention the terrible rolling drag from all those studs and the noise, looks cool but doesn't work all that well. I think most people get the idea that you can corner with studs in the winter but the reality is they don't dig in like a spike would and simply slide out. I even tried a set of tires that only had studs on the outer knobs but they weren't any better. After years of commuting in the winter I think I have tried every tire design out there for snow and realized you just have to ride the bike so its upright and use body english to corner...not lean angle.

Unless you run a sharp pointed spike studs are a gimmick if you ask me, I still have a used set of side knob studded tires in the shed I will never use...they provide no benefit if you ask me. There just isn't enough ground pressure to make a stud penetrate ice and the drag is horrible, if your riding the sidewalk a wider tire with lots of small knobs floats nicely on the hardpack and gives great traction not to mention low rolling resistance

If you want my side knob studded tires to try send me a PM, you can have em...I'll never use them again.

I should note that there was one place where the studs offered some benefit, riding wet roots in the spring they dig into the wood and help prevent slide outs especially if your climbing...not a big improvement but something at least.
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
hcklr said:
Did you guys find you need to break the tires in? Guy at the shop said to ride the studded tires on pavement for a while before going on the trail to avoid losing studs?
Nokian recommends it, I didn't , lost maybe 4-5 a season but you can get replacements. they claim you can lose up to 10% without damage but I always replace mine unless the knob is torn.
just check them over before you ride sometimes a couple wont seat properly
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
4JawChuck said:
You won't lose any studs, run them as low as you like until they roll off the rims.

BTW I live in Winnipeg and gave up on studs, rode them for a few years and found they don't provide any more traction except on black ice and even then they still slide out from under you. The best winter tires I found are the ones with many small knobs like the Kenda SB8, more rubber on the road/trail = better traction under all conditions. Run large widths for snow flotation, 2.35" and above works well but don't expect to float over loose snow or climb a fresh plowed snow bank...nothing works for that.

Not to mention the terrible rolling drag from all those studs and the noise, looks cool but doesn't work all that well. I think most people get the idea that you can corner with studs in the winter but the reality is they don't dig in like a spike would and simply slide out. I even tried a set of tires that only had studs on the outer knobs but they weren't any better. After years of commuting in the winter I think I have tried every tire design out there for snow and realized you just have to ride the bike so its upright and use body english to corner...not lean angle.

Unless you run a sharp pointed spike studs are a gimmick if you ask me, I still have a used set of side knob studded tires in the shed I will never use...they provide no benefit if you ask me. There just isn't enough ground pressure to make a stud penetrate ice and the drag is horrible, if your riding the sidewalk a wider tire with lots of small knobs floats nicely on the hardpack and gives great traction not to mention low rolling resistance

If you want my side knob studded tires to try send me a PM, you can have em...I'll never use them again.

I should note that there was one place where the studs offered some benefit, riding wet roots in the spring they dig into the wood and help prevent slide outs especially if your climbing...not a big improvement but something at least.
well I've had the exact opposite experience, anytime there is ice or icy conditions the studs grip like dry pavement. not any better on snow but thats not their purpose. I ride on singletrack and snow mobile trails not road so drag isnt an issue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Alright great I will ride them on the pavement to get beer at the store before my next ride!! Everyone I have talked to claims these things are awesome out in the singletrack in the winter so I am hoping they live up to their reputation!
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
hcklr said:
Alright great I will ride them on the pavement to get beer at the store before my next ride!! Everyone I have talked to claims these things are awesome out in the singletrack in the winter so I am hoping they live up to their reputation!
as long as its ice and not snow they're great.
 

·
on my 3rd wind...
Joined
·
1,827 Posts
You will enjoy studded tires in icy and frozen snow condition. Though you can ride studded in paved road, fluffy, and hard pack snow, it serves no benefit.

I can ride most winter trails with regular tires but riding icy condition without studded tires are spill waiting to happen. Climbing moderate to steep icy trail without studded tires is dead impossible.

BTW, I didn't break-in my studded tires. I bought a stud installation tool and used it to re-seat all studs. You will lose some studs, more on the rear than front. Not a big deal when you have around 300 studs per tire.
 

·
Stay thirsty my friends
Joined
·
885 Posts
Ok I am curious, obviously studs have some sort of usefulness out there in mtn bike land. Some of you have said it works great on icy single track, hard pack snow trails etc.

Here the trails are covered in snow, you can't ride them...they are under 2 ft of snow. The only thing left is the sidewalks and plowed walking trails. Snowmobile trails are so rough from track marks you will wish you never bothered...never mind getting run over by guys doing 90 mph on their sleds!

The temps here don't stay near freezing long enough for their to be any "icy single track" unless you want to count the streets polished with hard pack from the cars..I guess the wheel ruts could count as single track I guess. On my commute I rode these all the time on the back roads and they were usually dusted with fresh powder making the ice slick like wet teflon...studs didn't do much in that situation other than give you a false sense of security and drag you down when you wanted to make time.

As for studs helping on hard pack snow? I don't see it, regular tires dig in and grip just as well as any studded tire...if your leaving a pattern in the snow pack the studs aren't helping any...they are just along for the ride.

I think a lot of the stud benefit is psychological, except in certain circumstances. I have full studs on my vehicle...all four corners, those dig in with the weight of the vehicle but a bicycle does not have enough surface pressure to do anything but scratch the surface on ice unless you have sharpened spikes.

I don't really know what else to say except here...in Winnipeg...when its -20/-30C riding on the typical areas available to us Manitobans this time of year, they are pretty useless. All you have to do is have a look at the typical bike rack and you will see, most hardcore guys don't use them (they are the only ones riding)...for good reason, they are a drag.
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
4JawChuck said:
Ok I am curious, obviously studs have some sort of usefulness out there in mtn bike land. Some of you have said it works great on icy single track, hard pack snow trails etc.

Here the trails are covered in snow, you can't ride them...they are under 2 ft of snow. The only thing left is the sidewalks and plowed walking trails. Snowmobile trails are so rough from track marks you will wish you never bothered...never mind getting run over by guys doing 90 mph on their sleds!

The temps here don't stay near freezing long enough for their to be any "icy single track" unless you want to count the streets polished with hard pack from the cars..I guess the wheel ruts could count as single track I guess. On my commute I rode these all the time on the back roads and they were usually dusted with fresh powder making the ice slick like wet teflon...studs didn't do much in that situation other than give you a false sense of security and drag you down when you wanted to make time.

As for studs helping on hard pack snow? I don't see it, regular tires dig in and grip just as well as any studded tire...if your leaving a pattern in the snow pack the studs aren't helping any...they are just along for the ride.

I think a lot of the stud benefit is psychological, except in certain circumstances. I have full studs on my vehicle...all four corners, those dig in with the weight of the vehicle but a bicycle does not have enough surface pressure to do anything but scratch the surface on ice unless you have sharpened spikes.

I don't really know what else to say except here...in Winnipeg...when its -20/-30C riding on the typical areas available to us Manitobans this time of year, they are pretty useless. All you have to do is have a look at the typical bike rack and you will see, most hardcore guys don't use them (they are the only ones riding)...for good reason, they are a drag.
well if you dont like them you dont have to use them
I dont ride on streets, studded tires have 1 use and thats ice. Just like studded tires on a car. do they help on dry or wet pavement? no do they help on 6" of unpacked snow? no
where they are usefull is on ice, or icy trails . If Im able to ride singletrck in the dead of winter I'll spend a few bucks for studs. I live in New Hampshire and it really depends on the conditions. last year I rarely used the studs, I also have a Pugsley with 4" wide tires that go great in 4" or less of snow , but hit an ice patch and down you go.
2 years ago we had an icy winter and could ride studs all winter long. usually I can ride one or the other at least half the winter or more. the rest of the time theres too much fresh snow so its xc skiing or snoeshoeing.
bottom line is they only cost around $170 a pair , last forever and extend your riding season.
BTW they do make commuting specific studded tires

heres a good site to get the specifics
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
crap- I hope snowmobile trails aren't that bad... I've got to ride my 29er 88 miles on some this weekend...



so far as studs- I ride mixed pavement/gravel with them all winter. I run 25/28 psi front/rear all the time. Roll a bit slower, but that's cool. This is with Nokian 294s. I've ridden them as low as 8 psi or so with no issues (with tubes)
 

·
Stay thirsty my friends
Joined
·
885 Posts
Only $170 USD a pair! OMG!:eekster: That must equal $300 CDN!

Too each his own, I am only offering advice to a guy who obviously lives not far from me from my personal experience...New Hampshire is a completely different world from Manitoba, obviously the temps hover near freezing a lot more than they do here.

Once you get way below zero ice/hard pack has a lot more traction and is similar to smooth pavement and almost as hard.

My offer still stands to the OP, heres the tires I have to give away...they were the best compromise for rolling resistance and traction I found but kinda narrow for our conditions.

You can have em, might have one stud missing if that.

Schwalbe Snow Stud.
https://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302693791&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442243629&bmUID=1261981530236

This guy from Alaska has the right idea for our snow conditions, single front ring, wide Surly Fattie tires and rigid FR+RR...this is what works up here.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks to all

Hey all, I appreciate the various opinions and feedback. I've been looking at a number of other options for winter riding, like the Surly Pugsley, but, this soon after Christmas, it's a hard sell to the wife, considering my youngest daughter still needs a proper bed.

The other option I was looking at was the K trak option. A little more cost effective for my budget, but still a hard sell.

Does anyone have any experience with the K trak? On the trail? In snow, powder, etc? As far as I can tell from the website, it's only available on line, so little likelihood of test drive possibility. I suppose I should contact them and see what their 'satisfaction guarantee' is like.

At any rate, for 4JawChuck, I live on the army base in Shilo, just outside Brandon...just posted in this past summer. I'm told, but haven't seen anything in writing yet, that we're not supposed to bike on base during the winter months, so I've been 'testing' the system by riding here on base with the studded tires, hoping to make a case for 'common sense'. Right now, our roads on base are hard snowpacked, really the next thing to actual ice, and my studs work quite well so far. We also have relatively very little snow in the open fields, so that's why I was asking about lower tire pressures with studded tires...I'd like to try the lower pressured studs cross country to save me swapping the tires on my rims every few days.

I also have a friend out here on base who was a former bike mechanic (can you ever be a 'former' bike mechanic? haha!) from Winnipeg who's been giving me tips and pointers on my own bike maintenance and has hinted at helping me build a Surly Pugsley once I'm ready. hhmmmmmm, it's so tempting!

Next time I'm in Winnipeg, I may just take you up on that offer for your studded tires.

Once again, thanks to all,

Steve (ironbirdexplorer)
 

·
viva la v-brakes!
Joined
·
2,440 Posts
The reason I ask about what type of tire you have is because if you are running steel studs, they will wear out long before any sidewall wear. Carbide studs on Nokian and Schwable tires will last for YEARS. My Nokian Mount and Ground tires lasted 8 winters before the sidewalls died. I run them as low as 20 psi front, 25 psi rear when it is snowy, and I weigh about 160 lbs. When it is mostly dry pavement between snow storms I pump them up to 60 psi for lower rolling resistance.

Just like there are a lot of tires for everything from road riding to DH MTBing and everything in between there are lots of different tire/wheel set-ups for winter. For potentially icy roads and riding on frozen lakes and rivers studded tires are best, and they are also a help for those occasions when the single track is an icy rutted mess. Pugsly type fat bikes are ideal for packed snow like snowmobile trails, snowy roads or even trails groomed for skate style XC skiing. I expect they will be passable on ice just because there is so much rubber on the ground.

I have a "poor man's" solution for riding in the snow. I set up a bike with Snowcat rims, which are 44mm wide and about as big as you can fit in a standard frame and fork, with some big fat tires, in my case WTB Weirwolf LT 2.55 and Timberwolf 2.7. I ride these on snowmobile trails at 8--15psi and they work pretty well. I only occasionally break through the crust if I pick a bad line, though I do wonder if 4" rims and tires would have less rolling resistance since they would float better. They are more than adequate for snow-packed roads, and do remarkably well on icey patches. I also have some studded Nokian Freddies Revenge tires for riding on the lakes here.

Assuming you have disk brakes you could probably just get a second wheel set with these snowcat rims for $70 each and whatever tires work best for you and have some new wheels built. That's a lot cheaper than a Pugsley. But you'll have to track down Simon, formerly of All-Weather Sports... do a google search for "snowcat rims" and you should find what you need.
 

·
Stay thirsty my friends
Joined
·
885 Posts
Right on Ironbird, I travel a lot in my work and take care of many of the health care facilities in the interlake area. We have an account in Brandon but they have on-site staff so I don't get to travel there much but wish I did...you have the only decent DH stuff in MB besides Riding Mtn. I would forget the K-Track, not practical...save your money for the little ones. I have three little ones myself and know the score.;)

Ride what you have, everyone does the studs thing at least once I find ( I did twice) and then with experience you learn you can ride around the lesser traction on ice. Life is a progression and your riding will evolve, everyone does. Most of my buddies have went 700C with micro knobs for commuting, seems they have great traction and still roll fast...the narrow contact patch forces the knobs into the hard pack it seems. I haven't switched yet as I don't commute anymore (company vehicle) and I ride the trails on weekends where the narrow tire is a disadvantage in the softer snow on the walking paths.

Right now I have my Giant hardtail setup with a Surly rigid fork, 1X9 drivetrain (34T FR, 11-34T RR), Avid Vee's, Mavic Crossride wheels, and 2.5" Bontrager Big Earl tires (nice and soft and lots of volume for a smooth ride) and flat pedals. I ride in thinsulate hiking boots, thinsulate long johns and waterproof riding pants from MEC with long sleeve polar fleece over a base layer under a windbreaker...glove liners and thinsulate cheapo Walmart gloves, a thinsulate helmet liner (for snowmobiling) and a set of ski goggles if its under -25C complete the ensemble. This is what works for me down to -45C, I find the polar fleece and thinsulate a good combo for sweat extraction and warmth, a wicking base layer is essential to keep the clammy's away...especially when its -30C or colder.

Make sure you drive into town and check out MEC in Winnipeg, they have a lot of good quality winter wear and many of the staff ride all year round so they know what your doing. The boys at Bikes&Beyond on Henderson Hwy will keep your ride running sweet and get you parts for the best prices in town, they get all my business. There will be shops in Brandon too so make sure you hook up with some guys who ride there to find out the good places to go for bike stuff.

http://bikesandbeyond.ca/index.cfm

Its no different than XC skiing really and everyone has their own like and dislikes for winter wear. Glad your having fun on the base, welcome to Manitoba...be sure to check out the DH stuff in the summer. Brandon is a best place to live for a mtn biker in Manitoba.:thumbsup:

Send me a PM if your in Winnipeg, we can hook up and go for coffee and you can have the tires if you like...nothing more fun than trying out something different I say.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top