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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched long and hard and unfortunately came to the conclusion that there is no winter equivalent of xc mountain biking. That being said, I'm looking for ways to extend my riding through the winter - the cold, snowy, icy, crappy winter we have here in Southern Ontario. After a couple of rides this past week, I realized that my Panaracer Fire XC Pro's just won't cut it for the trail conditions out there. They pack up with snow pretty quick, offer little traction and completely suck on anything resembling ice.

I asked around at a few local bike shops and heard different things from each. Some swear by higher-end studded tires (nokian, schwalbe), others suggest just running wide aggressive tires, and another said that my Panaracers should suffice. Searching online, I came across tire chains for mountain bikes which is certainly an interested option:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mountain-Bike-Tire-Chains_W0QQitemZ120355980019QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCycling_Parts_Accessories?hash=item120355980019&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Just looking for some advice on what options for winter singletrack riding. Ideally I'd like to avoid spending $250 on a set of winter tires but if that's the only thing that really works...

Thanks!
 

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almost there!
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you could make your own studded tires...

google how to make your own studded tires -

or just stick with the tires you have, deflate them to about 25 psi and only ride on snow covered trails and avoid or walk across icy sections
 

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3/8" Self Tapping metal screws with rounded heads. The rounded heads don't have any taper on the bottom of the screw, so they sit flush against the inside of the tire. Then I just used duct tape as a liner. They seemed to work fine and grip real well.

Step 1. Use Awl to poke hole in knob:


Step 2: Screw metal screw in through the hole you made:


Step 3: Repeat! I think there was a total of 109 screws. They were only $2 or $3 per package. In this shot I was alternating but I went back to add more so that every grouping of 2 knobs both had studs (see first photo):



Step 4: Line with a few strips of duct tape. There aren't too many sharp edges on the rounded heads so duct-tape works well. Then just mount them and inflate. Can all be done in an evening. One tip some work gloves when mounting the tre!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
woohoo! just re-mounted my tires after putting studs in them - I followed the instructions above except I used a 3/32" drill-bit and pre-drilled the holes in the knobs. I used 6x3/8" self-drilling metal screws - 102 of them per tire. The white stuff's comin down outside and it looks like a great afternoon for a ride. I'll report back on how this setup works on the trail!

p.s. I put ~35 psi in both tires, figure it might drop a few in the cold...
 

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I used number 6 32 by 1/2" bolts and matching washers and nuts. put them all on the outside of the tire tread. Used new kenda cheap nobby tires. Seems to work great.

Check this tread for more details, http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=477775

I run normal tire pressure in them as its cold out and I want to cut through the fluffy snow and get bite on hard pack and ice.
 

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Best of luck in any soft powder if it's more then a couple of inches.

I ride once it's packed down since I can use a regular MTB tire if I want to or my ice tires if I think I'll run into any.
Rode the Don a while back after a flash freeze and was only able to do it because of the ice tires, the place was like a skating rink in spots!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It figures the one day I'm out there LOOKING for ice, I have a hard time finding it...when I finally did though it was great, the studs I put into my tires make a world of difference on the slippery stuff. I didn't have time to get out to the trail but rode around the neighborhood and found patches of glare ice and the tires gripped surprisingly well. I noticed some added rolling resistence in the snow though, not sure yet whether that's entirely a result of the studs or just the type of snow that's out there right now...

Thanks again nspace for your how-to guide, worked like a charm!
 

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I use the Nokian Hakkepellita 240s. Went out a couple of days ago, mixture of sheer ice, dirt road, snow pack and river-which-has-burst-its-banks (1' - 2' deep, 100m sections) and they handled it all quite gracefully. Nokians rock.
 

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I considered Nokians at the time. They seem to be the best if you are doing a lot of riding on ice.

I decided to go with this option, but since the amount of off-road riding that actually calls for studs is so limited (at least at Hilton falls where I do most of my winter rides), I decided spending $5 in screws and a few hours was a better investment since most of the time I can get away with knobby tires with a low PSI.
 

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I've had good luck with Conti Mountain Kings in fresh snow, though deep powder isn't easy no matter the equipment. I've got some Nokians on the way for the more sketchy days. Too many falls last winter, even in only a handful of rides.
 

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used these with great success, but depends on clearence

http://www.allweathersports.com/winter/snowcats.html

but you can use a wider downhill rim also, run heavy dh tubes with low presure

as i said before nokians are the way to go (big $ but worth it)

i swear by these...

http://www.suomityres.fi/sw336.html

and will be getting this once it is out on the market, i think it is a solid system...

http://4dsnowbike.com/index.php

the art of winter riding is picking out a good place to ride. look for areas that people have packed down the snow by foot, snowmobles, snowshoes, shore-ice, rivers, springs etc...

and more tips here...

http://www.icebike.org/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
nspace said:
I decided to go with this option, but since the amount of off-road riding that actually calls for studs is so limited (at least at Hilton falls where I do most of my winter rides), I decided spending $5 in screws and a few hours was a better investment since most of the time I can get away with knobby tires with a low PSI.
Do you have another set of knobby tires that you throw on in lieu of the studded panaracers when you know studs won't be needed?

Does anyone know of good "winter" trails up in York Region?
 
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