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  1. #1
    Dudette
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    Nokian Gazza Extreme 294 Vs. Schwalbe Ice Spikers

    Is there any real difference in performance between the two? Why not go with the Nokians, since they are quite a bit less expensive? I want to get a set for winter riding in the NE, but want some advice. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The Schwalbe has more studs.
    The Nokian has the same number of studs as their 26" version, so they're more spread out, and some people have said this contributes to less traction particularly when turning.

    I personally have the Nokians. I took them out yesterday, mostly on off-road soft stuff so I didn't really get to put the studs through their paces. Hopefully we get some ice in the next few days and I can give them a solid review.

  3. #3
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    I am a very unhappy with new Ice Spiker Pro 29 tyres.
    Yes, this is an only real light and durable spike tire for big wheels, but there's a many problems with spike loss. Most people who use it has some troubles.

    I know that the tyres must be ridden 40 km on the road to fixing the spikes, but there's a problem in any case. Only number of lost spikes differ (3-5 with pre-riding, and 10+ without).

  4. #4
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    I'll be anxious to hear how the Nokians perform. It's disappointing to hear about the spike loss on the Schwalbes, especially given their price. I was hoping to hear some positive reviews before deciding which ones to invest in.

  5. #5
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    I have run both, first the Nokians and then the Ice Spikers this year. I hated the Nokians. Although they are flawless on ice, they are too skinny to provide any kind of flotation on any snow that is not hardpacked and traction was bad. I have run the Schwalbe for more than a month now and the volume (mounted on Stans Arch so could have a wider footprint) and knob pattern make a BIG difference in terms of what snow condition you can ride. Better flotation, better traction, less front wipeout and good behaviour in up to 2-3 inches of snow. As mentioned by others, the problem is the loss of studs, which i have experienced when you ride over some rocks. I have only lost studs on the side knobs but overall more than I use to lose on the Nokians... Still prefer the Schwalbe though

  6. #6
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    I have three sets of Nokian studded tires. Their 29er version is notably lacking in traction compared to the other two models that I own.

    The other two that I own, btw, are the Hakka 300s and the Freddie's.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Typos and terseness are to be expected.

  7. #7
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    I have used the Nokians for a few years now.
    Set up tubeless on either Bontrager Dusters ( a little wider foot print, but very hard to get on/off with the rim strips) or Stan's Arches ( a little narrower foot print...easy setup / removal).
    Lost 2 rear studs in 2 seasons....including riding on a lot of dirt.
    I run them in the low 20's psi ( I weigh 165lbs)
    Had the hots for the Ice spikers....but maybe I'll wait

  8. #8
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    I only road the Nokians for a mile or two on-road before going off-road, and I didn't lose one stud yesterday. So far so good.

  9. #9
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    Just want to clarify the stud loss issue with the Ice Spiker Pros: I have only lost studs when putting some torque and riding over protruding rocks on chunky trails (not much snow here right now...). No loss when riding on pavement, dirt or just rolling over rocks

  10. #10
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    Is it realistic to think a person could replace the lost studs?

  11. #11
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    Yes, you can buy replacement studs at Schwalbe (Studs | Schwalbe North America). they come with a tool but they also seem to cost $$$$$!!

  12. #12
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Hmmm, dunno about this stud loss issue being solely a Schwalbe thing. Any studded tire will likely lose a few, if not a bunch, over time.

    And, Nokian also advises a bed in period on pavement before trail riding. I ignored that aspect, and still only lost perhaps a dozen between both tires.

    Haven't had time on the Spikers, still awaiting "winter", but I anticipate with a more dense stud pattern they will likely hook up better than the Nokians. Nokians work well enough, but on hard dense ice, they will break free....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  13. #13
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    I have had Nokian Gaza Extreme tires for the past four years on my 26er. Stud loss over a winter riding season where 80% of the riding was on mountain bike trails was consistently around 10%. Never had a problem with studs not gripping ice under very cold conditions, perhaps because here in Colorado I rarely ride at temperatures less than zero F. The Nokians are a little on the narrow side and do not float in fresh snow, but instead bite down into and through the snow. This is Finnish snow tire design philosophy at work. Nokian studded car tires are similarly narrow. This year I bought a pair of Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pros for my new 29er. They are wider and float a bit better in fresh snow than do the Nokians, although I prefer the way the Nokian tires bite through the snow because you wind up with better grip. With a lot of snow the conclusion would probably be opposite. The Ice Spiker Pros have more studs and grip better overall. As noted in other threads on the this topic, however, the rate of stud loss with the Schwalbe tires is excessive. I've already lost 30% of the studs in two weeks of riding; most of the studs lost have been from the sides of the tires. In fairness, I ride trails that are rocky even in winter, which I am confident is primarily responsible for the high rate of stud loss with the Schwalbe tires. There are probably several factors at work that explain the high rate of stud loss in Schwalbe tires: (a) studs in the Schwalbe tires are not as well secured or seated to the tires as in Nokian tires; (b) the run-in period is more critical for Schwalbe tires than for Nokian tires (I did not run in the tires in per Schwalbe's recommndations, unknown to me when I bought the tires); (c) the Schwalbe tires are wider and therefore present a longer cross-section to rocks than do Nokian tires, which causes more studs to be ripped out of the tires; (d) other factors. These are merely my observations; others will no doubt have had different experiences under different conditions with Ice Spiker Pro tires. My best guess is that part of what is going on with the Schwalbe tires is that they are designed and made in Germany, which is not a winter wonderland, and which does not experience a lot of cold snowy winter weather. Finland of course is the opposite, and the the Finns have been at this game much longer than the Germans. The Ice Spiker Pro tires are also new on the market. Nokian has been making studded bike tires for decades, and in my opinion Schwalbe's lack of experience with real winter conditions and engineering shows. That said, I hope Schwalbe solves the stud loss problem because I really like the way the Ice Spiker Pro tires perform. If you don't have any studs left on your tires after a month of riding, however, then "improved performance" becomes a moot point.

  14. #14
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    Been using the Ice Spikers for 3 months (150km/week on paved paths / icy rutty residential streets), and I noticed that the two center rows of studs are now seated so deep that they barely provide any traction at all. It's like they're all "pushed in" the tire.

    When new, the Spikers are great, but now not so much on ice, my front wheel keeps sliding out, even on straight paths.

    I just ordered a Nokian 294 for my front wheel, hopefully it will last longer than the Schwalbe.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcpro View Post
    Been using the Ice Spikers for 3 months (150km/week on paved paths / icy rutty residential streets), and I noticed that the two center rows of studs are now seated so deep that they barely provide any traction at all. It's like they're all "pushed in" the tire.

    When new, the Spikers are great, but now not so much on ice, my front wheel keeps sliding out, even on straight paths.

    I just ordered a Nokian 294 for my front wheel, hopefully it will last longer than the Schwalbe.
    Another forum member from Calgary recently reported the same problem with Schwalbe Ice Spiker tires. I have since also noticed that the center spikes in my Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro tires are getting pushed deep into the tire.

  16. #16
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    What is the enemy of good....

    ...better.


    I just got some new Nokians but was debating on going the the Spikers. I've had Nokians in the past and they were "good". I considered trying to go "better" with the Spikers (more studs, fatter) but stuck with "good" and glad I did.

    Like the poster above said, Nokian has been at this game far longer and that counts for something. Besides the Nokians are a lot cheaper.

  17. #17
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    Unable to compare to the ice spikers, but have been using the Nokian for the last two weeks and have really enjoyed them. Much more confident on ice. Have not had any spike loss. Have ridden on pavement and mt trails with rocks, dirt and ice. So far very happy with the purchase.

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