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  1. #1
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    29er Studded Tires

    HI Guys,
    Looking for recommendations for studded winter tires. My searches on the subject show that there is basically two choices: Nokian Extremes and Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pros. They seem similar, except one is harder to spell.

    Now that it mid season and more folks have been on these tires, how are they working out?
    Anyone have experience with both? Are there other options out there?

    The conditions I will ride in will mostly be plowed dirt roads with snow floors with occasional ice, light new snow and ruts. Very little pavement riding or single track. Very few hills. Maybe some spring rides on snowmobile/skier groomed snow when things are really hard frozen. Any merit to running just one studded tire up front and a fatter regular knobby in the back?

    Thanks for any comments!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 29er Studded Tires-winterbike.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I have the Nokians. They completely take the fear out of riding on ice. Get two. If you're on ice, you might as well have no studded tires if you only have one studded tire.

    Nokians have more aggressive tread than Schwalbes. That could be good or bad, depending on your riding. For frozen roads, the Nokians might be a little slower. But they also might hook up a little better in snow. I can say that my Nokians have pretty impressive traction on snowy trails.

    I think you can get Schwalbes with folding beads, while the Nokians only come in wire. So there is some weight savings there, if you care about weight with a studded tire.

    I really like having studded tires. Around here in southeast Michigan we get a lot of thawing and freezing, resulting in a lot of ice. Studs have completely taken the drama/fear out of riding on those conditions.

  3. #3
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    +1

    I couldn't agree more. I also run the Nokians. The only downside is they don't have a lot of volume. It can be an adjustment going from big fatties to the slim Nokians. But that's not much of an issue most of the time because the snow and ice smooth things out quite a bit. They have a ton of traction. The big lugs really dig in. They are holding up well too. This is my 3rd winter on them. Not much wear on the tire and only 2 or 3 studs missing from each tire. A good winter investment in my opinion.


  4. #4
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    I have been riding both, first the Nokian over the last 2 years, then the Schwalbe this year. I never liked the Nokians too much, not enough volume and I have found that the big knobs are very slow rolling and too much for the snow conditions you can actually ride with those tires (packed snow/ice or a couple of inches of unpacked snow). The volume of the Schwalbe is WAY better in terms of traction on a wider range of snow conditions and I find that the tread has better rolling and grip than the Nokian. I have also run the Schwalbe with lower pressure than the Nokian because of their larger volume and this has increased traction/flotation amazingly. Some people have complained about stud loss but after bedding them in with 20-30 miles of paved roads at 20 psi, I have not lost any. This all said, such tires will never compare to the flotation you get with fatties, but you can forget worrying about ice.....

  5. #5
    Waiting for Godot........
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    nokians are thin and the kobbies are tough. they cut through the snow like a chainsaw instead of float. on ice they are good. you will lose studs if you ride them on pavement, but you can glue them back in and they will stay.

    they wear great and i still have them after two years. they are hella heavy!!!! a good work out.

  6. #6
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    I've had the Schwalbes for two months, and am fairly pleased. For the last two winters I rode a 26x1.95 nokian, and coming from that the volume of the Ice Spiker Pros is huge. I'm tubeless on 35mm rims at 20~22psi. And for gearing I'm running 1x8 and don't find them too draggy on the road, and on the trail they're amazing.

    The caveats:

    There have been a lot of people complaining about stud loss, but I did a few mellow road rides with them before doing anything too aggressive, and I've only lost 1 stud.

    After two months the tread is noticeably worn, although that's partly a fluke of the snowless winter we've had. They've definitely seen a lot of miles of bare pavement, but they also do seem to wear fairly quickly.

    And some of the studs on the centerline have really, really recessed into the tire.

    So they perform great, but I'm a little disappointed in how they wear. I really hope/expect to get 3 winters out of these, but beyond that I'm not so sure.
    Last edited by newfangled; 02-22-2012 at 09:53 AM. Reason: clarity

  7. #7
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    Really appreciate the comments guys!

    I'm leaning to the Schwalbes, as the volume might be nice on rougher plowed roads, or if I push them in softer conditions. Wear may not be a much a concern as I don't see myself putting super high miles on these or riding on pavement much. (I still love skiing/snowboarding in the winter...)

  8. #8
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    Hold on...

    Agreed that the Schwalbe _might_ be a more high performance oriented snow tire. However, I find snow and ice riding _not_ a high performance mountain biking activity. Yes, its tiresome, but usually you are just plodding along some frozen track. It's unlikely you'll be going all that fast as you'll freeze at high speeds, and no matter what tire you use it's unlikely you'll be railing turns, or clearing rock gardens or tough climbs. So, with that said, go with the cheaper of the two that has years of proven service - Nokians. If you have money to burn consider the other.

  9. #9
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    I would make some with screws and duct tape.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teton29er View Post
    HI Guys,
    Looking for recommendations for studded winter tires. My searches on the subject show that there is basically two choices: Nokian Extremes and Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pros. They seem similar, except one is harder to spell.



    Now that it mid season and more folks have been on these tires, how are they working out?
    Anyone have experience with both? Are there other options out there?

    The conditions I will ride in will mostly be plowed dirt roads with snow floors with occasional ice, light new snow and ruts. Very little pavement riding or single track. Very few hills. Maybe some spring rides on snowmobile/skier groomed snow when things are really hard frozen. Any merit to running just one studded tire up front and a fatter regular knobby in the back?

    Thanks for any comments!
    I have Nokians and love them

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gridtalker View Post
    I have Nokians and love them
    Year 2 on My Nokians and love them.

  12. #12
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    Go with the Schwalbes, the higher volume makes an incredible difference that Nokians only users have not experienced....!

  13. #13
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    I have owned both tires and ridden them extensively. They both make winter riding a blast and as long as you remember that you are on ice, you can enjoy pretty much all the trails in the winter that you do in the summer with either tire. On glare ice, they are pretty much identical. As far as differences go, there are a number of subtle differences between the two tires. In crunchy conditions, the schwalbes will penetrate better and offer better grip, but in looser/slushy conditions, the Nokians will hold a line better due to the scoops on the side. The Schwalbes are also larger and will offer more float, so will not create as much of a rut. Overall, I would have to say I prefer the Schwalbe ice spikers for the float, and they just feel a little faster. Now, if winter would only arrive...

  14. #14
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    One more thought, do not try and skimp out on only one tire. If you are on a super tight budget, there are other options, but a single studded tire is asking for problems if it is icy.

  15. #15
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    Thanks EZ.

    When I was reading up on studded tires most agreed that one tire was a bad idea, but one poster liked his combo.

    Budget really so much a factor for a tire purchase--I want to optimize the fun and safety.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teton29er View Post

    Budget really so much a factor for a tire purchase--I want to optimize the fun and safety.
    Then I would choose the Schwalbes, hands down. I have ridden both, and the Schwalbes have much better grip.

  17. #17
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    I got 2012 ISPs on my Prime..

    Pros:

    Pretty light
    Roll _really well_
    Can be setup tubeless, and it was very easy on Havens.

    cons:
    Lose studs easy on first rides, lost over 20 counting both tyres on first ride
    When setup tubeless the sidewalls look rather rancid with sealant squirting out all over, the sidewalls on these are _very_ thin, which explains why they roll so well.

  18. #18
    Keep on Rockin...
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    BTW - awsome pic.

  19. #19
    Bigger is better!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakucee View Post
    cons:
    Lose studs easy on first rides, lost over 20 counting both tyres on first ride
    That's what happens when you don't break them in properly.

    Break-in = 50km on asphalt with low enough pressure to allow all the studs touch the ground.

  20. #20
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    As local user experience Schwalbes do lose studs easier than Nokians, i'm guessing it is because of the small knob size, Extreme 294's have larger knobs so they support the stud better.

    Still, Schwalbes are much lighter and roll better. (Especially the 29er versions without the snakeskin sidewall).

  21. #21
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    I did some DIY ones with a set of Bonty Mud X's. Put a self tapping screw through ~ every third knob, then trimmed them back to almost flush with the tyre with a small pair of bolt croppers. Ran them tubeless and seem fine - much less hassle than messing around with duct tape and tubes. Of course, as soon as I set them up and got a ride in on them all the snow disappeared.... Really need to get some pics up of it em.
    Yes - I do own Singular Cycles

  22. #22
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    Yeah that is usually biggest problem in DIY, finding a tyre that has high enough knobs to drill holes to.

    But with TLS/2bliss/(insert-sealant-based-tubeless-system-here) you can be a bit more brave with knob height and studding them..

  23. #23
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    Before I bought the ISPs I did DIY tubeless for a little over a month:



    The Ignitor is a terrific tire for it (I happened to have a pair that came with my bike that I wasn't using), but for commuting the screws just wore too fast which wasn't helped by this freakishly snowless winter.



    For trailriding exclusively though, they're definitely a good option. Lots more photos here: DIY Studs and Tubeless

  24. #24
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    No more storing my bike for the winter!!!!

    Got the Ice Spikers last night from the local bike shop and got in a 10 mile ride.

    I am completely impressed with these-- other than crossing the highway, I rode entirely on icy and snowy backroads. The crampon like grip was better than I imagined. In a couple wind drifts and ruts the front did a little "hunting", but always quickly got back on track. It seemed odd to seek out the hard ice for better rolling and security, but I quickly learned to do just that.

    Doing the proper break-in is probably not going to happen--it's full on winter here. But I will ride them mellow for a while and resist the urge to see how hard they can stop and turn.

    I didn't lose a single stud with this first ride.

    It's so liberating to be able to ride in the winter!

    Thanks again for the encouragement guys!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 29er Studded Tires-snowtires.jpg  


  25. #25
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    nokians here...

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