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  1. #1
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    Got my Nokians today!

    Not a moment too soon either. Here in Indiana we have had a nasty bout of ice lately. A few weeks ago I went commuting to work on my standard knobby tires. I noticed the side streets that I take to be particularly treacherous. Come to find out we are under a "salt shortage" here. Apparently there isnt as much tax money to go around this year and the price of salt increased which means only the main roads are getting salted for now in my area

    Long story short, I bit it twice that day. One time I just forgot about the road being ice under the snow and leaned too hard in a turn, the second time I was coming to a stop on a pure sheet of ice and literally watched the front tire squirm sideways. I unclipped and tried to toss the bike to the side. I actually landed on my feet, and much to my surprise I skated on my bike cleats completely out into an intersection while standing up- the bike skidding in a pile next to me. The road was so slick you couldnt even stand on it.

    After hearing about the salt issue and deciding that studded tires would be cheaper than either

    A: busting my front teeth out

    or

    B: getting ran over by a car after the bike goes down on ice

    I decided to grab some Nokian Mount and Ground studded tires. I am really pleased with how they perform so far but I haven't ridden very much on them. I wouldn't go so far as to say riding on ice with these is like dry pavement, but they are unbelievably stable on ice. Anyway, thought some of you guys may like some pics or some motivational ice bike stories to get you in the spirit of the season.

    Keep on truckin'!





    Last edited by Helmsdini; 12-18-2008 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Glad to hear that you weren't hurt too bad in those incidents. Good luck with the Nokians, sounds like fun!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    Glad to hear that you weren't hurt too bad in those incidents. Good luck with the Nokians, sounds like fun!

    Thanks!

    Yeah, I was fortunate in that while I was going pretty fast in both cases, I had my helmet on and the fall wasnt too far. I also had on multiple layers to stay warm so I didnt really feel anything. It was still much more risky than I like to ride on the street

  4. #4
    MTT
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    Why not go for three wheels in the winters http://www.greenspeed.com.au/ There are a few trike makers, and with studs you could ride these across a frozen lake.......MTT

  5. #5
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    Studs are definately sweet. Haven't had much ice here in southeast Michigan, but what we have had, my Kenda Klondike XT's have handled great. Very good in the snow too; about to put that to the test on the ride home tonight!

    I'll tell you what though, these bad boys are far too aggressive for my commuting, shoulda done something more like hte Mount and Grounds you have. Oh well, it'll beef up the legs for summer
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  6. #6
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    So I was running late yesterday morning and decided to drive. Knowing there was freezing rain on the way I drove. On the way home, the road was closed for 4+ hours due to multiple car and truck accidents. I wish I would have rode my bike! Those would have been most helpful last nite!!!
    2002 Schwinn Aluminum Comp. Beater.
    2009 Gary Fisher Utopia - Commuter.
    2009 Trek 1.2.

  7. #7
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    I rode M&Gs for a few winters. Loved 'em. For me when things got slushy, sloppy, car-snotty and the front tire didn't want to grab, I found running the front in the reverse direction worked better. In fresh snow or on ice, I didn't have a preference for forward or reverse direction though.

  8. #8
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    We've been having record-shattering amounts of snow here, so my Nokians have been getting a workout. This morning and afternoon we got another ~10 inches of snow. Good thing I set out for work early...


    20 miles, with the snow getting deeper by the minute

    I took the short route home, and commenced digging out the driveway and sidewalk.

  9. #9
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    Man, we had some 12-16 inches dumped on us over two days last week and I couldn't ride in it for jack squat. Whats your trick??
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck268
    Man, we had some 12-16 inches dumped on us over two days last week and I couldn't ride in it for jack squat. Whats your trick??
    My main trick is to use routes that have top priority for snowplowing, like arterial streets and state & county highways. Also, if there's virgin snow without car tracks, you can usually ride through 4-8 inches of pure untouched snow unless it's really wet sticky stuff. Maybe deeper, if it's fluffy powder. At the place where I took that photo, and the ~5 miles of state highway leading up to that point, I stayed near the edge where there was pure snow ranging from 3 to 6 inches deep.

    If you have to ride on mushed-up snow with car tracks in it, that's where I run out of good tricks, other than picking a good tire track and staying in it as much as you can. In our downtown area, we had that mushed-up "brown sugar" snow, and some very treacherous lumpy compacted snow-ice that even studs can't save you from. So it calls for constant vigilance (and really good bar-mounted lights if it's dark out) to avoid the worst hazards and ski the bike across the rest.

    Where I really like the Nokians is on flat ice. Starting traction is very competitive with even a 4x4 with studded tires. It's always amusing to go blasting away from a stoplight while listening to the cars spinning their tires behind me

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    We've been having record-shattering amounts of snow here, so my Nokians have been getting a workout. This morning and afternoon we got another ~10 inches of snow. Good thing I set out for work early...


    20 miles, with the snow getting deeper by the minute

    I took the short route home, and commenced digging out the driveway and sidewalk.
    You by chance live in Spokane?

  12. #12
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    Yup, even the sidewalks get rutted within hours of a snow fall. If I'm out before the plow trucks have hit my route, I end up walking just as much as riding. We don't get a whole lot of that powder around here, though, so even virgin snow can be a task!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyRider
    You by chance live in Spokane?
    Exactly right, that's Inland Empire Way looking toward Peaceful Valley near the west edge of downtown. I *think* we have enough snow now... ...but Mother Nature disagrees, judging by the forecast

  14. #14
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    Yeah, studded tires are helpful on geared bikes in the winter. I find riding a fixed gear gives me enough control on slick surfaces. I did wipe out yesterday on smooth ice trying to ride uphill. I fell right after I thought "I'm going to crash if I keep this up, I should get off and walk." But in 95% of winter riding, fixed works fine. I live in Wisconsin and we've had about 24" of snow this month. I do have a Pugsley now though. That's really the way to go in the deep snow. It isn't effected by having to ride through that brown sugar mush, or the deep snow rutted with tire tracks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Yeah, studded tires are helpful on geared bikes in the winter. I find riding a fixed gear gives me enough control on slick surfaces. I did wipe out yesterday on smooth ice trying to ride uphill. I fell right after I thought "I'm going to crash if I keep this up, I should get off and walk." But in 95% of winter riding, fixed works fine. I live in Wisconsin and we've had about 24" of snow this month. I do have a Pugsley now though. That's really the way to go in the deep snow. It isn't effected by having to ride through that brown sugar mush, or the deep snow rutted with tire tracks.

    Does fixed gear help when trying to turn though? Without studs, but not on a fixie, most of my crashes were the result of the front washing out.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    We've been having record-shattering amounts of snow here, so my Nokians have been getting a workout. This morning and afternoon we got another ~10 inches of snow. Good thing I set out for work early...


    20 miles, with the snow getting deeper by the minute

    I took the short route home, and commenced digging out the driveway and sidewalk.
    Jesus, and I whine when it is 42 degrees in the morning here in Berkeley, CA. Wow.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Jesus, and I whine when it is 42 degrees in the morning here in Berkeley, CA. Wow.


    Yeah it's nuts. We've gotten 60 some odd inches this month and its too much for even my Pugsley at times.

  18. #18
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    Aren't Nokians great tires for the winter. Up here in WI, I have a set of the 294's for my bike and they are just great. Commute everywhere, no weather or roads can stop these tires, well maybe the person pedaling.

    Take them to your local ice rink and do a few laps. I did and got a lot of stares, until someone kicked me off.

  19. #19
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    I have been riding these tires for a while, despite the fact that we dont have any snow now. The tires themselves seem to be great for commuting on or off snow and ice- I dont really notice much more drag on these compared to my smooth commuter tires.

    Living in the midwest, I will just keep them on for a few more months. You never know when the snow and ice will hit. I will keep the thread and post updated with some results.

  20. #20
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    I'll say my Klondike XT 26x2.1 tires are starting to wear on me. Sure, they are great in the slop wth phenominal traction over ice. But my god, pushing into an uphill headwind on pavement I might as well be pulling a 500lb trailer! These are definately not made for SE Michigan commuting; trail riding definately! I think next winter I'll try out some Mount and Grounds or something similar.
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  21. #21
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    I have a set of Nokian M & G's although i don't run them much anymore. After a couple years i finally ran into ice they couldn't handle and ordered some 294's. The 294's are amazing and i usually go with them if there is significant icing.

    Last month, one morning i passed a couple of cars in the ditch. I even stopped and talked to the FedEx guy who laughed when i stopped and asked if he needed help.

    The M and G's are good tires still, but like i said if you get into glaze ice you will probably want something with more studs. I keep my m and g's around for days when there is less ice and just run them as a precaution.
    Last edited by Thinkly; 01-19-2009 at 11:25 AM.

  22. #22
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    I have quite a few more miles on these tires and I have some more feedback on how they perform. They dont ride like knobbies in the dry- at least not in my opinion. I typically run IRC metro II slicks when the warm months are here- aside from a slight buzz I really dont notice anything different with the tires- no major drag or anything like that.

    The carbide studs are very tough. None of mine have come out yet and they are all still in great shape despite several miles of pavement use.

    The bike is a BUNCH more predictable on ice. You could probably still put it down on ice, but since mounting these tires I havent bit the dust once- even in some really icy and mucky stuff. You still have to be careful, but the tires make cold weather riding much more forgiving, which is why I am using them as general cold weather tires and not just snow or ice tires- once the temp gets below freezing you never know what sort of frozen mud puddles and obstacles you come across.

    I have slipped twice with these tires on. The first time was on a very icy hill, and I leaned up and put a bunch of weight on the front tire during a climb- the rear tire lost traction at that point but it was easy to recover. I am sure I would have been toasted on regular tires. The second time was the front wheel starting to wash out on some nasty slush that I will talk about next.

    The tires seem to handle ice very well, but they are more than adequate in snow- they just sort of plow through powder and even slush with great results. The worst stuff to ride in on these tires is the thick solid slush. The studs are obviously useless in this stuff, but the tread pattern does a good job at cutting through the majority of it. While trying to negotiate a thick batch of this crap today my front tire squished sideways on me a couple times- that said I was able to recover pretty easily. The tires make handling this stuff predictable and manageable- on other tires typically when the front tire started to go away I was on the ground.

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