Cheap studded tires - 700X35 for $25
Sports Swappers in Hamilton at Fennel and Upper Sherman on the mountain have Innova 700X35 studded tires for $25 each. They had around 15 of them when I was there.
Looks like these usually sell for about $60.
Amazon.com: Winter Bike Tires - Innova Studded Winter Tire 700c, Wire Bead: Sports & Outdoors
Google around and you can see some reviews on them. Not as good as the $100 tires but then again, they aren't $100.
Tried them on Sunday and I found they worked pretty good - went up and down Martin Rd from the community centre to the rocks that close the road off several times.
Tried the Headwaters trail where it crosses and they worked OK but it was too rough to be enjoyable. Found I spun out on steep sections but worked OK on mild uphills. Probably would have worked better without the skim of snow and soft ice.
A few years ago I bought a set of 26" innovas for about $60 for my first winter commuting. I thought I was getting a deal compared to the pricier schwalbes/nokians, but wow was I wrong.
I spent a week or two breaking them in on pavement, then we got our first real snowfall of that year, and they were useless. The innova studs wear like tissuepaper. I didn't want to feel like I'd wasted my money, so I swore that I'd make it through the winter on them, but still gave them up after a week.
My generous wife felt sorry for me and got me a set of nokians for an early christmas present, and those now have over 6000km and look brand new. Last year I did DIY studs for my 29er with sheetmetal screws, and even those lasted months compared to the innovas.
They're cheap, but my experience with them was terrible. If you pay 2x as much, you get something that's honestly 100x better. Carbide is the way to go.
I wouldn't consider the Innova's to be an off road winter tire; at best it's a commuter winter tire designed for pavement. For off road riding, there aren't enough studs and, the few that there are, are soft and poorly designed. A good studded tire should be able to bite through a skim of snow. By good, I mean competently safe.
Originally Posted by Slash5
Off road, on warmer "icy" days when the ice is softer is the only time the Innova's work at all and even then they only provide a modicum of traction.
On cold "icy" days, when the ice is hard, traction is just about non-existant since the studs can't bite into the ice and instead work similar to skeleton rails – i.e., they like to slide. On hard ice days the Innova's are downright dangerous to ride.
I've seen a number of riders with Innova's get in way over their heads on cold/hard icy trails and end up getting hurt, when riders with Nokian or Schwalbe studded tires had no problems. From what I have seen, the Innova's give unsuspecting riders a false sense of security until they hit some off-camber or sidehill trails and lose their front wheel and go down hard. I've been with a few riders who's days ended badly due to these tires, and who weren't able to ride for some time afterwards.
As newfangled says, a quality carbide studded tire is the way to go, unless of course you like to hurt yourself.
Last edited by i1dry; 02-27-2013 at 02:42 PM.
...some drink from the fountain of knowledge..some only gargle...!!
That's exactly what I found. I ran them for a few days, and was so frustrated (and terrified) that I switched back to whatever knobbies I'd been running before because they were safer. The way the innova studs wear, and then get recessed down so that they're flush with the tire makes them a real hazard.
Originally Posted by i1dry
Over the years I've made plenty of bike-related purchases that I later regretted, but Innovas are the one that I think everyone deserves to be warned about.
I first bought cheap studded tires and hated them. I ended up getting Nokian tires that are awesome that I should have bought in the first place.
I tried to make my own and gave up after putting the screws through 1/2 a tire..
Originally Posted by ToneyRiver
I found a pair of 26" Continential Spike Claws on Kijiji. Stopped me from sliding down those nice foot printed frozen hills.
Now on a 29er I have a pair of Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro's.
And yes on those steeper hills going up headwaters even with 402 studs per tire they still slip. But when you put some time in.. and find the right gear.. it is not a problem. I was worried reading the reviews about people losing lots of studs each ride.. but Schwalbe did send them replacement studs.. for free. Plus there were the posters saying it is reccomended to do atleast 30-40k of "road" before taking them on the trails. I did my road time and all is good. Lost 2 studs by being a little too agressive on my breaking during a bare frozen downhill decent.. other than that they have been awsome. As for price if you look around here.. $175 each was the lowest proce I found. I just happened to have a trip to the states when Amazon had then on sale for $110 each, not cheap but cheaper. I figure I will have them for at least 5 years. I picked these over the Nokian becasue I liked the tread pattern better. no other reason. That and I had the money at the time. Well worth being able to ride Jan to March. Now frozen toes.. that is another matter.
night riding - it's an adiction