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  1. #1
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    Studded or B.A.H. (Big As Hell) Tires for Winter Riding?

    Last year I rode all winter. In muck, rain, snow, ice, etc.

    I found that I did just fine with Bontrager XR4's @ 2.35", and couldn't really justify studded tires. But maybe that's because I've never tried studded tires. The only problem I did encounter was that the XR4's weren't great at clearing packed snow from the tread.

    As Winter draws near, and I fortify my resolve to ride through another North East winter, I'm wondering if maybe big 'ol 2.5" tires would be a good option? I know "flotation" is the big draw for Fatbikes, so maybe this theory will hold true for 2.5" tires as well?

    The studded tires are just so expensive, and seem only necessary on fully iced over trails.

    I dunno... comments? thoughts? concerns? suggestions!
    Last edited by Master Slater; 09-17-2013 at 01:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Ride Instigator
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    I'll say that my studded Nokian's are the best winter riding accessory that I've ever purchased. Once the ice sets in, it's the difference between control...and oh SH!T!

  3. #3
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    I have a pair of 26" schwalbe studded tires. They are pretty awesome - you can ride on a sheet of ice, although you need spiked shoes too, otherwise you just fall upon stopping! I have to sell them since I went 29" and I would get new ones except we haven't had much snow here in recent years.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by formicaman View Post
    I have a pair of 26" schwalbe studded tires. They are pretty awesome - you can ride on a sheet of ice, although you need spiked shoes too, otherwise you just fall upon stopping! I have to sell them since I went 29" and I would get new ones except we haven't had much snow here in recent years.

    what about general sloppy winter conditions? Do the studs add any additional security in terrain other than ice?

    Do you find that the tread patterns easily clear snow and mud?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Slater View Post
    what about general sloppy winter conditions? Do the studs add any additional security in terrain other than ice?

    Do you find that the tread patterns easily clear snow and mud?
    Yes studs help in hardpacked snow etc..basically if you can see the stud mark it helped...

    As far as clearing snow that has never been a large issue for me...(muddy slushy snow excepted)
    Flotation matters sometimes you want to sink through to a consolidated lower level....some times you want to float...

    If you ride a whole winter you will want more floatation some of the time and less some of the time.

  6. #6
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    On ice, nothing but studs will do. On really hardpack snow, studs will also help. On everything else, the studs are of little value.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  7. #7
    Shuttles R 4 Pussies
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    I have Scwalbe Ice Spiker tires for winter use. It's one of the best bike related purchases I've ever made. On cold pavement or slush you won't notice any difference, but once you get onto slippery packed snow or ice, the difference is unbelievable. The first time I used them I was actually laughing out loud as I rode because I couldn't believe how good the traction was.

    If you're riding trails with deep loose snow, or snow over breakable crust, then the best solution is a fat tire bike. For 90% of regular winter riding, though, the spikes are the way to go.
    Screw the shuttle, I'm riding to the top. You're all worthless and weak!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    On ice, nothing but studs will do. On really hardpack snow, studs will also help. On everything else, the studs are of little value.
    Agreed. As for needing studded shoes when you stop (from another reply), as long as you keep the brakes on and one foot on a pedal, you are fine.
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  9. #9
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    I actually like the challenge of trying to stay upright on ice. As long as the ice is relatively flat and you don't lean or turn you'll be fine... Plus crashing in the winter is surprisingly fun because it doesn't hurt.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillT19 View Post
    I actually like the challenge of trying to stay upright on ice. As long as the ice is relatively flat and you don't lean or turn you'll be fine... Plus crashing in the winter is surprisingly fun because it doesn't hurt.
    In my 6 mile commute there is maybe 300 feet like that.
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  11. #11
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    I don't think a 2.5" tire will differ that much from what you're riding now, in terms of floatation. It will help a little but the magnitude of flotation you need on snow is something only a true fat bike will deliver. As for studs, they provide a level of grip on glare ice and hard packed snow, equivalent to dusting that surface with a layer of sand. They work great in those conditions but aren't much different in "mashed potatoes" type snow than a non-studded tire.

  12. #12
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    I'm from Kodiak, AK, and use studded tires throughout the winter.

    In icy conditions they work great. I have ridden trails that have been completely iced over, and the tires will keep the bike from sliding out from under you 99% of the time.

    When using studded tires on hard snow pack or slush, they don't work too great. On hard snow-pack I tend to break through the crust because my tires really aren't wide enough to spread the weight. In slush, the tires just accumulate the mess and don't shed it very well.

    I have seen some fat bike studded tires in Anchorage, and I would definitely be riding those in the winter if I had a fat bike.

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