• 11-20-2012
    hitechredneck
    Maxxis Cold weather??? Do they freeze?
    I was wondering if anyone knows at what temp the softer "stickier" compounds freeze and become hard and pretty much useless. I do ALOT of cold weather riding in the winter and dont want to be rolling around on plastic tires once they freeze. Thanks for the help. :thumbsup:
  • 11-20-2012
    CSC
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I was wondering if anyone knows at what temp the softer "stickier" compounds freeze and become hard and pretty much useless. I do ALOT of cold weather riding in the winter and dont want to be rolling around on plastic tires once they freeze. Thanks for the help. :thumbsup:

    One of the advantages of modern rubber compound formulation is that even the harder formulations remain usable at cold temps. That said, as you probably already know, the softer the compound, the colder the weather can be before it sets up. Suomi (Nokian) studed bike tires are made with 58A rubber...and those are meant to be in cold weather, and I'm pretty sure WTB and others use 50A rubber on their upper-end DH/FR/XC tires...so I would assume that a tire using a 50A compound would remain supple (at least better than 60A) well below 32F...I had 50A side tread on my WTB Prowler SS's, and they stayed sticky into the teens...I'd bet that you could get down to zero with that compound.

    EDIT:
    WTB: Super Track DNA: 53a
    Kenda DLR is a 42a rubber encasing a 65a "foundation" rubber. They say it's good for "inclement weather"
    Maxxis: Supertacky (ST) compound...probably a 50a, though they don't specify.

    Nothing I could see was specific on a temperature...probably proprietary information.
  • 11-21-2012
    vonbonbon
    Interesting question. I have been using Maxxis High Roller Super Tacky 42a and have found them super slipper over wet roots and rocks when the weather is cold. I was wondering if the supertacky dosent work at low temp or if it is the tread.

    I am currently looking for winter tyres, recommendations appreciated!
  • 11-21-2012
    CSC
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vonbonbon View Post
    Interesting question. I have been using Maxxis High Roller Super Tacky 42a and have found them super slipper over wet roots and rocks when the weather is cold. I was wondering if the supertacky dosent work at low temp or if it is the tread.

    I am currently looking for winter tyres, recommendations appreciated!

    Looking at the High Rollers...there seems to be quite a bit of space between the center knobs. I'd deflate the tire some, and see if that helps. I had Mutanoraptors, and they tried to kill me every time it rained. Blocked center tread + moisture = bad time.

    I like the looks of the Weirwolfs...not sure about how they do with muck, but I bet they would handle snow alright (contrary to popular reasoning, I have had good luck with close tread patterns in the snow...they seem to clean out better than spaced tread.)

    Also, soft rubber stays soft at cooler temps...and seeings that supertacky is softer than Nokian studded bike tire 58a compound, I bet it's the tread pattern.
  • 11-21-2012
    vonbonbon
    To be fair they are pretty worn and is there anything that grips on roots other than squirrels?

    I kinda thought the softer rubber would stay soft, cheers for the confirmation.

    EDIT- meant to say I run 28-35psi depending
  • 11-21-2012
    hitechredneck
    If your tires gripped on wet roots and rocks when it was warm without a problem but change in the cold then it is not the tread. I know with ,me muddy marys that they turn into plastic at below freezing temps. I was told that it was better to run a harder compound in winter because it was lest likely to freeze because of the way the rubber was made. I dont know if that is the truth or not that is why I came here to ask. But it makes sense.
  • 11-21-2012
    CSC
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    If your tires gripped on wet roots and rocks when it was warm without a problem but change in the cold then it is not the tread. I know with ,me muddy marys that they turn into plastic at below freezing temps. I was told that it was better to run a harder compound in winter because it was lest likely to freeze because of the way the rubber was made. I dont know if that is the truth or not that is why I came here to ask. But it makes sense.

    He said they were squirmy on wet roots and rocks...they don't stick to them, indicating tread pattern, not compound, is the issue.

    Winter car tires are made with softer rubber compounds than "all season" or summer tires...that's what I'm basing my bike tire information off of, though maybe bike tire rubber is different...which, while possible, would not make much sense, since many car tire companies also make bike tires (for example, Maxxis). I believe it's the result of more sulfur in the softer compounds that helps keep them supple in cold temperatures, though I'm not positive.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vonbonbon View Post
    To be fair they are pretty worn and is there anything that grips on roots other than squirrels?
    I kinda thought the softer rubber would stay soft, cheers for the confirmation.
    EDIT- meant to say I run 28-35psi depending

    Since the 42a compound is on the outside of the tread/tire, it's possible you have worn it off on the main contact surfaces (top/leading edges of tread).

    That psi range is about all you can do, unless you are tubeless. Probably should look at a winter / wet weather tire to switch it out with.

    Also, having that single-double-single tread pattern is not great for roots, as there is a moment in time where all of your power is being transmitted to the slick surface through only one little block of tread...

    I have read a lot of reviews for a lot of different tires that all claim to be good on wet roots/rocks. Kenda Nevegals are one, I believe. My Specialized Captains are alright on wet rock (clean stuff...not covered in algae), but not great on roots. The Kendas or a similar pattern would be good because there are spaces between rows of knobs for the tire to gain purchase on rounded objects, i.e, things like wet/dry roots. Look around on the tire review page Tire Reviews Products Listing
  • 11-21-2012
    vonbonbon
    Cheers CSC, that makes sense about the wear and the tread pattern, the 42a wears quickly. Ill check that link out. Thanks!

    Side note- its silicon not sulphur and it keeps the rubber supple below about 7oC.
  • 11-21-2012
    vonbonbon
    Pretty much the first review explained why my front wheel wiped out last week on some wet planks.

    Great link- thanks again
  • 11-21-2012
    CSC
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vonbonbon View Post
    Cheers CSC, that makes sense about the wear and the tread pattern, the 42a wears quickly. Ill check that link out. Thanks!

    Side note- its silicon not sulphur and it keeps the rubber supple below about 7oC.

    It was either silicon or sulfur...I guess i picked the wrong element. Now I won't forget!
  • 11-22-2012
    fsrxc
    Of the tires I've used (Maxxis Swampthing 42a, Kenda Nevegal Stickee, Nokian studded tires and Gazza dual-compound), Nokians seem to be the best compound-wise in cold weather. I've heard Conti Black Chili is decent in winter but haven't tried them yet.
  • 11-22-2012
    shiggy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    One of the advantages of modern rubber compound formulation is that even the harder formulations remain usable at cold temps. That said, as you probably already know, the softer the compound, the colder the weather can be before it sets up. Suomi (Nokian) studed bike tires are made with 58A rubber...and those are meant to be in cold weather, and I'm pretty sure WTB and others use 50A rubber on their upper-end DH/FR/XC tires...so I would assume that a tire using a 50A compound would remain supple (at least better than 60A) well below 32F...I had 50A side tread on my WTB Prowler SS's, and they stayed sticky into the teens...I'd bet that you could get down to zero with that compound.

    EDIT:
    WTB: Super Track DNA: 53a
    Kenda DLR is a 42a rubber encasing a 65a "foundation" rubber. They say it's good for "inclement weather"
    Maxxis: Supertacky (ST) compound...probably a 50a, though they don't specify.

    Nothing I could see was specific on a temperature...probably proprietary information.

    You are assuming the mtb rubber compounds are made to remain pliable at low temps. Usually not the case.

    Looking at the durometers only tells you the basic hardness of the compound and nothing about its other properties, be it rebound, wear rate, temperature range...
    Maxxis stopped providing the Shore A rating (durometer) because of this (ST was last reported as 40A).

    IME Kenda's Stick-E compound becomes hard and slick below ~40F.
    Not much experience with the Maxxis compounds in the cold.
    Nokian used an automotive "studdless" winter compound that remained flexible and grippy well below freezing, but did not seem very "soft" to the touch. Wore very well, too.

    Conti Black Chilli does well, though not as good as the Nokian.
  • 11-23-2012
    bholwell
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I was wondering if anyone knows at what temp the softer "stickier" compounds freeze and become hard and pretty much useless. I do ALOT of cold weather riding in the winter and dont want to be rolling around on plastic tires once they freeze. Thanks for the help. :thumbsup:

    You are asking a fairly complex question. All rubber compounds have a 'glass transistion temperature' (Tg) which is the temperature at which a viscoelastic material becomes hard and brittle, like glass. In modern rubber compounds this is pretty low, and the rubber will actually crack and fracture at or below this temperature. The Tg of a rubber compound is mostly dependant on the polymer system of the compound (what type of rubbers are used, eg. natural rubber, SBR, etc.) Plasticizers can also be added to a rubber compound to reduce the glass transition temperature.

    But like Shiggy said, the durometer of the compound tells you only the hardness of the compound, and little to nothing about the other physical properties of the compound. Just because a compound is soft at room temperature doesn't mean it will perform well at low temperature. To get a good idea of a rubber compound's physical properties at various temperatures, one really needs to perform a 'temperature sweep' DMA (dynamic mechanical analysis). But this type of data is never published on compounds in production, because it tells much about the compound, and manufacturers are wary of competitors copying their formulations.

    So in summary, you are not really concerned with the glass transistion temperature of the compound, but rather how the coefficient of wet friction changes as the temperature drops (and Tan Delta / G" to a certain extent). Unfortunately this information is never published, so the best you can do is by trial and error.
  • 11-23-2012
    bholwell
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vonbonbon View Post
    Cheers CSC, that makes sense about the wear and the tread pattern, the 42a wears quickly. Ill check that link out. Thanks!

    Side note- its silicon not sulphur and it keeps the rubber supple below about 7oC.

    I don't think so. Silicone rubber is silly putty; it gets hard when subjected to impacts. Not a property you'd like in your tire tread compound!
  • 11-23-2012
    shiggy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bholwell View Post
    I don't think so. Silicone rubber is silly putty; it gets hard when subjected to impacts. Not a property you'd like in your tire tread compound!

    :D :lol:

    I did a bit of checking. Sulfur is the usual additive used to vulcanize rubber. Silica is an alternative to carbon black, both used to increase sheer resistance and wear, among other things.

    Generally, silica is mentioned as reducing rolling resistance and increasing longevity (and allowing colors other than black) rather than increasing grip (at any temperature).

    Conti's Black Chilli is still carbon black, processed to produce smaller "nano" particles of consistent size and shape.
  • 11-23-2012
    jeffscott
    Freezing tires.....

    When I was a kid and it got cold say lower than -30C the car tires would actually get hard enough that when you first started driving the car would bounce along on the flat spot where you were parked.....After 5 mins they tires would round out and away you went.

    I haven't seen that in a long time, so tires must be made "soft enough" to prevent that from occuring anymore...

    Anyway, I also havn't seen any bike tires ever freeze up that hard...

    So basically while the compounds may get harder, slicker whatever, the tire and tread are still very usable and work fine.

    The Nokian tires do not feel alot different from the summer knobbies I have.....

    If you want traction in winter, on ice to hard pack snow you need studs, on loose, car snot, powder, wet heavy you need big open knobs....

    On bare rocks and roots you need the soft rubber, but of course it is a lot harder, and of course there are a loot less bare rocks and roots with any kind of snow cover.

    So for me basically I live on studs and big knobs.....the rubber compound is not hugely important.

    Perhaps somebody will make a compound specially for winter on bare rocks and roots, but I am not holding my breath.
  • 11-23-2012
    hitechredneck
    I sure wish they would make that tire, in the front range of colorado we have some cold days teens and twenties that the ground is clear that we go ride in. I dont mind paying extra for a stickier rubber on a tire but if it is going to become a moot point at a given temp and the tire then acts like the harder compound then I might as well save my money and but a set of CST or something of that nature at a fraction of the cost of a set of nice rubber maxxis tires exp. the 3C minion stuff.
  • 11-23-2012
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    :D :lol:

    I did a bit of checking. Sulfur is the usual additive used to vulcanize rubber. Silica is an alternative to carbon black, both used to increase sheer resistance and wear, among other things.

    Generally, silica is mentioned as reducing rolling resistance and increasing longevity (and allowing colors other than black) rather than increasing grip (at any temperature).

    Conti's Black Chilli is still carbon black, processed to produce smaller "nano" particles of consistent size and shape.

    Silicon rubber (Silicon) is a polymer similar to rubber (isoprene) and is the basis for silly putty, caulks etc.

    Silca is SiO2, but the crystal has a different struture than quartzite...(sand), Silca has macro-pores and micro-pores, it can adsorb water, and other chemicals.

    It "mixes" with rubber and forms a composite material, that is much different than if powdered quartzite was used.
  • 11-23-2012
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I sure wish they would make that tire, in the front range of colorado we have some cold days teens and twenties that the ground is clear that we go ride in. I dont mind paying extra for a stickier rubber on a tire but if it is going to become a moot point at a given temp and the tire then acts like the harder compound then I might as well save my money and but a set of CST or something of that nature at a fraction of the cost of a set of nice rubber maxxis tires exp. the 3C minion stuff.

    I ride a pair of old NokianFreedie Revenz 2.3 inch tires, big knobs, one of the softest compounds I have seen, works pretty well, best tire I have found for winter trail riding around here. (Fat bikes work but can also make you plow one hell of alot of lighter snow)

    It has something like 400 carbide studs in aluminum bodies, Ithink it was something like 850 grams.

    Great tire, Nokian quite making it recently, probably low demand.

    I ride the Eastern Slopes of the Canadian Rockies.
  • 11-23-2012
    vonbonbon
    The silicone is added to the rubber compound increase flexibility at low temperatures.

    How do Bontrager Mud XR or Maxxis Swampthings or Schwalbe Dirty Dans compare for cold/wet but not quite freezing weather?
  • 11-23-2012
    shiggy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vonbonbon View Post
    The silicone is added to the rubber compound increase flexibility at low temperatures.

    How do Bontrager Mud XR or Maxxis Swampthings or Schwalbe Dirty Dans compare for cold/wet but not quite freezing weather?

    I believe bholwell (a tire engineer) more than you.

    I have used all three of those tires in the winter. All work well and do not get "slicker" in the cold.
  • 11-23-2012
    vonbonbon
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I have used all three of those tires in the winter. All work well and do not get "slicker" in the cold.

    Seen some good reviews of the Mud XR and DD. I have been using Maxxis HR for a while so am keen to explore other makes. Think ill give the dirt dans a bash.

    Cheers
  • 11-23-2012
    shiggy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vonbonbon View Post
    Seen some good reviews of the Mud XR and DD. I have been using Maxxis HR for a while so am keen to explore other makes. Think ill give the dirt dans a bash.

    Cheers

    Extremely ramped knobs, like on the High Roller, are generally terrible in wet/slick conditions
  • 11-23-2012
    vonbonbon
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Extremely ramped knobs, like on the High Roller, are generally terrible in wet/slick conditions

    I found them cloggy and the transition into corners always made me nervous, suspect I was being too cautious.