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  1. #1
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    Winter tire widths

    So, I dug through the tire pile looking for something to throw on for the winter in southern Ontario.

    Found a set of tubeless Specialized Roll-X's. Mounted the front tire, and then realized that one was a 2.2 and one was a 2.0. And obviously I had put the 2.0 on the front.

    But then I started thinking (which normally goes horribly wrong). Would it make more sense to run the wider tire in the back for added flotation? Or should I just not be so lazy and swap the wider tire to the front?

    Let me know what your thoughts are.
    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Generally you'd want the wider one on the front so you have the most traction there. If you lose grip in the rear it's controllable, in the front you are probably going down.
    Motorized vehicles have the wider tires in the rear to deal with the power they put out but that's not a problem for a bicycle.

    My guess is for the snow you'd still want the wider tire up front. It should pack the snow a bit for the thinner rear, at least in a straight line.

  3. #3
    Workin for the weekend!
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    I'm running a 2.3 front and a 2.1 rear, both 29"... The fat tires can be run softer. Spreading out your footprint a little more. Not as fast as the summer setup, but grip is improved...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by visser View Post
    So, I dug through the tire pile looking for something to throw on for the winter in southern Ontario.

    Found a set of tubeless Specialized Roll-X's. Mounted the front tire, and then realized that one was a 2.2 and one was a 2.0. And obviously I had put the 2.0 on the front.

    But then I started thinking (which normally goes horribly wrong). Would it make more sense to run the wider tire in the back for added flotation? Or should I just not be so lazy and swap the wider tire to the front?

    Let me know what your thoughts are.
    Cheers
    It really depends on the snow conditions. Depth, wet or dry, packed, loose...

    If you can reach the bottom and the snow is wet, narrower is better. As in 35-40mm wide. Same for moderate depth and loose.

    Hard packed, anything may work.

    Soft pack and deeper, time for a fat bike--3.7"+
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    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    It really depends on the snow conditions. Depth, wet or dry, packed, loose...

    If you can reach the bottom and the snow is wet, narrower is better. As in 35-40mm wide. Same for moderate depth and loose.

    I used my bike for transport through many winters and I concur with Shiggy's advice. It's a lot of work plowing through snow with a 2.3 mtb tire but a 35mm cyclocross tire on my "townie" would cut right through it. Much more efficient and just as much control in my experience.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I used my bike for transport through many winters and I concur with Shiggy's advice. It's a lot of work plowing through snow with a 2.3 mtb tire but a 35mm cyclocross tire on my "townie" would cut right through it. Much more efficient and just as much control in my experience.
    Yeah, I used to commute to school on an old singlespeed road bike. Ran 700x25's all winter long and they were fantastic. Like you said, they cut through to the pavement behind.

    And in response to everyone else, I guess I'll have to stop being lazy and just put the wider on the front.
    I highly doubt I'll be getting any flotation from either the 2.2 or the 2.0. I'd have to be looking at a fat bike to get proper flotation.

    Thanks for the input

  7. #7
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    WEt sloppy snow...in southern Ontario....

    Go narrow and the rear even down to 1.5 and a little bit wider or the same on the front...

    Black ice get some studded tires.

    Google Peter Whyte cycles, even if you don't buy he has lots of info....

    Floatation can help or really hurt just depends on the situation.

  8. #8
    nOOb
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    Mounted up some Bontrager Jones XC Mud tires on my spare 29er tonight. They say 2.0, but they look like a 1.8 without measuring. I intend to try them tomorrow. We had 8" of snow, but it got warm so it packed down to half that. I suspect they will work good for that, but most anything will.
    My 700 x 32mm cyclocross tires work pretty well on the cross bike, they dig down to the bottom and propel me forward. The only thing is that you sweat like a dog when it's 20 degrees F out, and you're only going 8 mph

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