Brake adjustments with Snowcats & Standard rims with Studs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brake adjustments with Snowcats & Standard rims with Studs

    Hey, this is the first winter I am going to try to use snowcats and I have a few questions on the setup of my bike.

    I have a set of Snowcats with 2.5 Weirwolfs and a set of my standard wheelset with 2.1 Nokians Studded tires. Both rims and tires clear the frame with out rubbing.

    My question is, how do I set my Cantelever brakes to be able to run with them both and not have to worry about spending a great deal of time adjusting them each time I switch them out? Is this possible? I put my snowcats on and the brakes as I currently have them adjusted and with cable lengths I can't get them around the snowcats. If I had longer cables they would fit.

    Do I just get longer cables, is there a trick, or someone has even told me I can not run catelevers with snowcats and I have to run V-Brakes on the bike? Any comments, suggestions, links, or photos you would suggest on setting them up so I can switch between the different wheelsets?

    Christopher

  2. #2
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    Unless it starts to Chinook and we get water on ice, you probably won't need to run your standard rims with studs. In all but the worst years I'm on my snowcats with 2.5s. If it does happen to get icy, and maybe you are a bike commuter on sidewalks, crossing slick intersections, etc. you could always put the studs on your snowcats till the weather pattern improves. I virtually never run standard rims in the winter (the exception was two winters ago when the grass was showing through in January). The snowcats with fat tires and/or studs have more rolling resistance than your summer wheelset, but you could think of it as "off-season strength training."

  3. #3
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    New question here. Went with the snowcats with 2.5s for now, but slippery on ice

    Quote Originally Posted by Queen Bee
    Unless it starts to Chinook and we get water on ice, you probably won't need to run your standard rims with studs. In all but the worst years I'm on my snowcats with 2.5s. If it does happen to get icy, and maybe you are a bike commuter on sidewalks, crossing slick intersections, etc. you could always put the studs on your snowcats till the weather pattern improves.
    Tonight I just adjusted them for 2.5s and put new thinner break pads on and that seemed to help make the adjustments easier. I think my rear snowcat is not trued as three of the outter knobs on my 2.5s are rubbing against the frame. Other than that went out tonight for about 45 minutes and 'attempted' to crash through frsh snow birms and ride on the roads and sidewalks. It was pretty slick out but I only tipped once when I braked hard, it was overall fairly level though.

    I will most likely use the bike mainly for commuting though this winter. So will I really be losing a lot by going to 2.1s on the snowcats when I do try riding on real snow? Would it make any sense to run snowcats with a 2.5 in front, studded 2.1 to help with the ice in back; or would that only end up being counter productive?

    Christopher

  4. #4
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    Not all 2.5s are created equally wide. The WTB Timberwolf is a FAT CAT, while the Weirwolf has a narrower profile. Might slide into that rear triangle better. Beware: Do Not, repeat, DO NOT run a tire that's inclined to rub your rear chain stays. You'll wear through the stay like butter and your frame will be toast! I've actually seen this happen. The guy was a little bummed out to have to throw his frame away. For commuting, the 2.1 studded tires on snowcats are just fine. There are mixed opinions about front/back tire width. Some guys like a wider tire up front for floatation. Some like a wider tire in the rear for floatation (especially when you have gear on the back for winter races or touring). If it's slippery enough for one studded tire, why not run two?

    A note about tires: I find that the squarer the profile and flatter the tread surface, the better. Think "snowshoes." Consider the two tires mentioned above as examples. Some people like the Geax Blade and Sodona, but I hate them--the casings are very soft and the tread profile is bulbous (round). When you let lots of air out to make it squishy, they don't hold their shape well and they tend to mush out laterally, making bike handling a little squirrelly. Then again, there are guys who run the Geeks and like them.

  5. #5
    Beware of Doggerel
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    commuting

    Chirs,

    I think you need studs for commutingLast winter I commuted to downtown, from the Cambell Science center area almost every day. I can actually go from my house to my office on all trails, just going down the street from the house into the trailhead and then crossing the street from the trail to the office. But lots of times when running late I would come in via lake otis and other streets. Riding on plowed sidewalks or streets without studs is not a good idea, even in the best of winters. If you stay on the trails you really donít need studs (usually) but the plowed streets can be slicker than greased snot on a bike. Also studs are crucial for stopping. You really want to avoid any unwanted car/bicycle interactions. If you can, set up two bikes. One with studs on regular rims for commuting. And another with snowcats for winter play riding. Pat sells those inexpensive Innova studded tires. I ran those on my SS so that if I was running late and needed to get to work I could hop on that bike and blast in otherwise I would take my snowcat bike in on the trails.

    I donít know if you are into the Single Speed thing, but it is a good idea for the winter commute, nothing to freeze and if you nail the gearing it is just as fast as a geared bike. Also if you are using the bike for transportation you donít want anything to make you late. Geared bikes can freeze up if you keep them inside then take them outside to ride (condensation in the cables). SS with rim brakes front and rear and studs is what I would use for commuting on the streets.

    Adam

  6. #6
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    Studs on Snowcats..

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Chris,
    One with studs on regular rims for commuting. And another with snowcats for winter play riding. Pat sells those inexpensive Innova studded tires. I ran those on my SS so that if I was running late and needed to get to work I could hop on that bike and blast in otherwise I would take my snowcat bike in on the trails.
    Adam
    Adam,

    Unfortunately I only have a single bike bike right now and am already having to purchase a new mtn bike (down to another Blur or a 5-Spot) and probably a road bike for next year, so I would prefer not to have to pick up another bike for winter if I can resist. The idea of going SS for a commuter bike is appealing though.

    On tires, I have the Nokian 2.1s now and have them mounted on my standard rims. Are you saying that I should try putting them on my snowcats or that I should look at getting maybe 2.3 or 2.5 studded tires to put on them if I am going to just stick with one wheelset for the winter?

    I hear a lot about floatation and that you run bigger tires at lower pressure to get that in the winter, so as I am learning I am still trying to find the balance of where I should be with my setup to get that.

    Christopher

  7. #7
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    You can put the Nokians on the snowcats. They mount up a little flatter/squattier than on summer rims, but they work. If you have the Nokians with the pointed tips, you're in fine shape. I'm with Adam--I wouldn't commute regularly on bike paths and roads without studs. Since you're on a budget, when you want to go out playing on the trails, you could change tires to 2.5s--when you get good at changing tires, it should only take 4-5 minutes per wheel. It'll be inconvenient, but better to save up for that summer road bike! Plus you'll impress your friends next summer when you change that flat in no time!

  8. #8
    Wood chips are stupid
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    Idea! Brakes for your Snowcats

    Chris,
    I use 2.5 Weirwolfs with my Snowcats and they work great for me. If you can, try going to v-brakes on your winter scoot. I found them to have better braking power than cants during the winter and are easier to set up.When in doubt, let air out!
    Right Adam!

    Leo

  9. #9
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    ... and if we just ... Woohoo....................

    Quote Originally Posted by akdeluxe
    Chris,
    I use 2.5 Weirwolfs with my Snowcats and they work great for me. If you can, try going to v-brakes on your winter scoot. I found them to have better braking power than cants during the winter and are easier to set up.When in doubt, let air out!
    Right Adam!

    Leo
    We did the "let lots of air out" yesterday and it was still tough.......better traction though.
    Dave (sore from all the body english yesterday)
    Idaho Transplant (closet roadie)

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