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  1. #1
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    4 vs. 5 inch tires for snow

    I'm building a Wednesday for Mass snow riding... I have studded Dillinger 4s on the suggestion from a local shop.

    Did I **** up? Should I have gone larger? Are studs really necessary?


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  2. #2
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    In Mass?

    Yep, you want studs and you should go as wide as will fit your frame.
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  3. #3
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    The bigger and wider the better. Buy a bike that can fit the biggest tires currently available. You can always run skinnier ones but canít go the opposite way if your 170 rear bike isnít capable of floating you for conditions. Iíd go D5ís over 4ís. How wide are D4ís on 80mm wheels, 3.5Ē?

  4. #4
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    Even if 99 % of ones ride(s) can safely be done without studs, studs are worth it for that 1%. One small patch of ice can put you down in the blink of an eye. Studs go a long way to preventing that.

    Width depends on conditions. If you are not racing on well groomed trails going wide is probably the safe bet using similar logic as studs for studs.

  5. #5
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    Also depends on rider weight IMO. If you're not heavy you may not need big tires, just an aggressive tread. (which the Dillinger is not) Something like the Vanhelga, Nate, etc.

    I have a 4.6" Dunderbeast on the rear of my Wednesday (I'm 205 lbs) on an 80mm rim. It fits, just, and doesn't rub. That's the biggest/most aggressive tire you can jam in the back of a Wednesday, and it's awesome BTW. I've previously run a Dillinger 5 and hated it.

    There are few times I wish I had studs. I've never used them. I just know if it's icy, well, it will be icy. For me they just add weight and extra expense. Not needed for 99.7% of riding. Not worth it for the rare occasion its useful.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the responses. Can't really buy a new bike for wider tires! Haha. I picked this frame up for winter and maybe some bikepacking or rigid riding during summer.

    I guess I'll ride it through this season and see how the D4s do. But it seems like most people are opting for as wide as possible.

    I assume it would throw off the geo too much to run a 5 up front and larger 4 in the rear?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post

    I assume it would throw off the geo too much to run a 5 up front and larger 4 in the rear?
    Not at all, I've been running mine that way for years. I have a 120mm fork on mine too.
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  8. #8
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    I agree if the bike is for snow go big. Since it is a done deal ... I ride with a bunch of riders that have 3.8-4.4 inch tires and they are just fine except for maybe two days each winter where the snow condition stars align and the 4.6-4.8 tires have a real advantage. As an alternative view, on rare occasions the 3.8-4.4 ones work better.

    One other thought. There are a few 4.4 inch tires out there, either because they are pretend 4.6 (or 4.8) tires or they are really labeled 4.4. My kids 170mm fat bike has a 4.4 in the rear and a 4.8 in the front. It fits fine and you really can't even tell at first glance. Ride the D4s if you have them. They are fine tires, and studded is nice anyway.
    Last edited by adaycj; 1 Week Ago at 06:21 PM. Reason: I don't make sense

  9. #9
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    You did good. Some tires are better in certain areas, but not much is a better all arounder than studded d4's.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    Thanks for the responses. Can't really buy a new bike for wider tires! Haha. I picked this frame up for winter and maybe some bikepacking or rigid riding during summer.

    I guess I'll ride it through this season and see how the D4s do. But it seems like most people are opting for as wide as possible.

    I assume it would throw off the geo too much to run a 5 up front and larger 4 in the rear?

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
    I run a D4 in the back and D5 in the front. No issues with the geometry.

  11. #11
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    What part of Mass are you riding in? Eastern MA doesn't see more than 40-50 inches of snow a year so 4 inch tires would be ideal for riding occasional snow as well as the trails.

    If you're out in central or western MA, I'd go with 5 in. for sure

    When I lived in the Boston area I found 4 inch Minions to be perfect for mixed conditions.
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  12. #12
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    I personally donít run studs because I couldnít justify the price, weight, and rolling resistance, that said, I wish I had studs about every other month at some point in winter because we tend to get mini ice storms up here in Alaska. I would rather just ride my trainer though....... as for tire width, Iím 6í2Ē and 180 pounds, last winter I rode my 29+ stache through everything with cupacabras on it for tires, so I had almost zero knobs and only 3Ē wide tires. I could ride absolutely everything that my friends could on their 5Ē fatbike tires and frequently rode in 2-4 feet of snow. It definitely took more effort 99% of the time, but not horribly so! That said, this winter I bought a trek Farley with 27.5x4.5 barbagazis and Iím not looking back! So much more grip and float despite a similar tread height!

    As for mix matched tires, my dad has one of the old surly Pugsleyís (you know, the really awesome ones with 135 qr hubs front and back!) and he used to run the 3.8Ē tires (endomorph and Larry I think? Definitely not Nateís) now he runs the same rear tire with a 4.6Ē knobby nick up front because it actually fits in the old fork! He loves it and it gives him more float and grip on the snow!

    In all honesty, if I had the choice between studs or a dropper on my fatty Iíd take the dropper every time. Dropping your center of gravity is going to do more for you in a broader range of conditions, but that could partly be due to my height as shorter riders tend to disagree

  13. #13
    AK kid who LOVES bikes!
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    My bad, not knobby nick, he runs a jumbo Jim!

  14. #14
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    AKRIDER, I rode for years without studded tires and agree it is totally doable. But with studs overflow or icy patches become a much more relaxed ride. Depending on how much of that a person rides should help determine whether they are worth it or not.

    Individual carbide tipped studs weigh on the order of a quarter gram each so 100 studs in each tire only adds 50 grams to your bikes weight. For me 80 studs are enough to get me safely across most off camber icy patches.

    As to your point about rolling resistance, to me, they are not noticeable at all, especially riding in snow. Tire tread and casing construction, those are noticeable.

    To all a snowy New Year.
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  15. #15
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    I rode a road you could not walk on yesterday. Dillingers are awesome.

  16. #16
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    Yes, studs definitely give piece of mind! My experience with studs is mostly with gnarwals since there isnít too much out there for 27.5Ē fatbike tires..... in which case you have to choose between a lightweight barbagazi, a gnarwal that adds 3.25 pounds of weight to the bike, or the new dillenger 4 thatís 1 pound heavier than the barbagazi and an inch narrower..... Iím way too much of a weight weenie to add 3 pounds to my bike and I weigh too much to go an inch narrower! Iím also 16 so I bounce instead of break! ;-)

  17. #17
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    D5 fits fine and if you still have the chance to swap the D4s for the D5s I would do it. More float and better profile, assuming ~ 80mm rim. Hands down better than the D4s for grip and at least as fast, if not faster depending on conditions.

    EDIT: All that said, after 3 seasons on D5s I upgraded to Wrathchilds this season and I'm glad I did. Lots of rutted up freeze/thaw where I'm at, and the Wrathchilds give you way more purchase in the soft stuff as well.

  18. #18
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    Man do I long for the days when I bounced and didn't break!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    AKRIDER, I rode for years without studded tires and agree it is totally doable. But with studs overflow or icy patches become a much more relaxed ride. Depending on how much of that a person rides should help determine whether they are worth it or not.

    Individual carbide tipped studs weigh on the order of a quarter gram each so 100 studs in each tire only adds 50 grams to your bikes weight. For me 80 studs are enough to get me safely across most off camber icy patches.

    As to your point about rolling resistance, to me, they are not noticeable at all, especially riding in snow. Tire tread and casing construction, those are noticeable.

    To all a snowy New Year.
    Yeah, the preconceived notions of rolling resistance and weight do not apply to studs. Before I rode them, i thought these would be issues. They are not. Tread patterns and tire weight matter, not studs.
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  20. #20
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    my d4's studded role better than my nates.

  21. #21
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    fully studded 120tpi 27.5 d4s are just as fast as unstudded barbs. Unless you're constantly off roading and it snows every second day where you live the D5s are unnecessary.

  22. #22
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    Well, I sheared off the pawls on my wheel last week, but I had a race on Saturday (frosty bottom 50) and my only option was to borrow my friends identical wheelset but with 27.5 studded D4ís..... they are better than the stupid gnarwals, and are really close to the barbagaziís. I had a really good race despite my camel back freezing up before they even said go and falling to my waist in overflow 23 miles in! Donít think the D4ís held me back at all, but they didnít give me any advantage. I personally would prefer if they were 4.5Ē like my barbagaziís, but the 4Ē was fine and Iím only saying that because Iím 180 pounds so I notice every bit of extra float when the going gets soft

  23. #23
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    It is amusing to ride a sheet of ice, when hikers are literally falling on their asses, and they look and wonder how in the heck is that guy riding a bike and staying upright.

  24. #24
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    I agree I would love 4.5 27.5 Dillingers but the D4s are just fine %95 percent of the time and I'm about 170lbs.

    I DO NOT miss my gnarwhals. The bike comes alive with the lighter tires, really missed how it felt with the barbs but need studs for winter.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    It is amusing to ride a sheet of ice, when hikers are literally falling on their asses, and they look and wonder how in the heck is that guy riding a bike and staying upright.
    I know what you mean.

    4 vs. 5 inch tires for snow-d9b982ce-e9c4-49d1-9ea5-4e4d45a31a2f.jpg
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  26. #26
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    Yeah, the gnarwals suck, D4ís are good, but I wish they were 4.5ís, for some reason the 4ís burp for me..... what does the fatbike community think of the terren cake Eater 4.5? The perfect balance or heavy as heck like the gnarwals?

  27. #27
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    The Dillinger 5 is 4.5Ē.
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  28. #28
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    Yes but it's not made for 27.5 wheels. I've heard the CE does not transition surfaces well and that riders are fiding the front pushes in corners. I do not find my D4s to push in the corners even in semi packed groomed trail. Once the trails harden back up to polished ice I know they will excell in these conditions.

    No one local to me sells Terrene and I've heard horrible things about their warranty and customer service. I've had a defective 45NRTH tire replaced in 3 days by my lbs and if this were a terrene tire I doubt it would of been as easy
    Last edited by Saskrider; 4 Days Ago at 05:50 AM.

  29. #29
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    me like my 4 inchers, because....a lot of peeps who make tracks have 5's and my 4's can fit inside frozen 5 inch tracks and I'm able to navigate pre-rutted frozen stuff a tad easier than if I had the same size tire as the track ahead....

    only feel like I am missing something if breaking new tracks in fluff and dropping to wrinkle-wall pressure on the 4's still isn't cutting it... which isn't too often, but frozen ruts are super common so...love it when a 5'er made the rut and I can sneak inside it with the 4's
    Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 4 Days Ago at 08:35 AM.
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  30. #30
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    I rode the studded 27.5 x 4.5 Gnarwhals in the Tuscobia 160 and did not notice them being terribly slow. Then again....when you have your fatbike loaded down for an endurance race, everything feels heavy!!
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  31. #31
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    Gnarwhals are great, Single track boot packed mtb trials they rail corners and climb.

    I have a truck with a heater i can drive on the highway with thats about as exciting as groomed flat doubletrack.


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  32. #32
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    No one is denying the crazy grip they offer, but from the perspective of an endurance guy I canít do it, way too much weight for me and I can already absolutely send it on twisty and fun DH single track sections so itís just not worth it to me to add 3 pounds to my wheels...... thatís why Iím trying to find a tire similar to the barbagazi, but with studs! Sorry this thread got totally jacked OP! ;-)

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRIDERK9 View Post
    No one is denying the crazy grip they offer, but from the perspective of an endurance guy I canít do it, way too much weight for me and I can already absolutely send it on twisty and fun DH single track sections so itís just not worth it to me to add 3 pounds to my wheels...... thatís why Iím trying to find a tire similar to the barbagazi, but with studs! Sorry this thread got totally jacked OP! ;-)
    I have not tried mine yet, but the vee snow avalanches might fit your needs.

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  34. #34
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    Thatís exactly what I was looking for, but I need it in 27.5..... I can find exactly what I want in 26, but thereís only 3 options for 27.5, dillenger, cake Eater, and Gnarwahl..... is really love if they made a barbagazi with stud pockets.....😏

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRIDERK9 View Post
    Thatís exactly what I was looking for, but I need it in 27.5..... I can find exactly what I want in 26, but thereís only 3 options for 27.5, dillenger, cake Eater, and Gnarwahl..... is really love if they made a barbagazi with stud pockets.....
    Hoping for dillinger 5s 27.5Ē like 4.25Ē wide. But as per how much the 4s weigh they will be like gnarwhal weight anyways.




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  36. #36
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    I have settled on 4.8 for summer riding (which is coming in the not too distant future I might add!) after riding both sizes for a number of years. In my experience, I would much rather pay the slight weight penalty of a 4.8 vs a 4.0 and gain a TON of extra volume which lets me run less pressures. Long rides seem to take less of a toll on my body, especially my wrists and feet. This winter, I have been rolling the Johnny 5 tires which have absolutely blown my mind in the snow. Sure, they weigh 1800 grams each, but I honestly could care less. If it helps me get up a climb I would otherwise be walking, I'll take the extra weight. Plus, pushing the extra weight in the winter will be good training when the Jumbo Jim 4.8's go back on in the spring.

    I know your Wednesday wont fit a Johnny, but for anyone with the clearance, its the real deal.
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  37. #37
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    Very true, itís almost like we need a fusion of companies here..... bontrager is capable of making incredibly light tires, 45n makes excellent winter treads with stud pockets, and shwalbe makes the most supple and flotatios tire around but only in a 26Ē...... now if only light weight, studs, and 27.5Ē could come together in a 4.5Ē tire....... I know you canít have it all, but typically you can pick two right? This far Iíve yet to see it. :-(

  38. #38
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    Great responses in here, thanks all. I had my LBS finish up the build and should be picking up today. We're supposed to get some snow tonight so hoping to give it a ride tomorrow.

    Seems like the general consensus is to go as big as possible but that the studded D4s should work well enough. Time will tell.

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  39. #39
    AK kid who LOVES bikes!
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    yup, donít stress it, there is no perfect and no matter what tire you choose youíll at some point wish you chose the other, thatís why itís best to just have as much gear as possible! ;-)

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