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  1. #1
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    Best tire for ice?

    Hello,

    My apologies if this has been asked already, but a quick search yielded no helpful results...

    I'm looking at building up a wheelset for my fat bike for icy conditions (snow not a big issue during these rides). What is the best out there? It seems like it may be either the Wrathchild or the Ice Spiker. There's a Kenda model out there too, but I don't think it's in the same class as these two. What's the preferred tire width for ice riding? It seems like you can go too wide with this type of situation, where having float and super low pressure may reduce the bite in ice.

    I'm also planning on putting it on an older 9:zero:7 frame that's built for 26" fat. Could I get away with a 27.5" wheel, assuming I'm keeping the tire width between 2-3"?

    If it matters much, the intent is for icy trails, as opposed to riding on a lake or other flat surface.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    The Kenda tire I was looking at was the Kenda Klondike Wide 368 Studded Tire - 26 x 2.35, if that helps.

  3. #3
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    this is fast and cheap. the yire in the middle has sheet metal screws. its an old Vee tire. i ll go check the model in a min.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best tire for ice?-img_1934.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Check out offerings from Nokian and Terrene as well. The studs may make as much, or more, of a difference than the tire. The Terrene crown studs (available through bikestuds.com too) are excellent for biting into hard ice. 45nrth XL studs may be better for softer ice.

  5. #5
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    Skinny for true ice "riding".

    Fat studs are fine for softer ice, or commuting, or lake riding.

    As soon as you get off camber, and or, harder ice, fat studs will slip WAY more than skinny studs.

    Been there done that, tried both, ridden with others on the opposite, seen it for myself, others will defend their $250 fat studs, mostly out of the fact that they already spent the $.

    Stud conditions aren't "fat" conditions anyway, for the vast bulk of the time, so, since you're doing a wheelset for it, skinny, all day long.

    I have the Schwalbes, and have been very happy.

    I'd go 29 though, to keep similar ride characteristics to your fatty. 26 or 650B skinny will feel super weird by comparison.
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  7. #7
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    It could be my overly vivid imagination, but I get the impression that my DIY studded Vee Snowshoes with Kold Kutters work reasonably well.
    (Tip: use the incredible, rubber specific Loctite 480 (buy on AliExpress for a fraction) to secure the studs):

  8. #8
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    Depends on what you mean by ice.

    Here in New England....we often end up with rain, and the trails are ridden with both fat and skinny, plus walked on...then freezes into a rough mess. But may also have sections of snow. Here...a big tire with Grip Studs/Kold Cutters or....my new fave, a studded Terrene Johnny 5 rule. A smaller tire, even a 4", is awful in these conditions.

    We occaisionally get the perfect freeze....where a 29 Ice Spiker rules

    We sometimes have lots of dirt with some snow and large patches of ice....here, a Dillenger 5 works really well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    (Tip: use the incredible, rubber specific Loctite 480 (buy on AliExpress for a fraction) to secure the studs)
    Any idea if the "Rubber Toughened" Loctite Super Glue Gel is a reasonable substitute? It's blurb reads like the little brother to 480.
    (not recommended includes 'silicone rubber')
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxcrossx View Post
    Hello,

    My apologies if this has been asked already, but a quick search yielded no helpful results...

    I'm looking at building up a wheelset for my fat bike for icy conditions (snow not a big issue during these rides). What is the best out there? It seems like it may be either the Wrathchild or the Ice Spiker. There's a Kenda model out there too, but I don't think it's in the same class as these two. What's the preferred tire width for ice riding? It seems like you can go too wide with this type of situation, where having float and super low pressure may reduce the bite in ice.

    I'm also planning on putting it on an older 9:zero:7 frame that's built for 26" fat. Could I get away with a 27.5" wheel, assuming I'm keeping the tire width between 2-3"?

    If it matters much, the intent is for icy trails, as opposed to riding on a lake or other flat surface.

    Thanks for any help!
    Is a fat bike your only mountain bike? If you have a non-fat mtb, and you want to ride icy trails, without snow, for which you don't need the float of fat tires, why don't you just get studded tires for your other bike? I'm of course not familiar with your trails and conditions, but why build a whole fat bike wheelset for non-snow ice? I would either get studded tires for your regular MTB or just get some 4" studded tires for your fatty?

  11. #11
    rth009
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Stud conditions aren't "fat" conditions anyway, for the vast bulk of the time, so, since you're doing a wheelset for it, skinny, all day long.
    .
    I would just add that here in the northern rockies, I have plenty of rides that start out on ice that requires studs to stay upright and end up in deep, unconsolidated snow where you need all the float you can get, before descending back to ice. Very rarely have I found conditions here (at least on trails, not roads or bike paths) that require studs but do not also involve snow and require float at some time during the ride.

  12. #12
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    Thank you for the responses so far...

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Skinny for true ice "riding".

    Fat studs are fine for softer ice, or commuting, or lake riding.

    As soon as you get off camber, and or, harder ice, fat studs will slip WAY more than skinny studs.

    Been there done that, tried both, ridden with others on the opposite, seen it for myself, others will defend their $250 fat studs, mostly out of the fact that they already spent the $.

    Stud conditions aren't "fat" conditions anyway, for the vast bulk of the time, so, since you're doing a wheelset for it, skinny, all day long.

    I have the Schwalbes, and have been very happy.

    I'd go 29 though, to keep similar ride characteristics to your fatty. 26 or 650B skinny will feel super weird by comparison.
    I agree with this 100%. I already have a fat studded tire, which works well enough on ice to not drop me on my butt, but I wouldn't exactly call it riding. More like maintaining vertical.

    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Depends on what you mean by ice.

    Here in New England....we often end up with rain, and the trails are ridden with both fat and skinny, plus walked on...then freezes into a rough mess. But may also have sections of snow. Here...a big tire with Grip Studs/Kold Cutters or....my new fave, a studded Terrene Johnny 5 rule. A smaller tire, even a 4", is awful in these conditions.

    We occaisionally get the perfect freeze....where a 29 Ice Spiker rules
    I'm on the border of CT and MA and this is the situation. There's definitely no ideal since conditions vary so widely, however I'm looking for something when My studded fat tires aren't enough. I'd like to have a spare wheelset that I can take in the car so when I get to the trailhead, I can determine which would be better.

    I may end up going with the DIY studded, since this wheelset will only be used a few times a year, most likely.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    Any idea if the "Rubber Toughened" Loctite Super Glue Gel is a reasonable substitute? It's blurb reads like the little brother to 480.
    (not recommended includes 'silicone rubber')
    Could very well work. The idea is to have a little flexibility.
    I've tried 480 vs standard (401 type) on regular studs, and the difference is night and day.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxcrossx View Post
    Thank you for the responses so far...



    I agree with this 100%. I already have a fat studded tire, which works well enough on ice to not drop me on my butt, but I wouldn't exactly call it riding. More like maintaining vertical.



    I'm on the border of CT and MA and this is the situation. There's definitely no ideal since conditions vary so widely, however I'm looking for something when My studded fat tires aren't enough. I'd like to have a spare wheelset that I can take in the car so when I get to the trailhead, I can determine which would be better.

    I may end up going with the DIY studded, since this wheelset will only be used a few times a year, most likely.
    Yes, being honest, riding on snow/ice in West Michigan is not real riding. I put on studded tires on the Farley and changed my pedals to Doubleshot 3ís so I can unclip and still have a flat pedal so I can get my feet to the ground fast. I have everything I need to stay warm but I almost crash several times on each ride in the snow. Falling on the trail is way better than falling on the road. But yes, you are correct, it is mostly working to stay verticle. Ready for Spring! Safe Travels

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    I would just add that here in the northern rockies, I have plenty of rides that start out on ice that requires studs to stay upright and end up in deep, unconsolidated snow where you need all the float you can get, before descending back to ice. Very rarely have I found conditions here (at least on trails, not roads or bike paths) that require studs but do not also involve snow and require float at some time during the ride.

    I don't get these conditions, ever, but I'm still curious what you use to suit them?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I don't get these conditions, ever, but I'm still curious what you use to suit them?
    Bud and Lou with grip studs.

    The lower trails are all packed out by hikers and dog walkers, which is then subject to freeze/thaw cycles, but as you gain elevation traffic is less and less until eventually you are breaking trail.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Bud and Lou with grip studs.

    The lower trails are all packed out by hikers and dog walkers, which is then subject to freeze/thaw cycles, but as you gain elevation traffic is less and less until eventually you are breaking trail.

    Makes sense -- both what and why.

    Seems like Johnny 5 could work well there, too.

    Thx for the response.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Makes sense -- both what and why.

    Seems like Johnny 5 could work well there, too.

    Thx for the response.
    I found the Johnny 5 to be better in every way and sold the Grip Studded Bud /Lou

  19. #19
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    Johnny 5 for the New England ice. Some of the stuff I rode with ease had even the Wrathchilds (of which I also own a pair) sliding out from under people. Iím sold on the J5ís with the 45NRTH XL studs.

    I fully understand the thinner is better for the contact patch, however, just not for our riding.

    Best tire for ice?-284dd00f-5f60-4a7e-9192-72fbedad9980.jpg
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Makes sense -- both what and why.

    Seems like Johnny 5 could work well there, too.

    Thx for the response.

    J5 is definitely on the list. [First world] Problem is, since I already have 2 sets of fat tires (1) bud lou with grip studs that only gets ridden on snow and (2) Minion 4.8 FBR and Bud without studs (not to mention an 29+ wheelset for the fatty, and other bikes) I cant seem to wear out the Bud and Lou with grip studs such that I need to replace them. Sidewall looks a little thin on the studded bud and lou, but they still hold air and perform like a mofo . . .
    Last edited by rth009; 02-13-2019 at 06:27 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxcrossx View Post

    I'm on the border of CT and MA and this is the situation. There's definitely no ideal since conditions vary so widely, however I'm looking for something when My studded fat tires aren't enough. I'd like to have a spare wheelset that I can take in the car so when I get to the trailhead, I can determine which would be better.

    I may end up going with the DIY studded, since this wheelset will only be used a few times a year, most likely.
    If your bike will fit them....the studded Johnny 5s are amazing.
    I sold my Grip Studded Bud/Lous.
    The J5s have gotten a lot of use this year....and I have many wheel/tire combos.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Skinny for true ice "riding".

    Fat studs are fine for softer ice, or commuting, or lake riding.

    As soon as you get off camber, and or, harder ice, fat studs will slip WAY more than skinny studs.

    Been there done that, tried both, ridden with others on the opposite, seen it for myself, others will defend their $250 fat studs, mostly out of the fact that they already spent the $.

    Stud conditions aren't "fat" conditions anyway, for the vast bulk of the time, so, since you're doing a wheelset for it, skinny, all day long.

    I have the Schwalbes, and have been very happy.

    I'd go 29 though, to keep similar ride characteristics to your fatty. 26 or 650B skinny will feel super weird by comparison.
    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Depends on what you mean by ice.

    Here in New England....we often end up with rain, and the trails are ridden with both fat and skinny, plus walked on...then freezes into a rough mess. But may also have sections of snow. Here...a big tire with Grip Studs/Kold Cutters or....my new fave, a studded Terrene Johnny 5 rule. A smaller tire, even a 4", is awful in these conditions.

    We occaisionally get the perfect freeze....where a 29 Ice Spiker rules

    We sometimes have lots of dirt with some snow and large patches of ice....here, a Dillenger 5 works really well.
    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    If your bike will fit them....the studded Johnny 5s are amazing.
    I sold my Grip Studded Bud/Lous.
    The J5s have gotten a lot of use this year....and I have many wheel/tire combos.
    Thankfully, seeing the price, they don't fit my bike. I'm still running 135 front and rear spacing. It does sound like a good tire, but I think I should be good with fat for snow and thinner grip for ice. I don't run into a lot of issues where I need both in single ride, and I have some studs in my cake eaters to help a little. I also don't envision needing these all that often.

    I think I may go with a tire with some good knobs (maybe a mud tire) and get some Kold Kutter screws. I think that may do the trick.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxcrossx View Post
    Thankfully, seeing the price, they don't fit my bike. I'm still running 135 front and rear spacing. It does sound like a good tire, but I think I should be good with fat for snow and thinner grip for ice. I don't run into a lot of issues where I need both in single ride, and I have some studs in my cake eaters to help a little. I also don't envision needing these all that often.

    I think I may go with a tire with some good knobs (maybe a mud tire) and get some Kold Kutter screws. I think that may do the trick.
    If you have Cake Eaters....grab some of Terrene's studs.....they work really well.That's what makes the J5s work so well
    Kold Cutters do work great on ice.....rocks, not so much

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    If you have Cake Eaters....grab some of Terrene's studs.....they work really well.That's what makes the J5s work so well
    Kold Cutters do work great on ice.....rocks, not so much
    I already have the studded version. Not impressed in terms of ice performance, although they do what I initially wanted. They allow me to not end up on my butt, but they don't allow any acceleration, or anything but super gentle turns. Basically, they allow me to roll through icy sections so I can continue to ride again once I'm back on snow/dirt.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    If your bike will fit them....the studded Johnny 5s are amazing.
    I sold my Grip Studded Bud/Lous.
    The J5s have gotten a lot of use this year....and I have many wheel/tire combos.
    They are good for a fat tire....but still not like a skinny studded tire.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  26. #26
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    For two winters I kept Ice Spikers on my old 29er while running studs on my fat bike. I only took the 29er out a couple of times each winter during the worst luge track melt freeze conditions. For all other mixed ice & snow days I much preferred studded fat bike tires as they roll over the ruts, bumps and unexpected soft spots. I sold the Ice Spikers. The end.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    They are good for a fat tire....but still not like a skinny studded tire.
    Which is what I said in my earlier post.

  28. #28
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    I pulled 334 studs out of a Nokian Freddies Revenz and put them in a pair of 27.5 x 3.8 Gnarwhals. I had to add ~50 Crown XL studs per tire from Bikestud.com but i have since picked up another Freddie (broken beads on both of them) and am going to replace those 100 studs. I still need to do more steep ice testing but so far they have redefined what fat studded tires can be.
    Best tire for ice?-fat-freddies-medium-.jpg

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