Tire stud selection (45n, bontrager, Nokian, etc)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tire stud selection (45n, bontrager, Nokian, etc)

    Looks like this is the year I switch to studded fat tires. Plan is gnarwhals on my Suzi q.

    Previous I have been running Gaza extreme 294s on my 29er over the years with decent results. But with these new tires and concave studs, I am looking for better performance.

    What I am looking for is everyone's first had experience with the major brand carbide studs from:

    45n regular and xl studs

    Bontrager concave studs

    Nokian studs (I use the pointed ones on the 29er)


    No interest in home brew screw tires, so please try to keep on subject.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
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    Concave is the way to go for proper ice bite.
    Bikestud.com has lots of options and easier pricing

  3. #3
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    I put 45 N xl in my snowshoe, works great.

  4. #4
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    Wraithchild with XL concave. Nothing better for all around winter.

  5. #5
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    I've had great results with Bontrager Carbide tipped studs,
    Chose them because I already had Bontrager Gnarwhal tires with pockets they were designed for.

    But they are definitely not concave.

    They look almost identical to these:Name:  carbide.png
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  6. #6
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    They're all pretty good.

    Terrene makes some good ones too.

  7. #7
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    I used bike studs and the terrene triple crown studs, penetration is important and that has as much to do with exposed stud as it does the tip. So it has to be sticking out enough, too much and youíll lose studs, too little and they wonít be effective. Bike studs makes some in varying lengths. The J5s with their stud count (mixed w/studs described above) are far grippier on ice than my dillinger 5s with concave. Fat tires with studs are generally less effective than skinny tires with studs, because they distribute weight more, so donít be expecting your fat tires too outperform the skinny ones. That said, they are still 1000x better than having no studs at all. The J5 is definitely the most secure on ice for a fat tire Iíve experienced.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk3Rider View Post
    Looks like this is the year I switch to studded fat tires. Plan is gnarwhals on my Suzi q.

    Previous I have been running Gaza extreme 294s on my 29er over the years with decent results. But with these new tires and concave studs, I am looking for better performance.

    What I am looking for is everyone's first had experience with the major brand carbide studs from:

    45n regular and xl studs

    Bontrager concave studs

    Nokian studs (I use the pointed ones on the 29er)


    No interest in home brew screw tires, so please try to keep on subject.

    Thanks in advance.
    Which size Gnarwhals are you planning on running? I thought Suzi q were 27.5 and limited in how large a tire they could take? 27.5x4.5 are pretty big, not sure on the 25.5x4's. There's always the 26x3.8 but those are tiny and might drop your bottom bracket a bunch

  9. #9
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    Going to be running the 27.5 x 3.8 version of the gnarwhal on the Suzi q. Still deciding between 65mm and 80mm rims for installation. I have a 2xl rsd mayor build for the snowy days.

    Plan at this point is 45n xl studs on the outer rows of the tire and bontrager concave on center rows.

    Winter ice riding is turning into my favorite bicycle riding experience.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk3Rider View Post
    Going to be running the 27.5 x 3.8 version of the gnarwhal on the Suzi q. Still deciding between 65mm and 80mm rims for installation. I have a 2xl rsd mayor build for the snowy days.

    Plan at this point is 45n xl studs on the outer rows of the tire and bontrager concave on center rows.

    Winter ice riding is turning into my favorite bicycle riding experience.
    ...again, Bontrager Studs are not Concave (45NRTH makes a carbide Concave stud)

    Bontragers have a metal encased carbide tip, flat profile

    https://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en_CA/equipment/cycling-components/bike-tires/bike-tire-accessories/bontrager-tire-stud-kit/p/14832/

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tire stud selection (45n, bontrager, Nokian, etc)-carbide-tip.jpg  

    Tire stud selection (45n, bontrager, Nokian, etc)-concave-tip.jpg  

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post
    ...again, Bontrager Studs are not Concave (45NRTH makes a carbide Concave stud)

    Bontragers have a metal encased carbide tip, flat profile
    Picture in your link shows concave? Older pictures show flat, so I guess they changed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    Picture in your link shows concave? Older pictures show flat, so I guess they changed.
    LOL! I never even noticed that.

    The 2 sets I picked up at the LBS last week for my new Farley looked the same as the ones I installed last year on my old bike.
    ...could be old stock and maybe they are coming out with concave this year, I may have to wait and see before I decide to install them.

    Odd they don't put concave anywhere on the package or in the description
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk3Rider View Post
    Going to be running the 27.5 x 3.8 version of the gnarwhal on the Suzi q. Still deciding between 65mm and 80mm rims for installation. I have a 2xl rsd mayor build for the snowy days.

    Plan at this point is 45n xl studs on the outer rows of the tire and bontrager concave on center rows.

    Winter ice riding is turning into my favorite bicycle riding experience.

    Great choice on tires.

    Bontrager's studs are OK. Inexpensive. And they aren't concave. They also have steel bases. Little bit heavier, which most people won't notice. But the bases do corrode from use in wet/snowy conditions. Put the bike away clean one night, come out a day or two later and they've oxidized. Use cleans them back up, but then they corrode again.

    My wife has been running the same set of 4" Gnarwhals the past two winters. Same clean/corrode cycle every ride. Can't see where it changes much, although maybe the studs won't last ~5 years like most alu versions do.

  14. #14
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    Mike,

    It appears new for this year bontrager has concave studs. I asked my LBS to order me in a pack of 225 of them. I did pick up 200 of the 45N XL studs.

    Pattern is every outer knob front and rear gets an XL stud

    Front gets XL stud every other 2nd to outer knob and Bontrager studs for fill.

    Rear gets Bontrager studs 2nd to outer knob and center knobs for fill.

    Aiming for more grip on the front tire for obvious reasons.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Great choice on tires.

    Bontrager's studs are OK. Inexpensive. And they aren't concave. They also have steel bases. Little bit heavier, which most people won't notice. But the bases do corrode from use in wet/snowy conditions. Put the bike away clean one night, come out a day or two later and they've oxidized. Use cleans them back up, but then they corrode again.

    My wife has been running the same set of 4" Gnarwhals the past two winters. Same clean/corrode cycle every ride. Can't see where it changes much, although maybe the studs won't last ~5 years like most alu versions do.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk3Rider View Post
    Mike,

    It appears new for this year bontrager has concave studs. I asked my LBS to order me in a pack of 225 of them. I did pick up 200 of the 45N XL studs.

    Pattern is every outer knob front and rear gets an XL stud

    Front gets XL stud every other 2nd to outer knob and Bontrager studs for fill.

    Rear gets Bontrager studs 2nd to outer knob and center knobs for fill.

    Aiming for more grip on the front tire for obvious reasons.

    I'm a Bontrager dealer. Only studs available as of today are the steel non-concave versions. Perhaps something new is coming this fall.

    No harm in the plan you have, but you might be overthinking it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntr View Post
    Wraithchild with XL concave. Nothing better for all around winter.
    XL studs have a tendency to leave the tire. everyone i know has lost a majority of the studs on the first or second ride.

    i run the wrathchild, but with standard 45nrth studs and 150 extra gripstuds. for me, it works excellent.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I'm a Bontrager dealer. Only studs available as of today are the steel non-concave versions. Perhaps something new is coming this fall.

    No harm in the plan you have, but you might be overthinking it.
    Bontrager website and packaging reads Aluminum,
    Are you sure they're steel?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMountainMan View Post
    Bontrager website and packaging reads Aluminum,
    Are you sure they're steel?

    Hefting the package it is obvious. Seeing the rust leaves no doubt.

  19. #19
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    XL studs are more prone to pull out, but I have only lost one or two per ride.

    I would not buy studs with a steel base for due to rusting. The Bikestuds.com long concave studs are the best value I have found on a quality stud. My tires have a mix of XL, Terrene crown studs, and Bikestuds. (Pointed 45nrth studs have been removed)

  20. #20
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    I know you only want discussion on which studs themselves, but I'd be remiss to mention that if you were *okay* with the performance of your Nokian skinnies?

    You'll be utterly underwhelmed by the performance of any fat bike studded tires, comparatively.

    Skinny directs pressure toward the ice, in a concentrated fashion.

    Fat is all about spreading weight distribution, which is the polar opposite of the concept required to make studs work "well".

    Sure, flat ice, commuting, icy sidewalks, lakes, you won't suffer too much.

    But if your intent is to use it on ice, on trails, with hills and off camber, you'll find yourself frustrated as anyone with skinny studs, rides, as you side slip, zip the tires out on climbs, etc.

    Been there done that.

    I run two bikes, an FS with skinny studs, and a fat, without. Fat is for fat conditions, studs are for all non fat, "mixed conditions".

    Maybe the laws of physics are different where you are, but that's been my real world experience, and solution for basically as long as fat studs have been around, cause I got sucked in by excitement of the idea, when they first hit, and I regretted the purchase within a ride. Again, comparatively.

    Simply food for thought.

    Concave vs convex, I've had phenomenal luck with the Schwalbe Ice Spikers and they are convex. The concave, I've not personally ridden, but my pals who got the Wraithchilds, or Nicotines, which have fewer studs than the Schwalbes, have done okay, but do have some slippage where I might not. Takeaway for me is technology and shape doesn't trump pure stud count (and decent stud quality to begin with).
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  21. #21
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    I used Nokian Gazza Extremes before 45nrth existed. Their problem isn't stud shape, it's tire compound. You'll be pleasantly surprised with any new offering over those old slugs.

    If I had infinite time, money, patience, and tire clearance I would custom stud D5s with aggressive studs on the sides and lower rolling resistance ones in the middle.

    I slid out last February on a street and noticed my D5s were missing almost 10% of their studs after about 2 years. I replaced them with Terrenes. I can't tell if they're better or not but I like not supporting QBP and supporting the little guys (Tim from Terrene is a large guy, but his business isn't)
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I know you only want discussion on which studs themselves, but I'd be remiss to mention that if you were *okay* with the performance of your Nokian skinnies?
    This is what I said above and I agree with everything you said. # of studs and the head design doesn't matter all that much, but the penetration does. D5 with their concave studs is "marginal" on hard ice. Marginal is far better than falling on ice every time, but you are starting at a deficit with fat tires already due to less pressure on the studs.

    Studs help a lot in general though, on roots, on harder-pack surfaces, making your tires feel more like velcro during turns and braking, etc. They are not just for glare-ice IME.
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  23. #23
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    In Wisconsin "mixed" conditions can mean snow where a fat tire is necessary AND icy patches where studs are necessary all experienced on the same ride. I am happy with studded fat tires and would only use skinny studded tires in this area for commuting.

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