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Thread: Snow Tires

  1. #1
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    Snow Tires

    Hi All,

    Any recommendations on what tire to use for snow/ice?

    Buy ready-made or buy studs and adapt a regular tire?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by blmiles
    Hi All,

    Any recommendations on what tire to use for snow/ice?

    Buy ready-made or buy studs and adapt a regular tire?

    Thanks

    Check out Nokian studs they don't cost a whole bunch last well, and have great traction...

    If you buy ready made (that is what I do), you have several choices, non carbide studs (don't get them I think most suppliers have stop useing them), carbide studs in steel (heavy but last great), then carbide studs in aluminium ( light, last okay but tend to fall out easier).

    I tried a Schwalbe but didn't like it.

    I run the Nokian Mount and Ground, or the Freddie Revenze.

  3. #3
    ...a wiggle theres a way
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    i am using freddies revenge and they have been very good last year and i am sure will be just as good this year, super grippy on ice, tend to do okay on fresh powder, and on dry roads it sounds like bees are chasing you. Only down side of these tires is they are wide 2.3 and if you commute (thats what i am using them for) they are very slow on dry pavement

    joe

  4. #4
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    It depends...

    on the conditions. If it's just snow then a regular old MTB tire with a good blocky tread pattern will do fine. However when it comes to ice there's no substitute for a studded tire. Making your own studded tire is okay if you're on a budget and have the time. They are time consuming and fussy to do. And it isn't just a matter of making holes and installing replacement studs in them. The usual method involves screws etc. Then you've got to back the screw heads inside the tire to prevent them from puncturing the tube. Can be done, but it's a PIA in my opinion.

    For just snow I use a Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1. No they're not the widest 2.1 out there, but width isn't that much of an issue. You're going to be going slower on snow anyway, so what you need is a tire that will dig in and compress the snow. The snow molding around the tread blocks gives you the traction. There's no real advantage to a studded tire in snow. Snow compresses easily and simple rubber knobs bite well enough.

    Ice is another story of course. It is hard and pretty much noncompressable. So a good studd will dig in and keep you upright and moving forward within limits. As noted the best for durability and stability are full carbide steel. They stay put well and will last a long time. Next is the aluminum stud with carbide insert. As noted, ligher and last a reasonably long time, but do tend to pop out of the tire easier. And yes, steer clear of 100% aluminum studs. The are short lived, esspecially on pavement, and pop out easily.

    My preference for studded tires is the Nokian Extreme 2.1 294, and the Continental Spike Clay with the 240 stud opption. Of the two the Nokians are my favorite, but both perform well. Both tires have a stud in each knob. I prefer the larger nuber of studs as it puts at least 2 studs in contact with the surface no matter what the orientation of the tire in realation to the surface. Unless of course your on your butt and the bike is on it's side! They're narrow enough to dig into even wind crusted snow and provide traction, yet wide enough to run at a bit lower pressure to provide maximum stud contact.

    Those are my recommendations. You can go wider if you want, but it really isn't necessary. You'll end up going much slower on ice and snow (if your smart!), so the extra cushion of wider tires doesn't help much. Just extra weight.

    So, you can go homemade if you want. They work, but are a pain to set up and can be problematic to keep running. Factory studs are expensive (compared to most regular MTB tires) and are heavier, but make up for it in performance. Or if you don't run into much ice a regular MTB tire with a good blocky tread will work fine. Just depends on how much ice you encounter. Your choice! My preference is for factory studded tire.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
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    If you are riding on pavement a carbide studded tire is recommended for any long tern durability.
    I run Nokian Extreme 296's (now replaced with 294) and you can get thousands of kms of pavement riding out of them. They are awsome on ice
    I ran INNOVA steel studs at first and they didn't last a winter of commuting. They would be fine on snowy and icy trails tho, just wear really fast on pavement.
    If you are just on the snow buy a large volume DH tire. If you want maximum float run the widest rims you can. A good cheap option is the ALEX DX 32. You can go to Snowcats for about $100 a rim and about 44mm wide.
    If you really are into float for snow but on a bike that won't fit FATBIKE type tires you can buy a large volume DH tire with large knobs that fits your frame while TOUCHING the frame/fork and cut down half the knobs for clearance. saves weight as well but you will still have plenty of traction.

    Cheers,
    Paul Bell

  6. #6
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    I ride Racing Ralphs 2.4 on snow roads, they hold up very well but don't like an ice, though.
    Last year I rode Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro which are the best of spike tires regarding on rolling and grip on our long severe winters.

  7. #7
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    What about custom chains? I saw a couple DIY's when I googled "bike snow chains" that seem easy, cheap and effective (just for trail riding, no pavement).


  8. #8
    All fat, all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85
    What about custom chains? I saw a couple DIY's when I googled "bike snow chains" that seem easy, cheap and effective (just for trail riding, no pavement).

    I found the same link the other day searching the same thing.....

    only thing would be bad with that setup, if you get a flat....looks like it would take forever how he put that chain on.

  9. #9
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    I got Nokian Extreme 294s a few weeks ago. They are quite different than the WW LTs I've been on. Short, heavy, narrow, flat profile, big knobs, many studs. Sketchy on rocks. Hooks up in ice, hard snow, slippery trail. If you deal with icy or slick conditions, studs, momentum, and toe warmers are your best friends.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

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