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Hello winter
 

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6461
Location: Maine

10/31/20 3:13 PM

Hello winter

Dropped my car off to get new winter wheels and tires this am, they are too busy to do this while you wait, so I rode my bike the 8 miles home @20F. Nothing unusual about that, but 1st time this year, and I got a bit cocky changing to lighter gloves at the last minute as it wasnít windy. Not the best choice, but my hands warmed up after a couple miles. At least I still have some circulation!

I like riding in brisk weather, Iím going try to ride outside more this winter. The Computrainer ainít calling me....Iím even thinking of putting the studs on my Rohloff and Schmidt equipped commuting bike, which has languished since I started breaking bones.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17968
Location: Portland, OR

10/31/20 4:54 PM

I don't care much for 15+ mph wind chill when I am out much lower than 35-7 personally. So I do shorter and slower, something with fat fat tires... ;)

How are the studded tires stopping on glass?

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4736
Location: Nashua, NH

10/31/20 6:24 PM

I've used studded tires (Nokian) on both MTBs (1.95") and my fat bike(~4.25"), and have intentionally ridden them on glare ice in parking lots and on frozen ponds. The traction they provide - both accelerating and braking - is pretty amazing. I've even climbed 10%+ grades on glare ice without any issues. I make it a point to avoid hard cornering, but they seem to handle off-camber surfaces well.

That said, I haven't tried narrower studded tires on a road bike, but I imagine that the smaller footprint and fewer studs will reduce traction significantly.

While they're fine on exposed ice or ice with snow bonded to it, you have to be very careful if you get powder snow over ice. The snow can prevent the studs from reaching the ice and if it's not bonded to the ice, it acts as a lubricant, since it can slide across the surface (like talcum powder on glass). I've taken a couple of nasty spills in "powder snow over ice" conditions.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6461
Location: Maine

11/1/20 5:09 AM

Good description by Brian

Thatís about what I was going to say. Good studded tires are awesome on glare ice. I look for ice to ride on. Iíve ridden on the frozen river and even leaned a bit.

But yes, a couple inches of loose snow they canít handle, and you can go down REAL fast, like slipping on a banana peel. Iím not sure if there has to be ice under the snow or not, but generally in winter there is something slippery under loose snow.

Now I ride 2Ē tires on my commuter bike, but Iíve also ridden studded cross tires, road tires, and hand made mtb (studs pounded in from the inside and a second tire tread covering the heads). I thought the road tires worked well, but that was long ago.

Other than the handmades, I think Iíve always had Hakkas. Unfortunately the car Hakkas were back ordered this year so I got Michelins.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4736
Location: Nashua, NH

11/1/20 8:43 AM

This time of year, you also need to watch out for leaves and pine needles, whether there's snow or not. Leaves tend to accumulate in the same areas that snow does, so you can end up with a double-whammy of loose snow over loose leaves.

The biggest issues I've encountered have been on off-camber sections of trail. Cornering is obviously an issue, but you can see that and slow down.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3227
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

11/3/20 2:37 PM

Studs FTW

Early in my bike-commuting career, I slid out down a slight incline on black ice, and was saved only because there was no car behind me and I was wearing a leather jacket. I was wearing the first helmet I'd ever bought, and I think the un-iced portion of the road sanded it down a bit. That was well over 20 years ago, when I lived in upstate NY.

A little over a decade ago, in Wisconsin, I equipped my then-winterbike (an old Trek 620 touring frame with an SA 3-speed hub on the drive end) with studded tires. They saved my life on more than one occasion.

I remember very clearly one morning I was coming through the industrial park on the way to work and a semi pulled alongside me on the left, forcing me onto "flow" ice. Without studs, I would have been down in a heartbeat (which then would have ended) but I was able to ride up onto the flow and maintain my stability without any problem.

I used to just buy whatever Nashbar had for cheap narrow studded tires (I think they were 32s or so). Nowhere as good as the Nokkians, etc., but they did the job.

And yeah, powder over ice is a recipe for disaster with any equipment.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17968
Location: Portland, OR

11/3/20 7:31 PM

"And yeah, powder over ice is a recipe for disaster with any equipment."

Slush over ice too, for my 2006 cracked edge highly curved carving ice skis. [remember broke leg]

Slush floated me up and lost edge...

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