Winter Wheels & Their Wily Ways.
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  1. #1
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    Winter Wheels & Their Wily Ways.

    Now that Winter is coming / here, I loathe the days where riding is, at best, a tentative, skittery affair. I've done a bit of pre-meditation this year and have a spare set of rims so have been looking into studded tyres, in particular the Scwalbe Marathon Winter ones. The problem is I doubt the smallest they do, the 35's, will clear my forks, and if they do the Ultegra 6800 caliper (which has about 5mm clearance either side with my Ribmo 28's) may have something to say about it. To cut a long story short does anyone have any opinions on keeping upright when it's shiny-slippy nasty? I looked into self-studding and it's a wiry-mire of possibilities.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRightHonTJEsq View Post
    Now that Winter is coming / here, I loathe the days where riding is, at best, a tentative, skittery affair. I've done a bit of pre-meditation this year and have a spare set of rims so have been looking into studded tyres, in particular the Scwalbe Marathon Winter ones. The problem is I doubt the smallest they do, the 35's, will clear my forks, and if they do the Ultegra 6800 caliper (which has about 5mm clearance either side with my Ribmo 28's) may have something to say about it. To cut a long story short does anyone have any opinions on keeping upright when it's shiny-slippy nasty? I looked into self-studding and it's a wiry-mire of possibilities.
    I commute all winter and we have a lot of snow and ice here. After a hard fall on the ice a couple years ago, I invested in my first set of studded tires and I'll never go back. You can still fall down, but the odds are much more in your favor. If you can't get studded tires to fit on your current bike, maybe buy a beater for winter that has room for studded tires? Or better yet, maybe it's time for new bike day? ha ha
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    Falling is mathematically inevitable, but it sure would be nice to lengthen the odds. I've not come across studded in a 28 or 32. Does such a unicorn exist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRightHonTJEsq View Post
    Falling is mathematically inevitable, but it sure would be nice to lengthen the odds. I've not come across studded in a 28 or 32. Does such a unicorn exist?
    I used this on the front one Winter for a few snow rides, they worked well, 30mm - but that was on a cross bike, with cantilever brakes. They do say they will fit most frames.

    https://45nrth.com/products/xerxes
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRightHonTJEsq View Post
    Falling is mathematically inevitable, but it sure would be nice to lengthen the odds. I've not come across studded in a 28 or 32. Does such a unicorn exist?
    I would just buy a cheap aluminum cross/gravel bike either used or otherwise.

    I put studs on in ice/winter and traction is limited by pressure, tire size (AKA number of rows of studs)...as well as if your local Fair City douses streets with "traction sand" that fouls the studs and makes them less effective.
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  6. #6
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    When the snow and ice comes, I just put the bike away and get out the Nordic skis and Micro Spikes.

    If you are really set on riding on snow and ice, I would invest in a fat or plus bike with studded tires. I wouldn't ride on any skinny tires, studded or not.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks all for taking the time. I suspect you're right Lombard but those Xerxes Srode mentioned in a 30 look pretty serious.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    When the snow and ice comes, I just put the bike away and get out the Nordic skis and Micro Spikes.

    If you are really set on riding on snow and ice, I would invest in a fat or plus bike with studded tires. I wouldn't ride on any skinny tires, studded or not.
    I ride my Fargo until it gets cold enough that I need pogies to keep my hands warm. 45nrth Nicotine tires work well on the Fargo as long as the snow doesn't get too deep. Once it gets cold enough, I switch to my fat bike and run studded dillingers on it
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  9. #9
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    Keep in mind that in order to put studs on a tire, you need a much thicker tread, plus the length of the studs themselves will increase the effective diameter of your setup. I have one bike where a studded 28 would rip the cable for my FD to shreds, and another where they would hit my fork crown.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    If you are really set on riding on snow and ice, I would invest in a fat or plus bike with studded tires. I wouldn't ride on any skinny tires, studded or not.
    Go skinny in lighter snow or go fat in deep stuff. You need to have tires skinny enough to pack the snow down so the tires can grip something kind of solid with the studs or wide enough (like fat tires) to float you on top depending on the snow depth. Kind of like snow shoes vs boots with good cleats. If you kind of sink but don't pack it tight under the tires you spin uselessly. We don't get deep enough snow here to really need fat tires, the skinny with studs works great.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Go skinny in lighter snow or go fat in deep stuff. You need to have tires skinny enough to pack the snow down so the tires can grip something kind of solid with the studs or wide enough (like fat tires) to float you on top depending on the snow depth. Kind of like snow shoes vs boots with good cleats. If you kind of sink but don't pack it tight under the tires you spin uselessly. We don't get deep enough snow here to really need fat tires, the skinny with studs works great.

    The other factor to consider....with light snow the paths may already be compacted by other snow-fiends resulting in hard snow/ice that won't compact under a narrower tire.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Go skinny in lighter snow or go fat in deep stuff. You need to have tires skinny enough to pack the snow down so the tires can grip something kind of solid with the studs or wide enough (like fat tires) to float you on top depending on the snow depth. Kind of like snow shoes vs boots with good cleats. If you kind of sink but don't pack it tight under the tires you spin uselessly. We don't get deep enough snow here to really need fat tires, the skinny with studs works great.
    Interesting analogy with snowshoes vs boots. But most snowshoes nowadays have a crampon to bite into ice. I never had a problem walking on ice in snowshoes.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Go skinny in lighter snow or go fat in deep stuff. You need to have tires skinny enough to pack the snow down so the tires can grip something kind of solid with the studs or wide enough (like fat tires) to float you on top depending on the snow depth. Kind of like snow shoes vs boots with good cleats. If you kind of sink but don't pack it tight under the tires you spin uselessly. We don't get deep enough snow here to really need fat tires, the skinny with studs works great.
    I have a very hard time envisioning a snow situation for a bike where the back tire just spins rather than gripping. I commuted year round in Michigan for 30 years and rode in LOTS of snow. Other than ice, my most challenging rides were when the snow was "partially packed" and the front tire would constantly "break through" the semi-packed snow, making steering difficult. I never had an issue with rear wheel traction limiting the ability to push the bike forward.

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