Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

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John_S
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Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby John_S » 10 Jan 2018, 10:51am

Hi All,

Yesterday I got a puncture in my standard non-spiked Schwalbe Marathon tyre after a particularly large thorn went straight through the tyre and nicely emptied my inner tube.

This need to take the tyre off has prompted me to try using a Schwalbe Marathon Winter spiked tyre which I bought quite a long time ago on a bit of an impulse purchase when I saw a tyre for a bargain price. However until now I’ve never got around to using it but seeing as we’re in winter and I needed to take a tyre off my front wheel anyway I thought that I’d put it on. Now I’m sure the fact that I’ve just put this spiked tyre on my bike will now mean that the temperatures will surely rise, we’ll have nothing like near freezing temperatures and they’ll be no snow or ice for the remainder of the winter.

This got me thinking about anyone who lives in the UK, or anywhere else with a similar climate, and uses spiked tyres and whether they leave them on all winter regardless of the conditions? Or do people take spiked tyres on an off their bikes only using them when say the temperatures are below freezing and there is a threat of snow and ice?

Today it was about 5 degrees Celsius and whilst cycling to work (and getting used to what I was calling the Rice Krispy effect of the snap, crackle & pop noise coming from the tyre spikes) I started thinking whether I was doing more harm than good by using these tyres? For example I wondered if by using these tyres on tarmac when there is no ice or snow if I’m simply wearing down the spikes for no particular benefit? Then when there is some snow or ice I’ve already worn down the spikes to the point whereby they’re not as effective anymore.

I suppose an ideal situation might be to have your standard wheel & non spiked tyre combination for use on days when it’s warmer and then when it’s cold and there’s a threat or snow & ice have a separate wheel with the spiked tyre on all ready to go so that you can just swap the wheel rather than having to actually take your standard tyre off and swap it for the spiked one each time the temperature drops low enough.

However if I went down the road of having a separate wheel with the spiked tyre on this does add extra cost because I don’t have any spare wheels at all to use. Also I use dynamo lights and so if I want a spare wheel to leave the spiked tyre on I’m going to have to buy a rim, an additional dynamo hub, rim tape, spokes and get somebody to build me a wheel. I appreciate that I should really learn how to wheel build myself but it’s not something that I’ve done before and at the moment with long hours at work, young kids and packed weekends it’s not something that I’m going to start doing right now although I’d like to learn at some point in the future.

Thanks for any thoughts on this!

John

pwa
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby pwa » 10 Jan 2018, 11:02am

Don't some of these tyres have a non-studded centre tread that keeps the studs clear of the road most of the time, and you just lower tyre pressure on icy days to bring the studs into more regular contact with the ground?

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Si
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby Si » 10 Jan 2018, 1:09pm

I leave mine on the other bike all winter...main bikes retains normal tyres and i make decision which bike to use after looking outside in the morning.

I did try putting the studded tyres on spare wheels but changing wheels too much hassle on cold dark mornings when sant to get into work quick.

John_S
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby John_S » 10 Jan 2018, 1:16pm

Hi pwa,

Thanks for your message.

Thank you for the advice because I've never used spiked tyres before now and so your tip about pressure is much appreciated. The size that I have is 30-622 (28 x 1.20, 700x30C) and when I was inflating them my 4 year old son wanted to pump them up and so I can't remember exactly but I think we ended up at about 60psi.

You are right in that the studs are not on the centre line of the tyre and there's a single line of studs either side just off centre.

Also just as a correction about the spiked tyre I have it's actually just the Schwalbe Winter tyre not the Schwalbe Maraton Winter tyre and my apologies because I obviously had the word Marathon on my mind when typing my earlier message. As far as I can see the difference between the two being that the Winter version has half the number of spikes of the Marathon Winter which has two rows of spikes either side of the centre line to allow for greater grip closer to the edge of the tyre tread for extremes of cornering.

Maybe I just try running them as they are, even on clear roads, and when it is icy taking some pressure out of the tyres so that there's a greater contact patch and more spikes in contact with the road.

Thanks,

John

John_S
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby John_S » 10 Jan 2018, 1:22pm

Hi Si,

Thanks for your message and having the option of two bikes, one with and one without spiked tyres, would be nice but I only have the one bike for winter commuting and I don't think that the idea of N+1 would go down very well with my other half.

Whilst I do have another bike it's only my regular everyday bike that has the dynamo hub and dynamo lights and I wouldn't really want to put the spiked tyres on the other bike and use that on icy days but not have the benefit of my dynamo lighting set up which I find really convenient for my commute what with not having to mess about with batteries and charging.

Cheers,

John

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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby whoof » 10 Jan 2018, 1:54pm

I use (what I think, it's been a couple of years since I bought them) Schwable Winter tyres. They look like this there are studs in the central section and additional holes for studs towards the side walls.
winter tyre.jpg


They are heavy and quite ponderous. Myself and Mrs Whoof did 50 miles on Sunday each of us using these tyres. Slow going and although the signs of ice were patchy we had no slips or 'moments'. Mrs Whoof's colleague went out on a club run and half of them came off on one corner.

I keep them on my touring bike all winter but only use them, mostly for commuting on days when I think that there might be some ice. As these days are not that frequent I would not like to commute with these tyres all winter. As with Si I have another commuting bike that I use when it's not icy.

Is your other half's resistance to having another bike due to cost? If so you could point out the driving/bus/train costs for the days when it's icy will soon add up. Also you don't need to spend £1k on a bike to ride to work. Have a look for a second-hand one. My commuter is a frame and fork I bought for £30 24 years ago and is built up with hand me down/bike jumble/bargain bucket parts and I managed 5000 miles+ a year on it without any trouble. I put a 'new' rear mech, cassette, chain, gear cables and bar tape on it on Saturday, the lot cost a total of just over £18 or 3 drives to work.

irc
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby irc » 10 Jan 2018, 2:09pm

I have an old MTB (£100 2nd hand buy) with Schwakbe Ice Spikers permanently fitted. Hangs around from the shed ceiling from year to year until required.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Jan 2018, 2:16pm

I pop them on the trike when needed, then take them off again.

The front wheels are no hassle at all, but the rear is a bit of a pitn. Three days of use over the last few winters...
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby Vorpal » 10 Jan 2018, 2:21pm

I think the ideal solution is to have a second bike, if you can manage it. Even a used hack is a good idea. if something happens to the main bike, you at least aren't without a bike. Also, winter is pretty hard on bikes, and I'd rather not use my 'nice' bike in salt and slush.
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Raph
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby Raph » 10 Jan 2018, 4:41pm

A spare bike is a good idea if you wanna keep yer posh bike clean... but if that's not an issue then you only really need a second pair of cheap S/H wheels and leave the studded tyres on them, that way it's quick to swap over when the weather turns icy, and doesn't take as much space as a spare bike. Means having a spare suitable cassette as well, cos you don't want to faff with swapping that over each time.

I found studded tyres too lumpy and hard work most of the time (would get me fitter I suppose, but soul-destroying!), and as mentioned above, the studs would probably wear down and be ineffective by the time you actually needed them.

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Si
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby Si » 10 Jan 2018, 4:57pm

Vorpal wrote:I think the ideal solution is to have a second bike, if you can manage it. Even a used hack is a good idea. if something happens to the main bike, you at least aren't without a bike. Also, winter is pretty hard on bikes, and I'd rather not use my 'nice' bike in salt and slush.


my problem with the old hack approach (which ive tried a number of times) is that it starts as an old hack then you just upgrade this little bit then that little bit, and before you know it you have two best bikes :lol:

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mjr
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby mjr » 10 Jan 2018, 5:35pm

Si wrote:my problem with the old hack approach (which ive tried a number of times) is that it starts as an old hack then you just upgrade this little bit then that little bit, and before you know it you have two best bikes :lol:

I'm intending to use the bike which currently has the studded tyres on as a loaner or hire bike the rest of the time, which should avoid that temptation. I'm assuming that no-one will want to hire a bike when ice is likely... but if they do, it is one of only two bikes I have with the same wheel sizes, so I could still use the studs if I was willing to swap tyres over.
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brynpoeth
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Jan 2018, 5:43pm

Can one thoyle having a second bike?
Can one thoyle not having a second bike?

I would not want to change the wheels, deflating the tyres so the spikes grip seems best, if true
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Phileas
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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby Phileas » 10 Jan 2018, 5:56pm

I got a pair of spare wheels with the intention of swapping out the wheels of my spare bike as required. Unfortunately it's still a bit of a faff swapping due to different rim widths and the tyres being too fat to squeeze easily past the brake pads so they tend to stay on.

I would definitely not want to commute all winter on them (Marathon Winter). Even when pumped up fairly hard they still crackle.

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Re: Do people using spiked tyres leave them on all winter no matter what the conditions?

Postby gregoryoftours » 10 Jan 2018, 6:04pm

You'll still be wearing the spikes down half the time even if they are pumped up, plus they are pretty heavy to ride. what about keeping a spare cheap front wheel with the spikes tyre fitted, and a cheap set of battery lights for the few days that you'll actually use it. It's not as Ideal as having a dedicated Ice bike but at least you won't have to fit 2 tyres the night before a frost. Second rear wheels can be a hassle if chain and cassette wear doesn't match up. The plus point about studs is that you don't get half as many people wandering in front of you with their faces in their phones.

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