Studded tyres?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
petzl
Posts: 176
Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 8:44pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby petzl » 29 Jan 2010, 8:56pm

I found Starbike to be the only reliable supplier in the UK and mainland Europe and bought a set of Nokian 240`s size 622-40 from them. They arrived in 8 days, a straightforward and uncomplicated purchase. The 240`s are not cheap but they certainly look capable of doing the job and are to supplement my Nokian A10`s when the going gets hard (next season ?). It may be necessary to remove the front mudguard on touring bikes in order to fit the 240 tyre.
In addition, the ingrediants for the tread rubber on a WINTER tyre are choosen to provide optimum grip on snow and ice.



horizon wrote:Quick update on this. Studs are for ice, treads are for snow. Neither has an effect on the other. Schwalbe Marathon Winter is best for commuting when ice (not snow) is the worst possibility. But the Nokian 240 looks like the best tyre to get you there (to work, on the road) whatever the conditions. It's only a 1.9 but with 240 studs and deep treads (ice...plus snow...) I would buy it. The only web dealer appears to be Starbike. Any other suggestions and does anyone know of a UK Nokian dealer (especially one that does web sales)?

All ideas appreciated (otherwise it's Schwalbe Snow Studs for now from Wiggle).

User avatar
fraxinus
Posts: 146
Joined: 4 Oct 2009, 9:07pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby fraxinus » 30 Jan 2010, 7:53am

I recently bought some Scwalbe Snow Studs. Being a tight wad they were cheaper than the Winters. I have to say I am a little disapointed with them I wish I had stumped up the extra cash for the Winters. I think they are a bit of a compromise and would be ok if you only have one bike or set of wheels as at higher pressures they roll simmilar to a nobbly tyre, reduce the pressure for snow/ice and the studs start to hit the ground. If you can afford and have the room for a dedicated bad weather bike or set of wheels with more agressive winter tyres that is a better solution.
So many bike rides so little time

User avatar
philg
Posts: 417
Joined: 7 May 2009, 12:13pm
Location: Porlock, Somerset

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby philg » 30 Jan 2010, 11:31am

+1

The Winters are much better on ice that the Snow Studs IME

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 14961
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby Si » 30 Sep 2010, 4:10pm

Almost time to resurrect this thread - ice will be here soon :lol:

Just written a little account of my experiences with the Marathon Winters for my club mag, thought that I would bung it up here too in case it's of help to anyone....


Another winter of discontent? Product review: Schwable Marathon Winter tyres.

“Ice” - a word to strike fear into the hearts of even the most intrepid cyclist. Falling on ice is unlike falling on any other surface - often one does not know it is there until one hits the ground. Unlike sliding on a damp road where there is a chance of regaining control, and where, if going down, the road is often hit at an angle, on ice the bike flies out from under the rider and dumps them straight down. Over the years our club runs have seen their share of crashes on ice, and so it is unsurprising that some of us think about hanging up our wheels during the worst of winter, especially with winters like the last. I was one of those on the verge of giving up winter cycling: although I hadn’t fallen on ice for years, the ever present threat of hitting black ice unawares was ruining the enjoyment of my riding.

But before letting all of my hard-won summer fitness turn back to fat I decided to try a set of Schwable Marathon Winter tyres. These tyres have an MTB-like knobbly tread on them, and inserted into the knobbles is an array of small metal studs. The tyres are designed to work in two ways: on loose snow the knobbly tread increases grip, and on proper ice the studs dig in and keep the bike upright.

Like some of the other tyres in the Marathon range, fitting takes a little effort but with good technique anyone should be able to manage it (see the CTC internet forum for a guide). Before using them in anger the instructions suggest a gentle ride of around 20km on dry, ice and snow-free roads to bed them in - which I did. Then I awaited the onset of the cold weather. My first trip was to the local park to seek out my favourite sheet of ice. Not being the bravest of riders I got off before the ice and pushed the bike onto it to see how it gripped. The bike promptly slid. Not good. It occurred to me that adding weight would increase the chances of the studs gripping, so I got on the bike and tentatively pedalled out into the ice. From that moment my winter riding has been transformed. Although I still respect ice, I no longer fear it to the extent that it would stop me riding. I happily rode through the worst of last winter, doing all-day rides when the roads were covered with thick sheets of ice and there was rarely another soul to be seen.

Of course, they do not make riding the same as riding on a nice dry summer road - one still has to be careful and try to avoid heavy braking and aggressive turns. But even when one does unstick the tyres it is not like a normal slide on ice - the bike does not fly out from under the rider, rather they give a chance to regain control. And in loose snow they are not quite as good as the mud tyres on my MTB because the tread does not shed as well, but they are still far superior to normal road tyres here too.

There is still one condition that I avoid using these tyres in: slush during the thaw. When the slush is thick enough to hold the studs above the ice, but watery enough to cause slides, they struggle more. Again, they are better than normal road tyres, and they allow one a chance of regaining control (despite a few interesting moments I’ve not yet hit the deck), but it can get unnerving. But, I avoid riding in slush anyway, as even if one stays upright one still gets plastered in the horrible stuff by passing cars.

These tyres are, of course, heavy and have knobbly treads, so they are defiantly not fast. This, I don’t see as a shortcoming - if it is icy no one rides fast anyway, and better to arrive eventually at one’s destination than quickly at A&E. On normal dry roads the handling is much like a normal MTB tyre - they are fine as long as one does not go into full road-race mode.

A problem that some might face is that of clearances. With their studs and knobbly tread these tyres are fat. Although available in 700c, it’s doubtful if they will fit many fast road bikes, and tourers may need to remove mudguards. The 26 inch version in MTBs should be fine. I use mine on a Dawes One-Down (26 inch wheel expedition bike like the Sardar) and they fit fine with the mudguards still in place.

Availability and cost may be further problems: all the British shops sold out in the run up to the previous two winters so I sourced mine from a shop in Germany via the internet. They cost around £55 for the pair then (I believe that they have since gone up). This might sound quite a lot for a pair of tyres, but I view it as a cheap price for being able to ride all through the winter without ending up in A&E. I’ve had them two years now and the tread has not worn noticeably, neither have any of the studs fallen out. All in all, I’d say that these are one of the best cycling investments that I’ve made for a long time.


David Cox
Posts: 189
Joined: 14 Jan 2008, 9:15pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby David Cox » 30 Sep 2010, 5:43pm

Great review Si you capture my experiences from last year precisely. I found them excellent commuting on the River Rea cycle path and minor roads whereas previously I'd been forced on to the gritted but busy main roads. You can still find ice on shaded lanes long after the freeze and when back on the road bike - then I still ended up walking gingerly preferably on the verge!!

User avatar
ersakus
Posts: 735
Joined: 16 Jul 2008, 5:41pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby ersakus » 30 Sep 2010, 9:45pm

Si,
Thanks for the review. I have the same tyres in 35-622 format and agree with all you said above after using them last winter.

Met office shows October should have on avarage 3 frosty days in Berkshire. I have already prepared my winter wheels (with marathon winters on) waiting for the 2m temperature to go below +3C in the morning, albeit not too eagerly!

Nutsey
Posts: 1270
Joined: 19 Apr 2010, 3:31pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby Nutsey » 1 Oct 2010, 7:13am

I cant find any winter tyres for my Brompton. Anyone know of any? (16 inch)

David Cox
Posts: 189
Joined: 14 Jan 2008, 9:15pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby David Cox » 1 Oct 2010, 7:44am

I usually just put the saddle way down low !

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16687
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Oct 2010, 8:34am

David Cox wrote:I usually just put the saddle way down low !

If we're going that way then get a 'bent trike - power sliding through the snow is awesome fun!
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

MacBludgeon
Posts: 461
Joined: 6 Feb 2009, 4:19pm
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby MacBludgeon » 1 Oct 2010, 2:49pm

Good summary Si, exactly how I've found mine, there were a couple of times in slush I was convinced I was going down but managed to recover. The angle you can slide to, and still recover, is quite remarkable, definitely beyond the point where tou'd normally resign yourself to a fall.

Mine will go on my Crosscheck(massive clearance) shortly and remain on there until Spring. I even stopped noticing the crackly noise last Winter, when on dry roads. Then I just chose the bike for the conditions, though aways with guards, rack and lights.
nuns, no sense of humour

User avatar
fenderbender
Posts: 139
Joined: 13 Oct 2008, 4:58pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby fenderbender » 1 Oct 2010, 4:00pm

Here in Stockholm the temperature often rise and fall more than 20C during the day so sluch and the frozen piles of snow are a big problem. In these conditions I prefere the Nokian Mount & Ground W240 to the Schwalbe Winter. It has a deeper thread that trap packed snow/slush unlike the Winter open chevron pattern. So you get a good grip in more varied conditions. Some of my mates use the Winter but in their opinion the studs stand out to much witch cause unnecessary friction/vibration when the road is close to free of snow. So even though it has a pattern that may look like it's faster, in reality it's no better than the chubby looking w240!
edit: to much swenglish :oops:
Last edited by fenderbender on 2 Oct 2010, 8:29pm, edited 5 times in total.
A furore normannorum libera nos domine!

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16687
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 Oct 2010, 4:32pm

petzl wrote:It may be necessary to remove the front mudguard on touring bikes in order to fit the 240 tyre.


Err - removing mudguards in snow is not a preferred route (better to arrive soaking and filthy than at hospital though)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

stevemb
Posts: 23
Joined: 18 Nov 2009, 9:36am

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby stevemb » 2 Oct 2010, 9:39am

I initially bought some Schwalbe Snow Studs for the snow/ice we had in Jan this year but must say I was a bit disappointed with them. They didn't actually lose grip completely but did slip and slide disconcertingly. I think this may be due to the pattern of studs with them mainly at the sides of the tyre and not on the middle. I decided to buy some Ice Spikers as well and the difference is like chalk and cheese. They don't move an inch and feel superb on ice , very secure feeling. The only time there was a bit of slippage was when the ice was melting and turned to slush but even then it was minimal. I think these are similar to some of the Nokians. I only put these on when it is icy so don't want to compromise with grip levels and fall - they are slow on Tarmac but it won't affect your journey time too much and the noise is fun to watch peoples quizzical look when they here you coming!
No studs lost so far ( on bike for 2 weeks) and would recommend going for "more" stud than some say you need as the only downside is the more sluggish feeling vs a possible fall and breakage of bike or bones

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 8659
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby horizon » 5 Oct 2010, 12:50pm

stevemb wrote:I initially bought some Schwalbe Snow Studs for the snow/ice we had in Jan this year but must say I was a bit disappointed with them. They didn't actually lose grip completely but did slip and slide disconcertingly. I think this may be due to the pattern of studs with them mainly at the sides of the tyre and not on the middle.


These are designed for normal riding (inflated hard) and snow riding (low inflation brings the studs into contact with the road.) Best for general riding when the threat of ice/snow is present.
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 8473
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Studded tyres?

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Oct 2010, 7:16pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
David Cox wrote:I usually just put the saddle way down low !

If we're going that way then get a 'bent trike - power sliding through the snow is awesome fun!


Image


Grins smugly!