New member, New bike, ISO winter tire recommendations

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Hello fellow EBR members! I have just joined, after much reading and learning about e-bikes. I recently purchased my first bike. I was hoping by ordering early I'd receive it this spring, but I've actually already taken delivery and can't wait to get out and try it!

We've had unseasonably mild weather with daytime highs in the single digits (Celsius), and it's very enticing to go for a spin. This has also brought the effects of the freeze thaw cycle to the pathways and I'm hesitant to risk it on ice with out studded winter tires. Does anyone in the Calgary area have a lead on where I might find some? I'm going a bit blind for sizing beyond what the bike shop said to look for - 27"x 22.0" (manufacturer specs show tire width up to 23.5", does this mean that an aggressive tread winter tire up to 23.5 would still fit, or only a regular tire up to that size? I'd appreciate brand or sizing suggestion/alternatives to consider that can help me get my hands on some at not too exorbitant a price. Shipping from US is out- increases the price too much with the exchange rate. Also I'm leery about ordering online and not receiving until the season is over (yes, still a long haul here- realistic to have snow at the end of April). With shortages and delays, I prefer the instant gratification ;) Thanks, everyone!

Here's a link to the specs for my bike: 🇨🇦Norco Scene VLT
https://www.norco.com/bikes/2021/e-urban/e-urban/scene-vlt/scene-vlt/
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Welcome to the EBR Forums from a fellow Calgarian.
What you need are some 27.5 x 2.2" tires according to the specs at the Norco site.

Not sure where you bought it but from my recent experience in buying studded tires I had to go offshore to find ones that fit my bike.
I quickly looked at the web sites for Ridleys, The Bike Shop, Calgary Cycle and Bow Cycle and I didn't see anything in stock in the size recommended for your bike.

BikeBros in Cochrane have something similar to your required size LINK - you should call them to see if they are really in stock - that's where I bought my bike and it's a pretty good shop.
Get a quote on installed price, as those ones are wire bead and they can be difficult to install sometimes.
Note that they are also MTB style tires - which may or may not work for you.

However, offshore at Chain Reaction Cycles who I think are one of the larger on line retailers, they did have some that should work (but still MTB).
Link to suitable tires They are Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro Evolution - which are very similar to what I bought and only slightly different to the ones at BikeBros.

I've purchased from them before and their pricing is rather good - even with shipping and handling.
If you're capable of doing the tire changes yourself, it's an option. I would recommend using their premium delivery option that covers all duties etc... that's IF you decide to try them out.
As to online delivery delays, I got my tires (similar to the ones listed above) in 75 hours form clicking on "purchase" ON BOXING DAY to them being at my door.

There are a number of other local forum members, perhaps they'll pipe in with other suggestions.
@Prairie Dog has some tires that I've not seen locally.
He's in Red Deer and maybe he has some insights on suppliers from there or even from Edmonton.

United Cycle in Edmonton has a good selection and they have the same tires as BikeBros, but only 4 in stock.
I'm not familiar with the other shops up there - I used to use United when I lived up there in the 70's and early 80's.

There are also other threads about winter riding worth reading.
Riding in Snow
Cold weather limits

My tires are fantastic and I wished I'd gotten them earlier.
I've already done over 200Kms in 2021 and I plan to continue as long as it stays warmer than -6C.

Best of luck in your search.

If you're handy mechanically get Google going and you'll find some somewhere.
If you aren't inclined, go back to your bike shop and see what they can do for you, including what they would charge you for tires purchased elsewhere.
But, times are tough on finding parts these days - good luck!
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Welcome to the EBR Forums from a fellow Calgarian.
What you need are some 27.5 x 2.2" tires according to the specs at the Norco site.

Not sure where you bought it but from my recent experience in buying studded tires I had to go offshore to find ones that fit my bike.
I quickly looked at the web sites for Ridleys, The Bike Shop, Calgary Cycle and Bow Cycle and I didn't see anything in stock in the size recommended for your bike.

BikeBros in Cochrane have something similar to your required size LINK - you should call them to see if they are really in stock - that's where I bought my bike and it's a pretty good shop.
Get a quote on installed price, as those ones are wire bead and they can be difficult to install sometimes.
Note that they are also MTB style tires - which may or may not work for you.

However, offshore at Chain Reaction Cycles who I think are one of the larger on line retailers, they did have some that should work (but still MTB).
Link to suitable tires They are Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro Evolution - which are very similar to what I bought and only slightly different to the ones at BikeBros.

I've purchased from them before and their pricing is rather good - even with shipping and handling.
If you're capable of doing the tire changes yourself, it's an option. I would recommend using their premium delivery option that covers all duties etc... that's IF you decide to try them out.
As to online delivery delays, I got my tires (similar to the ones listed above) in 75 hours form clicking on "purchase" ON BOXING DAY to them being at my door.

There are a number of other local forum members, perhaps they'll pipe in with other suggestions.
@Prairie Dog has some tires that I've not seen locally.
He's in Red Deer and maybe he has some insights on suppliers from there or even from Edmonton.

United Cycle in Edmonton has a good selection and they have the same tires as BikeBros, but only 4 in stock.
I'm not familiar with the other shops up there - I used to use United when I lived up there in the 70's and early 80's.

There are also other threads about winter riding worth reading.
Riding in Snow
Cold weather limits

My tires are fantastic and I wished I'd gotten them earlier.
I've already done over 200Kms in 2021 and I plan to continue as long as it stays warmer than -6C.

Best of luck in your search.

If you're handy mechanically get Google going and you'll find some somewhere.
If you aren't inclined, go back to your bike shop and see what they can do for you, including what they would charge you for tires purchased elsewhere.
But, times are tough on finding parts these days - good luck!
Wow!!! Amazing!! This is so beyond what the had hoped for. Thank you for the very informative reply. I see I was confused on the sizing, so thanks for clarifying that too. I guess that’s part of not wanting to do an online order if it isn’t right, it’s more difficult to return. I will certainly call and check on your recommendations.

Great luck for you with your Boxing Day order, I’m still waiting on stuff I ordered. That is a fast turnaround under strained conditions.

You are referencing whether Mtb tires will work or not- and I will be showing my inexperience, but how would I know? Is it about fit for the bike, or ride conditions/control? I definitely will not be doing 200Km’s anytime soon- just want to get out and start experiencing- not too far from home. I’m new to the city, so don’t know the areas too well.

I appreciate all the tips and recommendations. Thanks for making me feel welcome!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
You are referencing whether Mtb tires will work or not- and I will be showing my inexperience, but how would I know? Is it about fit for the bike, or ride conditions/control? I definitely will not be doing 200Km’s anytime soon- just want to get out and start experiencing- not too far from home. I’m new to the city, so don’t know the areas too well.
MTB tires are often offered in widths that exceed that recommended for your bike, 2.35" max per your LBS. The Schwalbe tires linked by RandallS meet the width spec but being MTB tires the tire knobs should be considered.
Screenshot_20210113-222842_Chrome.jpg

The MTB style knobs increase the effective tire diameter and width. Your LBS may be able to verify that these will fit. Otherwise Schwalbe support should be able to give you the mounted tire dimensions.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
MTB tires are often offered in widths that exceed that recommended for your bike, 2.35" max per your LBS. The Schwalbe tires linked by RandallS meet the width spec but being MTB tires the tire knobs should be considered.
View attachment 76648
The MTB style knobs increase the effective tire diameter and width. Your LBS may be able to verify that these will fit. Otherwise Schwalbe support should be able to give you the mounted tire dimensions.
Ok yes, I was picturing the more aggressive tread, and your explanation totally makes sense. Thank you for that! I think an inquiry to the support line is in order before I go further down the path of trying to locate where to buy.

The other factor my LBS mentioned is that going to the maximum width will also impact fenders. These were also out of stock, so haven’t purchased yet. It seems reasonable that without cognizant selection I may be eliminating the opportunity to fit a fender at all- which is less than ideal. Ultimately I’d choose to ride vs. not just because I don’t have fenders, but still would hope for the best of both worlds - tires and fenders. Insights to fitting suggestions appreciated.

Excited to be narrowing in on making this a reality. Thanks for the support!!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Fenders will add a level of complexity to fitting new tires. My ebike was equipped with tight fitting OEM fenders. Love the fenders, but they do restrict tire selection to within just a few mm of the originals. You'll need to have the fenders installed to do the best job for tire fit. Perhaps your LBS can give specs for this.

To get a better idea of tire fit it's helpful to use the newer ETRTO tire sizing, rather than the historic imperial (inch) sizes. For the Ice Spiker Pro the relevant size is 57-584 (27.5 x 2.25).


The tire sizes are discussed in some detail here;


This specifies the nominal tire width (57mm) and specific rim that the tire will fit (584mm). Unfortunately, this still isn't quite enough info to know if they'll fit your frame and fenders. This page discusses more considerations;


The first tab lists the outer circumference of the 57-584 tire as 2215mm. This equates to an outer diameter of D = C ÷ Pi = 705mm. Subtracting the rim diameter of 584mm leaves a tire height of ~61mm. This figure should help determine fit with the fenders, but still doesn't necessairly address max tire width.

Under the 3rd tab on this page, "Will the tire fit into my frame?", there's a good explanation of all the tire dimensions beyond the ETRTO sizing that need to be considered for tire fit. These are the dimensions that Schwalbe support should be able to provide for the Ice Spiker tires.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Fenders will add a level of complexity to fitting new tires. My ebike was equipped with tight fitting OEM fenders. Love the fenders, but they do restrict tire selection to within just a few mm of the originals. You'll need to have the fenders installed to do the best job for tire fit. Perhaps your LBS can give specs for this.

To get a better idea of tire fit it's helpful to use the newer ETRTO tire sizing, rather than the historic imperial (inch) sizes. For the Ice Spiker Pro the relevant size is 57-584 (27.5 x 2.25).


The tire sizes are discussed in some detail here;


This specifies the nominal tire width (57mm) and specific rim that the tire will fit (584mm). Unfortunately, this still isn't quite enough info to know if they'll fit your frame and fenders. This page discusses more considerations;


The first tab lists the outer circumference of the 57-584 tire as 2215mm. This equates to an outer diameter of D = C ÷ Pi = 705mm. Subtracting the rim diameter of 584mm leaves a tire height of ~61mm. This figure should help determine fit with the fenders, but still doesn't necessairly address max tire width.

Under the 3rd tab on this page, "Will the tire fit into my frame?", there's a good explanation of all the tire dimensions beyond the ETRTO sizing that need to be considered for tire fit. These are the dimensions that Schwalbe support should be able to provide for the Ice Spiker tires.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
Terrific info and help thanks again! I will take some time to digest this and update with the outcome in the hope the information can be helpful for others.
This forum and its kind members are an amazing resource!
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Since fenders sound like they are now in the mix, the MTB tires I identified aren't likely going to work in my opinion.
However, there are other options, although sourcing them, if you still prefer a local source, could be difficult.

These tires are available in 27.5 x 2.0. https://www.schwalbe.com/en/spike-reader/winter

@Stefan Mikes just put a similar but more performance minded set on his Vado and initial reports are positive.
https://www.schwalbe.com/en/spike-reader/marathon-winter-plus but unfortunately, not available in the size you require.

When i started my own search for studded tires, i was struck by the limited choice for my bike, and it doesn't look all that much better for yours. Shipping is often unavoidable these days - don't let it deter you if you really want to do this. It's still going to come down to who is installing them. If you bought your bike locally from a bike shop, I'd still go back to them for assistance im sourcing a product and getting it installed. But if you intend a DYI, then you are likely going to have to order online.

If you are Ok with an Edmonton retailer, Revolution Cycle seem to have some options and appear to bein stock.
+17804863634

I just finished my caffeine replenishment so it's time to go do something else...just not going to be a ride today.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Since fenders sound like they are now in the mix, the MTB tires I identified aren't likely going to work in my opinion.
However, there are other options, although sourcing them, if you still prefer a local source, could be difficult.

These tires are available in 27.5 x 2.0. https://www.schwalbe.com/en/spike-reader/winter

@Stefan Mikes just put a similar but more performance minded set on his Vado and initial reports are positive.
https://www.schwalbe.com/en/spike-reader/marathon-winter-plus but unfortunately, not available in the size you require.

When i started my own search for studded tires, i was struck by the limited choice for my bike, and it doesn't look all that much better for yours. Shipping is often unavoidable these days - don't let it deter you if you really want to do this. It's still going to come down to who is installing them. If you bought your bike locally from a bike shop, I'd still go back to them for assistance im sourcing a product and getting it installed. But if you intend a DYI, then you are likely going to have to order online.

If you are Ok with an Edmonton retailer, Revolution Cycle seem to have some options and appear to bein stock.
+17804863634

I just finished my caffeine replenishment so it's time to go do something else...just not going to be a ride today.
I’m wondering if others are using fenders when switching out tires? Maybe this is a trade off to not have fenders when going with winter tires. Seems like a good time to have them as I don’t see myself as a real cold weather rider, but more on the close to zero days when it is likely to be a bit slushy.

I am definitely not a DIY’er - yet, so will be at the mercy of the bike shop to switch out. But you have given me better confidence in being sure I will be ordering the right ones if I do need to go online, and comfort with potentially a higher cost for shipping or duties. Better to get them and start using them for all that I have invested, would be a shame to sit out because I didn’t act when there is a chance to still get some vs. having the choice removed because they are simply not available. Really, I’m already ahead of the game with my bike having arrived earlier than expected, so extra riding I can get in is all gravy!

My next challenge that isn’t looking good to overcome is to make it all happen before the dreaded polar vortex is upon us!! Forecast predictions say it’s coming our way toward the end of the month. Mind you, living in southern Alberta, the chinook winds will be back bringing more mild days.

I really appreciate all the the sourcing you’ve done - couldn’t make any inquiries today, but hope to get it sorted tomorrow. Thank you!
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Welcome to the forums Pedal Pusher from another fellow Albertan, :)

Once again, I’m a bit late to the game in responding. RandallS has provided some great advice and sources in his post and likely has the best line on studded tires in that size range. If you are serious about cycling over the winter, studded is the way to go. I acquired a set of 26 x 2.0” 45North Gravdals at MEC in Calgary. The Gravdals aren’t available in your wheel size but I see that the Kahvas are available in a 2.1" size and it appears that they are currently available at The Bike Shop in Calgary.


252 carbide studs imbedded into the Kahvas vs 216 for the Gravdals. I also appreciate how quiet I find riding is on the Gravdals.

Woodcock cycle in Winterpeg also carries the Kahva and it is slightly cheaper than The Bike Shop plus they offer free shipping.

https://www.woodcockcycle.com/product/45nrth-kahva-27.5-inch-367799-1.htm#.YAHbkhZlCUk

I would call either shop and inquire about the small difference in width and how or if it would affect inflation values, roll resistance, etc...just to double check but I suspect there wouldn't be an issue.

As far as fenders go, I specifically have full coverage versions on my winter bike which is standard vintage rigid Trek MTB. Full coverage helps keep the salt, grime/slush from accumulating below which can wreak havoc on the lower drivetrain. The Gravdals just clear the front fenders due to the raised position of the studs but a slightly lower inflation helps resolve this issue for me. With high regards to Sierra Tim’s sage advice, I recommend that you talk to your LBS for proper fitment and selection as they may be able to source more fender options for your Norco than I was able to for my Trek and could direct you to version that might provide enough clearance to accommodate studded tires.

IMG_20201027_1233587.jpg

I installed Planet Bike Cascadia fenders and found PB’s service to be exemplary.


Much to my chagrin, a stay anchor bracket snapped on the rear fender two weeks ago but the folks at PB were great to deal with and have already sent out a replacement set to me gratis. 👍
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Well that was a deep dive! You guys really know your stuff! I had a stroke of luck while consulting and trying to get very intricate with fitting. Pure Cycle just got a tire order today and my bike is currently at the shop getting the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro's put on. When it came down to it, superior traction was by far the most important to me. They have this splashboard fender https://www.blackburndesign.com/p/splashboard-fender-combo/ that I will put on for winter, and if I want full fenders for the summer tires I can put them on then. I'll try it, I'll learn, hopefully it works great, and if not it wasn't a big investment. Best part is, I can now safely get out using my new bike...
Thanks for all the help!
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Pure Cycle is one that I am not familiar with. Regardless, those tires are amazing for traction. I was up on Nose Hill again today, and was firmly attached to the surface!

Enjoy, and one of these days we can have a EBR group YYC ride.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Nice to know that you were able to find a local source for the Ice Spikers. I made a one-time-only bike purchase at the Bow Trail location (Calgary Cycle Pure?) and found the staff there to be quite helpful and friendly. Congrats on taking early delivery of your Norco and enjoy those new tires.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Nice to know that you were able to find a local source for the Ice Spikers. I made a one-time-only bike purchase at the Bow Trail location (Calgary Cycle Pure?) and found the staff there to be quite helpful and friendly. Congrats on taking early delivery of your Norco and enjoy those new tires.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Yes that’s the place. When it came down to it, I like the idea of supporting local. If I was going to pay for shipping or duties and even if I might have found a bit lower price, it was an easy decision and I still get my instant gratification!
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Pure Cycle is one that I am not familiar with. Regardless, those tires are amazing for traction. I was up on Nose Hill again today, and was firmly attached to the surface!

Enjoy, and one of these days we can have a EBR group YYC ride.
I was out walking today scoping out some of the pathways that I thought would be a little more cleared than they actually are and saw a couple of other cyclists. I don’t have a trained eye yet to know whether they were e bikes or regular, and they definitely were not fat tire bikes, but I would think they must have also had winter or spiked tires because it was prohibitively icy and difficult to walk for most of the way, and yet they were cruising along as normal. I am really interested to experience the actual limits. I don’t mean in the same way more experienced riders might, but it seems foreign to think that type of condition is more accessible by bike. I guess I will find out soon enough. Also, lots reference how a bit deeper snow can be greasy, so my question is what snow type is actually preferable to ride in?
I see there are threads for this, but I’d be curious to know what people who are local that would be experiencing the same type of conditions think?

yyc bike sounds great, but I will have to get accustomed before I get too adventurous!

Provincial restrictions for outdoor gatherings will be loosening up to groups of 10 I think.
Accessing one of the city outdoor fire pits, if there is a bike path nearby and a nice day, could be a good drop by spot.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
I was out walking today scoping out some of the pathways that I thought would be a little more cleared than they actually are and saw a couple of other cyclists. I don’t have a trained eye yet to know whether they were e bikes or regular, and they definitely were not fat tire bikes, but I would think they must have also had winter or spiked tires because it was prohibitively icy and difficult to walk for most of the way, and yet they were cruising along as normal. I am really interested to experience the actual limits. I don’t mean in the same way more experienced riders might, but it seems foreign to think that type of condition is more accessible by bike. I guess I will find out soon enough. Also, lots reference how a bit deeper snow can be greasy, so my question is what snow type is actually preferable to ride in?
I see there are threads for this, but I’d be curious to know what people who are local that would be experiencing the same type of conditions think?

yyc bike sounds great, but I will have to get accustomed before I get too adventurous!

Provincial restrictions for outdoor gatherings will be loosening up to groups of 10 I think.
Accessing one of the city outdoor fire pits, if there is a bike path nearby and a nice day, could be a good drop by spot.
If this is your first time riding in winter conditions I would definitely recommend a slow and cautious approach which, in all likelyhood, seems to be your plan. One also needs to be mindful of not changing directions too suddenly and to expect longer braking distances. I don’t ride an e-bike during the wintry season so others such as @RandallS and @Stefan Mikes might also be able to provide you with valuable input on issues such as prolonging battery life and riding an e-bike in colder conditions. You should also be prepared to bed the studs which means riding pavement on your first outing for 10-20k to ensure that the studs are properly seated.

There are studded tires that have deeper lugs than others which help to channel snow out from the tread but like everything else they have their limitations. I tend to stay away from the deep stuff myself simply because my narrower tires would get bogged down easily and since I’m self powered I wouldn’t have sufficient torque to extricate my standard bike. An e-bike with wider studded tires along with that additional boost in power could give you an upper hand depending on the snow depth. If there is something for the studs to grip onto beneath the snow then you would be fine. If not, then you might just end up spinning your wheels and sinking. A fat tire bike would typically be better off in these type of conditions as the tires are wide enough to float on top of the snow.

In a perfect world you would want to be riding your narrower studded tires on hardpack/icier trails where the snow has been compacted over time by foot traffic or other cyclists and where the studs would have plenty of bite. Red Deer is almost always a few degrees colder so we rarely see our paths/trails turn to dry pavement which creates less wear and loss of studs. You also stand a better chance to lose studs on rocky trails. Studded tires also tend to be less efficient because they create more rolling resistance since they are heavier and run at lower tire pressures which ultimately means greater contact with the ground which slows you down. It's a bit of a compromise and might require some testing of your own tires at various pressures to see what works best for your needs.

With that said, running studded tires at lower pressures offers the advantage of better and more surface to stud contact and increased traction. Just be sure to check your tire pressure regularly.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Thank you for your response, an excellent description! And now I know exactly what you mean, because I have tried it for myself...

I rode entirely on asphalt on Saturday to seat the studs, and it was great! I can't wait for summer riding and exploring when camping. I haven't ridden a bike in quite a few years, and really the efficiency of distance was lost, though maybe the e-bike impact was a lot more significant than I expected. Today, I rode and rode and still did not want to stop. Yesterday I was on a lightly used road, as I wanted to get familiar with the handling in addition to the studs and knew it to be totally dry. It gave me the chance to test my winter riding clothing as well, which at +6 was very comfortable. Oh and I think the splashboard fender will work out great!

Today I went on the pathway system and had mixed conditions - dry & clear, mud, hardpacked snow, solid ice & even softened plow drifts mixed with ice chunks that were definitely something I avoided at the beginning. The Ice Spiker Pro's were amazing!! Not once did I feel unstable or the need to be overly cautious. I was cautious of course, but for learning the bike overall and handling in the new environment of winter. I was so pleased and felt, riding now, as if it had only been a short time since the last ride of my younger days. Though it was a little windier, still above 6 degrees, and with the addition of a skull cap under my vented helmet, I was very comfortable. I didn't go off road or in any deep snow, and as my outlook is only for fair weather leisure riding vs. necessity of facing come what may conditions when commuting, my setup seems to suit me just fine. I look forward to getting more varied experience under my belt and discovering Calgary's well connected pathway system. Wise words Prairie Dog, about the tire pressure - I will remind myself to check & make this part of my routine, as I'm learning all the "to do's".

I was chatting with another customer at the bike shop when picking up my bike with the newly installed winter tires. Her decision when contemplating the choice of whether to ride in winter and the necessary upgrade to winter tires, was to get a bike trainer and bike indoors. For me, this was a consideration also. Now that I have experienced only 2 short days of outdoor winter riding, I am very confident I made the right decision - for me. I am so looking forward to discovering more through this new hobby and, without the EBR site and the support of the very knowledgeable and kind members - from this thread and on the site as a whole, I'm not sure I would have found myself on this same path. I hope if somebody is reading and, like me is new to e-biking, don't hesitate to ask questions. There are very genuine people who really want to share their experience to help you be able to enjoy yours... Remember we weren't born running, you have to crawl before you can walk and then learn to run (or ride, as in my case);)