New member, New bike, ISO winter tire recommendations

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I completely agree with PD's remarks on snow riding, especially to the part on slow riding and cautious cornering. What I did notice on the ride below was 2" spiked tyres could not handle fresh snow (packed snow or ice were fine!)

The type of snow as seen at the sides of the road was not what those tyres could handle.

Regarding the battery, there is no adverse effect if e-bike is ridden above the freezing point. Actually, the battery and the motor warm up during the ride to nice levels. I even had no issues when riding at -6.5 C (both the battery and motor temperatures were decidedly on the plus side). (The Finnish EBR Forum members report issues with riding at temperatures below -20 C). I only recommend to store and especially recharge the battery at room temperature.
 
Last edited:

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
I completely agree with PD's remarks on snow riding, especially to the part on slow riding and cautious cornering. What I did notice on the ride below was 2" spiked tyres could not handle fresh snow (packed snow or ice were fine!)

The type of snow as seen at the sides of the road was not what those tyres could handle.

Regarding the battery, there is no adverse effect if e-bike is ridden above the freezing point. Actually, the battery and the motor warm up during the ride to nice levels. I even had no issues when riding at -6.5 C (both the battery and motor temperatures were decidedly on the plus side). (The Finnish EBR Forum members report issues with riding at temperatures lower than -20 C). I only recommend to store and especially recharge the battery at room temperature.
Interesting. I will be curious to try riding in fresh snow. We have been very spoiled here with very mild temperatures so far this winter.

Your video sounds like the wind would be making that ride a bit uncomfortable!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Interesting. I will be curious to try riding in fresh snow. We have been very spoiled here with very mild temperatures so far this winter.

Your video sounds like the wind would be making that ride a bit uncomfortable!
Compare fresh snow riding to riding in fine sand (if your e-bike can ride in the sand on normal tyres, you could ride through fresh snow on your spiked tyres as well). It is even worse if the fresh snow covers old ice ruts...

The wind on that ride was dramatic. Riding the Vado upwind resulted in cruising speed of some 19 km/h in 100% Turbo mode. The side wind was actually dangerous...
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
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);)
@pedalpusher – I admire your keen focus towards riding in the winter months. Many would just grimace at the thought of venturing out on their bikes after the first dusting of snow. With suitable winter attire, appropriate tires and an upbeat attitude, anything is possible. Looks like colder conditions are not that far off after all. We were so blessed to have such an unusually long spell of fine weather that for a while there many of us likely forgot just how severe winter can be in Alberta. Like you, I’m also looking forward to the warmer months when I can finally bring my own e-ride out from hibernation. Hopefully, it will be an epic summer of riding.

It’s great that Stefan was able to provide you with his take on dealing with batteries on wintry days. I forgot that it can get pretty cold and snowy over in Poland too as his video clearly demonstrates. 🥶

@RandallS would likely be another member to defer to particularly since he lives in your neck of the woods and also rides throughout the winter on Ice Spikers. 👍
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
We were so blessed to have such an unusually long spell of fine weather that for a while there many of us likely forgot just how severe winter can be in Alberta.
It is so easy to forget harsh winters... Typical Polish winter is expected to be snowy and frosty, with temperatures approaching -25 C or even less. The last heavy winter we had here was the 2012/2013, and it lasted for six months (October to May). The Easter of 2014 was snowy, too. Since that, we have enjoyed mild winters, for which I'm rather glad. As Nature's compensation, we often suffer from sub +10 C temperatures even to the end of May (and normally, April should already be a warm month!)

That's why I've invested so heavily in winter clothing and gear since November 2019: just to be able to ride all year round.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
@pedalpusher which paths were you trying out? I presume you are in the SW somewhere based on the LBS you used. Other than the Glenmore reservoir and the Weaslehead, i haven't done much down there as I live just off of Nose Hill in the NW.

I do plan to get acquainted with Fish Creek Park this year, but I'm mainly riding locally rather than using my hitch rack and driving to a new destination. I really should look through my assortment of tarps and setup something in my Golf Stationwagon to carry my bike away from road salt on the freeways. Those Ice Spikers would do a nasty job on the interior. In the mud season I'd have a similar situation so maybe a DIY fitted tarp should be a project for the next cold snap. I have an insulated garage I can work in, reasonable comfortably.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
I really should look through my assortment of tarps and setup something in my Golf Stationwagon to carry my bike away from road salt on the freeways. Those Ice Spikers would do a nasty job on the interior. In the mud season I'd have a similar situation so maybe a DIY fitted tarp should be a project for the next cold snap. I have an insulated garage I can work in, reasonable comfortably.
I took the 970 to the LBS for a derailleur adjustment last month and threw a tarp in the bed of the truck to protect the bike. My studded Gravdals ended up partially shredding the tarp after that short trip. I have a rubber mat that I purchased from Princess Auto and should have used that instead. Just a heads up FWIW. This particular rubber mat is sold by the foot as I recall and rolls up quite easily.
IMG_20200829_1226339 - Copy.jpg
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
As far as winter riding in my opinion that's one of the times your going to want fenders the most
Yes, I agree based on my short time in slightly wet, minor slushy conditions. More melting will test my set up, but forecast for one more +6day tomorrow, then return to more normal conditions for the next while. Fresh snow in the forecast too, I will get to see how my bike handles it. Won't be out in any blizzard like Stefan Mikes though!
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
I took the 970 to the LBS for a derailleur adjustment last month and threw a tarp in the bed of the truck to protect the bike. My studded Gravdals ended up partially shredding the tarp after that short trip. I have a rubber mat that I purchased from Princess Auto and should have used that instead. Just a heads up FWIW. This particular rubber mat is sold by the foot as I recall and rolls up quite easily.

I gave it some thought and I think I think I have an old area rug from Ikea that would work. It's been out in the garage for years so I could give it a new job.
For that matter, I'm ripping out a floating cork floor in the next month and I could build something custom to protect the interior.
I need a project anyways.

I am sure your experience with your Gravdal's would likely be minor to these Schwalbe's... although if I put something like a light tarp back there, it might be the only "shredding" I do on my bike!

Thanks for sharing.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
I gave it some thought and I think I think I have an old area rug from Ikea that would work. It's been out in the garage for years so I could give it a new job.
For that matter, I'm ripping out a floating cork floor in the next month and I could build something custom to protect the interior.
I need a project anyways.

I am sure your experience with your Gravdal's would likely be minor to these Schwalbe's... although if I put something like a light tarp back there, it might be the only "shredding" I do on my bike!

Thanks for sharing.
Good call on the rug. On second thought, I'm just going to leave that old tarp in the bed of the truck as it’s likely going to be replaced soon. I did use it again tonight when I drove the bike out to Riverbend to attempt another evening shoot.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
SE actually, I have terrific access to the Bow River trails and into Fish Creek Park. according to the AllTrails app, very connected access to a great swath of the pathway system without needing to drive to get there. I'm not quite brave enough yet to venture too far though being early days experience wise, and its a long walk back if I haven't learned my battery range yet (especially with the cold) or there is an issue!

I do not have a bike carrier yet, or even a hitch, as has been a recommended requirement vs. the non-hitch style bike mounts due to the weight of e-bikes. I did drive to my first ride location and of course transported my bike to and from the bike shop - and you are right RandallS, the ice spikers will definitely take a bite out of the interior with those studs. I got a couple of minor "warnings" to this on removal and replacement. I take the battery off first to make it a bit lighter when loading and more manageable for me and if I'm careful, it won't be too bad. Not ideal, though. I do have a somewhat comfortable clearance in my smaller SUV. The mud though - hadn't considered that. I had an old blanket in the back from my move, and it actually worked pretty well if I brought the edges up and over the tires. It slid back fairly easily too, and will be washable if I keep this system until I'm ready for the next investment of a hitch and bike rack. It would be ideal to have something similar to skate guards that could easily slip on overtop of the wheel and forks. I'm sure someone would have invented that by now though if it would work. The rubber mat sounds like a good suggestion, Prairie Dog, if only for the tire side of the interior side wall. I already have a cargo mat that is fairly slippery with the blanket, so that seemed a good system for me so far.

Since you have all been such a help so far with equipment and advice, I had better poll your opinions on bike carriers. I hadn't given much thought to the weight being an issue, but was thinking the hitch mount would be preferable anyway. A Thule hitch mount carrier was suggested - will have to search out the model again, as I wasn't too serious about purchasing this winter. I suppose bike carriers will be in great demand too, so may be best not to delay on this either. I drive a Hyundai Tucson, and it appears Hyundai makes a proprietary hitch. I haven't priced it out yet, but would this be the way to go, or would any hitch shop product that they fit be suitable? Opinions on the Thule?
Thanks in advance!
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
@pedal pusher - I don’t think that I can offer much help on the subject of a hitch mounted bike rack as we transport our two e-bikes upright in the rear cargo area of our SUV. I do believe @RandallS uses a hitch version and should be able to point you in the right direction. You can also find other thread topics discussing the merits of hitch racks. Using the forum search tool brings up at least ten threads.

 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
@pedal pusher - I don’t think that I can offer much help on the subject of a hitch mounted bike rack as we transport our two e-bikes upright in the rear cargo area of our SUV. I do believe @RandallS uses a hitch version and should be able to point you in the right direction. You can also find other thread topics discussing the merits of hitch racks. Using the forum search tool brings up at least ten threads.

Perfect! I will check it out. Thanks!
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Ha! I knew someone would have thought of this already - Kind of like the skate guard covers I mentioned, but for a bike! Check out these cool wheel covers. I don't think the fabric is right for protecting from the spikes on studded winter tires, but kind of genius for keeping things clean - and reasonable price too! I will do some more searching to look for a sturdier fabric, but if amazon doesn't have it, they probably don't make it.
There certainly isn't a shortage of "stuff" to get for your bike - I suppose that's half the fun!
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
In regards to hitches and racks. I installed class II hitches on both a car and a small Chev S10 pickup myself and it was fairly easy to do. Both of those vehicles are gone, and one of our current cars (Volvo XC70) has a class III hitch with a 2" receiver and the car I mainly drive, a VW Gold Sportswagen has a class II hitch with a 1.25" receiver. Although my bike, with front wheel removed, will fit nicely in the back of either,

This time, I chose to let a shop install the rack, and I used "The Hitch Shop" and I thought it was reasonably priced.

I have a swagman XC2 rack which is a platform style rack like the Thule mentioned above, and less than a 3rd of the price..
Swagman Rack Link at MEC

I believe the bike you have purchased is a step through design, so you'd need this type of adapter.
On the bike rack, I have removed one set of tire hoops, as I typically only carry one bike as my wife can no longer ride a bike (MS).
The rack has an adapter so it fit's in both 1.25" and 2" hitches and when I haul my bike, the battery is removed for many reasons, including weight reduction.
With the battery out, I typically protect the battery area in various ways depending on time of year, weather and route.

If I know I am hitting bad roads, the bike is in the back of the VW station wagon.
We were out to Vernon in September and the rack was on the back of the Volvo, complete with Thule cargo box on the top and the car full to the brim with other stuff.

I'm careful and always check the rack very closely before each use as although the rack is rated for more weight than I am carrying, I am just slightly over the rating for ONE bike (w/o battery and seatpost).
I strap the wheels down to the main bars, as if it's going to break, it's going to be the connection to where the wheel hoops attach to the bars.

However - my main transport method is in the back of the car.
If I need to carry more stuff - I put the Thule box on top.
It's only the studded tires that are causing concern, and I think I've sorted it with the spare carpet.

That's my story on hitches and racks.
Hope it helps, and the query that PD provided will offer many opinions.
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
In regards to hitches and racks. I installed class II hitches on both a car and a small Chev S10 pickup myself and it was fairly easy to do. Both of those vehicles are gone, and one of our current cars (Volvo XC70) has a class III hitch with a 2" receiver and the car I mainly drive, a VW Gold Sportswagen has a class II hitch with a 1.25" receiver. Although my bike, with front wheel removed, will fit nicely in the back of either,

This time, I chose to let a shop install the rack, and I used "The Hitch Shop" and I thought it was reasonably priced.

I have a swagman XC2 rack which is a platform style rack like the Thule mentioned above, and less than a 3rd of the price..
Swagman Rack Link at MEC

I believe the bike you have purchased is a step through design, so you'd need this type of adapter.
On the bike rack, I have removed one set of tire hoops, as I typically only carry one bike as my wife can no longer ride a bike (MS).
The rack has an adapter so it fit's in both 1.25" and 2" hitches and when I haul my bike, the battery is removed for many reasons, including weight reduction.
With the battery out, I typically protect the battery area in various ways depending on time of year, weather and route.

If I know I am hitting bad roads, the bike is in the back of the VW station wagon.
We were out to Vernon in September and the rack was on the back of the Volvo, complete with Thule cargo box on the top and the car full to the brim with other stuff.

I'm careful and always check the rack very closely before each use as although the rack is rated for more weight than I am carrying, I am just slightly over the rating for ONE bike (w/o battery and seatpost).
I strap the wheels down to the main bars, as if it's going to break, it's going to be the connection to where the wheel hoops attach to the bars.

However - my main transport method is in the back of the car.
If I need to carry more stuff - I put the Thule box on top.
It's only the studded tires that are causing concern, and I think I've sorted it with the spare carpet.

That's my story on hitches and racks.
Hope it helps, and the query that PD provided will offer many opinions.
Thank you RandallS, this is extremely informative. I did read through the posts that PrairieDog recommended too. I will need to keep researching and consider my usage. I agree that it does seem the interior transport is a great option, however I I have a rooftop tent for camping, and although it does free up interior space due to the the bedding being stored above, there is still a quantity of other bulky essentials not conducive to interior transport of the bike. The advice has given me pause to investigate what is is going to be the most practical and with consideration of the weather and importantly the weight ranges for versatility. It is just me, but that's not to say I wouldn't want the added convenience of being able to support a second bike when a friend comes along. I definitely will checkout the swagman. I like that it can be adaptable between hitch sizes, which for me now, won't be an issue, but maybe my bike, carrier and I will have reason to travel with someone else sometime. They did point out the step through adapter at the bike shop, but not the detail of overall transport considerations I've learned from you and others in the forum- though being fair, I wasn't too curious about it at that point. E-bikes do take a little different consideration, and the last thing I would want is the feeling of it being not secure driving down the highway. Lots might pick up things along the way and over the years, but I decided to jump in at this level without that history, so will learn as I go, and go at my pace. I am not discouraged yet - in fact invigorated for it.

The mats you found look like a good idea. Post how they work out for you.
Thanks again!
 

Nomad

Active Member
Thank you RandallS, this is extremely informative. I did read through the posts that PrairieDog recommended too. I will need to keep researching and consider my usage. I agree that it does seem the interior transport is a great option, however I I have a rooftop tent for camping, and although it does free up interior space due to the the bedding being stored above, there is still a quantity of other bulky essentials not conducive to interior transport of the bike. The advice has given me pause to investigate what is is going to be the most practical and with consideration of the weather and importantly the weight ranges for versatility. It is just me, but that's not to say I wouldn't want the added convenience of being able to support a second bike when a friend comes along. I definitely will checkout the swagman. I like that it can be adaptable between hitch sizes, which for me now, won't be an issue, but maybe my bike, carrier and I will have reason to travel with someone else sometime. They did point out the step through adapter at the bike shop, but not the detail of overall transport considerations I've learned from you and others in the forum- though being fair, I wasn't too curious about it at that point. E-bikes do take a little different consideration, and the last thing I would want is the feeling of it being not secure driving down the highway. Lots might pick up things along the way and over the years, but I decided to jump in at this level without that history, so will learn as I go, and go at my pace. I am not discouraged yet - in fact invigorated for it.

The mats you found look like a good idea. Post how they work out for you.
Thanks again!
Couple things to consider as far as the hitch setup. The class of receiver your using and that the bike rack is made to carry the weight of your bike or bikes. Have you looked at a tailgate blanket for bike transport?
 

pedalpusher

Member
Region
Canada
City
CALGARY
Couple things to consider as far as the hitch setup. The class of receiver your using and that the bike rack is made to carry the weight of your bike or bikes. Have you looked at a tailgate blanket for bike transport?
I haven’t heard of a tailgate blanket. Fill me in, thanks!