Studded Tires

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I am fairly sure that the topic of studded tires for winter has been covered to an extent in a variety of ways and on many threads here at EBR. Instead of winter tires for a brand of bike or included with other winter riding gear, I would like to get some clear and concise information with regard to your experience.

Last winter (2013/14) here in the northeast U.S. was one for the books. I rode through when I could but I would like to do better this winter. I hope some of you can lead me in the right direction with answers to the following.

- Are studded tires worth the time and expense?
- Brand of tire for a 26" & 700c wheel?
- Purchase the best? Or purchase good and replace every year?
- Performance on dry pavement, snow and ice?
- Performance in deep snow (8"+) vs. hard packed snow?
- Performance on crushed gravel trail, dirt trail?
- Steel studs or carbide?

Help me out with this one, I have thought about getting studded tires many times. Give me the good, bad and the ugly... Share any information you may have... Thanks, it's already getting cold out there!
 
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Pace

Member
I always point folks to this page at Peter White Cycles. To answer some of your questions:
- if you need them they are worth it :). I'd say for ice there's no other option. If you hit ice on a regular tire, you are going down. Snow is a little different, you can get away with a lot on snow with regular knobby tires
- schwalbe or nokian -- they make tires with carbide studs
- purchasing better tires that last several seasons would be better than replacing every year imo
- performance on different conditions depends greatly on the tire. Not all studded tires are great in snow... tread impacts the snow performance and stud arrangement effects the ice performance
- deep snow.... depends on tire size overall, tread/tread depth. I'm not too sure on really deep snow, when i'm riding on it it's usually somewhat packed.
- gravel, dirt, no problem.
- carbide.
 

Gus

Active Member
Are studded tires worth the time and expense? Yes, yes, and yes. If you are going to ride in the winter on an eBike, don't mess around. Slow down and get studded tires. Your safety is worth the $120+ you'll spend on tires. The difference is night and day in terms of traction. Last year, after a fresh snow, I rode my Stromer around with the standard 2.1" tires and it was horrible. I would loose lateral traction on just about every turn unless I slowed down to a crawl. Acceleration is nerve racking because the rear would slip. eBikes are heavy and physics are against you for braking and cornering You want as much traction as possible for these situations so studded tires make all the difference.
- Brand of tire for a 26" & 700c wheel? This depends on what you are going to be riding on. If its mainly pavement, Schwalbe Winters. Deeper snow or trails get Nokian's. I would get a high stud count tire unless riding over mostly plowed streets.
- Purchase the best? Or purchase good and replace every year? I have used mine (schwalbe winters) for 1 season and show no signs of wear. Should last many seasons.
- Performance on dry pavement, snow and ice? Most winter tires have a special rubber compound that is better in the cold. A non-agressive tread studded tire rolls fine at higher PSI on pavement but makes a lot of noise and there is more rolling resistance but on an eBike isnt really an issue. Studded tires really shine on ice and packed snow. Wont help you much on loose snow unless you get a more aggressive tread. Lower the psi on fresh snow and they work OK.
- Performance in deep snow (8"+) vs. hard packed snow? Nothing will work on 8+" not even a fat bike with 5" wide tires. Well maybe a fat bike but you would probably only go 10 feet in 10 minutes. You aren't going anywhere in stuff that deep. Studded tires work great on packed snow. As long as the studs have something to bite into, you'll get great performance. With my schwalbe winters, I can ride through 2-3" of fresh snow without much issue.
- Performance on crushed gravel trail, dirt trail? Depends on tread. Again, if the trail is soft, and the studs have something to bite into, they will work great.
- Steel studs or carbide? Carbide unless you want to replace them every year.

For Winter commuting IMO, studded tires are a must for anyone that bikes on snow/ice. If you bike somewhere that constantly has deep snow that is never plowed with no ice a fat bike is probably better suited.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
Thanks Reddy Kilowatt, Pace and Gus for your reply to my post. Very informative! Pace the link you provided to Peter White Cycles is just packed with clear and concise information on studded tires. It's always easy to partially dismiss information provided by someone trying to sell something. Given the effort put into the article along with your recommendation and than having Gus address the questions individually and confirm the information, I feel I can't go wrong.
So I've placed my order for two Nokian Hakkapelitta W240. You guys can contact the seller for your commission. Bring on the snow! Oh no wait UPS needs to get to my house and I need to mount them... So snow in a week!
 

Reddy Kilowatt

Well-Known Member
Hey J. R.:
I don't know where you are in the Northeast, but the Northwest corner of Connecticut got a dusting last night.
I'm going to go with the Hakkas too: the W106s though. Peter White, expect my call.
I've been running Hakkapeliittas on my Volvos for years (never with studs though) and they get better all the time. I can't wait to start rocking their bike tires.
When it's too snotty, I'll get my boss to bring me to work. Speaking of which it's supposed to be in the low 20ºs when I set out tomorrow; yikes! What happened to Fall?
Allen
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Received my Hakkapelitta W240 tires and RhinoDillos liners yesterday. The tires look like some sort of mid-evil torture device. Tires are made in Finland, where they should know something about riding bikes in snow and ice. In hand, they are some serious, severe looking tires! Now to decide when to install them. A question for the ages; when will it snow in the NE, US? I'm installing liners so I'm not getting flats in the freezing cold (hopefully), if the liners do the job I'll likely keep using them. The tires and liners will add some weight to my ride and commute, so if you've thought about doing the same, they are heavy.

Thanks for all the great advice!


What happened to Fall?
My thoughts exactly!
 

Nebula722

Member
I am fairly sure that the topic of studded tires for winter has been covered to an extent in a variety of ways and on many threads here at EBR. Instead of winter tires for a brand of bike or included with other winter riding gear, I would like to get some clear and concise information with regard to your experience.

Last winter (2013/14) here in the northeast U.S. was one for the books. I rode through when I could but I would like to do better this winter. I hope some of you can lead me in the right direction with answers to the following.

- Are studded tires worth the time and expense?
- Brand of tire for a 26" & 700c wheel?
- Purchase the best? Or purchase good and replace every year?
- Performance on dry pavement, snow and ice?
- Performance in deep snow (8"+) vs. hard packed snow?
- Performance on crushed gravel trail, dirt trail?
- Steel studs or carbide?

Help me out with this one, I have thought about getting studded tires many times. Give me the good, bad and the ugly... Share any information you may have... Thanks, it's already getting cold out there!

You and your 74 year old friend could move to California. (kidding, I have a dry sense of humor) Wish I could offer some help but can't as I have none.

Have a good day.

Tommy
 

Nichen

New Member
Studded tires are awesome....try the ones from Finland called Nokian Hakkapelita. You might experience a little drop in range...but it's marginal. I guess cold weather is a more considerable factor. Truly excellent quality. Totally worth every penny.
 

Reddy Kilowatt

Well-Known Member
There was a little black ice on the road this morning, and, though the Weather Service says the high is supposed to hit 31º today, I can tell that isn't happening. After all, it's almost three in the afternoon and the temperature is only up to 24º. So I called Peter White Cycles and pulled the plug on a pair of studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106s. I can't wait. Since I'm in New England, as is Peter White Cycles, I may very well see them tomorrow.
Allen
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I thought I would wear goggles but so far this has not been practical as I leave around darkness and return during darkness. The mornings are getting lighter after the daylinght savings so I might try putting on goggles after about 15 minutes of cycling.
 

Pace

Member
What do you wear for your winter cycling to stay warm?
cycling shoes: Lake 303's
mutliple kinds of gloves (depends on temp)
thin baselayers (synthetics or merino wool) + regular or 'thermal' long sleeve cycling jerseys --- # of layers depends on temp
sporthill xc pant -- amazing temperature range
jacket (polartec or similar) or a windproof softshell (better windblocking & warmer, but breathes less well)
wool socks - 1 or more pair (get the Lake 303's sized to give you room for extra socks)
wool helmet liner -- maybe a balaclava later on.
 

Gus

Active Member
3 thin layers head: head band that covers ears, balaclava, neck gator
3 thin layers core: Merino wool base, thermal jersey, wind blocking jacket
3 thin layers bottom: Thermal tights, tight running pants, thick track pants
Lake 303's w/wool socks
Bar Mitts w/full finger gloves

All comes off and goes on in about 2 minutes. This getup is good well into the single digit temps for 60 minutes. Below 0F, its starts to get really cold after about 30-45 minutes.

I rode in the 10F w/20mph winds (-8F windchill) on Tuesday and was perfectly warm. Just about everyone at work thought I was suicidal and completely insane.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Speaking of Bar Mitts. I bought them in the summer and last week I decided it was time to put them on. Well, my rearview mirror that is attached to the left handlebar is in the way of the Bar Mitt. The bar mitt does not have an opening to for the mirror to slide through. I went back to my gtex mittens.

Today was 20 degrees when I headed out. I switched to lightweight wool layer and added a regular (Pendleton) wool shirt under my soft shell jacket. I also added gaiters. I was warm enough. The Haakapelita tires seemed to slow me down a little bit but did not seem to put a dent in my battery range. Good. The tires feel great, almost slightly narrower than my Turbo's, the additional noise of the studs is negligible.