Studded Road tyres. Who uses them?

bluedoggy
bluedoggy Posts: 284
edited December 2012 in Road general
Does anyone use these for winter riding? I was thinking about possibly buying a set of wheels and adding studded tyres so i can quickly swap when it gets a bit icy out there. I know you still have to be very careful out there but maybe these give a bit more traction on 'Missed' black ice patches at night. Or don't bother? Would be used on my Hybrid bike.
Wilier cento uno.

Comments

  • I'd just use knobblies if I were you.

    Unless you really want the speed advantage but i guess in winter that's not really necessary.
    Hills are like half life - they wait until you're 50% recovered from one before hitting you in the face with the next.

    http://www.pedalmash.co.uk/
  • A few of us (mostly winter commuters I think) use studded/spiked tyres. Not sure how icy it gets where you are but all my riding including my commute is rural so my spike tyres get plenty of use as I ride early morning and evening.

    If there's ice, black ice or thick frost, no other tyres will grip, not knobblies, not cx tyres, none, except studded tyres, so I would say if there's ice, don't ride, or get proper studded tyres.

    It's a pretty amazing experience riding on them because you can literally ride on solid sheet ice with them, safely, as well as black ice and compacted snow.

    Most of us use Schwalbe Marathon Winter, available in 26" and 700c sizes, with 240 carbide tipped studs each. Schwalbe Snow Studs are another option, with a central band of stud-free tyre for faster rolling. Bikediscount.de is the cheapest place to get them and gives good service. Do a search on "Schwalbe Marathon Winter" and you'll find a thread I started a year ago that is jam packed with good info.

    They are heavy, but when the alternative is not riding, or having a broken shoulder, it's a small disadvantage.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I'd just use knobblies if I were you.

    Unless you really want the speed advantage but i guess in winter that's not really necessary.

    TBH, this is really not good advice. Knobblies are worse than slicks on ice - the knobbles deform as you ride so there are always slight lateral forces between tyre and road which means you'll probably come off a second or two sooner on knobblies than if you were on slicks.

    Basically, ice and non studded tyres don't mix. Whether studded tyres are necessary for you is another matter. Last winter, I used them for six commutes and on none of those did I encounter ice though I might have. But I live in Leeds which is much drier than other parts of the country. Also, my commute is fairly urban so better lit, better treated and warmer anyway than country routes.

    Studded tyres are heavy but once up to speed don't feel too bad really. You won't use them much so they'll last many years if you get good quality ones like Marathon Winters (which shouldn't degrade much in storage).

    I've yet to test mine on sheet ice but they do give more confidence and others report that they work very well. Most of them are too wide for bikes without generous clearance.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Plenty of comment here and scattered through here.

    I'm just home from my 20 mile commute through the hills, frost on the road a significant proportion of the route morning and evening today, -5 this morning when I got to Perth. I'm not that fit and there is no doubt that they slow you down a bit, but not that much.
    +1 to Bordersroadie and Rolf above, and -1 to knobblies, as they say, knobblies will not grip on ice. Studs do though, amazingly well.
    I have Nokian A10s on my road bike (also Schwalbe Snow Studs on the MTB, which get shared around my bike and my kids' when they do their paper round in winter). The Nokians have the advantage that they come in 32mm, a size that I can (just about) get on the road bike, anything bigger definitely wouldn't go - but that certainly wouldn't be an issue on a hybrid. They, like the Snow Studs, have a stud-free middle: pump them up hard and the studs barely touch when you're going straight, let them go a bit softer and you've got more stud-power.

    In summary I would heartily recommend them, they're really quite tolerable on ice-free roads, roll a bit slower (and heavier, as you'd expect) but not insufferably so, and they really work.
    In the end you need to decide how often you're likely to be hitting ice, and whether it's worth the cost (as you do really need extra wheels unless you just keep them on all winter).
  • bompington wrote:
    I'm just home from my 20 mile commute through the hills, frost on the road a significant proportion of the route morning and evening today, -5 this morning when I got to Perth.

    Kudos to you, man, for your 20 miler. Mine's a hilly 12 mile rural route.

    I noticed your Nokians in the "our bike" section, they look like a good option. My 'Winters are the 26" version on an MTB with rigid fork, my dedicated ice bike in the winter time. Heavier weight = better training!
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Kudos to you, man, for your 20 miler
    Thanks, I shall bathe in it. TBH I was going pretty slow as I normally only do one way, getting back on the bike at the end of the day as it gets dark and the temp dips below freezing again is gruesome.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Anyone who says you can use normal tyres has clearly never ridden on ice! Likewise knobbly tyres are only good for softer, off road conditions - they offer worse grip on tarmac and b*gger-all on ice!

    I've had a pair of Snow Studs on one of my CX bikes these last 2 winters - this included kerb-to-kerb sheet ice on back roads that were negotiated without incident, but you still get the ocassional squirm - a 4x4 coming the other way went into a 4-wheel drift. TBH I'm more worried about the numbties in 4x4s coming the other way and taking me out so generally stick to offroad when it's really bad - as long as you're wrapped up warm it's a hoot - night rides in the snow are great fun.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • I'm sold. Thanks! :)
    Any recommended 700c links to UK stockists??
    Wilier cento uno.
  • Rolf F wrote:
    I'd just use knobblies if I were you.

    Unless you really want the speed advantage but i guess in winter that's not really necessary.

    TBH, this is really not good advice. Knobblies are worse than slicks on ice - the knobbles deform as you ride so there are always slight lateral forces between tyre and road which means you'll probably come off a second or two sooner on knobblies than if you were on slicks.

    Basically, ice and non studded tyres don't mix. Whether studded tyres are necessary for you is another matter. Last winter, I used them for six commutes and on none of those did I encounter ice though I might have. But I live in Leeds which is much drier than other parts of the country. Also, my commute is fairly urban so better lit, better treated and warmer anyway than country routes.

    Studded tyres are heavy but once up to speed don't feel too bad really. You won't use them much so they'll last many years if you get good quality ones like Marathon Winters (which shouldn't degrade much in storage).

    I've yet to test mine on sheet ice but they do give more confidence and others report that they work very well. Most of them are too wide for bikes without generous clearance.

    I did not know that.

    OP ignore my tin-pot advicem I was clearly talking out of my ar*e! :oops:

    Thanks for correcting me Rolf :)
    Hills are like half life - they wait until you're 50% recovered from one before hitting you in the face with the next.

    http://www.pedalmash.co.uk/
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Bluedoggy wrote:
    I'm sold. Thanks! :)
    Any recommended 700c links to UK stockists??
    I couldn't find any, got mine from starbike.com
  • bompington wrote:
    Bluedoggy wrote:
    I'm sold. Thanks! :)
    Any recommended 700c links to UK stockists??
    I couldn't find any, got mine from starbike.com

    Thanks for the link fella!
    Wilier cento uno.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Plenty of online sellers in Germany like Bike24, Bikediscount and Starbike offer good deals on tyres - postage is cheap and very quick.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    Snow Studs for me on my MTB. They also work well in mud :lol:

    Now using them on their 4th winter.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,002
    I did not know that.

    OP ignore my tin-pot advicem I was clearly talking out of my ar*e! :oops:

    Thanks for correcting me Rolf :)

    An internet first - someone accepts another opinion on a forum.
    Well played sir! :wink:
  • Mad_Malx wrote:
    I did not know that.

    OP ignore my tin-pot advicem I was clearly talking out of my ar*e! :oops:

    Thanks for correcting me Rolf :)

    An internet first - someone accepts another opinion on a forum.
    Well played sir! :wink:

    Well if i'm wrong i'm wrong! And Rolf clearly knows more about this than me.

    Although as these are so rare I run the risk of being accused of sarcasm. :(
    Hills are like half life - they wait until you're 50% recovered from one before hitting you in the face with the next.

    http://www.pedalmash.co.uk/