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Icy road conditions grip: 28C 4 Seasons vs. Kenda Block 8

andyebandyeb Posts: 407
edited April 2016 in Road general
My commuter/cross bike currently has 28C Conti 4 Seasons on it, but having come off and broken bones before now in icy conditions, I'm rather reluctant to ride it when the weather is like it is at the moment (i.e. < 2 degrees at 6am when I'm setting off).

I've been wondering whether to swap the slicks back to the 35C Kenda Block 8 tyres which came on the bike.

Which tyre do you think would give better grip on icy roads? Obviously there would be considerably more rolling resistance with the Kenda Block 8s.

cheers,

Andrew

Posts

  • No tyre will give you grip on the ice, unless it has metal studs. Don't take any other advice, as it's all bollox
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    Last Friday it was cold and the roads/paths were wet. The results was glassy, impossible to see black ice. I rode the Bath-Bristol railway path to work and there is one section about 1 mile long that is particularly prone to ice. When I got to this section there were about a dozen people with bikes of various description; road, hybrid, MTB. Two were riding at about 5 mph and looking terrified and everyone else was walking. I rode past as if there was no ice what so ever as I had Schwalbe marathon Winter tyres with tungsten carbide studs. Without them I would have been on my censored .
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    whoof wrote:
    Last Friday it was cold and the roads/paths were wet. The results was glassy, impossible to see black ice. I rode the Bath-Bristol railway path to work and there is one section about 1 mile long that is particularly prone to ice. When I got to this section there were about a dozen people with bikes of various description; road, hybrid, MTB. Two were riding at about 5 mph and looking terrified and everyone else was walking. I rode past as if there was no ice what so ever as I had Schwalbe marathon Winter tyres with tungsten carbide studs. Without them I would have been on my ars*.

    How do you find those tyres on the road out of interest? A colleague says they are no good for anything except snow and pack-ice. But I'd rather take it from someone who owns and uses a pair themselves!
  • andyeb wrote:
    whoof wrote:
    Last Friday it was cold and the roads/paths were wet. The results was glassy, impossible to see black ice. I rode the Bath-Bristol railway path to work and there is one section about 1 mile long that is particularly prone to ice. When I got to this section there were about a dozen people with bikes of various description; road, hybrid, MTB. Two were riding at about 5 mph and looking terrified and everyone else was walking. I rode past as if there was no ice what so ever as I had Schwalbe marathon Winter tyres with tungsten carbide studs. Without them I would have been on my ars*.

    How do you find those tyres on the road out of interest? A colleague says they are no good for anything except snow and pack-ice. But I'd rather take it from someone who owns and uses a pair themselves!

    I use the same tyres. They are heavy, slow rolling and feel horrible... but they get you from A to B, rather than from A to A&E
    Often a front tyre with studs is enough, if you take it easy on the ice
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,476
    No tyre will give you grip on the ice, unless it has metal studs. Don't take any other advice, as it's all bollox


    For once I agree with Ugo ...

    I've aborted a commute using CX tyres when (on the main road) the back wheel slipped 3 times in the first mile - didn't have time to change over to my studded tyres.
    OTOH, I've also commuted in the snow and ice on the same cx bike without falling off - but it was very slow going and I was lucky not to have fallen off - as the worst bits were on single track back roads that were clear of other traffic I wasn't too bothered.

    My studded tyres are heavy and slow and whilst they don't have as many studs as other tyres I've yet to find them not grip. I got them (from Norway) after my previous ice/snow commute. The idea is to have them on a spare set of wheels ready to swap in when I know it's going to be dicey.
  • I have used these for the past few years in the winter on the commuter bike. I reckon based on journey times, heart rate, etc that they require approximately 30% more power for the same speed. Pump them up quite hard and the studs make less contact and are easier to ride on ordinary roads. As soon as you think there is ice drop the pressure and off you go. They have certainly saved me from coming off on my morning commute several times. there is a small change in sound on black ice and you suddenly see the slight shine and realise you are only upright thanks to the studs.

    The extra power also means they are a good winter workout!
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    ... but they get you from A to B, rather than from A to A&E...
    superb - if you came up with that yourself then I'm seriously impressed! Even otherwise I've not heard it before so good nonetheless :D
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
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  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    rower63 wrote:
    ... but they get you from A to B, rather than from A to A&E...
    superb - if you came up with that yourself then I'm seriously impressed! Even otherwise I've not heard it before so good nonetheless :D

    I agree - gave me a good chuckle too. :lol:
  • I never heard it before either, so I claim authorship on it :-)
  • I'm still in plaster following an off on black ice on January 13th when my front GP 4 Season 28c tyre suddenly lost grip. Certainly wont be venturing out in anything less than studded tyres in similar situations in the future.
  • After coming off on ice on a hill and sliding down with a car sliding out of control behind me I'm in the 'i don't ride in ice' camp
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    I'm still in plaster following an off on black ice on January 13th when my front GP 4 Season 28c tyre suddenly lost grip. Certainly wont be venturing out in anything less than studded tyres in similar situations in the future.

    Must have been a particularly bad day. Same happened to me, but I was luckier. Are you near edinburgh by any chance?
  • Garry H wrote:
    I'm still in plaster following an off on black ice on January 13th when my front GP 4 Season 28c tyre suddenly lost grip. Certainly wont be venturing out in anything less than studded tyres in similar situations in the future.

    Must have been a particularly bad day. Same happened to me, but I was luckier. Are you near edinburgh by any chance?
    Whilst I will be up in Edinburgh this coming weekend my mishap took place close to where I currently live... just outside Manchester.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    Garry H wrote:
    I'm still in plaster following an off on black ice on January 13th when my front GP 4 Season 28c tyre suddenly lost grip. Certainly wont be venturing out in anything less than studded tyres in similar situations in the future.

    Must have been a particularly bad day. Same happened to me, but I was luckier. Are you near edinburgh by any chance?
    Whilst I will be up in Edinburgh this coming weekend my mishap took place close to where I currently live... just outside Manchester.
    The ice has gone, but beware the potholes!
  • gimplgimpl Posts: 268
    4th December 2012 came off on ice - broken elbow and A&E.

    Never been out in icy conditions since. Was vertical one millisecond and lying on the ground going OOOOOOOW! the next. No amount of 'skill' could have saved it.
  • andyeb wrote:

    How do you find those tyres on the road out of interest? A colleague says they are no good for anything except snow and pack-ice. But I'd rather take it from someone who owns and uses a pair themselves!

    It's only ever icy on the way in when I have them at a low pressure. For the way home I pump them up harder and they're fine. You'll go slower and it'll be hard work but they're fine.
  • gimpl wrote:
    4th December 2012 came off on ice - broken elbow and A&E.

    Never been out in icy conditions since. Was vertical one millisecond and lying on the ground going OOOOOOOW! the next. No amount of 'skill' could have saved it.
    I ended up with a complex distal radius (Colles) fracture that required manipulation under anaesthesia and insertion of three K-wires. Cast due to come off in 5 days but suspect it will be quite a few more weeks before I can get back out on a bike.

    Thank goodness for Bkool!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Studded tyres are the only thing that'll grip - just come back from a trip to the arctic for a bike race the short sections of the course were I could use my studs were great, unfortunately due to lots of fresh snow I ended up pushing a 50lb loaded bike for nigh-on 100km.... :shock:
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Studded tyres are the only thing that'll grip - just come back from a trip to the arctic for a bike race the short sections of the course were I could use my studs were great, unfortunately due to lots of fresh snow I ended up pushing a 50lb loaded bike for nigh-on 100km.... :shock:

    Must have been an interesting sprint finish in that race :)
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    The finish line for the majority was inside a hotel - it was too cold outside! There wasn't much of a sprint left after 38 and a half hours but I did pass 2 others in the last 5km!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • markopicmarkopic Posts: 2
    gimpl wrote:
    4th December 2012 came off on ice - broken elbow and A&E.

    Never been out in icy conditions since. Was vertical one millisecond and lying on the ground going OOOOOOOW! the next. No amount of 'skill' could have saved it.
    I ended up with a complex distal radius (Colles) fracture that required manipulation under anaesthesia and insertion of three K-wires. Cast due to come off in 5 days but suspect it will be quite a few more weeks before I can get back out on a bike.

    Thank goodness for Bkool!

    Similar thing happened to me - I was riding on my GP 4000 28mm which replaced my winter 4-seasons due to weather improvements. I did not see small portion of black ice, caused by small amount of left over snow freezed during the night. Ended with broken hip bone, surgery and predicted two months off the bike.
    I do not wonder which tyre could have saved me - maybe only the one with spikes, but I am not sure. Instead I am looking for protective equipment - I plan to buy bibs with inserts which protect hip bones, and protectors for arms and legs.
    I think it is silly to ride in dangerous conditions with poor protective equipment, helmet and gloves are not enough.
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    Buy now for next winter? £15 a tyre (when you add the 40% off code).
    http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TYSCSNST/s ... wired-tyre
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    markopic wrote:
    gimpl wrote:
    4th December 2012 came off on ice - broken elbow and A&E.

    Never been out in icy conditions since. Was vertical one millisecond and lying on the ground going OOOOOOOW! the next. No amount of 'skill' could have saved it.
    I ended up with a complex distal radius (Colles) fracture that required manipulation under anaesthesia and insertion of three K-wires. Cast due to come off in 5 days but suspect it will be quite a few more weeks before I can get back out on a bike.

    Thank goodness for Bkool!

    Similar thing happened to me - I was riding on my GP 4000 28mm which replaced my winter 4-seasons due to weather improvements. I did not see small portion of black ice, caused by small amount of left over snow freezed during the night. Ended with broken hip bone, surgery and predicted two months off the bike.
    I do not wonder which tyre could have saved me - maybe only the one with spikes, but I am not sure. Instead I am looking for protective equipment - I plan to buy bibs with inserts which protect hip bones, and protectors for arms and legs.
    I think it is silly to ride in dangerous conditions with poor protective equipment, helmet and gloves are not enough.

    Your fall sounds bad! I've come off in a similar way and got off more lightly. You raise an interesting point about protective clothing. I'm sure there is something in it.

    One time I came off, my back wheel just went out whilst turning (not going at all quickly) on a mini roundabout where the road was damp and greasy. I fell hard onto my hip and elbow. I had a small circular cut into my hip where I had a tube of lip salve in my pocket that was crushed in the impact and my foresarm was cut by my shirt buttons! I was wearing normal clothes as it was a short commute. The most basic thing I would say you can do is take stuff out of trouser pockets.

    You would think that elbow protection could be do-able for the road. I wonder what kind of protection would be needed to prevent your kind of hip injury?
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