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How many miles from Schwalbe Winter spike tyres on tarmac/black ice

andyebandyeb Posts: 407
edited November 2017 in Commuting general
I've recently fitted a pair of Schwalbe Winter spike tyres on my commuter bike. Compared to the Schwalbe One Evolution, they are heavy, slow and make a bit of a racket (bit like the sound of sizzling bacon :lol: ). But the grip so far has been reassuring to someone who once broke a wrist after coming off on ice.

So far I've been swapping the normal tyres back on when the temperature goes above 2C, but I've been wondering how the spike tyres would fair being ridden on tarmac/black ice through until spring, as it takes me about 30 mins to swap the tyres over. I could buy a second pair of wheels, but that would be a significant investment to agree with my other half.

However I'm concerned about wearing down the metal spikes prematurely, so they are less effective when I actually have to deal with snow.

My commute is either:

[*] train + 10 miles of cycling
[*] 34 miles round trip

I prefer to ride than take the train, but so far I've been taking the train when I have the spike tyres fitted, also due to concerns about premature spike wear.

Does anyone have any idea how many miles these sorts of tyres would likely last when mostly ridden on tarmac?

Many thanks,



  • seajaysseajays Posts: 331
    My commute is all tarmac, with shared use path. The problem I had with my first pair, was that the spikes began to push back through the inside of the tire. Even though the pointy end is out! I started to get little cracks on the inner tyre wall, and it rubbed the inner tube creating punctures.

    I did get another pair, but have fitted them to my "winter" bike which I only use when necessary now, as I didn't really rate them for continual riding every day on tarmac.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Thanks that's really helpful insight. What pressure do you run your tyres at?
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Just managed to dig out this info on the Schwalbe website:


    You can ride several thousand kilometres with our spiked tyres. The spikes have a core of extremely wear-resistant hard metal (tungsten carbide). As a rule: In the long term, the spikes are pressed in deeper and the corners become rounded." ... kopie.html

    I would still be interested in hearing about other people's practical experiences of this tyre however.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    I've just fitted the marathon winters spikes to my old mtb wheels and will likely run that for 3 months solid now. I did intend to swap the wheels back to the new ones with contintenal travel contacts fitted when not freezing, but I've found what appears to be minor differences in brake disc placement meant I had to fettle the brake location each time I swapped over, and I can't be bothered.

    Last year I did 3 months on snow studs, which don't have spikes down the middle, much more a "light winter" tyre, and came off twice, so have upped the game this year around. Didn't have wear on the studs, but doing half of your mileage.
    I know someone who's done the swap to marathon winters on their gravel bike and rides them about 40 miles a day on them without reported issues - he's onto his 4th year using them now.

    I don't know what pressure he rides them at though.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 331
    andyeb wrote:
    Thanks that's really helpful insight. What pressure do you run your tyres at?
    I don't remember what it was as I haven't run them this year yet - but it was certainly within the limit on the tyre.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've got some agricultural spikes bought from Norway a few years ago - it's bad enough doing 10 miles on them without the thought of doing 18 miles one way !! Whereas, 18 miles on road tyres is fine ...

    you are going to wear the spikes and like you say - it's hard work.

    I did get a second wheelset and cassette - and just have the spikes on there - because they'll get used when there's salt and grit on the road, it's a really cheap wheelset that just doesn't matter. That said - I didn't use them at all last year - hope I might get a chance this year :)
  • I had mine on for about 800-900 miles last winter on my Marathon Winters. I ride on 50/50 off-road and tarmac. About 13 miles each way.

    Lost a few studs but will easily last another season or two. Can always get replacement studs.

    I have gone for another set of wheels so I can swap depending on the forecast.

    Out of interest a couple of my current Strava PRs were set on them on a downhill section of frozen mud. They might be heavy and wooden but they really do grip in anything softer than tarmac!
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