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Spiked tyres for ice

inbikeinbike Posts: 263
edited October 2018 in Commuting chat
Last year I ended up walking to work for a couple of icy days - because I missed buying spiked tyres while they were £15 each and they went up to £30 then £45 each as soon as the forecast changed.

I'm determined to avoid that this year. Has anyone seen any good bargains on spiked tyres?

Posts

  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,932
    Planet X are always worth keeping an eye on, it's where I got mine three years ago and only used them for 3 days back in March when Beast from the East struck.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 263
    It's certainly a lot of storage for minimal gain.
  • RhodrichRhodrich Posts: 870
    If they make the difference between being able to cycle to work, and having to take the train, they're worth the storage cost for me. Even with about 10 days use in total over the last 3 years or so, mine have easily paid for themselves in train fare costs. Then again, I think I paid about £20 for the pair for mine, as I bought them from a guy on LFGSS who'd bought and never fitted them.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    It depends on how paranoid you are/how urban your route is.

    If it's below zero I take them - sometimes you get an overflowing drain/leaky pipe/some idiot emptying a bucket and leaving a load of ice on an otherwise clear road

    It only takes one slip on ice to put you out of action for weeks.

    If nothing else, you feel like you're flying when you go back to normal tyres - great training work trying to ride down/hold pace with the people on slicks too.
  • timothyw wrote:
    It depends on how paranoid you are/how urban your route is.

    If it's below zero I take them - sometimes you get an overflowing drain/leaky pipe/some idiot emptying a bucket and leaving a load of ice on an otherwise clear road

    It only takes one slip on ice to put you out of action for weeks.

    If nothing else, you feel like you're flying when you go back to normal tyres - great training work trying to ride down/hold pace with the people on slicks too.
    Never cycled in the winter before (only started in May). Is that the general rule then - if under zero don't go? I can't afford spiked tyres in addition to my normal set - so would you advise taking the bus when it's below zero?
  • I commute through winter and can't speak highly enough of Schwalbe marathon winter spike tyres - have them fitted to my CX bike and even when the rural roads are fully snow/iced over the grip is incredible.

    Very heavy and slow and sound like bacon frying in a pan when riding on the clear gritted roads though!
    First love - Genesis Equilibrium 20
    Dirty - Forme Calver CX Sport
    Quickie - Scott CR1 SL HMX
    Notable ex's - Kinesis Crosslight, Specialized Tricross
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Never cycled in the winter before (only started in May). Is that the general rule then - if under zero don't go? I can't afford spiked tyres in addition to my normal set - so would you advise taking the bus when it's below zero?
    Oh, not at all, I'm just paranoid.

    The odds are still in your favour, and if you are careful/lucky you will be completely fine - you can cycle over ice with regular tyres, the rules are exactly the same as any other particularly slippery surface you might ride on - don't pedal, don't brake, don't steer, just roll over the surface without giving your tyres any excuse to start slipping.

    You can also mitigate the risk further by sticking to main roads where gritting/weight of traffic melts any ice present, or going on muddy/gravel tracks where ice doesn't form/breaks up quickly - it's often only the side roads for the first hundred metres or so from our homes that are properly icy, you can just walk that bit.

    It is inevitable though that once it does get icy out we will have people posting to say that they have come off and injured themselves. Happens every winter.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    timothyw wrote:
    It depends on how paranoid you are/how urban your route is.

    If it's below zero I take them - sometimes you get an overflowing drain/leaky pipe/some idiot emptying a bucket and leaving a load of ice on an otherwise clear road

    It only takes one slip on ice to put you out of action for weeks.

    If nothing else, you feel like you're flying when you go back to normal tyres - great training work trying to ride down/hold pace with the people on slicks too.
    Never cycled in the winter before (only started in May). Is that the general rule then - if under zero don't go? I can't afford spiked tyres in addition to my normal set - so would you advise taking the bus when it's below zero?
    Totally depends on the roads and your location. On my London commute, all but a couple of roads are very well salted and heavily trafficked, so it's rideable on standard road tyres with no issue at all, regardless of how cold it gets. You soon get to know where you have to take it easy, and I'd rather walk the first 50 yards of my commute or ride it very carefully, than ride the remaining 14 miles on heavy tyres.
    Snow can be a different issue, but it's normally cleared within a few hours of falling, and I've never come across anything a standard CX bike couldn't handle.
    If you come across a bit of road you think might be icy, just feel for the traction and avoid asking too much of the tyres. Keep the speed down, stay off the brakes, and corner carefully - you can even unclip your inside foot and stick it out, CX-style. If you get a really dodgy bit, don't corner at all, just keep straight, unclip, and coast across it. There are plenty of videos of people riding around on frozen lakes; you can ride a bike on ice, but you have to treat the road like a giant wet manhole cover.
    If your commute includes substantial off-road sections, or roads that are not consistently/reliably salted and well-trafficked, the above does not apply!
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,293
    Never cycled in the winter before (only started in May). Is that the general rule then - if under zero don't go? I can't afford spiked tyres in addition to my normal set - so would you advise taking the bus when it's below zero?

    It's trickier than that. Sometimes it can be very cold and dry and you're fine.

    Other times it can be 2 or 3 degrees and still icy out.

    I've had weekend rides that were absolutely fine and then you come round a corner and the whole road is an ice rink.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 263
    Hmm. The snow studs might be a good answer as my commute is entirely inside zone 1. The normal pattern is a few sub-zero days spread over a month or two.

    Can't risk a slide because of the child seat. If we pitch over into traffic we are in trouble.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,478
    I've ridden on ice & snow with normal CX tyres - wasn't a problem, but did feel a bit slippery - I dropped the saddle an inch so I could put my foot down more easily. I didn't clip in either...
    I've now got nordic studded tyres - boy they're heavy - but make a big difference in the snow.

    TBH - if I was taking a baby/child in a seat - I'd avoid ice & snow on the bike - too much at stake. It's not like we have long snowy & icy winters to contend with - it's usually just the odd few days - ice is worse though - if it's been raining in the early hours then clears before the gritters get a chance to get out.
  • I finally got some use out of my £70 pair of 45Nrth Gravdals during BOTE/ re-loaded during last winter's extended season, after buying them back in late Jan 2017. They kept me safely commuting by bike all through it at lower pressures and while they were a bit draggy/heavy, they were a good bit of extra pre-spring training at higher pressures.

    As soon as we get any forecasts from Met Office talking of sub 3C morning starts, they will be fitted again, because there is always the chance of a chilly micro-climate producing some ice/frost.
    ================
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • xbnmxbnm Posts: 115
    inbike wrote:
    Hmm. The snow studs might be a good answer as my commute is entirely inside zone 1. The normal pattern is a few sub-zero days spread over a month or two.

    Can't risk a slide because of the child seat. If we pitch over into traffic we are in trouble.

    if ice is your main worry go for the marathon winters the two rows of studs really do help and the outer ones catch any slide and pitch you back up. You still have to ride more cautiously on ice no 90 degree leaning round corners or excessive front braking on a icy downhill. And follow the instructions on bedding them in. (i have no experience of the full on ice spikers nut the price of these meant they were ott for even the north east of the UK)

    Best of all you know your on ice when you can no longer hear the studs
  • xbnm wrote:
    inbike wrote:
    Hmm. The snow studs might be a good answer as my commute is entirely inside zone 1. The normal pattern is a few sub-zero days spread over a month or two.

    Can't risk a slide because of the child seat. If we pitch over into traffic we are in trouble.

    if ice is your main worry go for the marathon winters the two rows of studs really do help and the outer ones catch any slide and pitch you back up. You still have to ride more cautiously on ice no 90 degree leaning round corners or excessive front braking on a icy downhill. And follow the instructions on bedding them in. (i have no experience of the full on ice spikers nut the price of these meant they were ott for even the north east of the UK)

    Best of all you know your on ice when you can no longer hear the studs

    I ran mine all winter on the work bike a couple of years ago, snow or no snow. The look on peoples faces as you overtake them on normal roads/cycle paths sounding like you were on a gravel drive was hilarious. Last year I kept the normal work bike on "all season" tyres and put the Marathon Winters on the weekend hybrid ready for any iffy weather days. Even without snow I know the winters are better than normal 4 season tyres...because I crashed when I switched back!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I went to Norway this year. Quite a few people riding bikes in the snow. They didn't have special tyres- just that they get plenty of practice at it !
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,955
    Not seen any good prices around recently; I've still got 2 pairs of MW in 700x35cs in stock that I've not even got a bike to fit them to yet... so still running them on the 26" MTB's set of completely knackered wheels, and pretty much ran for 2 months solid this year with them fitted - any indications of sub zero and I changed bikes my route is across numerous skate rinks, including sections that were solid ice for 15 days in a trot in BOTE, and the odd frozen puddle otherwise going through rural roads that didn't see sun, or ever get salted.

    I originally got snow studs, but wiped out while trying to turn on ice, epic failure. Changed to Marathon winters the following year, and just keep going.

    Nowadays i wouldn't be without them. Yes, it's incredibly amusing to look at people stare at you as you fly past them stuck in their cages in slow moving traffic while you have a chesire cat smile on..
    .
    If anyone wants so snow studs in 26"x1.75, let me know, and i'll try and dig them out. They're ok for snow with ice underneath, but not for turning on sheet ice.

    PS - anyone found a cheap uk supplier of replacement spikes yet?

    (And I'm not sure you're early enough - viewtopic.php?t=13070520 was me thinking about them in september...)
    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* ...
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,955
    timothyw wrote:
    It depends on how paranoid you are/how urban your route is.

    If it's below zero I take them - sometimes you get an overflowing drain/leaky pipe/some idiot emptying a bucket and leaving a load of ice on an otherwise clear road

    It only takes one slip on ice to put you out of action for weeks.

    If nothing else, you feel like you're flying when you go back to normal tyres - great training work trying to ride down/hold pace with the people on slicks too.

    Never cycled in the winter before (only started in May). Is that the general rule then - if under zero don't go? I can't afford spiked tyres in addition to my normal set - so would you advise taking the bus when it's below zero?

    Not explicitly, but know your route, compare it to the salting routes, which are normally the routes with significant heavy traffic, unfortunately. Shared paths/cycle routes are rarely, if ever, gritted...

    Start noticing now where any fog/mist pockets are, and /or if you've got a GPS unit, where the low temp points are on your route. Watch the weather, get a cheap external thermometer and humidity sensor at home.
    Work out your risk, and if not sure, just take it careful, don't clip in, drop the seat a little etc.
    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* ...
  • Watch the weather, get a cheap external thermometer and humidity sensor at home.

    Can't stress this one highly enough! Being an ex motorcyclist, had something like this for decades. Checking the weather app on your phone just before leaving can also make things more comfortable...but is always interesting how widely the "phone" temperature and actual temperature differ.

    The coldest I have been out in (so far!) is -5 degrees C. Just a matter of thought and preparation.

    And heated electric gloves!
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,955
    greenamex2 wrote:
    Watch the weather, get a cheap external thermometer and humidity sensor at home.

    Can't stress this one highly enough! Being an ex motorcyclist, had something like this for decades. Checking the weather app on your phone just before leaving can also make things more comfortable...but is always interesting how widely the "phone" temperature and actual temperature differ.

    The coldest I have been out in (so far!) is -5 degrees C. Just a matter of thought and preparation.

    And heated electric gloves!

    Yeah, I can't do without my smart mirror in the kitchen. Wunderground's damn useful too, especially if know exactly where local stations are installed (both physically on a map, but also physically - are they in clear air, how high they are, are they sheltered from wind in a certain direction, quality of installation of sensors etc) , and therefore how relevant/accurate they actually are.

    According to my calibrated sensor at home ( yes, I'm a geek) , BOTE got to -8C locally, adding windchill made it -16C.
    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* ...
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,603
    Rhodrich wrote:
    If they make the difference between being able to cycle to work, and having to take the train, they're worth the storage cost for me. Even with about 10 days use in total over the last 3 years or so, mine have easily paid for themselves in train fare costs. Then again, I think I paid about £20 for the pair for mine, as I bought them from a guy on LFGSS who'd bought and never fitted them.

    you bleeding townies we had several months of ice and deep snow this year, ice for 2+ months is a dead cert here every year.

    I suggest moving house to the west country you know to justify purchasing spiked tyres :roll:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
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    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
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  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Makes the world of difference as to where you live. When I was a Highland commuter, I could be on ice tyres nearly every day from late November to April. Part of the problem up there is not so much the extremes of cold or the amount of snow but that the temp during the day never gets very high so the ground temp remains very low. My rule of thumb was ice on car means ice on the road. When I moved to Wilts, this was too conservative.

    As I’ve said loads of times before (sorry folks) I much preferred Ice Spiker Pros on my MTB to Marathon Winters on a CXer which weight nearly 1kg each and are nowhere near as safe.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • seajaysseajays Posts: 330
    Yeah I use ice spikes in winter because the vast majority of my route is on untreated cycle path (an old railway line). Left it a bit late last year to switch, and hit sheet ice which was just like glass on my normal tyres. Went over and slid for about 10 yards, whilst the bike carried on another five yards ahead of me!

    Fortunately as it was so smooth, no damage to clothing or bike and just a bit of a bump. Couldn't actually stand up on the stuff however, had to slide myself over to the grass verge!

    Ice spike tyres go across this stuff as if there's nothing there, so I run them most of the winter once the icy mornings start up here (actually I have them on my hybrid so I can simply take the right bike for the weather!).
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
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  • As I’ve said loads of times before (sorry folks) I much preferred Ice Spiker Pros on my MTB to Marathon Winters on a CXer which weight nearly 1kg each and are nowhere near as safe.

    Ice Spiker Pro's don't look like they would be much could for our southern softy snow. Even when it does snow half the roads don't have any covering and it all disappears by the evening.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 263
    There aren't many Highlands in Zone 1.

    I'm worried about small patches of ice where the gritting has been uneven, or where ice is hidden under soft slush.

    Will the Snow Studs be ok for that? Or are full studs really required?
  • inbike wrote:
    There aren't many Highlands in Zone 1.

    I'm worried about small patches of ice where the gritting has been uneven, or where ice is hidden under soft slush.

    Will the Snow Studs be ok for that? Or are full studs really required?

    The question is probably "will snow studs be OK for the rest of the road/cycle path that doesn't have any snow/ice"?

    Would also be interested in the answer...as I don't currently have a bike that can take the much wider Ice Spiker Pro's...could justify a new one!!!!!
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,955
    inbike wrote:
    There aren't many Highlands in Zone 1.

    I'm worried about small patches of ice where the gritting has been uneven, or where ice is hidden under soft slush.

    Will the Snow Studs be ok for that? Or are full studs really required?

    The snow studs are fine if you don't want to turn on ice, in my experience.

    Once I'd learnt that, I still used them for the rest of the winter, I was just a little more cautious when I knew I was on sheet ice...
    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* ...
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 263
    The snow studs are fine if you don't want to turn on ice, in my experience.

    Cheers. It's generally always possible to find a visibly clear/dry bit of road to manouver on down here. So sounds like it'll work.
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