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Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby dave esmond » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:47 pm

HOMOsapien wrote:If you are accustomed to riding on, lets say 28c – 35c slicks on dry pavement, you would immediately notice the increase in friction posed by the 40c studded Hakkapelittas (a 700c option).


It's a cyclocross bike with 700x32 sorta knobby tires on it. 700x35 with 110-120 studs shouldn't be too much worse. I'm willing to give up a little speed to save me from falling down.

I figure it's already a tougher ride on pavement then my singlespeed with 700x23 road tires. But with gears it's not as much of a concern.

I can always ride the SS or my 3 speed depending on what kind of winter we have if I keep the studded tires on the cyclocross bike.

A second set of wheels would be awesome too. But I've already blown way past my bike budget for the year....
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:15 pm

I pawed over some lovely Nokian studded mountain bike tires at Machinery Woe, but jeez, they were $100 EACH.

For a winter bike I'd definitly get fenders, at least on the back, there's nothing like that stripe of wet spray-up all up and down your back. That plastic kind that just clamps to your seat post is annoying as hell as it gets spun left or right at the drop of a hat and you won't notice right away that it is out of whack .
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby robbie webber » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:15 pm

My favorite name for the stripe you get with no fenders is, "back spackle."

"Spackle" is more for smoothing things out, but I like sound better than "skunk stripe."
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby dave esmond » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:07 pm

So I ended up getting the Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 700x35s at Budget. About $100 for both.

Thank you to the really helpful salesdude, wish I could remember your name.

So far so good. They do roll a little tiny bit slower, but I figure that's more to do with the 65 psi rating vs the 85 psi of what I had on there then the studs. They do make a bit of noise, but I kinda like it.

I'm looking forward to some ice and snow in a sick kind of way now.



I've never been a fender fan myself. Too much work getting 'em on and then they move around and make noise and get in the way, etc. YMMV and all that, I know plenty of folks who love 'em. My 3 speed has 'em, which is traditional but kinda silly as that bike is useless in the rain with it's steel rims. And I do love the look of Honjos.

But they just don't offer enough benefit to me personally. In the summer I don't mind rain. In the winter I use shoe covers. Any time of the year I've got a rain jacket that I can sit on to keep my ass from getting soaked. But honestly I just don't have that much trouble with "back spackle" to start with. I'm sure it varies with the bike, tires and riding position.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby eeyore » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:36 pm

I'm a little late, and this is going to sound like a commercial, but after researching some on this last year I ended up getting a pair of no-name studded tires for $50 from biketiresdirect.com

I understand the need to support our LBS but I didn't feel like spending 1/2 the initial cost of my bike on a part-time accessory. Not sure why putting the word 'bike' in front of something like a cheap plastic spoon/wrench instantly triples its value. It's the same with the word 'wedding' -- you wouldn't pay $12.50 to purchase this crappy folding chair, but you'll gladly pay it to rent the same wedding chair.

Wow, even the thought of winter makes me sound old and crotchety. Every year I understand the elders a little better ... anyway, the tires worked fine, though the studs wore down a bit. I'm expecting them to make it fine through this year as well, and then I may have to reevaluate. Let us know how yours worked out at the end of the season.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby dave esmond » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:35 am

eeyore wrote:....anyway, the tires worked fine, though the studs wore down a bit. I'm expecting them to make it fine through this year as well, and then I may have to reevaluate. Let us know how yours worked out at the end of the season.


I'd also like to hear how your's last too. I never mind saving money....if you get the same quality.

At the same time I learned that you often get what you pay for when I worked at a bike shop. Sometimes it does pay to spend a little more for something you're gonna use every day. Someone who takes the bike out for an hour twice a month might not see the same benefits tho'. Like so much "it all depends".

I looked at the Innovas which are the cheapest ones at biletiresdirect. With shipping I was looking at $70-75. Plus they're made in China, which I just try and avoid when I can. But that's just me own personal rule. And not one I often have much choice with when it comes to bike stuff.

They get mixed reviews too. Most folks saying they only last about a season or two.

I heard from one guy in St Paul who's about to start his 5th year on a pair of the Nokians I bought.

And they have replaceable carbide studs.

So since I like buying local and I was only looking at saving maybe $30, and that's only if the lasted as long, I went for the made in Finland Nokians.

But let's compare notes in March tho' and see. This is gonna be my first time with 'em and while I did a lot of checking online what really matters is how the work/last for me.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby HOMOsapien » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:17 pm

Um... Who would know more about designing a tire for climate and terrain conditions that exhibit sub-zero temperatures, ice, snow, slush, asphalt, and concrete; an engineer from Finland or a business man from Texas who has never lived in a northern climate? Don't think too hard.

There is nothing worse than having someone barge into the room having not followed the conversation up to that point and essentially state the following, "You paid too much! I only paid this!" while measuring an apple against an orange.

You get what you pay for; superior design and craftsmanship costs. More studs per square inch costs more. That goes without saying. Try riding a set of cheap-os through an icy corner at 12mph. On second thought, don't, I'm sure you'll fall off your bike. Ahhh the savings!

This will be my 3rd season on a set of HAKKAPELIITTA W240s (If the winter comes that is). I punish my equipment when I ride. I haven't fallen yet, all the studs are still there, and these tires deliver medium speed cornering capabilities in icy conditions. Avoiding a bruised hip or shattered knee-cap was worth the extra cost.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby eeyore » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:42 pm

Not making any claims of equal quality, on here or in my mind. In fact, with replaceable studs + longer life, life cycle costs of Nokians are likely less. Mostly I posted b/c I think there are a good number of people in town who might like to ride year-round, but for whom even $50-70 is a stretch, and $100-200 for tires is simply not on the table. Students mainly, but you see all types of people at FreeWheel.

I will be riding slightly longer distances more frequently this winter, and will let you know how they hold up. Not riding anywhere tomorrow, though -- I'm not that brave/dumb.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby 7typesofambiguity » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:11 pm

This will be my fourth winter using Nokians. These things are built to last. However, I understand the price tag is steep.

I have yet to put mine on this year. I've been riding icy stretches without a problem. More important than studded tires in staying upright on ice is proper ice biking skills, which always involve slowing down.

Studded tires are to cyclists what sand is to pedestrians. You might still land on your butt if you cycle/walk as you would on dry pavement.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby Huckleby » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:58 pm

I remember when people put chains on their tires after big snow storms. Worked pretty well, but haven't seen it since Nixon was president.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:27 pm

kellyedwards wrote:Hi guys, how did the switching tires go?
I heard Nokians are good and Dave enjoyed his bike ride on thick snow. Hope all is well.. :mrgreen:

Kelly Edwards
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http://greatbikes.net/


How's greatbikes.net going. How is this not spam?
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby madison-mig » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:11 pm

I'm a big fan of "do it yourself" and also in the category of "having more time than $$$" and I would suggest (with some additional directions) on building your own studded snow tires for your bike ... the only caveat being my experience is with mountain bike (26") tires. I'm sure it could be done with 700c tires but I have no experience with them. I've built over a dozen of my own snow tires and they've worked great, are serviceable (i.e. the studs can be adjusted and replaced as needed) and most importantly they're cheap! Take an old mtb tire (or a new one if you're ballin') .. I have my favorites ... Bontrager Jones, Klein Death-Grip but most will work. I use sheet metal screws size #8 (i think) - short (1/2" or 5/8" long). Place the studs in the outer lugs of the tire ... most of your bite is needed when you corner but having some contact is nice on pure ice. Trial and error will give you an idea of the bite after you use the tire. Use a drill and put pilot holes from the outside in using a fairly small (diameter) drill bit. Once you have your pilot holes in then you drill in the sheet metal screws from the inside out until the tip is sticking out of the lug. You can use a screwdriver to fine tune the amount of the tip you want extended out of the lug. Once you have all those in line the inside of the tire with duct tape, old cut in half (lengthwise) inner tubes or other liners or a combination of them to cover the heads of the screws from giving you flat once you mount and inflate the tire/innertube ... the only thing worse than not having a studded snow tire in the winter is having your studded snow tire go flat when you out in the cold!. Like I said - more time than $$$ ... total cost will be around $10 for the screws, use of a drill and drill bits, roll of duct-tape (who doesn't have duct tape???)/ liners and a few free hours. If you're really cheap you then can replace or reposition (i.e. give the screws a turn as they wear) the screws as needed. I have one on my commuter and actually try to find and corner on ice to see if there is a brek away point for my tire - yet to be found. I'm also a big fan of the single front tire vs. both being studded. If your plan is to ride on ice rinks or the lake then yea front an back would be nice, but for most commuting a rear is overkill and will slow you down even more than just having a front. Time and experience will lead you to remember to have a foot out or ready for those double fisted emergency braking situations on ice, that even with both tires being studded is no guarantee you'll stay upright. I'm in the routine that every time I'm approaching a braking situation I get a foot out and ready for the back end to break loose (which is kinda fun when you plan for it!).My email address is wyomig@yahoo.com - if you'd like to see a pic of the tire I built and am currently running shoot me an email and I'll send you a few pics.
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Re: Studded Tires...anyone with experience?

Postby dave esmond » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:10 pm

I remember one of the guys at the bike shop I worked at back in the '80's making his own studded tires. They did work. Seems to me they'd wear down quicker and be quite a bit heavier then the Nokian's. But they sure cost a lot less.

So here's my report so far.

The Nokians kick some serious ass. It's just plain awesome to be able to ride all winter long. Since I've never rode with just a front studded tire I can't really say if having the back studded makes a huge difference. I can say I've not had either tire break loose on the ice yet, hasn't even felt like it was close.

Today the road were slick and during my drive into town there was plenty of slipping going on. Once I was on the bike all was good. I actually really like riding the paths before they've been plowed now.

I've missed a few weeks due to illness this winter but I've yet to be forced off the bike due to conditions.

Other stuff that's been great this winter are the Craft winter jacket and Pearl Izumi AmFIB tights I picked up. The Planet Bike Borealis gloves I got have worked okay for me. Sometimes they're too warm and the inside gets all sweaty and doesn't dry before I head back out making them not work as well But I got frostbite on my hands when I was a kid so my hands are really sensitive to the cold. Finding good winter gloves has always been a challenge for me.

Studded tires in general and the Nokians in particular a huge thumbs up from me.
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