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9.8 Studded Tires Threads




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This article is from the Misc Bicycles FAQs, by various authors.

9.8 Studded Tires Threads



From: limd@tramp.Colorado.EDU (David Lim)

>In article <8OCT199116340421@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov>, piltch@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov
(Nancy Piltch) writes:
> What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?

I have used the IRC Blizzard studded MTB tires to commute
to school and work for the past three winters. I have put
several thousand miles on them and they show little wear.
Quite durable.

> Do they help at all? If they do, under what conditions? Do they

Yes. In snow they are no better than other non-studded
MTB tires but on ice they work pretty well. On dry
pavement, I wouldn't try cornering too hard. >8^(

> only help in conditions when I'd be more worried about drivers losing
> control of their cars than about me losing control of the bike?

No, because often the roads are fairly clear and the shoulders
treacherous.

> How bad are they on dry pavement? Or, to put it another way, do
> you have to make a decision on which tires to use on a daily basis?

On dry pavement, they are a little noisy and pretty heavy.
Just consider it an increase in the training effect 8^> .
When I lived in N.J. I left them on all winter. Now that
I live in Boulder (where spells of warm winter weather are
common) I will swap tires when the roads and bike paths
are clear.

> Nancy Piltch piltch@venus.lerc.nasa.gov
> NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland Ohio 44135


John Mastrangelo ( NOT DAVIN LIM ! )
ice@ntia.its.bldr.nist.gov


From: dahls@delab.sintef.no (Joern Yngve Dahl-Stamnes)

Thus spoke the keyboard of Nancy Piltch:
>What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?
>Do they help at all? If they do, under what conditions? Do they
>only help in conditions when I'd be more worried about drivers losing
>control of their cars than about me losing control of the bike?

I've been using studded Tioga Farmer John tires for winter riding the last
two years (commuting etc.), and they are just great. They work best on ice
and hard packed snow. On a mix of water and loos snow they work just as
well as non-studded tires. With the stdded tires I'm able to climb up (not
very) steep hills where the track is covered with hard ice without any
problem. Only one time I lost control of the bike, the tires lost their
grip on the ice due to too much water on the ice.

>How bad are they on dry pavement? Or, to put it another way, do
>you have to make a decision on which tires to use on a daily basis?

They make a hell of a noice compared to non-studded tires. But changing
tires several times each year is too much work just to avoid the noice. I
put the studded tires on after the first day with ice on the road (which
can be any day now). I don't take them off until the spring.

I only use studded tires on my commuting bike, not on my mountain bike
which I also use in the winter. It's because I *need* to go to work (I
don't have a car), but I don't need to go training on my MTB. It's also a
price issue. A new studded Farmer John tire cost about $70 in Norway. BTW,
the tires are studded by a norwegian company, so don't expect to find
studded Farmer John tires in a shop in the US.

Joern Yngve Dahl-Stamnes, The University of Trondheim,
The Norwegian Institute of Technology, Division of Physical Electronics
Please note: The address in the header is incorrect. My correct e-mail
is "dahl-stamnes@delab.sintef.no" or "dahls@fhydra.dnet.unit.no"
* "Let chaos storm! Let cloud shapes swarm! I wait for form." *
- - - - o o o o - - - -

From: erikas@ifi.uio.no (Erik Assum)


Nancy Piltch writes that she is wondering about buying studded tires
for winter riding. Last winter I rode my bike whit non studded tires
(Panaracer Smoke in the back and Timbuck II up front). My experience
is that this is more than enough when riding on non-ic e conditions
like hard packed snow (which is what you'll normally encounter when
bicycling i n the city). I guess that you'll be okay with studded
tires on pavements, but they don't hav e the same grip as
non-studded...(tells you allot doesn't it?)

Wintertime just makes it alot more fun!!
Happy riding

erikas@ifi.uio.no


From: kevins@zob.Central.Sun.COM (Kevin Suboski Sun SE - Detroit)

In article <8OCT199116340421@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov>, piltch@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov (
Nancy Piltch) writes:
|> What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?
|> Do they help at all? If they do, under what conditions? Do they
|> only help in conditions when I'd be more worried about drivers losing
|> control of their cars than about me losing control of the bike?
|>
|> How bad are they on dry pavement? Or, to put it another way, do
|> you have to make a decision on which tires to use on a daily basis?
|>
|>
|> Nancy Piltch piltch@venus.lerc.nasa.gov
|> NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland Ohio 44135

I have used studded tires for the last two winters, but for
mostly off-road riding. They work very well. I use them
in the trails and on lakes. Even on smooth ice I am able
to make sharp turns and stop on a dime. In the trails I have
better traction than I do in the summer without them. The hills
don't stop me but the extra weight in the tires and added
resistance of the snow on the ground makes for an intense
workout.

Others have posted about manufactured spiked tires, I on the
otherhand made my own. All you have to do is get some 3/8"
pan head screws and screw them from the inside out through
knobbies. Make sure not to damage the head of the screw. Though
I haven't seen the studded tires you buy, I would think that once
the studs are dull, you need manufacturer intervention (read
buy new ones). But with this route you can just replace the
screws.

I have had more flats than I get in the summer but it is not
unmanageable. I think I have gotten flats more from trying to
cover the screw heads with something - caulk, then a liner. I
have since just left them uncovered for the best results.

Kevin


From: limd@tramp.Colorado.EDU (David Lim)

>In article <8OCT199116340421@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov>, piltch@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov
(Nancy Piltch) writes:
> What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?

I have used the IRC Blizzard studded MTB tires to commute
to school and work for the past three winters. I have put
several thousand miles on them and they show little wear.
Quite durable.

> Do they help at all? If they do, under what conditions? Do they

Yes. In snow they are no better than other non-studded
MTB tires but on ice they work pretty well. On dry
pavement, I wouldn't try cornering too hard. >8^(

> only help in conditions when I'd be more worried about drivers losing
> control of their cars than about me losing control of the bike?

No, because often the roads are fairly clear and the shoulders
treacherous.

> How bad are they on dry pavement? Or, to put it another way, do
> you have to make a decision on which tires to use on a daily basis?

On dry pavement, they are a little noisy and pretty heavy.
Just consider it an increase in the training effect 8^> .
When I lived in N.J. I left them on all winter. Now that
I live in Boulder (where spells of warm winter weather are
common) I will swap tires when the roads and bike paths
are clear.

> Nancy Piltch piltch@venus.lerc.nasa.gov
> NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland Ohio 44135


John Mastrangelo ( NOT DAVIN LIM ! )
ice@ntia.its.bldr.nist.gov


From: olson1@husc8.harvard.edu (Charles Olson)

In article <0094FDAA.39DE1360@ELABA.ER.SINTEF.NO> dahls@delab.sintef.no (Joern
Yngve Dahl-Stamnes) writes:
>Thus spoke the keyboard of Nancy Piltch:
>>What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?
>
>I've been using studded Tioga Farmer John tires for winter riding the last
>two years (commuting etc.), and they are just great. They work best on ice
>and hard packed snow. On a mix of water and loos snow they work just as
>well as non-studded tires. With the stdded tires I'm able to climb up (not
>very) steep hills where the track is covered with hard ice without any
>problem. Only one time I lost control of the bike, the tires lost their
>grip on the ice due to too much water on the ice.

I'm reminded of a Warren Miller ski flick I saw a while back, that had a
small bit about a downhill mountain-bike race - downhill as in "skiing",
as in "going down a snow-covered mountain." These loonies had nails driven
through their tires (points out, of course) for traction. Problem was,
remember one has to keepone's weight back-- one poor fellow kept it a bit
*too* far back and sat on his tire. OOUUUCHHH!!!

--
Feed your lust for life!

-Chip Olson. <olson1@husc.harvard.edu> "Relax... It's only 1's and 0's."
<ceo@gnu.ai.mit.edu>


From: Jack Slingwine <jacks@sequent.com>

> What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?
> Do they help at all? If they do, under what conditions? Do they
> only help in conditions when I'd be more worried about drivers losing
> control of their cars than about me losing control of the bike?

I made myself a set of "home-made" studded tires.

I've had limited experience. They work fine on hard-packed snow (i.e.
glare ice). I've used them on ice from freezing rain (once) -- can't
say I could be very objective, as I was rather scared the entire ride ;-) --
of course, things would be about the same in a car ;-).

> How bad are they on dry pavement? Or, to put it another way, do
> you have to make a decision on which tires to use on a daily basis?

They buzz like hell. I usually run them at a deflated pressure (35 PSI),
so they aren't the best dry payment commuter tire around. It is in your
best interest to only run them when necessary.


From: jdu@ihlpb.att.com (John D Unruh)


IRC blizzards help some on ice. You still need a steady and even
pedal stroke and good bike handling skills, and you still don't have
any cornering force. They are real pigs on dry pavement. It is unsafe
to ride a bike on an icy road. The cars don't have control and you have
no control even with studs.

John Unruh


From: mks!scott@watmath.waterloo.edu (Scott Nicol)

In article <8OCT199116340421@ariel.lerc.nasa.gov> you write:
>What experience do people have using studded tires for winter riding?
>Do they help at all? If they do, under what conditions? Do they
>only help in conditions when I'd be more worried about drivers losing
>control of their cars than about me losing control of the bike?

Studs help on ice, especially when cornering. In general,
I'm not worried about losing control when riding in winter, because
if I fall, I'm wearing so much clothing that it won't hurt anyway.
The big advantage of having studded tires is that you can expect
to have enough control at all times to be able to avoid obstacles
(both moving and stationary).

The problem with studs is they can make you over-confident. If
your wheels slide, you can expect that the studs will catch and you will
come out of the slide, but it won't always work (obviously). So, I
prefer to use studded tires in the winter, but I pretend that I'm
not using them, so that I don't take advantage of their extra traction
unless I need it (in other words, the studs are a safety margin).

>How bad are they on dry pavement? Or, to put it another way, do
>you have to make a decision on which tires to use on a daily basis?

They are ok on dry pavement. They do make a lot of noise (you're
bike will sound like a big-wheel pickup truck), and they do squirm
a bit on corners (but that may also be a result of the deep lugs),
but I leave them on year-round on my winter commutng bike (which I
sometimes ride in the summer).

--
Scott Nicol, Mortice Kern Systems Inc., Internet: scott@mks.com
35 King Street North UUCP: uunet!watmath!mks!scott
Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA, N2J 2W9 Phone: (519) 884-2251


From: Steve Koren <koren@hpmoria.fc.hp.com>

Nancy,

Here is a copy of a note I posted to rec.bicycles a month or so ago. It
talks a little about my experience with studded tires last winter.

You are right, the biggest worry to me in really bad conditions is drivers
who loose control of their vehicles and skid off the road. I have fallen
a number of times in the winter and never sustain more than a bruise, but
getting hit by a car is another matter altogether, and no studded tire
will help you there. :-(

If you have any questions let me know.

- steve

PS - I used to have a few friends at NASA Lewis. I lived somewhat near
there a few years ago.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ cut here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now that winter is approaching (at last for those readers of
rec.bicycles in suitable climates), its time for the Great Annual Snow
Tire Basenote.

I want to say a few things about what I've noticed with various kinds
of tires, and also bring up the topic of studded tires.

I use an ATB in the winter. I've tried two brands of tires on it for
winter use. One is a Matrix Single Track tire which came with my
bicycle. The other is a Nashbar Mountain ATB tire. The Matrix tire
performs much better in snow than the Nashbar tire does. I have a
theory on why this is so. The Matrix tire has a more "flat" cross
section when compared to the Nashbar tire, like this:

___---___ ____
/ \ / \
| | / \
| | | |
Matrix Nashbar

That's not such a good ASCII representation, but hopefully it gets the
idea across. I think the Matrix tire works better in show due to the
much larger area of tread in contact with the snow. If true, this may
be something to keep in mind if you're shopping around for a snow tire.
(The tread pattern also differs between the two tires, but I suspect
that is of lesser importance).

Now the really interesting part: studded tires. Its possible to make
your own studded tires out of some ATB tires with knobbies (they must
have knobbies). The process is quite simple and merely involves
drilling a small pilot hole through every 2nd or 3rd knobbie, and then
inserting some 3/8" or 1/2" flat-headed wood or sheet metal screws
from the inside of the tire. The studs should be offset from the
centerline of the tire on each side. You then line the tire with
something such as a Mr. Tuffy to prevent the screw heads from
puncturing the tube. It is very helpful to have one of the battery
powered screwdrivers, since you will be putting around 72 studs in each
tire.

The studded tires seem to compare to non-studded tires roughly like this:

* They're they only alternative on ice. Non-studded tires don't cut it.
* They're noticably better on packed snow.
* They're about the same on unpacked snow
* They're worse on dry pavement, especially while cornering.

If you ride them alot on dry pavement, the studs will wear down during
cornering, and you will eventually have to replace them. For me they
lasted about one season. If you ride these tires mostly on dry
pavement, they are probably not worth it, since they make cornering on
pavement rather skittish.

Now for problem #1: if you're not careful in the construction, they
cause flats. I had used a Mr. Tuffy to line the tire, and this would
have worked, except that the Mr. Tuffy was not wide enough to cover
the screw heads on both sides. This resulted in a rash of flats until
I discovered the problem. Moral: if your studs are far enough apart
that they can't be covered with a Mr. Tuffy, use something else.
This year I have rebuild the tires using a 1/8" thick very dense foam
tape. Hopefully this will work better since it covers both sides.

Here's problem #2: if you get a flat in these tires, it will be harder
to change. Especially when the studs are new and sharp, you can
easily scratch yourself when replacing the tire on the rim. Be
careful of this.

There is also a commercially available brand of studded tire which
probably avoids these problems. However, they cost about twice what a
regular tire costs.

I've used the following configurations:

* Studded tire on the back, none on the front. This didn't work well.
The back didn't tend to skid out as much, but the front did, and loosing
traction on the front is hard to recover from.

* Studded tire on the front, none on the back. This was better than the
first. The front tire was more stable on ice and packed snow. The
back one tended to slide out sometimes (no studs), but this can be more
easily controlled. I also couldn't apply much power to the back
wheel on slick surfaces, since otherwise it would just spin.

* Studded tires on both front and back. This was the best
alternative for ice/snow - the whole bike was noticably more
stable. I could ride over patches of ice that I'm sure would have
dumped me otherwise. Of course, it is still quite possible to fall on
ice using this setup. You don't have a lot of traction, but you have
enough to stay upright if you avoid sharp turns. It works best on ice
at least 1/4" thick, so the studs have something to bite into. It
doesn't do much if there is only a very thin (1/16") layer of ice.
This was the only setup where I felt I could ride through anything the
winter had to offer.

I should point out that even with studded tires, you are very likely to
fall at some time during the course of the winter if it snows a lot where
you live. Be careful!

- steve


From: Eric Praetzel <praetzel@sunee.waterloo.edu>

I used studded tires all last winter and I have friends who have used them
for years. The standard trick is to buy the studed ones (expensive expect
late in the season) or build your own (my decision). I used the Nashbar
house brand MTB tires with the big knobs and put self-tapping self-drilling
(harded metal) screws thru the large knobs on the outside. That is you do not
ride on them normally; only when the bike starts to lean. Actually they are
touching all the time and that does cause wear on pavement. The screws will on
ly
last about 500km (an extropolation based upon hard training rides on dry roads
when pushing very hard -> so they should last longer under light use). The tir
e
must be lined with an old tube, or sliced piece of car tube or else your tube
will be chewed appart in 200km.
How does it work. Great. I never had as much fun. You quickly learn about
the different types of ice. The very hard stuff is still very slippery but you
can turn, brake, accelerate gently. On most ice you can do what you like excep
t
lock the front wheel. You can even slide the bike sideways down the street (or
backwards for the adventerous) and recover perfectly. Spinning your rear tire
on the spot is also neat. I generally keep the pressure 60+ psi although going
down to 30 or 40 is better on some surfaces (just watch out for snake bikes).
Have fun. Email me if you have any questions.
ERic



 

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