Author Topic: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days  (Read 1233 times)

PH

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2021, 06:55:28 PM »
great photos.
My studs are still unused, I'm still happy for them to stay that way.
A bit disappointing about the puncture, the times studs get used are the times you'd least want to stop and fix one.  Mine studded tyres are Marathon Plus, I hadn't given it any thought, I'd assumed they all were. 

steve216c

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2021, 08:06:47 PM »
Punctures are alway annoying, but I got it with only about 300km ridden, so practically brand new and only just run in. It was a sharp piece of flint, but it could have been a piece of glass it was so sharp. The Schwalbe web site does rate these lower on puncture protection. Apparently Kevlar k-guard woven into the rubber mix. Not as good as smart guard on the Winter marathon plus model. I had misinformed myself when looking into these tyres as i thought the only difference was the outer row of spikes on the marathon version. I now wish I’d noticed that the puncture protection was better on the marathon model too before hitting the purchase button. Oh well..

Even so, since mounting over Christmas, I have ridden more than 600km on the spikes where morning frost ice and snow would have otherwise forced me to leave the bike in the shed. And although not every day required spikes, they were not so bad just to ride on stretches where regular tyres would have been fine. There is a bit more resistance when riding, and noise from The spikes when on tarmac, but it isn’t so bad. 38km today on tarmac and only added around 10 minutes more than with my non spike tyres would have needed for same stretch.

Tonight we are awaiting a hard frost so I’ll hit the forest short cut where I hope the mud will have frozen again. The spikes help in mud but are better on frozen surfaces in my opinion.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 08:19:04 PM by steve216c »
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

JimK

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2021, 08:16:59 AM »
that is wicked ice!

Andre Jute

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2021, 01:35:39 PM »
That ice looks more like a skating rink than a bicycle track.

PH

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2021, 07:01:10 PM »
Well the studs finally got used, had to go on several errands this morning and what snow/slush left from the last couple of days had frozen overnight and everything else had a thick frost.  I was half way into town and wondering if I'd needed them when dipping under a bridge on the river path they suddenly went silent, ah yes I remember what that means, the next sound is usually me hitting the deck, but this time sailed through without incident.   I wouldn't want to be riding them more than I have to, but it is a luxury to have the choice.

steve216c

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2021, 07:11:56 PM »
Glad the spikes paid off. We had a ton of snow and temperatures down to -17. I wimped out and worked from home all week. I am not too concerned about the ice but the snow is often heaped on the bike paths and the roads are narrower because of snow on the sides from the ploughs, so I have put off venturing anywhere last days.  The city street cleaners are gradually clearing bike paths and side roads so I am hoping that I can ride again next week. With spikes of course ::)
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martinf

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2021, 09:53:15 AM »
My studded tyres got used yesterday, in a mild blizzard with about 4 cm of lying snow, on top of ice.

Not many cars about, so every time I saw one I pulled well off the road and waited till it was gone. I saw one that had slid into the ditch.

The Nokian tyres worked well in these conditions.

steve216c

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2021, 02:27:52 PM »
My studded tyres got used yesterday, in a mild blizzard with about 4 cm of lying snow, on top of ice.

Not many cars about, so every time I saw one I pulled well off the road and waited till it was gone. I saw one that had slid into the ditch.

The Nokian tyres worked well in these conditions.

Suomi/Nokian tend to win against other tyres in the German bike spike tyre tests. But the best tyres in the world on the best bike in the world are not going to save you from a Ford transit pirouetting uncontrolled towards you on an icy incline.  Pulling to the side (safely and under full control with those tyres) is probably the smartest move in such circumstances.

I'm glad that I'm forced by German law to put winter tyres on my car for the cold season. My older brother (who always knows best) refused to believe me that they made a difference until one UK visit where he couldn't cope with a sleeping policeman on a snowy icy slope near his house in Surrey which took several attempts to overcome, where me following behind in my older and less fancy car of half the horsepower drove effortlessly without sliding over the same obstacle after he'd finished polishing the ice in front of me. Someone demolished his fence after overdoing it on same bump later the same day  ;D

He eventually went on a winter break to Switzerland and prior to departure purchased a set of all season tyres to replace the normal tyres he'd had. And he finally admitted it was not just marketing hype.

I have to say, I was a bike tyre spike sceptic till this winter when I bought some. I'm a true convert now. Staying upright and being able to cycle through the winter is so much better than public transport or driving to work  8)

https://www.radfahren.de/test-teile/spikereifen-test/

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leftpoole

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2021, 11:05:11 AM »
Obviously 'only an opinion', but the best thing to do in Winter is stay indoors nice and warm.... 8) 8) 8)

steve216c

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Re: Are winter tyres/spikes worth it for riding on frosty days
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2021, 05:43:09 PM »
I haven't braved the elements other than to shovel snow to keep my driveway and pavement responsibilities taken care of the past week. I didn't have to work today, but I was hoping to go into the office tomorrow. So with daytime temperature warmed to around zero point I decided to try part of my commute to get an idea if it was worth attempting tomorrow.

The problem I faced was that many ways were partially clear, but much of my route on the busiest roads had bike paths only partially cleared and blocked sporadically with heaps of snow often blocking my way. And those roads are too unsafe to ride on the road with the motor traffic. On the side streets some roads were OK, but I also relied on riding in the grooves left by cars or on the pavements that had been cleared. Left and right of the car snow groves were not easy even with spikes as surfaces were more snowy and lose rather than icy.

My forest short cut still had around 6 cm of snow, not compacted enough to make a good surface to ride on. I rode a couple of hundred meters in to the forest and turned around as it was not so easy. My alternate road route was not much fun either where I would have cars coming up behind and wanting to overtake, and it wasn't easy to ride anywhere except on the tyre tracks and pulling over was a challenge to let them pass.

Basically, I got half way to work with only half the way actually rideable with ease. The rest needed concentration and steady nerves and at a slower pace meaning I never truly warmed up. So I will home office again tomorrow, and hope that the Berlin thaw makes enough difference to try again on Wednesday or Thursday.

1) My commuting shortcut through Grünewald woods. Snow too powdery to get decent grip with my Schwalbe Winter spikes  :-\



2) The alternative 'bad weather' road route along service road parallel to Heerstrasse. Bikes are not permitted on main road behind the hedge- which is 5 lane contraflow and otherwise clear of snow/ice  >:( The joys of being a 2nd class road user...



3) I gave up on that service road near Olympic stadium junction. The funny thing is that despite the stadium not being allowed to host fans, the front of stadium and the carpark had all been cleared. The roads to/from the stadium were not much better than the 2nd picture.  ???



I did run into a couple of other bike nuts on my ride. A 29er rider with Nokian spikes had less problem with the surfaces, but was suffering with derailleur gears getting clogged with snow/ice making changing a challenge. I can remember such fun on my other 2 bikes in winter before I bought the Winora with Rohloff in the photos. My Rohloff with Chainglider was mostly snow/ice free even after a 22km ride. No gear change issues to report.

If there were no other traffic to content with, you could feasibly ride through these elements with the spikes I have, as they kept my upright and I didn't feel like there was much loss of control, but it wasn't so much fun constantly adjusting for ever changing road surface conditions. Everything should have completely thawed by the weekend where my commuting challenge will be more just on overnight frost and ice- and where my spikes will be in the element.
 
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...