The Chainlink

I commute 11 miles roundtrip to work each day. I do not currently own studded tires but I am considering it. My commute is on major roads like Higgins and Talcott. I have a few questions:
1. Will studded tires help with snow or just ice?
2. Do studded tires ride okay on the road when there is no snow or ice?
3. I ride a 26" Schwinn mountain bike. What tires would you recommend for me?
4. I would rather keep a new set of wheels with the studded tires on them and then just switch my wheels in and out as weather dictates. Would a LBS have wheels for me?

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Others will say studded tires are too expensive. They are not if you consider medical bills that they may very well prevent. I have been commuting almost daily in the winter for three years and have only every slid in deep snow. I do ride carefully. When the snow is loose and deep you are going to slide. In those conditions I have always looked for exposed ice or frozen slush which the studs will grip. I use Nokian tires (both 26" and 700c). If you buy a pair be sure they are carbide tip steel. That steel lasts much much longer on pavement, where you will be 90 percent of the time. I find that low inflation is superior in gripping but a higher inflation is better on pavement as the center of the tire, which has no studs, rolls better. You feel and hear the studs when you tilt to turn with the higher pressure. Having a separate set of wheels is a good idea as it makes your choice easier. Just get the information about the tire size from the manufacturer or LBS and then find the appropriate rim size. So the tips are: paractice in different conditions, be careful of sudden turns and deep snow, or loose snow, and remember that studs are no guarantee that you will never slip, but it takes care of most of your worries.
1. Both.
2. Not recommended.
3. Schwalbe or Nokian.
4. Yes.

MTBs with low pressure wide tires can also be made to work well with ice, but in order to get enough traction you are dramatically increasing rolling resistance -- which is fine if you're just toodling around, but not so fine if you have an 11 mile commute.

Studded tires allow you to run reasonably high pressures but still maintain grip.
The studs will wear faster, but it's not like it's impossible. The tires will work similarly to non-studded ones on the road. The reason it's not suggested is mainly due to price. Until there are retractable studded tires, your best option then is probably a set of nice tires with durable carbide studs.
I have had A couple of Studded Tires. I've ran IRC Proto Types NokianExtreme 294 Schwalbe IceSpiker 304 Now Running Nokian Freddies Revenz Lite 26 x 2.3" 336 studs. I run them at 30 psi. On my commuter a SS Cyclecross bike I have Kenda Klondike 700x40 100 studs I've been only been running that in the front when needed. Irun 50lbs in nasty conditions and 60 otherwise but likeI said olny when needed I run that. I live in Lake Zurich which is far northwest suburb. I comute to palatine on a regular basis as long as its 10 degrees and up. being out inthe open the winds get a little nasty. My Nokian Freddies Revenz Lite are on my Surly 1x1and those are awesome. New years day and the first week of january my local trail was likea Ice age trail Totaly cover with Ice. Check out my Flickr @
All I have to say is Peter White:

I hope I'm not too late....


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