Friday, January 21, 2022

What Model of Studded Tires are the Best?

Last winter I used the 1.75" studded tires on the right and fell in love with snow travel on plowed bike paths. There was adequate traction except when rolling through deep slush. The tires had sat unused for many years, but once purchased for our son's middle school commutes. A couple months ago he reclaimed the tires to use for cold weather transportation. No problem, I thought, I'll just get new ones for myself!

Buoyed by Schwalbe's reputation and my own experience with their tires, I figured I couldn't go wrong with their Marathon Winter Plus model (left in above photo), also available in 1.75". Ideally I'd prefer wider tires, but fender clearance would then be an issue. The new tires seemed to work well until maneuvering through an inch of snow. The front has purchase but the rear tire frequently fishtails as I struggle to move forward, keeping momentum. I could ride my son's full suspension bike, equipped with the previous studs for comparison (brand unavailable), but his bicycle would obviously feel quite different.

The primary difference, visually, is his tires sport a deeper tread. Does that alone provide more purchase? Or does tread pattern? Air pressure? Does the weight of a bike also matter? I'm sure there are a lot of factors at play, but I only mention this because there are a wealth of studded tire options. Had I done better research, at the very least, I would've investigated another Schwalbe offering - the Ice Spiker Pro.

Using any model of studded tires for winter riding is better than none at all. I may experiment with air pressure. Next time I'm in the market for new winter tires, I'll make an informed choice. Enjoy January's sunshine and lengthening daylight. Dress for the weather and get out there!

1 comment:

  1. Annie , having no experience of studded tyres and only ever ridden on snow a few times all I can say I found that good trend and the lowest possible air pressure helped a lot.


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