September 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm #23575
Oh. Might as well share this.
Don’t normally have the GoPro on or running anymore as I swapped to a rack and pannier. My mount was always on my shoulder strap so still deciding where the best place for it is now. However I took the backpack with me this week to get a video from 2019 before the snow falls. It’s from midweek so unfortunately I missed the “golden” showing on Friday.
Here is my commute ride from Silver Springs to Inglewood. Word of warning I used my Spotify overlay and it rendered very loud, so mute or reduce it before playing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUZj6Rb4XJoSeptember 22, 2019 at 8:00 pm #23884
Hey Crivak… just curious about your sub-optimal experience with the Gravdal. I used to run a Hakkapolitta and nobody seems to carry those anymore and I needed a new front so Gravdal it was. The Hakka is now on the back for the winter wheelset. So was it on your front tire or back or both? Do you run higher or low pressure? Was your flat as a result of something penetrating it… or sidewall issue… seating it… etc…?September 23, 2019 at 9:03 am #23928
So friends – as someone new and trying to keep going into the winter for the first time – when do I buy studs and when do I put them on? Looks like snow coming for Friday but assuming it’ll be a fall and melt kind of day and I can make due with current rubber (Not super grippy, but Schwalbe Marathon 700×32). Looking at getting a set of the Schwalbe Winter Marathons and only have a single wheelset for the cyclocross bike I am planning to use. Advice appreciated.September 23, 2019 at 7:21 pm #23954
Winter studs – 100% a personal choice. There have been a few winters in Calgary when I haven’t used studs at all; the snow comes late and doesn’t really stay on the pathways much. Even with a little snow a regular Cross tire is fine. However some winters heavy snow packs down into icy ruts and roads and pathways are treacherous. Studs are a great solution to terrible road conditions.
Some routes near the downtown are very well maintained, but this does change form year to year depending on the contractor and weather. If you’re lucky enough to be riding these pathways and roads you probably won’t need studs.
I personally would wait until you absolutely have to put on studs to ride safely. They’re so damn inefficient and noisy! I’ve got a 10 year old set of the Winter marathons and they’ve done pretty well for those times when it’s just too sketchy for rubber.September 23, 2019 at 10:09 pm #23980
Buy a quality FRONT studded tire… as in both center AND side studs. That’ll take care of 90% of any issues. Increase your certainty with a wider tire… I run about a 40c Gravdal up front. As it gets icier and more ruts I drop my pressure a bit. Decent ‘cross tire on the back, of 35c+ width with soft rubber and not too firm gets you through must stuff in the river valley…
I start putting the front stud on once we can expect some freezing cos it can get nasty quickly. Lose your front end and you’re probably going down so why risk it I figure? A little slower/noiser isn’t an issue if you don’t crash… and besides how much difference does it really make on a commute? not much IMO.September 24, 2019 at 1:32 am #23984
hm. am I crazy? did my post not go through? maybe I shouldn’t stay up so late. it says the post is there.September 24, 2019 at 1:32 am #23985
weird. well. copy paste. trim me if my post double posts.
<Hey Crivak… just curious about your sub-optimal experience with the Gravdal. I used to run a Hakkapolitta and nobody seems to carry those anymore and I needed a new front so Gravdal it was. The Hakka is now on the back for the winter wheelset. So was it on your front tire or back or both? Do you run higher or low pressure? Was your flat as a result of something penetrating it… or sidewall issue… seating it… etc…?
The Gravdal was on my rear. I purchased 35mm Marathon Winter Pluses from BowCycle, but they only had one left in stock. So they put on the Gravdal to compensate. They only had a 38mm left, so the bigger tire went in the rear. The first flat was along a side road in Bowness that was nothing but ice and snow. It was a mystery as to why it went flat. I stopped by BowCycle as well and they couldn’t figure it out, but replaced my tube for me and checked the rubber. The second flat was a thorn of sort, and I’ve been pulling steel threads from cars out of it as well. It just seemed like, compared to the Schwalbes, it had no puncture guard. To be fair, the Schwalbes puncture resistance is a high bar to meet.
I dropped the bike off last winter at Ridleys so they could put my winter tires on for me while I was at work. The fellow there wanted to put the Gravdal on front because it is more aggressive than my marathon winter, but I insisted it be placed on the rear since I did not trust the tire. To give it credit, no flat last year. I ran a mix of high and low pressure depending on the conditions but nothing that affected the flats I believe. Maybe the gravdal is just really reliant on a highly resistant tube, where the marathon can protect even a lower end tube.
As for studs. I think it’s definitely personal choice. My first winter I didn’t use winter tires. But if you tend to ride fast in the summer, winter might be a culture shock. A fellow here in Calgary recorded this video, “Do you need winter tires?” https://youtu.be/boxgUF3ZahQ
Most would recommend at least a single studded tire in the front. Since if you lose control of the front, you probably lose control of the bike moreso.
Here’s an older video where I rattle around after an icestorm without studs (marathon 700×32). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaW_qnRlFbI
My advice would be if you feel like you might need them or want them, even for mental reassurance, then you can’t go wrong with a pair of marathon 700×35/38 winters. And they’re reasonably priced all considering. Regarding timing, still humming and hawing myself. Calgary weather keeping us on our toes.September 24, 2019 at 10:35 am #24169
Great info, thanks all. The regular Schwalbe Marathons have done well for me so I’m going to get a pair of the Marathon Plus Winters and go up to a 35c just for confidence on some of the downhills I’ll have in the morning, took the new 12 Ave cycle track this morning from 15th St. and it shaved a few minutes off my typical commute, this should help me push through the winter this year.September 25, 2019 at 5:24 pm #24480
My vote goes to the Schwalbe Ice Spikers, which is all I’ve ever run. They carve through most of the crap that winter throws at me.September 30, 2019 at 11:51 am #25681
I have a few hills to go up and down on my way to work/back home and for the last few years I’ve really appreciated the Nokian Hakkapeliitta as much as I hate trying to spell them (I copied the name from the web lol).
I use them on my cross bike (40mm x 700cc), but I have to say that all this talk of studded tires depresses me that I’ll have to mount them soon and take some of the joy out of riding with each pedal stroke! But I’m hoping we won’t have to mount them for good for at least another month or two…come on fall weather come back!October 1, 2019 at 7:03 am #25968
I think the fall weather will definitely come back. We always get a spell of that. As they call it… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_summer
However I’ll be buying my winter tires pretty soon here… Since they’ll likely be an online order and will need to wait for delivery. Considering some mr tuffy liners to go with them but maybe I’m just being overly paranoid about what I’ll need with a 60lb ebike.
Think I’ll do the ice spikers, even though I have a feeling this winter will be pretty “neutral.” In the off chance we get that weak el nino, plus the fact I’m going to work earlier in the mornings now when everything (could be) still frozen, better safe than sorry? Hmming hawing.
Took the bike out for a spin on Monday morning. Full road commute. Was awful! Great by noon though.October 1, 2019 at 10:19 am #26053
I picked up a pair of the Schwalbe Winter Marathon Plus’s and was glad to have them on this morning, definitely made the difference. It wasn’t too hard to swap them around so they may come off again next week but at least this week they’ll get a good bedding in. Looks like ice in the morning and wet in the afternoons is going to be the story of the week. The bridge deck over Bow Trail near the golf course was pretty bad this morning, hope it gets melted off soon.October 1, 2019 at 9:32 pm #26154
If anyone wants one 26″ ice spiker, hardly used, I’ll sell mine as I’m running 29’er/700c wheelsets with my Gravdal/Hakka combo studs. Used my regular 2.2″ Schwalbe tires,with softer pressure, to ride in this morning and found myself walking a couple of sections (and a short sidewalk jaunt) up here in far NW that I’ve never had issues with before. Combination of CYA, ice slick, and too many cars. Gotta save myself from myself somedays. Don’t need another bad crash and busted body parts. Glad it’s warming up, melting/sublimating, and we’ll be back to safer rides by end of week.
Oh… and those people with zero bike lights and ninja outfits… it doesn’t matter if you can see me if I can’t see you when you swing wide through corners!! I don’t care (much) if you endanger yourself but please don’t take me out!!October 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm #27405
Hey Richie, still have the ice spiker? I might take you up on that. Had a set of the ice spikers from mec in my cart but haven’t pressed order. Is it a 54-559?
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