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Thread: Studded tires for MTB

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Studded tires for MTB

    Do studded tires make a significant improvement while riding to justify their expense?

    I want to be able to ride when the conditions are crunchy and icy as well as snowy.

    Rode Burlingame the other day ( riding a 29ner). The trails had a variety of conditions on them. While I was able to ride OK, I felt that more traction would have improved the ride.
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    257

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    Some conditions you'll be fine with a larger (2.3 or bigger) volume tire running lower air pressure, and some conditions dictate studded tires. I run studds all winter and can ride in almost any condition with them.

    You haven't ridden until you rip hot laps around a frozen pond using studded tires........can't slide out even if you wanted to. My little guy loves when I pull him on sled around the pond too.
    Slaphead Mofo Leisure Team
    Sunday River Bike Park

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    217

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    Yes! Nokians. Follow the instructions to bed the studs and try not skidding with them because it loosens the studs. Nokians last a long time when used properly. Don't bother trying to make your own. Short life and when the studs fallout they are on the trail for unsuspecting tyres to come along and pick up. Nokian Extremes aren't that bad on open surfaces either considering they're studded.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    2,994

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    I disagree - I ran home made studded tires for 3 or 4 years on my 26er, never lost a screw, but its definitely heavier than commercial versions. I've ridden with guys on commercial tires and I had no instances where my tires were worse and I had no problem keeping up.

    I typically put the studded tires on my back up bike and just grab that bike when conditions warrant it. Here in Northern CT on average that's probably four or five rides. Those rides are glorious on studded tires. The last two years there were NO opportunities to ride studded tires - two years ago it was pure snow, no ice, last year no snow or ice to speak of, agreed that pond riding is awesome. I think Sunday would have been a good studded tire ride, but I didn't ride this weekend.

    I just put together some 29er studded tires, not quite done yet, but I mount them ghetto tubeless and have had good luck. If you build them correctly they work great (in my experience).

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    10

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmav View Post
    You haven't ridden until you rip hot laps around a frozen pond using studded tires........can't slide out even if you wanted to.
    antmav:

    I like my Nokian Extreme 296's, but on frozen ponds I can easily slide them out. What studded tires are you using?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    616

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    I like my studded nokians. They make winter commuting possible. They can last many seasons, so factor that into your cost. They keep you upright when it is icy, best investment ever. For off road, I always seen to find the ice under the snow.
    SS rule the dirt!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    257

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    Quote Originally Posted by brucer View Post
    antmav:

    I like my Nokian Extreme 296's, but on frozen ponds I can easily slide them out. What studded tires are you using?
    I run Conti Spike Claw's...........ran Nokian 296's for years, but swapped over after getting tired of shelling out $100+ per tire for rubber that slides out on a frozen pond.
    Slaphead Mofo Leisure Team
    Sunday River Bike Park

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    2,994

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    I finished my home made studs this morning. I cheaped out and used two used tires. Based on how they came out I wish I bought two new ones, but I'm cheap. It took a while to get the Stans to do its job and for the tire to hold air, but both tires have held for 24 hours now, so I think I'm set. I need to take a ride on them on the road to make sure. Some of the screws are still too long, I have to try to get a pair of cutters in there to really get them down lower so I don't pick up leaves. The bolt cutters I used are the big ones and its hard to get in there close.

    One of tire/rim combinations was perfect, but it took a little while to get the air to push the bead out onto the rim. I had no pressure limit on my compressor so I couldn't tell how much air was in the tire (anyone see where this is going?). As the tire aired up the bead popped six or seven times as it aired up. I stopped after it stopped popping. I thought "maybe just another hit of air to make absolutely sure the bead is all the way out". I hit it one more time and the tire blew off the rim. It was like a shotgun fired in my garage, and a nice fine spray of Stan's went everywhere. I nearly shat myself. My wife came running out convinced I had finally blown up the garage (there have been other incidents of near self destruction in the garage).

    I got the tire back on and brought it up to pressure a lot more gently and all is good. Whew... Both tires took me maybe a total of 4 hours to make and mount - I put the screws in while on a conference call for work (shhhhh).
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    1,007

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    I started out with the home made ones (they were great leaf-picker-uppers, I could have used them to clean my lawn in the fall) but bought some Nokians 3 years ago. Didn't use them at all last year, but they have come in handy this year.


    .
    "If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it."
    Bette Davis

    My bike jewelry.....
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Winterwoman...f=pr_shop_more

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    54

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilotboat View Post
    Do studded tires make a significant improvement while riding to justify their expense?

    I want to be able to ride when the conditions are crunchy and icy as well as snowy.

    Rode Burlingame the other day ( riding a 29ner). The trails had a variety of conditions on them. While I was able to ride OK, I felt that more traction would have improved the ride.
    Thoughts?
    I might be selling a set of 29er Nokians mounted to some WTB rims with a 12-34 cassette on it. Great set of wheels and tires ready to be put on a 29er. Front rim is standard quick release. I'm moving to a different format.

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