2008/12/05

What a stud!



Riding a bike in Quebec winters is for studs... not that I'm a stud for doing so but more permanent snowfalls are forcasted this coming week (along with temperatures as low as -18°C) so the studs are coming on soon, that's studs on my tires.



With one hour of commuting every weekday all through winter, the new studded tires I just got sound like a decent investment. But I also have some long training rides planned and I have a hard time spending too much time at once on the trainer so the Schwalbe Marathon Winter should see plenty of miles.



They are designed to ride on winter roads unlike some too aggressive studded tires. The middle doesn't have studs but the rubber have small slits not unlike car winter tires to provide better grip on snowy pavement. There are two rows of studs on each side. The outer rows are mostly for cornering or getting out of ruts but the inner rows also help braking and straight traction too. Their effect is even more efficient if you run lower pressures so the idea is to ride them at higher pressures when the roads are more dry and if you find yourself in nasty conditions, just let some air out and you get extra grip. The ones I have are for mountain bike wheels and are sized at 1.75", which should make them better in deeper snow than wider tires.

Since winter also means shorter days, the tires have some reflective stripes on each sides and dynamo strips. They also have a kevlar belt built-in because changing a flat sucks even more at -20°C than at +20°C. Riding through dense traffic should be less scary this winter, I'm almost looking forward to it.

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