Spike the Snow and Ice
Studded tires will have you rolling with confidence this winter
If you brave the snow or ice on nonstudded tires, then I both admire you and envy you. I admire you because you must spend so much of your ride slipping and sliding that you’re a winter daredevil. I also envy you because you’ll be giddy with delight when you finally run studded tires. The traction and control they offer in the snow and ice will be a revelation. You’ll have way more fun on your rides without all the slipping and sliding.
Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro Schwalbe keeps the weight of its studs down by cladding their durable tungsten carbide cores with aluminum. The company’s Ice Spiker Pro is a top tire that comes in sizes that include 26 x 2.10 , 27.5 x 2.25, 27.5 x 2.60 and 29 x 2.25. The Evolution line of Ice Spiker Pro features Liteskin sidewalls for more weight savings. The Performance line has Raceguard protection: the tire should dig into things without having objects digging into it. ( $115–$180 schwalbetires.com)
Kenda Klondike Skinny The Klondike Skinny, in 35c or 40c, will keep you upright in snowy cyclocross races. (Make sure you are allowed to run tires wider than 33c before you show up at the start line.) One hundred tungsten carbide studs dot each tire just to the right and left of the centre. The knobs are designed to move snow and gunk to the side. The 30 t.p.i. casing makes for a durable tire. Kenda also has wider Klondike tires that can outfit your 26", 27.5" and 29" wheel bikes. ( $90 bicycle.kendatire.com)
Specialized Icebreaker Reflect The Specialized Icebreaker Reflect has a lot of siping for grip and an open tread pattern to shed snow. The 26 x 1.75 and 700 x 38 models of Icebreaker Reflect come fully studded or partially studded. With the partial setup, the spikes only run along the edges to help you corner better on the slippery stuff. The fully studded tires have tungsten carbide/steel studs running in the centre of the tread as well. This pattern will help to keep your rear wheel from slipping during your starts. As for your front wheel, you’ll go in the direction you point it, which can be a pretty novel feature on ice. ( $140 specialized.com)
Bontrager Gnarwhal Fat Bike You can get the Gnarwhal with studs in a 26 x 3.8 configuration. You can also o get the same tire without studs, as well as a 27 x 4.5 without. The aggressive tread with sipes can give you a lot of traction. But, for extra bite, add Bontrager tire studs (25 studs for $14 or 225 for $70) to your Gnarwhal with the company’s tire stud tool ($16). Those aluminum carbide spikes will grab hold on the snow. w. ( $295 bontrager.com)