Friday, December 17, 2010

Studded tires

I've finally gotten around to putting the studded tires on the Xtracycle. It's taken me a while to get at it as I've been mostly riding for fun lately. Those rides only require about 1/2 block of riding on streets before I hit the canal path and then gravel. The Karate Monkey does fine on these conditions, but without studded tires, any riding on streets is pretty iffy.

This is the 4th year I've had this set of studded tires, and I'm amazed at how well they are holding up. The rubber still has that almost greasy feel of brand new tires and the studs are still in decent condition. If I were buying studded tires right now, I'd probably opt for the newer Marathon winter tire, but at the time (4 years ago), this was the easiest winter tire for me to get my hands on. They're still stocked at MEC, and compared to non-studded tires, the traction difference does justify buying a set.

I'm still considering a set of ice-spiker's for the Karate Monkey. If I did, I'd also add some fenders and end up with a great winter errand bike. But then again, I'd lose it for the service of exploring and the fun rides. The one issue I have with the Xtracycle is that with the longer tail, weight distribution is more concentrated on the front tire. I often spin out going up short steep hills and when I'm taking off. I've even rode around with dead weight in the Xtracycle, just to aid it's traction issues. I suppose for the shorter distances that I have to go in this small town, a little back wheel slipping isn't a huge issue.

I've started adding stickers to my deck

These are the Specialized Nimbus EX tires that I run on the Xtra in the summer. I can't say enough good about these tires. Fast, smooth (enough), and they have amazing traction in rain. Again, after more than 4 years of service, they're in pretty decent conditions still.

I have't even lost one stud.
Finally ready for winter
I'm trying out a new two-flasher setup on the front.


Apertome said...

I'm not sure why you couldn't still do exploration on the Karate Monkey with studs and fenders. Seems like they wouldn't interfere with much ... unless you're going to be hitting singletrack, or something.

An Xtracycle with studs sounds like a lot of fun!

Jerome said...

The biggest reason is just because of deep snow. Sometimes the snow is sticky and deep enough that it clogs things up between tire and fender. Even just deep snow powdery can pull on the fender sometimes. For the serious snow biking, sans fenders is the best option.


Apertome said...

That makes sense. It's not often we get enough snow depth for my fenders to be a problem. That said, they do sometimes get clogged with snow, somewhat.