Thursday, December 10, 2009

Studded Bike Tires, First Impressions

Well I survived writing a novel in thirty days, now I need to get back to writing for our readers. Doing the novel project really changed some of my perceptions on writing and overall was a good experience.

Just about the time I was finishing up that project the weather reports started to promise that snow and ice were coming. Earlier this year my LBS (local bike shop) had offered me a fantastic deal on some Nokian studded bike tires. I had lusted after these for years but cost, about $60 a tire, had kept them off my bike. Given a good deal I grabbed them and figured now was the time to install them.

No problems with installation, just like changing a tire. Studs are carbide and are supposed to wear well. I got the Nokian Mount and Ground 160's. 160 studs per tire and the studs are mounted to the outside to prevent you from slipping on icy ruts. This is not a tire designed for aggressive off roading. Instead this is a tire designed for riding in less than ideal conditions, like snow covered plowed roads and patches of ice. As far as I can see their major advantage is not forwards traction, any decent tire with a deeper tread can supply that. The big advantage is keeping the tire from slipping to the SIDE and the bike from sliding out from under you.

We just got our first real snow and ice and I have two days on them so far. They perform well provided you ride sensibly. It is possible to get them to slip by cornering too hard or riding aggressively, but for a commuter trying to get from point A to point B they perform admirably so far. I will report further on them as I gain more experience with them. I will also try and get some pictures of them mounted posted.


  1. I always wondered about the studded tires... they always seemed like not a smooth ride, all bumpy and such :P bit I guess I have a missconception about them... sure would be useful, had the bike slip out from under me twice last year to rather glorious results.

  2. That's a common misconception. In actuality the studs are not that big. A good source to look at the tires is Peter does a good job of explaining the different tires and giving recommendations.