Yikes, it’s slippery out there this morning. While your car is in the shop getting its tires changed over for the winter consider doing the same for your bicycle. Sadly we can’t add studs to our car tires (we get it though – our streets would get chewed to bits, though thinking about it they kinda already are) but we CAN add studs to our bike tires.
In fact we have prefab tires from various manufacturers for virtually every type of bike we carry. Whether it’s a ‘cross 700c tire, a 26 or 29″ mountain bike tire, or a 4 or 5’ wide FatBike tire we have something that will likely work for you. If we don’t we can always try to customize something for you with the carbide studs we have in stock – we’d be happy to try to figure something out.
There is of course a compromise or two (or three) using studded tires. On bare pavement the studs can actually reduce your traction a bit, and they’ll of course get worn more quickly in those conditions. They add some weight to your ride too. They’re also more expensive than non-studded tires.
However, when you hit that icy patch you’ll be happy you spent the money and won’t mind hauling a little extra weight. It’s amazing what a difference studs can make. Though they do wear in some conditions we find that even when used for urban commuting when a lot of riding is done on sometimes dry, bare pavement we can get at least a couple of seasons out of them.
Because studs aren’t always needed in winter, depending on the specific conditions you’re riding in, some customers choose to build a complete winter wheelset outfitted with studs so they can easily swap back and forth between studs and regular rubber. That’s a more expensive proposition though so other customers build just a custom studded front wheel because that’s the wheel that changes direction when you steer and is more likely to slip out from under you. and it’s the one that absorbs most of your braking force. Still other customers simply go to the extra work of swapping out tires on their existing wheels depending on conditions.
Feel free to ask us about your best options depending on your type of of riding, your set up, and your budget.