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Review - Schwalbe Winter Spike K-Guard Tires

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Review - Schwalbe Winter Spike K-Guard Tires

Old 01-27-19, 01:20 PM
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prairiepedaler
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Review - Schwalbe Winter Spike K-Guard Tires

This is a short review for now and I'll add more later depending on the interest in the thread.

I run one of these tires on the winter mule (on the rear). After two winter seasons it has become unusable due to the tires causing flats in multiple locations on the tube. Minimal rubber wear there yet the studs cause eventual chaffe flats from the inside of the tire. Pictures are worth 1000 words (or more!) so they are to follow. My solution was to use needle nose pliers and remove the studs to make the tired still ride-able until the end of the season.

I'd recommend not using these tires if you are a heavy rider (200+lbs) or if you don't mind replacing them each year. Or, use them on the front only. I have the 100 count stud version placed either side of the tire crown.
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Old 01-27-19, 04:03 PM
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Thanks! This is real bad. I heard occasionally of a stud in a winter tire penetrating in the wrong direction, but not about about such a massive failure. Two winter seasons is likely just net half a year of riding.
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Old 01-29-19, 10:44 PM
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Sure thing, 2i. The tires themselves have a decent rubber compound for cold riding (not as soft as the continental on the front) and plenty of siping for grip. As mentioned, the tread barely had any wear but eventually the studs re-orient themselves in their seats which then angles the edge of the flat mushroom head from a parallel to the tube orientation to tangential. This means the edge of the stud head begins to act as a pizza wheel kind of thing. Add in several 1000 rotation cycles and the stud begins to wear through the casing with enough pressure to cause a flat. Not good. I never road the tires less than 50 psi and they are rated for 70psi max (usually inflated to 60psi). I like riding with more pressure in the rear for rolling ease and a little less in the front for comfort and road grip.

To try and keep the pizza wheel effect at bay, I even installed some Tuffy liners to protect the tube. This solution was insufficient as flats still occured. Now I run the tire with no studs and a Tuffy still in it. I'm going to run a Conti top contact winter or one of the Michelin winter tires next year. In any case I'll go studless in the rear. Pictures to come (they're in the camera).
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Old 01-30-19, 08:27 AM
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@prairiepedaler I don't think that this experience should turn you away from studded tires for good. When weather gets tough I turn to Suomi W240. Often the studs play no or limited role, but now we have a layer of solid ice under looser snow so they are really useful. In combination of their massive build up and limited portion of the year I actually have them on (4-6 weeks/y presumably) they hardly wear out and I have them for ages now. The only time I ever had a flat on them, in my memory, was when I was riding at such a low pressure that a rim popped out and I did not noticed that in rough conditions. There is no upside down turning of the studs for them. Still in terms of practical everyday utility, my vote goes for the non-studded Conti TC Winter you mentioned. The similar Michelins may be good too but I have not tried them.
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Old 02-01-19, 02:17 PM
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Here are some photos of the offending tire. Note the skewed studs and the chaffing in the inner casing. I would run studs again in the rear if the tire design was such it wouldn't cause the same problems as the Schwalbes. I like Schwalbe and run their Marathon / Marathon Plus combo on the main 3 season bike which have performed without issue.








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Old 02-01-19, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
Here are some photos of the offending tire. Note the skewed studs and the chaffing in the inner casing. I would run studs again in the rear if the tire design was such it wouldn't cause the same problems as the Schwalbes. I like Schwalbe and run their Marathon / Marathon Plus combo on the main 3 season bike which have performed without issue.








Could it be a manufacturing defect that caused this to happen ??... Would lower tire pressure prevent this from happening ??
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Old 02-08-19, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Could it be a manufacturing defect that caused this to happen ??... Would lower tire pressure prevent this from happening ??
Hi there, I don't think the tire is defective. I think perhaps the design is (for riders + rear payload over 200lbs). I would imagine lower tire pressure would have exacerbated the wear due to even further changing the alignment of the stud head. I noticed on a lot of other studded tires the lugs are much deeper and the studs mounted in them, even if they'd re-orient, still wouldn't get as close to wearing through the casing as these ones did. I should contact Schwalbe and see if they'll send out a replacement. Doubt it, but worth an ask. Even if they did, I would not want to run this tire anymore though for the rear on this bike. If they sent an Ice Spiker with the deeper lugs I'd try that out.
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Old 02-10-19, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
I should contact Schwalbe and see if they'll send out a replacement. Doubt it, but worth an ask. Even if they did, I would not want to run this tire anymore though for the rear on this bike. If they sent an Ice Spiker with the deeper lugs I'd try that out.
I had a problem with some other tire of theirs in the past and they gave me a 50% discount on some other model that I went with. In the end I appreciated their willingness to step forward towards the customer.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:46 AM
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I’ve run that tire now for 3 winters, and they’ve been fine.

But that looks awful.
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Old 02-11-19, 12:56 PM
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30 year old Suomi Nokian tires , still fine today.. Only snow is on the higher hills .. this week...
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Old 02-13-19, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
30 year old Suomi Nokian tires , still fine today.. Only snow is on the higher hills .. this week...
Wow Bob! That is some serious longevity for any tire.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
I’ve run that tire now for 3 winters, and they’ve been fine.

But that looks awful.
Hi, it was a rude awakening to say the least. Glad the flat was slow and found while the bike was in the garage rather than a blowout somewhere far away in the cold.
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Old 02-13-19, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I had a problem with some other tire of theirs in the past and they gave me a 50% discount on some other model that I went with. In the end I appreciated their willingness to step forward towards the customer.
I called Schwalbe and they said they do 50% off a replacement tire too! Not bad. Here's the dope on this particular model of tire;

Apparently up until a year and a half ago there was an older version of this tire (the one pictured in this post) which would occasionally fail in the manner this one did. Any production run of the tire since has been of a new design internally which the fellow at Schwalbe stated should solve the problem of inner casing chaffe from a stud.

I bought the tire from CRC and the Schwalbe rep says there is nothing they can do to honour a warranty defect claim because it originated outside North America (said it has to do with manufacturers taxes etc) but that Chain Reaction should honour it on their end. We'll see what happens there. The Schwalbe rep said he runs Marathon GT365 studless on his bike in the winter (lives in B.C.) which he says provides excellent grip and studless would only be better on pure ice. I live in Winnipeg though. This city's name should send shivers down any winter riders spine. So, the GT365 would have to be real grippy to be of good service here. The rep also said the Marathon winter studdeds don't have the same failing as the K-Guard type. Those might be a replacement option too.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:10 PM
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longevity

Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
Wow Bob! That is some serious longevity for any tire.
The rubber compound is very long wearing .. hard ..

I used their A9 .. 622-40, without the studs , on my touring bike and at the end of a 9 month tour they still showed no tread wear..

[I came home in November, from northern Scotland before their winter kicked in]
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Old 02-24-19, 07:29 PM
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As previously mentioned, the Schwalbe rep stated 50% reduction on the purchase of a new tire. A good deal, but when factoring postage duty and exchange, it makes more sense to buy them again from CRC. CRC said the warranty period was over on this tire, even if the tire design is faulty. This is probably a reasonable business conclusion. However... if I were the folks at CRC I would take a look at the price of the original tire and then make a decision on some kind of remuneration. Why not make an offer of another replacement tire and they'll throw in a tube or two, or send you a bought tire at no postage cost. The original price of the tire was just c$28, no biggie.
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Old 02-26-19, 10:49 PM
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I thought I'd tie this thread to a few others who've shared similar experience with Schwalbe studded tires.

https://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cy...on-winter.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cy...urability.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=4786056
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