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Recommendations for a road bike that can have winter tires with studs, and fenders

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Recommendations for a road bike that can have winter tires with studs, and fenders

Old 01-23-22, 11:08 AM
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bicycle126312
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Recommendations for a road bike that can have winter tires with studs, and fenders

On my Cannondale Synapse, I'm told by professional mechanics that it is impossible to mount proper winter tires with studs, as with my fenders in place, there is barely enough clearance that the tire will not rub, when I'm running slicks.

So basically I want a new bike, I know that gravel bikes often have much wider clearance, but I don't really want a gravel bike.

Are there any proper road bikes, that can run with a studded winter tire and allow fenders to be mounted? For fenders, I'd really want to avoid universal fenders, as they wobble around and easily get out of alignment.
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Old 01-23-22, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bicycle126312 View Post
Are there any proper road bikes, that can run with a studded winter tire and allow fenders to be mounted?
You're asking the wrong question.

You should be asking whether there are any skinny road tires that come with studs; the answer is 'no.'
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Old 01-23-22, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bicycle126312 View Post

On my Cannondale Synapse, I'm told by professional mechanics that it is impossible to mount proper winter tires with studs, as with my fenders in place, there is barely enough clearance that the tire will not rub, when I'm running slicks.

So basically I want a new bike, I know that gravel bikes often have much wider clearance, but I don't really want a gravel bike.

Are there any proper road bikes, that can run with a studded winter tire and allow fenders to be mounted? For fenders, I'd really want to avoid universal fenders, as they wobble around and easily get out of alignment.
They're probably still 'unobtanium' but the 2022 Cannondale Synapse comes with 35mm tires and has integrated fender attachment points. AND they got rid of BB30 and the proprietary seat posts as well as adding a couple of other 'nice' features. Check them out, if you've got the coin, they may fit your needs.
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Old 01-23-22, 12:04 PM
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Geometry is more important than the category of bike; the distinction between gravel and road is nominal, really. Still, I’m unaware of studded tires narrower than 32c (Nokian Hakkapelitta), and if you want to run traditional, full-coverage fenders, you’ll need the type of clearance which probably pushes the chainstay length outside of road race bike territory (so I’m tallking needed +420mm whereas race bikes can be 405mm), so if that’s the tire/fender setup you want, you’ll have to accept the compromise. That said, it’s not true that all “universal” fenders wobble and come out of alignment; it’s not true for full-coverage, and then there’s a world of partial coverage fenders for which it’s not true either and which you may not have considered.

So, what are the geometry specs you consider “proper road”? How much fender coverage do you need? How much are you willing to spend?
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Old 01-23-22, 08:56 PM
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Where are you that you really need studded tires often? If it is for one or two rides, don't worry about it just get a trainer and ride indoors that one day. If you are doing it often ride some bikes with wider tire clearance and forget about labels. If I was truly riding often in nasty enough conditions to have a bike with studded tires I would want something with quite wide tires beyond the road and road plus spectrum, I would also want to be a bit more upright for better visibility. Sure a road bike in the traditional sense of a road bike can be quite fun but not so much in really bad weather. Maybe a similar geometry because that geometry on that bike I like worked well for me but with more features that would make it practical for winter usage. Plus it is good to have multiple bikes that are different. Having similar bikes is a bit boring-ish to a point.

If I were building a more ultimate winter bike I would want good hydraulic disc brakes, a belt drive maybe with just a single speed (but not opposed to a Rohloff or Pinion or even an Alfine 11, clearance for proper mountain bike tires 2.4 at least (with room for fenders) and probably a dynamo for lighting all on a titanium frame so I can beat it up a bit. Stability would be the number one concern geometry wise and probably would look at some sort of an ALT bar or one of the more gravel oriented bars.
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Old 01-23-22, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Still, Iím unaware of studded tires narrower than 32c (Nokian Hakkapelitta), and if you want to run traditional, full-coverage fenders, youíll need the type of clearance which probably pushes the chainstay length outside of road race bike territory (so Iím tallking needed +420mm whereas race bikes can be 405mm), so if thatís the tire/fender setup you want, youíll have to accept the compromise. That said, itís not true that all ďuniversalĒ fenders wobble and come out of alignment; itís not true for full-coverage, and then thereís a world of partial coverage fenders for which itís not true eitherÖ
There is at least a Schwalbe Winter 700x30C studded tire.

I have moved to an S-Blade that is several inches above the rear wheel because my removable PDW fenders would tend to clog with mud due to the tight clearance with 700x32c. Of course thatís because Iím riding in winter on soft muddy trails, not wet roads.

Otto
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Old 01-24-22, 08:47 AM
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I also use an S-blade. Have you tried any of the SKS universal fenders? I have not had problems with mine wobbling around, once I figured out how to attach them properly. One big advantage of the S-Blade is I rarely need the fenders so I can usually keep them off.

I run the 35c Schwalbe studded tires on my Specialized Roubaix.
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Old 01-24-22, 09:37 AM
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the closest I ever came to what the OP is looking for was a hybrid bike w/ a drop bar conversion. it worked really well





also, there are ways to mount fenders by cutting them to move them further away from the tire. but maybe you can get by w/o fenders, for just the time you have the studded tires on

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Old 01-24-22, 09:56 AM
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bicycle126312 My intent is not to sound condescending (which I will fail), only to share my thoughts. I don't know your level of experience or expertise, so please forgive me.

If you have disk brakes there is the "hack" of putting zip-ties on your tires for snow. This may allow you use a thinner tire for fender clearance.

I have not done that, so I can't verify how this works with fenders or how well the zip-ties work on ice; although some on the web say they work well on ice.

My only experience with studded tires is my pair of 26x1.9 Suomi Nokian W106s which I've been using since 2015. I primarily got them to deal with lingering winter ice in the shadier portions of my commute, but they also work well in the snow.

I have no doubt that narrow studded tires would work well on ice. But I don't know how well they'd work in loose snow. One of the factors that make the W106s so effective is the placement of the studs on the tire's shoulders and changing the tire pressure. (another is its soft in cold weather compound) For dry pavement the recommended pressure is 65, to round the tire and keep the studs off the road n straight line riding. In icy conditions, dropping to ~30 psi lets the tire flatten enough to bring the studs into play in straight ahead riding. ~23 psi is recommended for loose snow, to allow the tire to deform enough to provide the biggest contact patch. And this all works as recommended. If the tire is fully inflated when ice is present, it isn't great on ice. If the pressure isn't lowered enough for loose snow, things can get dicey. I realize that different tires have different stud patterns and that tire inflation may not come into play with them, except maybe for loose, loose snow.

I'm no expert, but with 7 years of snow and ice commuting I want to offer up a few points:

Nothing about riding in snow and ice favors speed. Whatever speed gains you expect from riding a road bike vs a gravel bike will be minimal at best. Riding on snow and ice is like driving on snow and ice, except when you exceed the limits of grip forward motion ceases because you will most likely fall. I have a drop-bar MTB for snow and I've blasted down snowy straights at speed, but braking and turning are always a gamble. SImilarly, I have sped in a straight line over ice, but it is even less tolerant of vector changes.

Narrow tires may actually be an advantage in a few specific conditions, such as helping the tire cut through the snow to the pavement, or to more solidly packed snow, but my limited experience tells me, these would be few and far between.

Two years ago I converted my old MTB to drop bars to achieve the riding position I find more comfortable on my road bikes. And while the MTB's weight, geometry and wheel size lead to slightly different ride dynamics, in a straight line and through gentle maneuvering, the bike is comfortable (actually more so as I run 26x1.95 slicks in the dry). Due to its weight and age it is not as fast as my road bikes, but just as fun. Similarly, this year I bought my first 20" folder and converted it to bull-bars and managed to get the riding position very close to my other bikes. With its small wheels, very short wheelbase and compromised geometry, the ride dynamics and motions can sometimes be very unexpected. But with modified gearing, a road bike riding position and light, supple tires, it is as fast as my semi-touring 700c commuter (a 2015 Charge Plug originally tagged as a "distance" bike), and comfortable enough.

I mention all this to say that if it is the riding position of a road bike you seek, you should be able to achieve that on almost any bike, and the riding dynamics of a gravel bike, distance bike or semi-touring bike would be close enough to a road bike that you wouldn't notice any major differences, especially under non-extreme maneuvers, which is what you would be doing in slick conditions.

Again, I don't know what your experience or expertise is, these are just my addled thoughts on the issue you raised.

I'll just add that the first winter I commuted with my studded tires, one night riding home all warm with smugness I turned onto a block long sheet of ice at the same time as another cyclist. He was on an old-school touring bike with narrow tires. As we rode side-by side on the bare ice I asked him if he had studs. He said no, he didn't like them. He just lowers the tire pressure in his 28s a bit and he's fine.

So go figure.
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Old 01-24-22, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
There is at least a Schwalbe Winter 700x30C studded tire.
I don't ride in such conditions...But the conditions that call for studs also call for wider tires. And 30mm is not wide.
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Old 01-24-22, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I don't ride in such conditions...But the conditions that call for studs also call for wider tires. And 30mm is not wide.
supposedly there is rare and almost mythical snow that skinny tires will cut threw to find solid something. I have never seen said snow conditions but have been told over and over they do exist..

I rode in on 40's today and highly regretful of choice and wish I would have ridden that fat bike. I was not "cutting" down to hard pack or anything else this morning.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:31 PM
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With persistence you could find a proper road bike from fifty or seventy years ago that had the sort of clearance you want. If you go that route please choose something really beat up that is not likely to find a good home.

Take a test ride on studs if at all possible. They are heavy and slow. Real slow. Real heavy. At which point it becomes apparent that it does not matter if it is a road bike or a hybrid or an old three speed.

The slowness means it only makes sense if you are really going to be out there and your routes are really treacherous. Any other workaround beats studs. Except when there is plain no workaround.

For ice riding I recommend a seriously low saddle. Ladies frames are useful too. Being able to get off the bike in a hurry can be a lifesaver.

Don’t forget tricycles. Since they don’t fall over you only need one studded tire. Usually one fender on the front is enough. You aren’t going fast enough to make much spray from the rear tires.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
supposedly there is rare and almost mythical snow that skinny tires will cut threw to find solid something. I have never seen said snow conditions but have been told over and over they do exist..

I rode in on 40's today and highly regretful of choice and wish I would have ridden that fat bike. I was not "cutting" down to hard pack or anything else this morning.
40s are not really narrow compared to most hybrid/road tires.
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Old 01-24-22, 04:58 PM
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No recommendations for a road bike that can take studs, huh? We'll, here's my stab in the dark.

Studs work great on ice. Wide low pressure tires work on snow. You get one or the other. Decide which it is & go with that. Walking because your Schwalbe Marathon Winters just won't track a straight line in the 4 inches of pedestrian compacted half-frozen slush is a cumbersome proposition.

If I had to pick a drop bar bike I'd pick a Salsa Warbird, Cutthroat or similar gravel intended all-road bike. Giant Revolt is pretty capable. Trek Checkpoint, or maybe a Domane might be good places to look. You can also consider a 650b/27.5 conversion of any of the above or on a used CX bike, too.

I once did a fork swap on a 700x35c, CX bike to raise the whole bike taller & slacken the head tube angle, & then did a 26 inch conversion (559x54) to lower the bike back to OEM height & restoring proper trail number & bottom bracket height. It worked great.

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Old 01-24-22, 05:01 PM
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Seems like there'd be a strong argument for finding a cheap used hybrid or old hardtail and putting the studded tires on that for iced over days, leaving the road bike for decent ones.

I'm tempted to comment that I'd find more use for studded tires on rail trails which can stay icy days to weeks after the point when the roads are fine. But in reality I'm usually winding up a ride by the time of the evening commute, and if still out there as the sun goes down having wet shoulders refreeze into black ice could really make the confidence of studs attractive.
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Old 01-24-22, 06:10 PM
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It;s amatter of definitions. Lots of bikes in the "adventure" category give a ride pretty close to road bikes and have the clearance for wide tires
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Old 01-24-22, 06:28 PM
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In your situation, a gravel bike is the clear answer here and disregarding one as a viable option is a mistake.

This is coming from someone who bought both a road bike , and a gravel bike before proceeding to promptly sell the roadie .
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Old 01-24-22, 06:32 PM
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The OP's definition of "road" is pretty key here.

Some people consider disc brakes to be not road. Some people consider steel to be not road, some consider generous tire clearance to be not road, some people consider eyelets (anywhere) to be not road, some people consider road to be defined by some particular geometry or a particular weight.

I think the best thing is for OP to spec what he/she means by "road", add to that spec the amount of clearance needed for the desired tires, and start searching. The key to a successful search is to ignore how the bike is marketed (e.g. road, gravel, adventure, cross, touring, tri, yada yada) and find the bikes that meet the specifications. I expect there are plenty.

I recently built a Soma Fog Cutter. I consider it a road bike, capable of handling (at least) 700x38 or 650bx42 with fenders, and easily accommodates my studded 32mm tires. But it's steel, has fender and rack eyelets, disc brakes, and a fair amount of stack vs seattube length. Some people might call it an adventure bike. Shrug.
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Old 01-24-22, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
In your situation, a gravel bike is the clear answer here
Only if the goal is to have a single bike for everything.

I think there's a pretty solid argument for having a pig of a crappy weather bike that can wear the studs in winter (not to mention getting locked up on errands where the nice one never would be), and then a nice weather / nice ride bike that could be an ordinary road one.

That said, I'd prefer to augment my utility hybrid with something more of an improvised gravel bike than a pure road one.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Soma Fog Cutter
cool bike ... I guess it's "an endurance road/road sport design" (from their website)
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Old 01-25-22, 12:41 PM
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I don't think the OP's goals are so unrealistic.

More that they've not been back to the site since a few hours after posting, and so haven't yet answered the key question about what aspect of a road bike (geometry? bars? gearing?) they are are insistent on preserving when they seek a "road bike" with large tire clearance but reject the idea of a "gravel bike".
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Old 01-25-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I don't think the OP's goals are so unrealistic.

More that they've not been back to the site since a few hours after posting, and so haven't yet answered the key question about what aspect of a road bike (geometry? bars? gearing?) they are are insistent on preserving when they seek a "road bike" with large tire clearance but reject the idea of a "gravel bike".

That's a reasonable question--"proper road bike" doesn't really convey very much. Let's maybe guess that the OP is going to prefer something similar to the Synapse, so what's the closest bike with icy condition capabilities?

TBH, I did my worst winter conditions riding on a "comfort bike". To my thinking, they're nearly purpose-built for the conditions, and you don't worry a lot about messing them up. I find the upright position works better on slippery ice, but that just might be me.
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Old 01-25-22, 01:09 PM
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I'm confused by the premise of this thread.
The OP wants a road bike that fits wider tires. Gravel roads are roads that are not paved with asphalt and therefore require wider tires. A gravel bike is a road bike that fits wider tires.

The solution here is extremely obvious.

A hardtail MTB or flat bar hybrid converted into a drop bar bike also works, and accomplishes the same goal, which is to have a drop bar bike that fits wider tires. Is this better for the OP than a gravel bike? I have no idea.

Of course there are bikes marketed as "proper" road bikes that fit wider tires that also might work:
Trek Domane (38mm)
Canyon Endurace (35mm)
Cervelo Caledonea (35mm)
Salsa Warroad (35mm)

Are these better options than a gravel bike that could take larger tires, provide more clearance for snow/slush, etc? I have no idea. They would all fit the 30mm winter studded tyre from Schwalbe, or a 32-33mm winter studded tire from other manufacturers.
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Old 01-25-22, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'm confused by the premise of this thread.
The OP wants a road bike that fits wider tires. Gravel roads are roads that are not paved with asphalt and therefore require wider tires. A gravel bike is a road bike that fits wider tires.

The solution here is extremely obvious.

A hardtail MTB or flat bar hybrid converted into a drop bar bike also works, and accomplishes the same goal, which is to have a drop bar bike that fits wider tires. Is this better for the OP than a gravel bike? I have no idea.

Of course there are bikes marketed as "proper" road bikes that fit wider tires that also might work:
Trek Domane (38mm)
Canyon Endurace (35mm)
Cervelo Caledonea (35mm)
Salsa Warroad (35mm)

Are these better options than a gravel bike that could take larger tires, provide more clearance for snow/slush, etc? I have no idea. They would all fit the 30mm winter studded tyre from Schwalbe, or a 32-33mm winter studded tire from other manufacturers.

Don't know what OP means, but I think the thing that I consider least road-bikey about a gravel bike is the gearing as the chainwheel tends to be way too small for my riding style.

I like the way you laid out these options.
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Old 01-25-22, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Are you actually complaining because people are trying to be helpful rather than condescendingly dismissive?
No I am not. You really should put me on ignore. I have had it with you. I am taking it up with moderation if you interfere with another post of mine. Or quote another post of mine or in any other way acknowledge my existence.
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