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Winter tire bike size

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Winter tire bike size

Old 01-05-22, 11:52 AM
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Kurtenstein
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Winter tire bike size

Hi! I'm new to winter cycling and would like some advice on tire selection. My father-in-law recently gave me is (rather well-maintained) Specialized Crossroads. It's fitted with a front suspension (I'd like to get rid of that someday) and a suspended seatpost (I'd like to get rid of that too!). I first intended to sell the bike but I now consider using it as a winter bike, for quick rides in the neighbourhood to keep in shape in between nordic skiing outings.

It's currently fitted with Specialized Infinity 700X38s. I tried them in snow over ice (I live in Montreal, where we have real winters!) and was pleasantly surprised to see how fun it is to ride in the conditions. I'd like to switch to dedicated winter tires and was eyeing the Schwalbe K-Guard HS 396. I see they come in 30, 35 and 40mm width. I was planning on buying the 40mm, but I wonder if these aren't a bit too wide. Is there a more "common" size for winter biking in snow and on ice?

(I apologize if this question has been asked 153 387 times before ...)

Thanks!
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Old 01-05-22, 12:07 PM
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rumrunn6
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I'm guessing you'd be happiest with the 30mm size. narrower will help get you down thru the mush to the hard stuff. the front fork will help keep you upright over any surprise ice ruts hiding in the snow & mush
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Old 01-05-22, 12:52 PM
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As rumrunn6 said, narrower tires are often preferable on snowy and icy roads because they can cut through the 'mashed potatoes' and contact the solid ground/ice underneath. 38s or 40s would be fine, but I would prefer 32s. Not everyone agrees with this, I admit. If 40s fit in your frame and fork, they will work fine.

Those Schwalbe tires look good, with the one caveat that the spikes are not carbide (at least they don't say they are) and so will likely get dull after a season or so of riding... certainly long enough to see if you want to invest in some more serious tires, like from Suomi or 45N.

Here's some tread Porn...
https://45nrth.com/products/gravdal-700c
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Old 01-05-22, 01:13 PM
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Kurtenstein
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H

Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I'm guessing you'd be happiest with the 30mm size. narrower will help get you down thru the mush to the hard stuff. the front fork will help keep you upright over any surprise ice ruts hiding in the snow & mush
...so that fork may be useful after all? Seemed like dead weight to me.
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Old 01-05-22, 01:42 PM
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prj71
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26 x 4.8 is the only real answer here.
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Old 01-05-22, 03:39 PM
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djb
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another opinion from another Montreal here, in fact right after typing this I have to go wash my bike, just back from my commute.

I use 1.75in , or 44mm studded schwalbe winters. I personally like the wider contact patch, so there you go, another opinion. Im on my second winter with these tires, before I used regular old mtb tires, 2.1 to 2.5in knobbies and ran them low pressure wise and it worked fine---but riding more in the dark meant that getting the studded tires makes a hell of a difference for not having to be totally on the ball watching the surface for ice, and especially ice under snow where its surprise time.

I know some people like narrower for the reasons stated, but I find my 44s perfectly fine and ride every day on all kinds of surfaces. Also, the 26x1.75 can be found at a hugely discounted price probably because they are used so commonly in Europe.
I realize your bike is 700 so you're going to be encountering much more expensive tires than what I got.
Oh, and wash the bike all the time, if not salt with rust everything pretty bad. I'm religious about doing a wash, but I have a garage floor I can get water on and not care about. If you dont wash it well regularly, the drivetrain, cables under the bb area, you name it, will rust to hell. especially in all the nooks and crannies that salty water gets into. (I still find rusted bits here and there when I go over it once in a while and at end of season, I try to grease stuff in spots i know are going to be rust areas.
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Old 01-05-22, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
26 x 4.8 is the only real answer here.
or in my case, 26x4
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Old 01-05-22, 06:56 PM
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oh? it's a 26er?
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Old 01-05-22, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
oh? it's a 26er?
ya, fat bike is
as is ye ol mtb winter commuter
this dudes bike however is 700
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Old 01-07-22, 02:31 AM
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I would go with nicely treaded 60tpi or better wire dead tires with a pressure rating of 75 or better 38-40 width. The only thing worse than a bit of traction loss is a tire failure or flat in cold winter riding.

Last edited by zukahn1; 01-07-22 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 01-13-22, 07:58 AM
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IMO get the widest tire that will fit the bike.
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Old 01-13-22, 08:25 AM
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[QUOTE=Kurtenstein;22362649]Hi! I'm new to winter cycling and would like some advice on tire selection. My father-in-law recently gave me is (rather well-maintained) Specialized Crossroads. It's fitted with a front suspension (I'd like to get rid of that someday) and a suspended seatpost (I'd like to get rid of that too!). I first intended to sell the bike but I now consider using it as a winter bike, for quick rides in the neighbourhood to keep in shape in between nordic skiing outings.

It's currently fitted with Specialized Infinity 700X38s. I tried them in snow over ice (I live in Montreal, where we have real winters!) and was pleasantly surprised to see how fun it is to ride in the conditions. I'd like to switch to dedicated winter tires and was eyeing the Schwalbe K-Guard HS 396. I see they come in 30, 35 and 40mm width. I was planning on buying the 40mm, but I wonder if these aren't a bit too wide. Is there a more "common" size for winter biking in snow and on ice?

(I apologize if this question has been asked 153 387 times before ...)

Thanks!
[Q/QUOTE]

so fellow Montrealer dude or dudette, did you look at tire prices and options?
some studded tires have more studs than others. Mine have two rows of studs, other tires have twice that, but I've found the basic schwalbe winters to work very well.
I'm sure you've found a bit of sticker shock at prices....

Oh, and yes front suspension helps by giving better traction for front tire, keeping better tire/ surface constant contact. Kinda like skiing, using your legs as suspension to maintain good ski/snow contact.
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Old 01-13-22, 12:45 PM
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I'm in Ottawa, so similar conditions - I have a fatbike (first year with it) and have a drop bar bike with 35mm studded. Several points:

1. Fatbike is great - lets you use trails, pathways, etc. that aren't cleared, go down staircases, etc.
2. Fatbike is much slower - if your commute is long - it's going to make it longer. The studded tires already will, fat even more so.
3. 700C and 26" (non-fat) tires always seem to come up used fairly cheap here if you're willing to buy them in the spring. Lots of people seem to buy them new and realize winter commuting isn't for them. I've been using a set of Schwalbe winter I got cheap years ago.
4. Fatbike tires are EXPENSIVE - and the lugs will wear out faster than the studded road tires, and then not be as good for snow & ice trail riding.

I'm kind of at the point where I've got the fatbike mostly for trail riding, and another bike with narrow tires as commuter - though I haven't been doing much commuting. Might give the fattie a try on the commute, but it's a bit over an hour in the winter on the hybrid, not sure if I can shorten the route enough with the fat capabilities to keep it from getting much longer.
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