Studded/Spiked and Other Winter E-Bike Tires (General Talk)

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
As the northern hemisphere gets its Winter time now, e-bikers from snow/ice areas often discuss studded/spiked tires under different threads. Why not to make a relaxed chat under a separate thread?

My own experience is related to two principal studded bike tire models:
  • Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro (ISP), which are heavy duty off-road studded tires, available for (wide rim) 27.5 and 29" wheels. (My experience is related to 27.5 x 2.6" tires on an e-MTB).
  • Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus (MWP), which are general studded tires, available for many wheel sizes. (I have used them in 35-622 and 47-622 sizes on two e-bikes).
Both types are very different.
  • ISPs are made as non-directional slick tubes with a big number of rubber "nipples", each terminated with a sharp spike. There are five rows of spikes, including the centre of the tread. The nipples/spikes are the sole contact area of the tire with the ground.
  • MWPs are regular directional tires equipped with four rows of flat studs on the tread corners. The tire works as a regular one but the functionality of the studs is to ensure traction on cornering. (Most of winter bike crashes occur on cornering).
I have found ISPs capable to ride on ice as itf it were a dry asphalt, including black ice. These tires are pretty loud. MWPs are far quieter: the center of the tread has no studs. So far, I found the performance of MWPs satisfactory even on icy bike paths. However, as you can be sure ISPs will maintain their traction under almost all icy conditions, MWPs should be ridden more slowly and with a greater care (riding onto a frozen snow lump with ISPs takes almost no effect; the same with MWPs can lead to unpleasant slippage).

Both tire models are helpless in deep snow. These are ice, not snow tires!
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Now, users of any winter tires, share your own views! Has anyone ridden non-studded winter tires such as Continental Top Contact Winter? I keep these on my third e-bike as all year round tires! I cannot, however, remember how these performed during the two last Winters (which were mostly mild).
 
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I live in an area with fairly moderate climate and don't intend to ride in the snow but I ride down from a mountain where black ice can occur even if it is above freezing at lower elevations. Not interested in an expensive tire.
Anyone have any experience with these relatively inexpensive studded tires?

Schwalbe Winter Bike Tire K-Guard​

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Do studs shed out of these tires easily (a problem when I used studded car tires) and does Schwalbe sell replacement studs?

edit: I found Schwalbe replacement studs are available.
 
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I live in an area with fairly moderate climate and don't intend to ride in the snow but I ride down from a mountain where black ice can occur even if it is above freezing at lower elevations. Not interested in an expensive tire.
Anyone have any experience with these relatively inexpensive studded tires?

Schwalbe Winter Bike Tire K-Guard​

View attachment 109231

Do studs shed out of these tires easily (a problem when I used studded car tires) and does Schwalbe sell replacement studs?

edit: I found Schwalbe replacement studs are available.
I think that those tires would be fine based on your needs. 118 studs/tire will get you along most icy roads while being relatively quiet and durable. Even with a 50 TPI casing, I doubt if the ride quality will suffer greatly.

Proper bedding procedure when riding on new studded tires calls for a run-in period of 40 miles (25km) on asphalt. I failed to do this on my first ride and ended up losing 20 studs on my Ice Spikers. Mind you I was riding on a single track that was riddled with roots and there was no real opportunity for me to find that much bare roadway at this time. of the year The Schwalbe 50 count stud replacement kits are fine which includes the insertion tool. Once you have the tool, you can find cheaper stud replacements online if you happen to need more….which, in my case, I did. :(
 
First winter season trying out Schwalbe Winter tires, no side studs but I only intend to ride on paved roads, and we get mild winters, maybe a week of ice following a snow. Really these are just insurance against a rogue patch of black ice. I've had them on for a couple of weeks no ice or snow so far to try them out.
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With respect to the ISPs, it might be worth mentioning that there are actually two versions, the Evolution and Performance. I’ve seen the wire bead P versions selling for $100 Cdn compared to the folding Evos which are priced well above that. There seems to be no indication of the Evos outperforming the previous gen model other than slight gains in rolling resistance and weight. The Evo Liteskin version with its higher TPI is more supple but less puncture resistant so there is a bit of a trade off though receiving a flat during the winter season might be a rarity under most conditions.

Lowering PSI slightly will also provide additional traction as more studs are able to come in contact with the frozen ground. I recommend testing and adjusting air pressure each time you venture out. For me that sweet spot is between 18-20 PSI but that will likely vary based on your own riding environment.

Ultimately winter tire selection comes down to what conditions you ride in whether it’s rain, sleet, snow, ice, hard pack or anything in between. Conferring with others in your local area who ride all year round or consulting with your LBS will go a long way in greatly improving your chances of safe winter outings.
 
I have debated it but if we have snow on the road nothing gets plowed and I would not trust drivers. ice usually melts after a bit. today we had frosh as we had rain all day yesterday so I took my bike on the light rail then I was able to ride the rest of the way to work and then normal. so it would be ah hassle to get studded tires and I am too chicken to try it
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I have debated it but if we have snow on the road nothing gets plowed and I would not trust drivers. ice usually melts after a bit. today we had frosh as we had rain all day yesterday so I took my bike on the light rail then I was able to ride the rest of the way to work and then normal. so it would be ah hassle to get studded tires and I am too chicken to try it
I fully understand that! Let me tell you something.
Warsaw has a huge number of bike paths, and quite a lot of people do cycle all year round. The irony is the same city that built the paths is not willing to clear them, making the bike paths covered with ice during the frost. Cyclists take the risk and frequently crash. A female friend of mine commutes at nights with her traditional hybrid bike: She chooses riding with traffic, which is less risky than using icy bike paths! People would like to use studded tyres but are baffled with the high cost, and such tyres seem to be unobtainium nowadays.
For me that sweet spot is between 18-20 PSI but that will likely vary based on your own riding environment.
It is very low pressure Art? My brother rides the 2.6" Performance ISPs and he tells me the minimum recommended pressure there is 1.5 bar (22 psi). He mostly commutes on his Trance E+ and is not willing to get the snakebite with his wheels. Care to explain how came you can inflate your ISPs so lowly?
 
It is very low pressure Art? My brother rides the 2.6" Performance ISPs and he tells me the minimum recommended pressure there is 1.5 bar (22 psi). He mostly commutes on his Trance E+ and is not willing to get the snakebite with his wheels. Care to explain how came you can inflate your ISPs so lowly?
I have yet to be snake bitten running at that chosen pressure and the spec was ultimately arrived at over time as a result of starting out at a much higher PSI of 25. I wouldn't go as far as suggesting that everyone run at that spec. The casing on the ISP Evos are more supple and flexible plus I’m a somewhat of a lightweight tipping the scales at just under 59 kg (<130 lbs). Most of the trails where I ride have roots some which are small enough and get covered in hard packed snow but there are larger ones that really pose a threat if I chose to run at a higher pressure. More studs at the point of contact allow me to ride over them with less fear of slipping off. I still need to watch my speed when approaching trail impediments but feel more confident than if the tires remained at the higher constant. It comes down to where you ride and how it affects your ability to maintain the best level of control of your bike. If I was strictly riding MUPs in the winter then I might opt for a boost in pressure.
 
I have been using Schwalbe Marathon 365 GT tires year-round until recently, when I switched them out for Marathon Winter Plus spiked tires. The 365 tires are good in deeper fresh snow but not on ice or rutted conditions. I fell heavily last winter on pavement ice with them, injuring my shoulder. The spiked tires have only been on a week so my experience with them in winter conditions has been limited to a couple of days, but I can already tell they are far more stable than the 365 tires. No experience in deep snow with them, but I am assuming they won’t be great. All tires are around 2” wide.
I was able to bed the spikes in with 40km on bare pavement. I think Prairie Dog meant 40km (25 mi).
 

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20x4 fatties with off road knobs. I will be riding all winter and pulling my 60 pound dog behind me in a sled. Drop the pressure to around 12 and hold on to a 1200 watt DK200 beast.
 
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20x4 fatties with off road knobs. I will be riding all winter and pulling my 60 pound dog behind me in a sled. Drop the pressure to around 12 and hold on to a 1200 watt DK200 beast.
I would love a fat tire bike to see me through specific times of the winter here as we do receive copious amounts of snow. It would be akin to riding a MTB but in easy mode. That being said, come spring, I know for a fact that it would end up being neglected as I much prefer the speed, versatility and manoeuverability of a FS e-mtb when negotiating technical single track or fast downhill runs. Two riding buddies have them and they rarely see any action, if any at all, during the warmer seasons here. Plus we don’t have beaches or dunes in my neck of the woods.
 
I would love a fat tire bike to see me through specific times of the winter here as we do receive copious amounts of snow. It would be akin to riding a MTB but in easy mode. That being said, come spring, I know for a fact that it would end up being neglected as I much prefer the speed, versatility and manoeuverability of a FS e-mtb when negotiating technical single track or fast downhill runs. Two riding buddies have them and they rarely see any action, if any at all, during the warmer seasons here. Plus we don’t have beaches or dunes in my neck of the woods.
I can agree with that and I do have an MTB with 1.75 for faster street riding but I love riding trails where you would get thrown off in to the cactus with those thin tires. It is nice to have an ebike for different seasons!
 
First winter season trying out Schwalbe Winter tires, no side studs but I only intend to ride on paved roads, and we get mild winters, maybe a week of ice following a snow. Really these are just insurance against a rogue patch of black ice. I've had them on for a couple of weeks no ice or snow so far to try them out.
My solution to wearing out studs was to have them mounted on spare rims. Dry streets and they came off.
 
Off topic but if you ride in winter get a Balaclava.

Keeping my face warm with a Balaclava. I have had those knit ski masks before and they don't do much but a buddy of mine skis all the time and turned me on to these Balaclava ski masks and they are nice for adventuring in cold weather. It is stretchy and has 2 layers over your mouth and nose. Keeps the face and neck warm and can be worn under a helmet or hat and inside your coat. They come in lots of patterns on Amazon or plain. If you work outside in winter they really help and now I can ride my ebike in winter.

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