Studs Needed??

Aged_Cheddar
Been there, done that, threw my back out...

November 03, 2019, 04:12 PM

Hey all,

So, this year in an effort to extend my riding time, I'm going to give a Fatbike a try, I've bought a bike, and I've started putting together my winter riding gear and apparel, but I'm curious about the necessity of studded tires...

I mean, I get it if you're riding across a frozen lake etc... but are studded tires needed for basic trail riding?? I won't be riding to/from the trail, so I don't have to worry about frozen patches on the bike paths...but what about on Singletrack trails??

And could you guys suggest local trails that are good/fun for winter riding?? I love riding out at Quarry Ridge and Camrock, but haven't ridden either in the winter.

Thanks for any help/info you can offer!!

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Gary S
Board Member, co-Trail Steward Blue Mound SP
Administrator

November 04, 2019, 09:51 PM

The last few winters there has always been ice on the trail at some point.  Doesn't matter which trail.  Depending on the tire/# studs, you'll get a varying degree of traction on ice, but it makes it so the trail is rideable.  You generally don't want to ride studded tires on pavement, but I think as long as you aren't skidding or otherwise being foolish you should be ok.

Last year I went with Ice Spiker Pros which have like 400 studs/tire, and the difference is amazing. This is NOT a fat bike tire, only a 2.25" or 2.6" but I was able to ride on groomed snow with ice..  I think most fat bike studded tires have around 200 or less studs/tire.

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« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 11:35 PM by Gary S »

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Renegade Rick
Webmaster
Administrator

November 06, 2019, 09:57 AM

Last year I purchased studded tires for my fat bike and loved them. So much more grip and confidence than in years past. I got the 45NRTH Dillinger 4's 120tpi with 240 studs each. They aren't really much heavier than my Nate's, even with the studs, and not much more rolling resistance either. Best money I ever spent.

I'm already using them this year!

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Aged_Cheddar
Been there, done that, threw my back out...

November 06, 2019, 10:01 PM

The last few winters there has always been ice on the trail at some point.  Doesn't matter which trail.  Depending on the tire/# studs, you'll get a varying degree of traction on ice, but it makes it so the trail is rideable.  You generally don't want to ride studded tires on pavement, but I think as long as you aren't skidding or otherwise being foolish you should be ok.

Last year I went with Ice Spiker Pros which have like 400 studs/tire, and the difference is amazing. This is NOT a fat bike tire, only a 2.25" or 2.6" but I was able to ride on groomed snow with ice..  I think most fat bike studded tires have around 200 or less studs/tire.

Thanks for the info!!

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Aged_Cheddar
Been there, done that, threw my back out...

November 06, 2019, 10:20 PM

Last year I purchased studded tires for my fat bike and loved them. So much more grip and confidence than in years past. I got the 45NRTH Dillinger 4's 120tpi with 240 studs each. They aren't really much heavier than my Nate's, even with the studs, and not much more rolling resistance either. Best money I ever spent.

I'm already using them this year!

Thanks for the info!!

I'm glad to hear that you like the Dillinger 4's, those were the exact tires I was looking at.

I was wanting the Dillinger 5's (for the added width...as I'm a rather "robust" weighted rider)...but alas, my cheap entry level Fat Bike can only accommodate a 4.5" tire in the rear....and when I'm on the 50T gear, the chain line comes pretty close to the existing 4.25" tires I have now, so the Dillinger 4 sounds like the best bet for me...I'm just hoping I can run low enough pressure for the tires to be effective, and not cut ruts in the trails...I've been told heavier riders can't run low enough pressure on 4" tires, and then end up tearing up the trails...I guess we'll see!  ;D

Thanks Again!

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Renegade Rick
Webmaster
Administrator

November 07, 2019, 06:23 AM

I'm a big guy too, and 4" tires are all that fit on my "vintage" fatbike. It wasn't so long ago that 4" was as big as tires got, and 5" tires don't magically prevent trail damage either.

While there is wisdom in getting the biggest tires you can, running at low pressures, and all that, it's important to note that riding bikes in the snow is largely a comedy act, and also a blessing. The technology that allows winter riding is still developing and it's amazing, but the level of success is dependent on many variables. When it works out it really is a blessing,  and you can't simply buy success.

The snow depth (not often very deep here), grooming, temperature, sun exposure and other factors conspire to determine what is rideable and fun. I can't think of too many days in the last several years where riding on top of the hardened crust was a thing, but it sure has happened. Most often we get a thin layer of snow and ice, or exposed frozen dirt.

Bottom line, use good judgement, have fun, don't take it too seriously.

Oh, and you could consider running a bigger tire in front if your bike supports it... they don't  have to match.

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

November 07, 2019, 01:52 PM

I'll comment on the where to ride part. My suggestion is all over. I enjoy riding from my driveway where Quarry Park and PVBH (Pleasant View + Blackhawk) are destinations. When at Quarry Ridge in winter I like to head north and loop Seminole too. For CamRock that's farther from home I like to start in Cambridge. In winter I ride on east side of the creek more too.

As much as I love all our trail areas my winter favorites are Blue Mound and PVBH. They offer some out there and quiet that are special. Slice loop is super fun on a fatty just like ripping in summer. When it's been really cold you can ride on start of the creek too.

Cross Plains will be more on my list this season.

I'd also like to point out the importance of helping the groomers. There are some times in the snow season where everyone would have more and better riding if they joined the grooming efforts. You should consider snow shoes as one of the must do fat bike purchases.

Go ride today!

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Gary S
Board Member, co-Trail Steward Blue Mound SP
Administrator

November 07, 2019, 02:15 PM

I believe the Dillinger 5 is actually 4.5"

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Aged_Cheddar
Been there, done that, threw my back out...

November 07, 2019, 04:10 PM

Oh, and you could consider running a bigger tire in front if your bike supports it... they don't  have to match.

Thanks again for all the info!!

Yeah, I can easily put a larger front tire on, possibly a Dillinger 5 or maybe a Wrathchild.

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Aged_Cheddar
Been there, done that, threw my back out...

November 07, 2019, 04:19 PM

I believe the Dillinger 5 is actually 4.5"

According to the guy from 45NRTH the Dillinger 5 is 110mm (4.33") when mounted to a 80mm rim, that's the size of mine.

The Wrathchild has the same measurements.

(I'm assuming they both hit the 4.5-4.6" mark when they are mounted on 100mm rims.)

My problem isn't with the seat stays or the chain stays, I could easily shove a 4.5-4.6" tire in there with no trouble...My problem is with the chainline, when I run up on the 50T (granny cog) my chain is REALLY close to my current tire (which is 4.06") so if I put a 4.33" tire back there, it will be a chain rubber for sure.

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Aged_Cheddar
Been there, done that, threw my back out...

November 07, 2019, 04:25 PM



I'd also like to point out the importance of helping the groomers. There are some times in the snow season where everyone would have more and better riding if they joined the grooming efforts. You should consider snow shoes as one of the must do fat bike purchases.


Well, I have no idea how to help with that, but I'm certainly open to doing so! (Adding snow shoes to the list)

Are "grooming days" posted here? Or where would I get the info needed?

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

November 07, 2019, 05:37 PM



I'd also like to point out the importance of helping the groomers. There are some times in the snow season where everyone would have more and better riding if they joined the grooming efforts. You should consider snow shoes as one of the must do fat bike purchases.




Well, I have no idea how to help with that, but I'm certainly open to doing so! (Adding snow shoes to the list)

Are "grooming days" posted here? Or where would I get the info needed?

Hi,

Thank you for the interest!

After a snowfall we pack the soft snow with snowshoes and in some cases grooming machines. It's pretty much a given after each snow. Some of us communicate the grooming status on the trail conditions page - individual trail conditions. Some who get out on snowshoes post their reply in the forums. You can always contact the trail stewards via the individual trail info spots here and forums.

Thank you again.

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XXX

January 14, 2020, 01:04 PM

After three winters of bike commuting without studs, I finally decided to get a pair of studded tires. The bike paths especially can get icy in the winter. As others have said, the trails can get icy too. I hope that studded tires will allow me to ride off-road more often than in past winters.

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

January 14, 2020, 02:13 PM

I found even wide conventional tires would still sink or cut in packed snow and thought I was more of a skier in winter. Fast forward.... Now we have two fat bikes in the family.

Fast forward some more. Recent times have confirmed I made a good decision to fit the biggest possible and full knobby studded tires in my frame. They're not pleasant on dirt or pavement but faster than expected on groomed snow trail, and worth it for traction in any direction. Sunday riding in a group with everyone having fat studded tires you could see no one in that gang was veering off course like other tracks. No going down or recovery moves where the non-studded fatties would fail.

Everyone should visit our sponsor shops and get a studded fattie. Rent a fat bike if you are a skeptic the way my family was.

P.S. Owning a fattie is also great for utility. The granny gear makes it our pull the trailer bike. They've come in handy for trail work.

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