Studded bike tires provide remarkable traction
on snow and ice, but don’t fully replicate the regular all-rubber
grip you experience on dry asphalt.
- Think of riding with
studs as the biking equivalent of walking on sand-covered ice.
You can walk or bike as you normally would, but any abrupt
or sharp turn can cause you to slip.
- If you lock your studded
tires while braking, you’ll slide farther on ice than asphalt. Give
yourself more room to maneuver and brake than you would
in dry, warm conditions.
- Tires vary in the number of embedded
studs—from as few as 72 to more than 300—and the
more you’ve got, the better traction you’ll get. But studs also
significantly increase rolling friction and pedaling effort, making
it important to choose the right model for your needs.
This column originally appeared in the print edition of AMC Outdoors along with the column "Ride On! How to bike through the winter."
- For commuting on plowed roads with only occasional patches
of smooth ice, fewer studs are necessary for safe riding. If you’re
dealing with ice-covered paths, ice ruts, or other bumpy, uneven
ice and snow conditions, maximize your stud power.
Photograph courtesy of Surly Bikes.
Labels: Bicycles, Safety, Winter