“Studs”

Innova studded tires

 

I finally put my studded tires on my mountain bike! This happens most every winter for me. When it gets cold and snowy I just stop riding :(…until I can not take it anymore and get my mountain bike all set up for winter riding. 

"Mike all suited up"

 

I have said this many times before, ever since I moved out of the city I find it more difficult to commute by bike in the winter. I live in a  rural area that is also in the commuter zone, with skinny roads. Once the snow falls the roads are even more skinny. 

Riding in the cold, snow or ice is not the issue…it is getting hit by a car or snow plow! I do my best to stay out of the way. I leave late to miss the commuter traffic, I am lit up like a xmas tree and with my studded tires I can hold my line and not dart into traffic. I pull over a lot to let cars go by. 

I use Innova brand studded tires. Not as nice or expensive as Nokians, but they work great and cost a lot less. I am a big fan of using a mtn bike in the winter and or a 26″ wheel bike with lots of snow clearance. I like the stability and cush of the fat tire. Other people like to use a 700c wheel and a skinner tire, which allows you to ride much faster and the skinnier tire cuts through the snow and gets to pavement much easier. I guess that is true, but I have busted my ass on black ice and I can say for sure that the fat 26″ tire with a lot of studs feels real good. 

When you first put some new studs on your bike it feels so wonderful, but by the time spring rolls around you can’t wait to take these heavy things off! 

I went through all my winter cloths last night and got everything all laid out. To ride all tear you really need a lot of cloths. To me there are two kinds of outdoor cloths…the dry ones and the wet ones. You do not want to work or ride home in cloths that are damp. You need doubles of hats, neck gators and gloves. 

Each year I dream of making a perfect winter bike, but then end up just modifying my mtn bike to use. My mtn bike does not have a dyno hub [I wish it did]. I recently bought a new battery light for it and I am very impressed with it. It is a B&M Inox LED rechargable light. It has the same beam pattern as the IQ Dyno lights that I use and so far seems to hold a charge just fine. 

"B&M on the right"

I think my perfect winter bike would be a rather unusual set up. Maybe a Cargo bike or a Basket bike, set up low to the ground and with a step through frame [so you can bail out], dyno hub, disc brakes and maybe even an electric assist motor [like the Bionx system]. This would be a very expensive bike, so the major reason I have not made one for my self. Not to mention the time. 

Speaking of time. I took a lot of time off for the Holidays, then we got snowed in for a few more days! I have been a slow road back to getting efficient in the shop and I was way late on delivering Michelle’s wonderful purple Mixte. But now it is on the way!

"Michelle's Mixte"

 

I got a call from Sacha White the other day and he invited me to join the Frame Builders Collective.

About antbikemike

Bicycle frame builder
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9 Responses to “Studs”

  1. Matthew says:

    Always liked that mountain bike and think it looks real swell in studs.

    Here in Chicago the city does a decent job clearing the streets. Salt and crud spray are a big problem. Also, many of Chicago’s draw bridges have a steel grid that gets real treacherous in the cold.

    The Framebuilder’s Collective sounds cool. Over on the Framebuilder’s Forum Bruce Gordon said he was told he would not be allowed to join. It would be nice to have an explanation as to why.

    • Bruce Gordon says:

      “””””The Framebuilder’s Collective sounds cool. Over on the Framebuilder’s Forum Bruce Gordon said he was told he would not be allowed to join. It would be nice to have an explanation as to why”””””

      Why don’t you ask the people at the “Collective”

      Regards,
      Bruce Gordon

  2. Charlotte says:

    Michelle’s bike is GORGEOUS and I’m sure as soon as she’s riding it she won’t mind the wait.

    I haven’t made the leap to studded tires yet, but I expect it’s in my future. I’m still hoping for a move to California instead.

  3. dottie says:

    Nice setup!

    The road conditions you describe sound nerve-wracking, another reason I’m grateful for city living. Dealing with narrower roads due to snow and ice is still a winter reality for me on the sidestreets, though. I remember how freeing it felt last spring when I finally had the full width back. Well, I should not start thinking about that yet, winter’s only just started.

    That mixte is gorgeous. The first thing I noticed was the ANT plate in the back. I love the little touches like that.

  4. Nice mixte, and the deep dark purple looks especially beautiful with the winter landscape in the background.

    My husband and I are in continuous discussion about staying in the city vs moving to the countryside. We used to live in Northern NH and Maine, and my hope is that we will eventually move back there. But he thinks I will be frustrated there, because it’s not really safe to cycle on those winding narrow roads.

    I am still resisting the studded tires. Will see though.

  5. Ken M. says:

    Mike, my hat is off to you for commuting in the winter on those country roads the way you do. And the purple Mixte bike is beautiful.

    It must be spiritually rewarding to build bikes and send them out into the world. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately because my wife’s younger brother died suddenly & accidentally right before Christmas. He leaves behind a legacy of great albums that he played bass on, TV appearances, and lots of fans who told us how much they loved him. I ask myself, “What will I leave behind?”. Well I think you get what I mean. Thanks for letting me be philosophical on your blog.

  6. Kent says:

    Michelle’s mixte is indeed much appreciated! Unfortunately the maiden voyage has had to wait as its arrival was heralded by a snow storm. Just-barely-double-digit temps and a thorough coating of salt on the road… and Mike didn’t put studs in those pretty tires while he was at it. Tomorrow it should be in the 40s, so we’re going for a ride, salt be damned.

    Thank you Mike!

  7. Mamavee says:

    your vision of the perfect winter bike sounds really neat.

  8. Ray says:

    Go for carbide studs!

    The price is worthwhile because they’ll last for at least three seasons.

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