Author Topic: To spike or not to spike  (Read 3105 times)

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2018, 08:14:39 am »

Not really an option,

a) I don't own a trike

b) I'm coming back on trains that only allow 2 wheeled cycles...

c) I'm skint.


Bicycle sidecar

You just need the frame to carry a backpack. For the train: drop the third wheel, fold up the frame, strap on the wheel. Done.
Jennifer - walker of hills



Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2018, 08:25:16 am »
The time differences are largely down to rolling resistance rather than time lost to the additional caution due to the conditions - both Top Contact Winters and studded tyres instil confidence on general ice.  For extensive sheet ice, the Top Contact Winters are still good, but more caution is required for cornering etc compared with studded tyres.

How can something with no studs do anything useful on actual slippery sheet ice?

(I note the Continental page doesn’t mention ice at all)

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2018, 09:07:08 am »
Two other benefits of the Top Contact Winters over studded tyres.

Studded tyres tend to be built ultra-robustly, being very stiff in the sidewalls and everywhere else and more knobbly too.  Consequently, on Britain's broken roads they are very uncomfortable, even at the low pressures suitable for snow and ice.  The Top Contacts in contrast are much more supple, plus with more air for the same tyre volume, yet still reasonably tough, and far nicer to ride over the ubiquitous UK ruts, holes, ridges, craters etc.

Secondly, the winter compound/tread of the Top Contact Winters is excellent on metalwork, whereas studded tyres are lethal on it when cornering, or just even slightly banked over.  So all those metal-based arrse-clench-inducing moments on studs, which are rife in urban areas, magically go away with the Top Contact Winters.....

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2018, 09:08:59 am »
How can something with no studs do anything useful on actual slippery sheet ice?

(I note the Continental page doesn’t mention ice at all)

Are you requesting an explanation of the physics......or doubting the anecdotal evidence that they do?

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2018, 10:23:23 am »
How can something with no studs do anything useful on actual slippery sheet ice?

(I note the Continental page doesn’t mention ice at all)

Are you requesting an explanation of the physics......or doubting the anecdotal evidence that they do?
I can't speak for Mr Grams, but I'd like an explanation of the mechanics (so that I can have more faith in the anecdote :D )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2018, 11:03:16 am »
Well if you're that interested yet doubtful, google away.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2018, 04:10:23 pm »
Why might I want more explanation on claims by a John Smith on A Forum? I guess 3 main possible reasons:

- I know enough about the subject to be VERY dubious of the claims. Or
- I know enough about John Smith's claims to be VERY dubious of what he says. Or
- I am overly cautious (i.e. a coward on my bike), and thus need a lot of convincing that 'X' is true before I entrust my elf/safety to it.

In this case, I'd say only the third is true :)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2018, 04:26:41 pm »
Aside from being completely bonkers I would'nt have thought any tyre is completely free from the risk of slipping, especially the skinny variety that you fit on pedal cycles.

I'd wait until March at least  ;)


Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2018, 06:33:34 pm »
Spikes/studs reallly do work, even on sheet ice.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2018, 08:43:54 pm »
- I am overly cautious (i.e. a coward on my bike), and thus need a lot of convincing that 'X' is true before I entrust my elf/safety to it.

In this case, I'd say only the third is true :)

Understandable - cycling on ice on the wrong tyres is terrifying and best avoided.

To clarify the observations on using Top Contact Winters on ice, as I said, they require more caution than studded tyres......and even studded tyres are best deployed with not insubstantial levels of caution on sheet ice, particularly when turning, braking or negotiating adverse cambers and inclines.

Top Contact Winters can be ridden in a straight line across sheet ice with a very significantly higher level of confidence than a regular non-winter-specific tyre.  Cornering on sheet ice, virtually impossible on a regular tyre, is possible on Top Contact Winters.....considerable caution is required, particularly being careful to go slowly, but staying upright is not that difficult.  In any case, when I suspect sheet ice is going to be a major problem, I will most likely select studded tyres.

Continental used to have a short excerpt video on its Top Contact Winter webpage.....it's no longer there, for whatever reason (I'm sure all the Apollo landing conspiracy advocate types will insist its removal was for nefarious reasons), but can be found in the segment from 1'34" to 1'48" HERE.

The video shows a rider braking on ice, firstly using Top Contact Winters and then on 'summer' tyres.  Having ridden Top Contact Winters across sheet ice, although I have always exercised far more caution than the test rider did, the capability exhibited by my tyres has given me enough reason to believe the demonstration is credible. 

People who haven't tried them are entitled to their less well-informed opinions....I merely pass on my experience for others to ignore, disbelieve or act on as they see fit.  It makes no difference to me whether they buy and fit them, but when I started using them several years ago, I wished I'd known about them sooner.  Like I said, it amazes me they aren't used extensively and better known.

Anyway, THIS REVIEW may be of some use to those considering these superb tyres.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2018, 09:25:07 pm »
I have a pair of running shoes, Altra Samsons, absolutely dead flat soles apart from hundreds of wavy razor cut sipes across them.  The grip in the wet is phenomenal, far more than looking at the sole would suggest, so I can buy the performance of these tyres easily enough.

Shame they don't come in smaller widths though.  I could fit the 226 x 1.9" to the MTB runaround, but nothing on the Giant or Cruzbike
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2018, 09:53:05 pm »
The Continental tyres appear to be using an adaptation of the "thermocontact" (sorry I only know them in french) technology that has existed for car tyres for a very long time (and is the staple for city dwellers on the continent rushing for the ski slopes). The technology works well on 4wheel vehicles but I have never seen or heard of it being used on 2wheel ones, motorised or otherwise, until now (presumably because, in the tyre manufacturer's logic, no motorcyclist uses two wheels in the snow and ice and the three wheeled ones are using car tyres or opting to slide for fun, like me). So yes I would thoroughly believe the claims for these tyres, although in extreme conditions on a 4wheel vehicle studs would normally work better (with the caveat that the moment the conditions improve the balance shifts in favour of non-studded tyres; you can go faster without chewing up the tarmac or losing studs).

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2018, 12:12:13 am »
...and even studded tyres are best deployed with not insubstantial levels of caution on sheet ice, particularly when turning, braking or negotiating adverse cambers and inclines.

Googling "video bicycle tyres frozen lake" will give plenty of examples of how well spiked tyres grip on even sheet ice. If you've ever tried them they are amazing.

Still wouldn't want to push them round 600km in 3 days though.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2018, 10:19:40 am »
My thoughts were along the same lines as mzjo. Winter tyres for cars, buses, lorries don't use studs, they use special compounds of rubber. They seem to do well enough. I'm not sure how they'd cope with extensive sheet ice but you don't really encounter that on roads in places where people use these tyres (cos the roads are ploughed, gritted etc and traffic keeps it clear). But of course those vehicles also don't lean...
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2018, 10:40:08 am »
I've ridden a few hundred miles with Marathon winters (26x1.75 size)

They do not slide or skid on ordinary dry pavement. They do have less grip on bare concrete than a decent road tyre. They have good grip on broken surfaces, but lose studs at a rapid rate if you brake hard on these surfaces (it is easy to replace studs).

They are hard work to ride; I was able to sustain about 25kph whereas on the same bike with kojaks I could sustain 27-30kph (this is back when I was fit, mind, couldn't do that now).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2018, 11:47:47 pm »
I've also used Top Contact Winter and Marathon Winter studded tyres, and would concur with Foghat's comments.

The difference in rolling resistance and comfort is such that I've not used the Marathon Winter since I got the Top Contact, and I generally leave the Top Contacts on for a substantial part of the winter - any time that late evening frosts are likely, basically.

As for sheet ice, I did, shortly after I got the Top Contacts, try out how steep a hill I could ride up. They span out at about 10%, at which point dismounting to walk the rest of the hill was remarkably difficult, since my feet wouldn't stay put.

I would also add that studded tyres aren't foolproof - I've come off on ice using them, which was a combination of failing to reduce the pressure sufficiently, and a slightly rippled ice surface (it was compacted and frozen wet snow, and had never been liguid).

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2018, 01:20:11 am »
I would also add that studded tyres aren't foolproof - I've come off on ice using them, which was a combination of failing to reduce the pressure sufficiently, and a slightly rippled ice surface (it was compacted and frozen wet snow, and had never been liguid).

The other thing they don't work on is freshly compacted snow that's prone to shearing: The studs grip the upper layer admirably well as it slides across the lower layer, taking your wheel with it.  The effect is similar to riding on mud, in that you do have some scope for using MTB skillz to stay upright, rather than being unceremoniously deposited on the deck wondering what just happened.

And of course ruts made of re-frozen slush have much the same effect on a studded tyre as ruts of dried mud do on a standard knobbly: If you hit a rut that's too deep for your wheel at an oblique angle, and it turns out to be solid, you'll tramline.

(Most of us know this already, but it's worth reiterating as it's winter.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2018, 11:46:16 pm »
I would also add that studded tyres aren't foolproof - I've come off on ice using them, which was a combination of failing to reduce the pressure sufficiently, and a slightly rippled ice surface (it was compacted and frozen wet snow, and had never been liguid).

The other thing they don't work on is freshly compacted snow that's prone to shearing: The studs grip the upper layer admirably well as it slides across the lower layer, taking your wheel with it.  The effect is similar to riding on mud, in that you do have some scope for using MTB skillz to stay upright, rather than being unceremoniously deposited on the deck wondering what just happened.

And of course ruts made of re-frozen slush have much the same effect on a studded tyre as ruts of dried mud do on a standard knobbly: If you hit a rut that's too deep for your wheel at an oblique angle, and it turns out to be solid, you'll tramline.

(Most of us know this already, but it's worth reiterating as it's winter.)

The word for that in ice is Sastrugi (from Russian). I had some hairy moments playing in the snow on studded tyres last winter. In your example of the shear issue, the solution there is actually higher pressure. So you drop through the upper layer to the ice below. But that can be hard to change as it goes.

I have a pair of mini crampons (Katoona nanospikes), that I wear when riding on ice with studded tyres. It's basically 8-10 (I can't remember exact number), of studs like you have on the tyre, on a rubber thing that attaches to the sole of your shoe. Allows you to put your foot down on ice and not fall over. Tho not suitable for running across the train stations polished floors... DAHIKT...

I managed to crash today when I took a corner too fast with GP 4 seasons. I'm wondering if the low temp was the cause. (see thread on freewheeling section).

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2018, 07:32:24 am »
Ice spiker, all I can say is they work. As above the only time you might have a slide is when stopping and put a foot down. Not the tyre but your foot sliding away from bike. Front braking takes a while to have confidence in. What can go wrong low temp rubber and studs. How much will bust bones. rash, bike damage and clothing cost compared to buying studded tyres. Your choice.

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2018, 09:04:05 am »
Is it possible to use studded tyres without the studs, just putting them in when you do finally find road conditions that require them? That still makes a load of faff and a ride on a heavy and probably unresponsive tyre but it might pay on a 600km ride where the studs are an insurance policy against conditions that might not be met. (Although my personal choice would be thermocontacts - but that's personal, not necessarily logical).

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2018, 11:18:20 am »
600 in winter conditions, tyres would be the last of my worries. 😁

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2018, 11:56:44 am »
Ice spiker, all I can say is they work. As above the only time you might have a slide is when stopping and put a foot down. Not the tyre but your foot sliding away from bike.

Except for the shearing effect I described above, which I experienced on Ice Spikers during the 5 minutes of proper snow we had last winter.  As quixoticgeek suggests, this was exacerbated by low tyre pressure, as I'd dropped it to somewhere in the 10-15PSI region in order to ride through several inches of virgin snow (which they handled admirably well - far better than a Marathon Winter would manage).

Ice Spikers have incredibly high rolling resistance on tarmac (imagine a low-end MTB knobbly, and double it).  Great for mucking about in the snow, or extreme-weather utility journeys, but hardly the sort of thing you'd want to ride an audax on.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2018, 02:01:45 pm »
Well. I think your winters might be a bit tame. Some places have sub zero conditions on and off all winter.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2018, 04:00:22 pm »
Well. I think your winters might be a bit tame. Some places have sub zero conditions on and off all winter.

I already covered that upthread.  British (and other parts of Europe with a similar freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw soggy climate) winters pose a different set of problems to prolonged sub-zero conditions, which makes appropriate tyre choice more challenging.  Typically, we have conditions where any reasonably grippy road tyre does the job, with a small but non-zero chance of encountering a sudden-death patch of (often invisible) sheet ice round the next corner.  Then throw in a couple of weeks of slushy rutted snow that freezes solid overnight.

Full on winter knobblies like Schwalbe Ice Spikers or Nokian Hakkapeliittas are useful a few days a year when there's heavy snow, but something like the Schwalbe Winter (or indeed a tricycle) is a more sensible option for not falling off on unexpected ice.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: To spike or not to spike
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2018, 04:46:43 pm »
And some places, even in Europe, have conditions of constant sub-zero and snow cover from early November to late March. But not central Germany where QG is planning this 600.

I have just remembered one cold morning late last December when I had to ride up a steep north-facing slope in south Bristol. Everywhere else was clear, but not that slope. I got almost to the top then my back wheel span and I stopped. Put my foot down and didn't slide but couldn't get enough grip to either get off the bike or get started again. But TBH if I'd just kept going, probably nothing would have happened – it would have been a second's wheel spin then grip again like you might get on leaf mush. This was on bog standard tyres, not winter specific in any way, but wide (42mm). When I came to ride down the hill a few hours later, I walked just to be safe – but in fact all the ice had melted by then.

Germany will be colder for sure but it's not Scandinavia and I'd be surprised if they don't have lots of gritters etc.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)