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Old 2019-02-06, 01:19 PM   #1
ruari
 
 
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26 Plus studded winter tyre options

I have been commuting to work a little on the unicycle this winter. I am using an older Nimbus 26” muni (from 2009) and have put a Schwalbe ‘Ice Spiker’ 26x2.10 tyre on it. This works great for icy conditions but recently we have had a few days with more serious snow, which have not always been properly cleared. At some point I realised that I wasn't really hitting the ice on my route in and felt that a bigger tyre might be better.

So I switched back to a Duro ‘Wildlife Leopard’ and it has worked great in these kinds of conditions. Particularly with sub 20PSI. Very grippy and with enough give to roll over obstacles. You can also plough through snow (if you have the strength/energy). Of course whenever the snow is cleared and I have a chance of ice (or very hard packed slippery snow) it does not work as well as the ‘Ice Spiker’ and I feel the need to switch back.

So I have been having this little dance where I switch back and forth between the tyres depending on how I expect the conditions to be. This is now starting to get a little old. Not least because I sometimes (often) guess the conditions incorrectly.

Now the best solution for all possible conditions would probably be a Hatchet with a really big spiked tyre like the 45NRTH ‘Wrathchild 5’ (26x4.6) but I am not ready to drop that kind of money just yet!

45NRTH also have a ‘Wrathchild Plus’ but there is no 26” variant that I am aware of, only 27.5x3.0, so again this would require a new unicycle.

Considering my current rim/frame, 26x3.0 is the limit but I cannot find any spiked tyres of this size and I suspect I don't have the skill, time or patience to add spikes to the ‘Wildlife Leopard’ myself. Any other options I have missed?

Oh and I should add that I am aware that Schwalbe do an ‘Ice Spiker Pro’ 26x2.35, which has just a little bit more volume than the one I have. It might help as a compromise between the ‘Ice Spiker’ and ‘Wildlife Leopard’ but it is also really hard to get hold of the 26” variant in Norway and it is quite pricey to order internationally for a tyre that only has such a meagre increase in volume.

I have also seen another 26x2.35, the Kenda ‘Klondike XT’ and it is relatively cheap compared to the ‘Ice Spiker Pro’, so I ordered one pretty much on a whim but I am not really expecting miracles. That could easily end up being a waste of my time and money. It hasn't arrived yet, so time will tell.

In summary, have I missed something or should I be mentally preparing myself to buy a 27.5” Oracle or (26”) Hatchet?

Last edited by ruari; 2019-02-06 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 2019-02-06, 02:22 PM   #2
UniMyra
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What about making a studded tyre for your 36'er by splicing two tyres together like saskatchewanian does: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92354

Two of these will cost you NOK 857 including shipping: https://bikeshop.no/sykkelkomponente...15-p0000090303

I think the Ice Spiker 29 x 2.35 is great for snow and ice. It's no good for bare asphalt - for that I've been using Schwalbe Maraton Winter 29 x 2 (?).

Right now I use a custom made studded skin made by reTyre for my 36'er. A little heavy, but the grip is good.
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Old 2019-02-06, 07:21 PM   #3
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I'll loan you an old Qu-Ax 29" with a Nokian studded tyre if you want. I don't think I have a seatpost that fits you, because the ones I have are chopped down for the kids. I have the original saddle, but if you like you can have a Nimbus Stadium saddle (1.st gen.). It's too hard for me. You can pick it up in the city (Schweigaardgate 17 - by the bus terminal). Let me know.
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Old 2019-02-07, 02:26 PM   #4
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I'll loan you an old Qu-Ax 29" with a Nokian studded tyre if you want. I don't think I have a seatpost that fits you, because the ones I have are chopped down for the kids. I have the original saddle, but if you like you can have a Nimbus Stadium saddle (1.st gen.). It's too hard for me. You can pick it up in the city (Schweigaardgate 17 - by the bus terminal). Let me know.
Wow, thanks I would love to borrow it for a while and give it a go. That is an amazingly kind offer and very unexpected. Thank you!

I am not too concerned with the seatpost because Qu-Ax uses 25.4 IIRC and I have 3 of them of varying lengths. Nonetheless I would like to try your older Nimbus Stadium saddle. I have a few saddles but the only one I really like is an older KH Freeride, so I have been considering buying another saddle. If your Nimbus Stadium suites me, perhaps I'll buy it off you!

As to how to arrange when I should come down to meet you, maybe you want to ping me with contact details? You can also find contact details for me on http://ruari.com/ or if you are on twitter I leave my DMs open https://twitter.com/ruari
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Old 2019-02-07, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniMyra View Post
What about making a studded tyre for your 36'er by splicing two tyres together like saskatchewanian does: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92354

Two of these will cost you NOK 857 including shipping: https://bikeshop.no/sykkelkomponente...15-p0000090303

I think the Ice Spiker 29 x 2.35 is great for snow and ice. It's no good for bare asphalt - for that I've been using Schwalbe Maraton Winter 29 x 2 (?).
I am super impressed with those of you on the forum who attempt stuff like this but I am pretty sure it would be beyond me.

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Right now I use a custom made studded skin made by reTyre for my 36'er. A little heavy, but the grip is good.
Yeah, I have watched a number of your videos.

P.S. I saw the ones with your girls “Riding a unicycle part 40: Kids riding unicycles off road”. Very impressed! I also have a young daughter who has shown some level of interest and I have bought her a unicycle now, so we are gonna give it a go when the weather turns nicer.
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Old 2019-02-07, 06:00 PM   #6
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I would love to borrow it for a while and give it a go.
Cool. I've put the Stadium saddle on. The seatpost may be long enough, but it didn't quite fit so I had to put som washers between the saddle and the seatpost. You may have to make some adjustments.

I'll bring it to work tomorrow (friday), so you can pick it up any weekday from 8 to 16. I'll send you a text so you can call or text me beforehand. You're english right?
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Old 2019-02-07, 07:21 PM   #7
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I'll bring it to work tomorrow (friday), so you can pick it up any weekday from 8 to 16. I'll send you a text so you can call or text me beforehand.
Are you ok with me picking it up on Monday then? If you would prefer I picked it up tomorrow, I can certainly do that.

The only reason I suggest a delay is that it is https://winterbiketoworkday.org tomorrow and I planned/agreed to unicycle in on the 26er and a delay in picking up another unicycle from you will save me having to carry two unicycles back on public transport tomorrow evening. Not that it really matters. I could just skip the idea of unicycling in to work tomorrow, given that every single work day is cycle to work day for me (either via bike or unicycle).

I am more concerned with not inconveniencing you, since you are the one doing me the favour.

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You're english right?
I am indeed. The Norwegian last name is courtesy of my wife, after marriage. That said, if you are asking because of language I can get by in Norwegian if you want. I'm not at the level I would like to be primarily as my work is 100% in English and I lived with my wife in the UK for a decade before we moved here, so we use English at home but I have also been here long enough that I certainly understand a fair bit and people often convince me to talk, much to my (Norwegian) daughter's embarrassment.

Last edited by ruari; 2019-02-07 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 2019-02-07, 07:50 PM   #8
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...you can pick it up any weekday from 8 to 16
I ment 9 to 16. Monday will be fine.

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if you are asking because of language
Yes, It would be a bit weird to speak english to a norwegian.
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Old 2019-02-08, 12:42 PM   #9
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The only reason I suggest a delay is that it is https://winterbiketoworkday.org tomorrow and I planned/agreed to unicycle in on the 26er
I wondered how the trip would be today with the fluctuating temperatures and my choice of the Duro tyre but it was really nice out.
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Old 2019-02-09, 12:15 PM   #10
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What about making a studded tyre for your 36'er by splicing two tyres together like saskatchewanian does: http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92354

Two of these will cost you NOK 857 including shipping: https://bikeshop.no/sykkelkomponente...15-p0000090303
The tyres came on sale, so I bought a pair for 657 NOK (77 USD) including shipping. I'm going to try to make a 36" tyre. If I fail, you'll never hear more about it.
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Old 2019-02-09, 02:14 PM   #11
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If I fail, you'll never hear more about it.
LOL
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Old 2019-02-10, 12:03 PM   #12
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Hi Ruari,

As you will be using the tire frequently, I think you should not discount the «studding the Duro» option.
With a pack of self-tapping tire studs, you should be able to transform the Duro into an ice gripping machine. It should require a bit of time but way less than any ghetto alternative with screws and the result will be of good quality.
On the upside, you can define where and how many you install.


Let us know how your experiments go as it is a very useful knowledge
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Old 2019-02-10, 07:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siddhartha Valmont View Post
Hi Ruari,

As you will be using the tire frequently, I think you should not discount the «studding the Duro» option.
With a pack of self-tapping tire studs, you should be able to transform the Duro into an ice gripping machine. It should require a bit of time but way less than any ghetto alternative with screws and the result will be of good quality.
On the upside, you can define where and how many you install.


Let us know how your experiments go as it is a very useful knowledge
I have studded a Druro with OK results. Combined with a bit of tire cutting it was super grippy but really sucked the energy out of you riding any distance. I would consider this to be a great downhill only option.

If you can find an old Nokian Gazzalodi 26x3 it is a much better winter tire. In the summer the old Gazz vs Duro debate is a matter of opinion, in the winter a Gazz is an overall winner with better float, better grip, and stays softer resulting in lower rolling resistance and a livelier feel.

Since the mighty 26x3 Gazz has been out of production for about a decade I would suggest finding a modern 26x3 tire to stud rather than the Duro if you don't want to feel like a pile of mush when you reach your destination.


I found the best screws for making a gheto studded tire are the self tapping (drill tip) pan head screws for sheet metal. Try not to have them stick out more than 2 or 3mm.

Have Fun!
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Old 2019-02-11, 09:59 AM   #14
ruari
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siddhartha Valmont View Post
With a pack of self-tapping tire studs, you should be able to transform the Duro into an ice gripping machine. It should require a bit of time but way less than any ghetto alternative with screws and the result will be of good quality.
Hmm… I had never heard of self-tapping tire studs before but now I see what you mean. Looks interesting.

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I have studded a Druro with OK results. Combined with a bit of tire cutting it was super grippy but really sucked the energy out of you riding any distance. I would consider this to be a great downhill only option.
Interesting. Nonetheless I am now considering giving it a go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saskatchewanian View Post
I found the best screws for making a gheto studded tire are the self tapping (drill tip) pan head screws for sheet metal. Try not to have them stick out more than 2 or 3mm.
Cool, thanks for the tip. I'll go and have a look around a local hardware store.


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I have also seen another 26x2.35, the Kenda ‘Klondike XT’ and it is relatively cheap compared to the ‘Ice Spiker Pro’, so I ordered one pretty much on a whim but I am not really expecting miracles. That could easily end up being a waste of my time and money. It hasn't arrived yet, so time will tell.
In other news, this arrived on Friday and I put it on the unicycle already. This was a good call because we had some warmer weather and rain over the weekend and then a slight drop just below freezing again overnight. So Of course it is straight ice in a number of places. The Kenda ‘Klondike XT’ performed very well on the ice. It is less aggressive and has fewer studs than the Ice Spiker I had on before but I felt very confident with it.

When the snow returns though I am not sure that it will be any improvement over the Ice Spiker at all. It fact it would probably be worse.

I noticed that the minimum recommended PSI is 40 on this tyre. Which seems a kinda high for snow conditions. Does it really matter much if you drop below the tyre manufacturer's minimum suggestion?

Last edited by ruari; 2019-02-11 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 2019-02-11, 12:52 PM   #15
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Really nice to meet you in person today, UniMyra. Thanks for lending me your extra 29er. Nice to see the friendliness of this forum extends out into the real world.

I did cycle back to the office in the end (despite the saddle being a bit low). Looking forward to a bit more snow to try it out for comparison.

For now, I have placed it in the office next to the 26er that I rode in on today.



P.S. Yes, I know this looks like an advert for my company but that is because I figured I could probably find a way to re-use this image on our company blog!
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