Posted by Steve Newbauer
If you ride in winter weather where you deal with snow and ice you probably already know that standard tires just don’t cut the mustard. For those of you who are not Americans you probably don’t know what I am talking about when I say “cut the mustard“. It simply means “to succeed” or “to come up to expectations”. Nope, a standard tire will just spin with no traction. One needs a tire that has good traction and “gets ur done”. Different people come up with different means of obtaining traction. Some continue to use their standard tires, but add some sort of mechanism to it to gain extra traction. One such item is plastic cable ties. I don’t personally think much of this for the simple reason that they break and fall off littering our earth as the rider goes on his merry way usually completely unaware of this. I have never tried them, but I can’t imagine them doing much to gain much traction.
One can also use tire chains although just like using them on a car or truck they are not very practical for long term use unless one is constantly on snow or ice. They are rough riding, noisy and wear out quickly (prematurely) when riding on dry pavement. The ones I found online are more expensive than those for a car or truck (at least what those cost the last time I bought any). Some people make their own.
Another option is the use of studded tires. Some people swear by them. If you ride on ice I think they would be most practical. However, if you ride on snow then I think there is a better option. Besides riding on dry pavement with studs wears them out prematurely and is costly. And they too are a bit noisy on dry pavement.
Here is what I use and find them perfect for my winter riding. I have found that not all knobby tires are created equal. Some ride better than others. Some get better traction than others. Some offer the best of both. I really like the current one I use pictured below. It is a Kenda tire and was under $20 at a local bike shop.
Of course, none of these traction options will last as long as they could and would if they were only ridden on snow and ice. Dry pavement riding will wear any of them out quicker. Lower pressure in tires works better for traction. My knobby tire is only a 40 psi maximum tire. I personally only use a “winter tire” on my rear wheel for traction. My front tires remain standard tires I run year around. Of course, they don’t offer as good of traction on the front as a winter tire would, but I get by just fine. I happen to have two rear wheels for my trike so I just keep the standard tire on one of the wheels and the knobby tire on the other. Then I simply change the wheels back and forth instead of the tires on the wheel. That makes it easier and quicker.
Yep, without the knobby tire I would just sit there and spin my rear wheel often times. Many times I have had to dismount and push or pull my trike to get it advanced forward. With the knobby tire I get great traction and am able to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
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