Thursday, December 11, 2008

When I Ride, I'm A Stud (...ded Tire User)

I picked up my studded Innova 700x35 tires from the Highgear store this evening (staffed by MOD) and put them on the bike.

I've taken the rear wheel off only once before to change a flat, and the front wheel has never come off. I always seem to have a little trouble getting the rear wheel off and on, but eventually managed.

A fun point came when I managed to put the tire on the rear rim without using the tire levers. As I mentally patted myself on the back, I took a look at the tread pattern, seemingly directional, and wondered if it mattered. Slowly I spun the tire around, angling it just so in the light so I could read the markings on the sidewall, and saw that, indeed, there was a directional indicator. Darn! With a 50/50 chance of getting it right, Mr. Murphy had directed me to mount it backwards.

After getting both tires mounted and the wheels back on the bike, I took it for a test ride up and down my street. I'm amazed at how noisy the tires are. As others have described the noise, it sounds like I'm riding on gravel. I'm hoping the noise will abate a bit once the studs have worn down a little.

The ride also feels a little squishy. I don't know exactly what that means. I think since the tread is so different from the road-like hybrid tires I normally ride, there's a little more side-to-side give. I'll get a better feel for this during my next few commutes.

I'm a little annoyed with a little rubbing sound I hear from the rear wheel. I am not sure where it's coming from, but I think it might be from a close clearance with my fender. Maybe that will subside a bit, too, when the studs wear down.

The roads are damp right now from some rain earlier this afternoon. The overnight low looks to be around 20F, so if we get any slick spots on the lesser traveled lanes, it's likely that I got the studs on just in time.

I expect the resistance added by both the studs and the more aggressive tread will slow me down and make me work a little harder. I guess that equates to a more intense workout.


munsoned said...

Yeah, I got out this morning to hop on my bike with 23C skinny road tires and thought, "This is going to be fun." None of that moisture dried out before it froze last night. I was only worried about the 2 blocks from my house to Center Street since I figured Center would have plenty of salt on it. But I rode VERY CAREFULLY for those 2 blocks, most of which is downhill. But I made it with nary a slip of the rear wheel.

It'll be interesting to hear your long term reviews of those tires. Hope they work well for ya.

Scott Redd said...

The roads were wet this morning, but I didn't find any ice. At the top of 48th between Grover and Center, there was what looked like snow on the sidewalks, though.

I rode really slowly, not wanting to tear out the studs. On the way home, the streets, walks, and Turner Boulevard path were all dry as a bone. The studs quiet down a bit on the softer asphalt, but they make a real racket on cement.

It looks like our next chance for snow comes Sunday, so maybe the studs will help on Monday.

The really nasty thing to start off the week looks like Monday morning, with a low of 4 F and an afternoon high of only 13 F.

Munson: I tried a variation of your windblock. Earlier this week when it was 11 degrees, I used the corners of plastic bags between my socks and my shoes. It seemed to help a little bit. I may try that again on Monday.

munsoned said...

I tried that before also. The other bag that works even better is the bag the paper comes in when it rains. What some people do is wear a thin liner sock, the bag, then thick wool socks over it. I was thinking about trying that instead of the shoe covers. We'll see.