January 08, 2012

Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro Studded Tire Review

Well I did finally wear out my original Ice Spikers. Basically the beads broke and they wouldn't stay on the wheel. Both broke in about a one month period. Of course I did ride a bit on the flat tires  - once it was really cold out and I didn't want to stop and fix it. So I just kept a ridin. Second time I forgot to bring a pump. Rode part way home until the tire wouldn't stay on the rim and then had to walk. I hate walking on a bike ride.

Not a big deal as I probably had those tires for about 10 years and they had seen their share of salt. I definitely got my money's worth. But there really is no substitute for heavy duty studded tires. You can boldly go where no man or woman (without studs) can go. Unless they walk. Actually, I can ride stuff you cannot walk.

The lowdown: I bought the 2.35x26 tubeless ready tires. With the kevlar bead they are supposed to be lighter, but at this width they are still pretty heavy. They did come with some poorly installed studs that I had to push back in. Studs are carbide of course so they last and last. Installed them with Stan's and running them at about 25 psi for my 155 lbs. I think I can go even lower on tire pressure but one step at a time.

Upon riding the tires, I lost 2 studs in the first 55 km. I was riding on mostly pavement to break them in properly. All were in the same spot, so it was probably something I did that rubbed the studs out of the knobs. I bought some Nokian studs and replaced them. Since then, no lost studs at all. Wish I had saved my old tires - the studs in them would have been quite useful this year. Given the cost of Nokian studs, the old tires were worth a bundle, just for the 300 studs or so. Something like $200!!!

Anyways, I had forgotten just how good a super studded tire is in winter. We get lots of freeze and thaw weather here in winter, so lots of icy trails. Any good knobby tire works on snow, but these work on ice as well. These tires really do allow me to blast downhills that I would be very nervous about with unstudded tires and would not enjoy at all. And ride up hills that I cannot ride with unstudded tires. Almost as good as summer, although I am still a bit tentative. But lots of fun riding on days when the trainer would be the only alternative to a nice trial ride. To celebrate my Xmas present, I made a video with another Xmas present (my Gopro 2) and uploaded my vid to Youtube. A fun downhill, a couple of steep icy climbs and a flat section at the end. Enjoy.

December 20, 2014 Update - Well these are good tires, but check this out for another alternative.

January 05, 2012

A Fix For Slipping Gopro Mounts

I got a Gopro 2 for Xmas. Yay. Mounted it on my bike and every time I hit the bumpy stuff, especially the fast bumpy stuff, I got an excellent video of my front tire. I tightened her up pretty tight, tight as I dared without breaking the mount, but no luck.

But wait a minute. Isn't that carbon paste supposed to make carbon parts stop slipping? Maybe it works on the cheap plastic mounts Gopro uses? So I tried it and guess what? It works pretty well. So get yourself some paste and start filling up the Youtube servers.

Or you can buy these K-Edge beauties. I don't have one, but I'm guessing they work the way we wish the Gopro mounts work. Nice reliable aluminum. Reducing the linkages between the camera and the bike is another big plus over the Gopro mounts. Google and ye shall find.