Friday, November 25, 2005

Too much information

I've been getting woefully overinformed this week, with all my time spent in my car listening to the news on CBC. Ask me about any current event, local or international, and I can give you at least 20 seconds worth of insight into it. I decided to put an end to it, and ordered a set of studded tires from MEC.

The tires were out of stock in the Toronto store even though they were in stock just about everywhere else in Canada, including balmy Vancouver (but they do have actual mountains nearby). Does this mean the Toronto store doesn't bother ordering many, or that they're selling like slurpees in Winnipeg?

It'll be a few days before I receive the new tires. Fortunately it looks like it'll be warm next week, so the road bike will be back in action.

As for the debate about studded versus high quality grippy road tires, from talking to people and reading discussions on the web, the main points against studded tires seems to be that they're slower, they make noise, they're expensive and possibly overkill. The expensive part is the only one there that I care about. I figured I'd rather spend some money on them for the unexpected black ice, or unexpected dumping of snow in the middle of the day. And the ones I picked have 100 studs running along the sides, so most of the time I should be on the rubber. When I slip or turn, the studs will touch.

There was one more argument against the studs that made me apprehensive. Apparently they can reduce traction in some cases because the hard metal on pavement is not grippy at all. I think this would be most important if I kept trying to corner hard with these tires on. This is something I can easily live without. The time saved from a fast corner doesn't mean much to me.

To make you feel good about pedal power, I'll leave you with some thoughts from some thinkers on bicycles.

Darren J 11/25/2005 02:37:00 p.m.


Look forward to hearing your review of the studded tires in action. The main thing I have against them is I'm almost always riding on bare pavement in the winter. Will you swap them in and out on bad days, or will you keep them on your bike for the whole wintry season?
I think I'll put them on my mountain bike and if it's around zero or colder, I'll use that bike. If it's warmer, I'll ride my bike with road tires. I'll just have to make sure I dip both bikes in a barrel of oil first so they don't rust through the winter.
I tried riding with the large knobby offroad tires and found it very tiring and slow. I have been riding in the snow now on my tioga city slickers and they've been very good. Like Tanya said on the road its mostly wet maybe slushy, so I'll stick with the Toiga city's. Icebike says the inverted tread is best for city winter conditions. I'll bet your tires will be lots of fun on hardpack snow. Let us know how they work out.

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