Studded tire options in late 2023

I’d like to put studded tires on my gravel bike which has clearance for up to 45mm tires. In the past I might have gone with Nokian but they don’t seem to be selling tires in the US anymore (or perhaps at all?) There’s also the Marathon Winter Plus which I have on my cargo bike. It does the job but I was curious what else was out there.

Oh, I could go unstudded and pretend I’m doing cx but a couple of years ago I hit an ice patch going at low speed and was off the bike for a couple of months probably due to a bone bruise. I know some people don’t like studs but I prefer the margin of safety.

Anyone have a favorite studded tire? Seems the options have changed recently.

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Continental has the Contact Spike with either 240 or 120 studs. The widths are 37 and 42 mm, if I am correct. I don’t own a bike for such winter tyres any more, so I have no personal experience of them. I think that some people have succesfully used the contis as tubeless too.

The ultimate winter tyre is of course the Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro with its 400 studs. Only available as 57 and 65 mm though.

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Long time winter commuter here in Alaska. I use the 45 Nrth Gravdal 60 TPI studded tires in size 700CX38mm (tubeless) on my Trek Checkpoint. I went with 38 mm to keep fenders on the bike. I’ve used them for over 600 miles of riding until the roads get so bad that I switch over to a fat tire bike. They aren’t fast and there is a significant weight penalty, but in the shoulder season in fall and spring in Alaska they are worth it to stay upright on two wheels with the rubber side down.

I found studding them yourself, stud capable, is the lest expensive way to get there. Dillinger 5’s have A Lot Of Studs. But four years later, I haven’t lost a single one yet! Just take your time doing it. (Yeah, it’s a PITA, but worth it)

I have Schwalbe studded winter tires and they work well. They are very slow tires but make riding in icy conditions work. The small contact patch makes them really bite into ice. They have way better traction on ice than my studded Dillinger fat bike tires.

I’ve considered adding some studs to the outer row of stud pockets, but those would only contact the ground if you’re already sliding out.

What sealant are you running? I guess I’d just run tubes as my experience riding in the winter is that flats are extremely rare.

I use the Orange Seal Endurance and have not had any issues. In addition to the freezing temperatures (living above the 60 degrees north) the problem here is that the bike paths and even smaller roads are heavily sanded during the winter. They usually use crushed stone instead of normal gravel, so the risk for punctures is often quite high. According to the specs the Orange Seal Subzero does not have as good sealing capacity as the Endurance.

It depends on the conditions. The 45nrth Gravdal is a very popular option here in Oslo on the gravel roads that are plowed.

From what I’ve heard Gravdal is the best tire on hardpacked snow/ice, but not the best rolling on tarmac roads with the occational ice patch. Marathon Winter is better suited for that, and that is what I’ve been running, but I have considered Gravdal. Studded tires on tarmac is noisy anyway, and it is almost positive with poor rolling with regards to very cold temperatures. The harder you need to work and slower you roll the warmer you are. Last year when the temperatures got a bit better late winter, and the sun started to warm, I ran Marathon Winter in the front, and GP 4-season in the back. It was a nice solution. Didnt have any accidents, and I felt pretty safe. The non studded in the rear made a huge difference on feel and speed. In those conditions the perfect setup might be Schwalbe Winter in 30mm width (studs only on the side edges) in front, and non stud in the back. Suomi Tyres is bankrupt (the old Nokian). I don’t have any experience with Continental studded, but the Conti Spike should be a comparable tire to Schwalbe.

And I would not bother with tubeless for skinny tires. I know it can happen, but I’ve never had a flat on my Marathon Winters. It doesn’t make much difference in ride feel. I do run tubeless on Suomi Piikkisika on my MTB for the ride feel, and lower pressures. I know Stans and Milkit works down to -20°C/-4° fahrenheit at least.

I no longer ride skinny tires during the winter. Unless the roads are clear enough for a road bike, I use my Spec Epic hardtail (with Ice Spiker Pro tyres) for all my outdoor rides during the winter months.

Years ago when I still rode my Cx bike during the winter (it was time before gravel bikes) I used the Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tyres with tubes. The rear tyre usually lasted one winter and then it was too badly damaged by the sharp rock splinters on the roads.

That is a nice picture. Is it from Nordmarka area?
Winter in Norwegian woods

Ah, yes, I ment to reply to the OP with regards to those skinny tires :smiley:

Yes, it is from Nordmarka. Lovely area for winter cycling! Just picked a picture from a Norwegian online magazine to illustrate the ultimate conditions for that Gravdal tire. Here’s a couple of my own.