After riding more than two months on the studded tires I have several reservations, however I confess they are a life saver (literally) when it comes to snow and ice.
- Flattened tire. I haven’t been able to find a studded tire that is good for my 17” rear rim. The 17” Pirelli MT21 I am using on my 3.5” rim is really for a 2.5” rim and the tire gets flattened out, getting a shape almost like a square car tire, meaning cornering gets really messed up.
- Braking on dry tarmac is significantly worse. Riding with the studded tires can best be compared to riding on gravel; it is very predictable and safe under the right circumstances, however on dry tarmac it completely changes the riding dynamics and in particular braking. If you compare braking on dry tarmac with braking on gravel you know what I mean. You really need to keep a double or triple safety margin in space and time! After an incident where I ended up stopping in the middle of an intersection, instead of before a red traffic light, I cannot overstate this enough.
- Studs are sheared off on dry tarmac. What surprised me with my new 17” tire compared to the 18” I used last winter was that the tip of the studs get torn off on the new tire. After checking with the manufacturer (it is the same brand of studs) I have to conclude that I ride more actively this winter which has resulted in that all the stud tips in the middle of the tire are gone. I am convinced this wouldn’t be a problem if I was actually riding on snow and ice but the reality is that 99% of the time it is on tarmac.
It should be noted that my 21” front tire that I bought the winter of ‘09/’10 has all its studs intact. It is only the rear where I have this problem.
- I am currently looking for some data to validate that I can put studs in a TKC80 or similar tire that is made for 3.5” rims. Do you have any experience to share?
- When I get a new rear tire I will make sure to only use it when it actually is supposed to be used, during icy and snowy roads.