I will ride through any weather condition, but ice always sketched me out. No more, I got studded tires! It was pretty funny when the last ice-storm shut down Portland. I was the only one in my office to make it in and I rode my bike!
In my previous review I noted that there had been little snowice so far. I've now ridden in snowier and icier conditions. When it was quite icy I lowered the pressure to 35 lbs so that there is more rubber on the road and the studs are always in contact. If the ice is really hard and smooth, though, you're going to slide no matter what if you turn too sharp for your speed. The studs do give an extra bit of insurance, I think-though honestly, I do not feel much more secure than the years I spent riding non-studded snow tires. If you consistently need a lot of studded traction, go with the Gravdal model, which has two additional rows of center-mounted studs. I can also report, that after about 300 miles (mostly on bare pavement) the studs are really durable. They show no signs of chipping or other wear (just checked under a magnifying glass) and only one is falling out.
I was anticipating my commute today so I could try these tires out. I try to commute year round but ice and snow have always sidelined me. I ran the same set up as the previous reviewer because my cyclocross would not take the Gravdal in the rear, it would rub on the front derailleur. These tires are great on smooth ice but you better have a Zamboni out in front of you. They are terrible if there are ruts or any amount of snow on the road. My rear end was fishtailing all over the place and my front was turning where ever the ruts pointed. I cannot count how many times I nearly hit the ground today. The Xerxes barely grab the ice once the tread fills with snow and the Gravdal is not nearly wide enough to make it through most snow deeper than a couple of inches. I found that I loss about a dozen studs in the front and a handful in the rear. Many of the studs still left in the Xerxes seem to already be ground down half way. I bought enough of these tires for three of my bikes and am thankful I waited to mount the other two sets so I can return them. My hopes for these tire were so high and they really let me down. I guess the one set I rode on will look good hanging on my garage wall.
After looking at many studded tires, I bought these for two reasons Even though I live in sometimes very snowy and almost always cold central Minnesota, I am a commuter and most of the time the roads are pretty well cleared. Therefore, did not want to ride tires with center-mounted studs-due to excess noise, rolling resistance, and wear on the studs. These tires have a moderately aggressive center track tread with studs on the sides. When inflated to the max 75 lbs, you are mostly riding on rubber, with little road noise and barely noticeable extra rolling resistance. The studs make contact only when cornering. If it is significantly icier andor snowier, you can lower the pressure to as little as 35 lbs, after which the tread spreads and the studs are always in contact. Unfortunately, we have had an essentially snowless winter so far (!) and so I have not actually ridden with low pressure. After many years of riding non-studded snow tires, I feel a good deal more confident, especially on icy patches. I will update this review once I've gotten some serious snow riding in and also to indicate how well the carbide studs have worn. So far, they are holding up well (approximately 50 miles of mostly bare pavement riding
Bought one for winter commuting in Minneapolis. My commute consists of cleared streets, mostly cleared paved paths, and rumble strip-esque sidewalks. Currently, I have a Gravdal up front and the Xerxes in back, which seems like a great combo since you have most of your weight on the lower rolling resistance of the Xerxes and the stability of the Gravdal. The Xerxes with 55 psi is much quieter than the Gravdal at 45. Actually, riding outside with the Xerxes is quieter than riding inside on my trainer. So far the Xerxes has been fantastic on clear pavement or paths covered with some loose snow. OK on packed snow - where the tire can't quite cut through to pavement, but the Gravdal definitely beats it there. I'm really happy with the Gravdal/Xerxes mismatched pair.