Nothing will take you out faster than ice. The SCHWALBE MARATHON WINTER offers the puncture protection you expect from a Marathon tire plus a constellation of tiny studs to give you confidence on those frosty morinings. I wouldn't say this is a snow tire, because snow can take a lot of forms. But if theres ice in the mix this is the tire for you.
Biked home in freezing rain on sheet ice the other day with a laptop in my backback and nary a bit of sliding!! Totally solid. I knew I should have bought a set of these tires years ago.... I might have avoided the fall on ice 3 years ago that broke my bike rack and left me with mild whiplash for a week.
The upfront cost is significant, but so much cheaper than a serious fall, and even without falling well worth it for the sense of solidity and willingness to bike in any weather!
Lightweight casing makes for easy rolling at low temps- minus 22F this winter. Directional tread blocks and sipes for traction in slush of mid-winter thaw. Lots of small studs so have 4 or 5 in contact at all times but not overly heavy. Studs on both sides of center to catch on and lift the tire over ice ridges formed in yesterday's slush. Reflective sidewalls light up in headlights of cross traffic at intersections. Durable rubber compound as no missing studs after a winter of daily riding. Bought tubes with these tires and realized last week that I have needed to add air only once in several months. What's not to like? Some caution advised on dry pavement as studs reduce rubber contact patch. Will switch soon to summer tires for riding the winter Trek Y-11 on dirt trails and switch to riding a Big Dummy for daily commute and shopping/kid hauling/canoe towing.
I bought these tires ahead of the polar vortex storms . I live in Indiana and cycle 10 miles every day commuting to work on a mix of country roads, main road and people trail. These tires work great on dry roads and at 45 psi have reasonably low rolling resistance, but they foo sound like getting bacon as the studs chatter on the pavement! In fresh snow, packed snow and ice they have good grip inspiring confidence but you have to be realistic about the conditions and you'll still slide if you brake or turn aggressively. Dropping the pressure to 20 psi makes a huge difference on really treacherous surfaces. I rode confidently on hard packed, rutted snow.
Having ridden over 300 miles on them over Christmas and January in all conditions I've not list any studs and am really pleased with the performance all round.
Another plus is the reflective side wall which adds great visibility from the side.
I'm keeping them on the bike until spring.
I bought these tires to mount onto a little used mountain bike to try some winter riding. The tires are great for loose snow up to about 2 deep and patchy ice. It gives the added confidence and traction needed for sketchy transitions and rough patches. I have yet to try on solid ice and am likely not to push my balance skills with that. I did try in deeper 4 snow and while the tires worked well it was a real chore to achieve forward progress. This kind of riding is better left to the fat bike crowd. Over all i am very pleased with the quality of the tire, i have purchased several styles of Schwalbe tires over the course of my riding years and they are consistently a trouble free long lasting product.
I ride everyday in pittsburgh. The roads are generally in good shape, so I was hesitant to go studded, cause I didnt want to be slowed down. I am very happy with these tires. They are comfortable to ride everyday, but when it snows, or I come across some black ice, or Ice on the sidewalks and sides of the roads, they make the ride completely comfortable. I really like these tires.
Makes riding year-round a reality for me. A great winter tire-low rolling resistance, great on ice and snow-pack, and even good in moderate snowfalls (up to 4, though possibly more depending on your riding ability). A little noisy on bare pavement, but totally worth not worrying about the icy patches. Put them on in December and leave them on all winter-the carbide studs are tough and will not get ground down on pavement. Well worth the money if winter riding is a priority for you.
This is the first set of studded tired I've owned. After wiping out twice during a recent snowfall, I decided to make the investment. The price is well worth the confidence gained that you won't slide into a lane of traffic when you hit a patch of icy or snow. I rode today about 5 miles over 2 inches of snow without even noticing the snow. There is also a 1-mile stretch on a riverfront bike path that was underwater last week, but today was a smooth ice sheet covered in about 1 inch of snow - I rolled over the entire stretch without even the slightest slip. These tires are awesome. Never again will I ride my 32mm regular Marathons in the snowice...it's just not worth it when these are available. Also, there is hardly any additional resistance on dry pavement.
This is my first studded winter tire and I have some info for other first time buyers.
There is much less role resistance to this tire than my summer all-terranes. A pleasant surprise for me.
Ive lost a few studs on the back wheel but this can be avoided two ways A) when going over a curb ensure to hit it head on so your back tire doesnt skid along the side at all. B) when cycling the first 30K on hard pack to seat the studs its best to do it with your tires at a low enough pressure the side studs make contact (and there for will be seated by the pressure of driving over them). This will obviously increase the role resistance but after the first 30k you can pump it up to your liking.
Complete confidence on ice and low role resistance (for studdeds) with these tires but if your going through a lot of packed snow the Ie spiker or similar tire might be more fitting.
In a straight line the tires grip and perform perfectly. Rounding corners on dry or slick roadways, the tires seem to drift non-uniformly, but all within control at any speed (up to 42 mph on a downhill slope). Noisy on dry surfaces, crunchy on ice, smooth all the while.
I purchased these tires to replace the standard knobbies I was using for my winter commuting in Bozeman Montana. I cannot recommend these enough. No flats, TOUGH, and love the reflective sidewall for additional safety.
My knobbies were decent come winter time, but getting through the thick, heavy Montana snow was a chore and dicey at best. I fell a few times and experienced a lot of oh crap moments when you feel that front tire start to stray. I had to get something else.
Enter the SMW. All of the winter riders up here recommended them. I was not disappointed. In two winters of riding, I have never slipped, never gotten a flat, and have never regretted my purchase. This site has the best price on them, and these are top notch tires. I have noticed minimal wear on the carbide studs, and try to get them off my bike if there are extended periods of dry weather. I want to get my money's worth out of them, for the price. Many friends report getting 45 solid winter's out of them, or more. I hope I'm as fortunate.
Would by them again in a heartbeat.
I used these tires this past Winter on my mountain bike set up with an8 speed Internal Gear Hub. Great combination. It takes a little getting used to the riding on cinders feel of the tires but that soon becomes secondary. These tires roll well, for studded tires, and allow a lot more riding throughout the cold months. My biggest concern with Winter riding is black Ice from natural springs in my area. These tires give me peace of mind and allow me to be comfortable riding at night in below freezing weather. Studs stayed in. Really with the type of riding I do I could have gone with the 2 rows of studs rather than 4. Overall a fine tire which allows a lot more riding with than without.
I'm an icebiker. Most studded tires are either good for frozen singletack or cummuting in winter conditions. The former have aggressive lugs for snow and are slow and heavy. The latter don't have enough studs. They'd work ok but you'd never relax, and God forbid you need to turn! Marathon Winters have enough studs to do the job, unless you're short track racing, enough tread to get you through any snowy sections, and way lighter and tougher than any home built solution.