Studded Tires

Thanks for the studded tires, Mom and Dad!

I built this bike to use the Nokian A10 tires. It’s a low geared 3 speed, so I’m not tempted to go too fast when I shouldn’t. It has good fender clearance, using Velo Orange aluminum fenders. Unfortunately I have to use my battery light on it, that’ll be disappointing.

Installing the tires on their rims was the most difficult part of this whole job. The tires are very stiff, and tight on the rims. Also, they have carbide spikes for additional hand comfort as you wrestle them onto the rims.

On my first attempt, when my hands got sore I broke down and did what I knew I shouldn’t: I used a tire lever to install the tire. Even though I was being careful, the inevitable occurred, and I popped the tube. After getting some additional tubes, I tried again; the second time, I succeeded. Then I tried the rear tire, and put another hole in the tube.

For the next two days, my palms were sore. It hurt to run water over them. The next day, I remembered I had another tube available, and tried that one; but this time I got smart and used gloves. That tube got pinched and popped, without even using the tire level to install it. After using my last 2 patches to repair two of the three tube failures, one final attempt got the tire on the rim without any holes in the tube. (I have more patches coming in the mail)

There are a few upsides here. There’s no way these things are going to get holes in them or pinch-flat, since they are so stiff and heavy. I’m just going to leave my repair kit at home since I’d never be able to replace a tube on the road anyway.

I took the bike out for a spin last night, on our unplowed road. On my limited ride, the tires worked really well: they didn’t slide at all, even though it was easy for me to slip on my feet when I was standing.

I have a cold, and we’re getting 4-8″ of snow in the next few days, so I haven’t ridden it to work yet. Maybe I will next week.