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Riding during off season.

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Just an update, 50 psi was way too high, I'm down to 35 psi now and it is much better.  Honestly it just seems like new tires need some time to break in, as the more I ride it the more pleasant it is to control.

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I am thinking of fitting this tire to my Airwheel X3 14" and studding it.  Meant for a 50-150cc dirt bike, but I think it'll fit..  Nubby rubber lugs will grip snow, and they're also deep enough to stud for icy conditions.. 

https://www.amazon.ca/Bridgestone-M204-Motocross-Rear-100-14/dp/B005J8X348/ref=sr_1_161?ie=UTF8&qid=1542477222&sr=8-161&keywords=14+inch+tire

I expect I'll have to modify my X3 shell to accommodate the taller tire tread.  I have a short 4km ride to work on quiet industrial streets, but, I use my EUC everywhere it's short range will take me living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The decision: spend $6 in public transit per round trip, or spend approximately $100 for a tire and studs and I get to continue riding all year long.   ROI is 16 trips.   Being able to continue enjoying riding = priceless.

Edited by ShadowWheelin'

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On 9/7/2018 at 1:10 AM, Xoltri said:

 

When I saw the first video, I thought "this won't work". I've used the soldering iron method to create the holes and pockets, and without the pockets you lose the studs in no time.

This idea though was really smart, and a lot less messy than using the iron! This will be the method I go for I believe. Much better than standing outside in the f-ing cold to avoid getting poisoned by burning rubber. :D 

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I'm still plugging away without studs; now that I've made it through the very worst that winter can throw at me this season, I think I'll probably leave them for next year.

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11 hours ago, winterwheel said:

I'm still plugging away without studs; now that I've made it through the very worst that winter can throw at me this season, I think I'll probably leave them for next year.

I think I prefer to avoid the Bambi effect. While fun on a lake, it is less fun with angry drivers, bikers and pedestrians all around you.

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5 hours ago, Scatcat said:

While fun on a lake, it is less fun with angry drivers, bikers and pedestrians all around you.

On my short (6.5k) ride to work I have bike lanes most of the way, only about 1.5 of that do I have to ride on roads with traffic, and a tiny section of sidewalk in one transition. I haven't experienced any angry drivers, most are incredulous on the worst days, curious and amused on normal winter days.  I can keep up with most bikes in all but the most extreme slippery conditions, and they seem to see me as sharing their battle against the common foe: winter. 

Next year I'll have a second wheel to spare for experiments, and I'll give them a try then. <== subject to change :ph34r:

 

Edited by winterwheel
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One of the justifications I have for riding without studs is that every once in a while I hear comments about how terrifying slippery spots can be in the winter, a muddy spot on a trail for example, or some wet leaves in the fall. If I can show that an intermediate rider can ride through winter conditions with an unmodified tire, experienced summer riders should have nothing to worry about if they should experience a slippery spot in other seasons.

 

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On 10/10/2018 at 6:15 PM, Xoltri said:

Well, I put the tire on yesterday and rode 12k to work today, haven't lost any studs.  Traction is really good, I have some ice on my driveway and the wheel can go up it no problem.  Much more slippery with my shoes.  The wheel does handle differently, especially on turns.  It seems to want to stay upright and not lean as I'm used to with the stock tire.  A little more squirrely too.  I tried it at 30-40psi, currently at 40, may try 45-50 later today to see how it handles.  

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I added the outer 50 studs yesterday and rode to work today. I've decided to bite the bullet and do the other 50 too, as soon as I get them in the mail.

Yesteryear when I rode on a 16" one row of studs was plenty, but the MSX tire is so goddamn wide and fat, that the effect of an outer row is too little grip upright, and then a lot of grip when turning. That makes it more squirrely than I really like, as the grip should be as even as possible.

The schwalbe studding tool could really be more ergonomic, I have a sore thumb, and palm.

I can testify that a dremel is a lot better than a drill for making the initial holes. But you should have good ventilation, as there will be some very hot rubber when you do. The upside is that you get really smooth holes that seem to take all the abuse well. I used a 3mm drill in the dremel, that made for some more effort in getting the studs in, but they sit like factory made when you're done. For the pockets I used a drill and a nail like in your video.

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On 11/30/2018 at 5:49 PM, winterwheel said:

If I can show that an intermediate rider can ride through winter conditions with an unmodified tire, experienced summer riders should have nothing to worry about if they should experience a slippery spot in other seasons.

No, it doesn’t work that way. In the winter you are constantly aware of the low grip, and ride accordingly. In the summer the grip is usually not an issue, so again one rides accordingly. The lack of grip on a muddy spot will come as a surprise and the wheel slips extremely easily, even if the actual grip was the same as on snow.

A while ago Marty Backe slipped and crashed on a slippery mud spot. Kuji Rolls slipped and crashed on the MSX, since the tire doesn’t have a very good grip. Chooch slipped and crashed on the demo Z10. I slipped and fell on a mud spot when I had ridden perhaps 6000-7000km. I wear motorcycle gear so I came out unharmed. Surely you agree that lack of experience had nothing to do with these crashes?

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1 hour ago, mrelwood said:

No, it doesn’t work that way. In the winter you are constantly aware of the low grip, and ride accordingly. In the summer the grip is usually not an issue, so again one rides accordingly. The lack of grip on a muddy spot will come as a surprise and the wheel slips extremely easily, even if the actual grip was the same as on snow.

A while ago Marty Backe slipped and crashed on a slippery mud spot. Kuji Rolls slipped and crashed on the MSX, since the tire doesn’t have a very good grip. Chooch slipped and crashed on the demo Z10. I slipped and fell on a mud spot when I had ridden perhaps 6000-7000km. I wear motorcycle gear so I came out unharmed. Surely you agree that lack of experience had nothing to do with these crashes?

You touched on the issue yourself:

             The lack of grip on a muddy spot will come as a surprise

Surprise = Bad Outcomes no matter what the season

----

I will say though, that my riding style is definitely changed from riding around in the winter; I ride much more over the wheel, I have different techniques for turning, and I have learned to have the confidence to hang on when the wheel starts sliding around instead of bailing.

For these reasons, I believe everyone should come up to Edmonton in January to learn to ride their wheels safely. :)

Edited by winterwheel
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2 hours ago, Scatcat said:

I added the outer 50 studs yesterday and rode to work today. I've decided to bite the bullet and do the other 50 too, as soon as I get them in the mail.

Yesteryear when I rode on a 16" one row of studs was plenty, but the MSX tire is so goddamn wide and fat, that the effect of an outer row is too little grip upright, and then a lot of grip when turning. That makes it more squirrely than I really like, as the grip should be as even as possible.

The schwalbe studding tool could really be more ergonomic, I have a sore thumb, and palm.

I can testify that a dremel is a lot better than a drill for making the initial holes. But you should have good ventilation, as there will be some very hot rubber when you do. The upside is that you get really smooth holes that seem to take all the abuse well. I used a 3mm drill in the dremel, that made for some more effort in getting the studs in, but they sit like factory made when you're done. For the pockets I used a drill and a nail like in your video.

I'm looking forward to hearing how the studs work out on the MSX, especially since that might be my main commuting wheel next winter.

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Minus27

My Monday morning commute will be fun, it should be about -26c when I leave for work at 7:00a.

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14 hours ago, winterwheel said:

Minus27

My Monday morning commute will be fun, it should be about -26c when I leave for work at 7:00a.

Apparently we are going to hit -19C thursday next week. I almost feel that should make an extra effort to go for a ride on my MSX in that cold to see what it feels like and to see how the battery and range behaves. 

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1 hour ago, Mike Sacristan said:

Apparently we are going to hit -19C thursday next week. I almost feel that should make an extra effort to go for a ride on my MSX in that cold to see what it feels like and to see how the battery and range behaves. 

That's always one of my motivations as well, to see what happens with these things under non-normal conditions.

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Whenever I see studs installed on the original MSX tire for winter, I can’t help thinking how much a rougher tread profile would help in the snow. Studs should work well on ice, but I don’t think they can do too much on thicker unevenly packed snow. I’m still waiting for my motorcycle tire to arrive, which will hopefully do so before the snows melt...

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2 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Whenever I see studs installed on the original MSX tire for winter, I can’t help thinking how much a rougher tread profile would help in the snow. Studs should work well on ice, but I don’t think they can do too much on thicker unevenly packed snow. I’m still waiting for my motorcycle tire to arrive, which will hopefully do so before the snows melt...

 

20 hours ago, winterwheel said:

Minus27

My Monday morning commute will be fun, it should be about -26c when I leave for work at 7:00a.

To make it even more fun, we're forecast to get 30cm of snow between now and then, so it's going to be the mother of all winter commuting days on Monday. Do I prepare for ice? For snow? Develop some kind of "injury" between now and then so I can stay home for the day? :ph34r: 

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2 hours ago, mrelwood said:

Whenever I see studs installed on the original MSX tire for winter, I can’t help thinking how much a rougher tread profile would help in the snow. Studs should work well on ice, but I don’t think they can do too much on thicker unevenly packed snow. I’m still waiting for my motorcycle tire to arrive, which will hopefully do so before the snows melt...

I'm waiting for mine too. And I can confirm that studs don't do shit on uneven packed snow. The only thing helping that with the original tire, is bent legs and quick reactions. I actually had to step off once today, when turning into my yard and into five inches of semi-packed slush. The wheel started gliding sideways off the pile and I put my foot down. Luckily the speed was almost nil.

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-26•C?! That is truly nasty! No way you’ll ride without a full-face. My paragliding helmet doesn’t have enough ventilation so it gets all foggy in a few minutes.

After 6 weeks of waiting for the tire I finally logged in to my account at Chinahao.com. I had gotten a message 4 HOURS after my order: ”Very sorry, big item, too expensive to ship, we refund all.” Daaarngh! The e-mail must have gone to spam.

Luckily I finally found the same tire at Aliexpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bK8VHHXE

Bought it right away. Will probably take another 6 weeks... At least I should have a good tire for the summer. Meanwhile, thank goodness for the MiniPro with knobbies!

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My 6am commute this morning was -18c, windy, drifting snow, snowing, snow warning in effect. Had to carry the wheel across a couple of snow drifts, but otherwise pretty uneventful. About 70% of the way had been plowed already, so that made it quite a bit easier than it might have been. Where it wasn't, you have to quite often make up your mind to gun it when you see a snowdrift; slow down too much and you'll have trouble keeping the wheel vertical with the snow and underlying road texture pushing the wheel in different directions. If you bang the snowdrift then momentum will generally carry you through.

It's only about half an hour out there but even so, the pedals were frozen open when I got to work :shock2:. I had to bang the wheel on a curb to get the right pedal to fold up so I could go inside.

Cold wise, my little neck/face protector worked fine, but had my ride been much longer than half an hour I would have started to get uncomfortable. For Monday, if it does turn out to be -26, I'll double that up.

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7 hours ago, winterwheel said:

My 6am commute this morning was -18c, windy, drifting snow, snowing, snow warning in effect. Had to carry the wheel across a couple of snow drifts, but otherwise pretty uneventful. About 70% of the way had been plowed already, so that made it quite a bit easier than it might have been. Where it wasn't, you have to quite often make up your mind to gun it when you see a snowdrift; slow down too much and you'll have trouble keeping the wheel vertical with the snow and underlying road texture pushing the wheel in different directions. If you bang the snowdrift then momentum will generally carry you through.

It's only about half an hour out there but even so, the pedals were frozen open when I got to work :shock2:. I had to bang the wheel on a curb to get the right pedal to fold up so I could go inside.

Cold wise, my little neck/face protector worked fine, but had my ride been much longer than half an hour I would have started to get uncomfortable. For Monday, if it does turn out to be -26, I'll double that up.

If you get one pedal up, why not just carry it inside? It will thaw in no time.

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1 hour ago, Scatcat said:

If you get one pedal up, why not just carry it inside? It will thaw in no time.

Didn't want to wait around in the lobby waiting for electric unicycle to thaw. 21st century problems. (I put it into a bag so it doesn't leave a trail of dirty melting snow in the building as I go from the front door, up the elevator, through various other doors to my desk.)

Edited by winterwheel
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