Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This past weekend I decided I'd better get on the stick and get that last Gravdal tire studded up. The weatherman was calling for a big swing in the weather and maybe there would be some ice and snow.

Not that I put a lot of faith into what the weatherman says, and even the weather people will tell you Winter weather is the hardest to predict. So, I was just being motivated by a false prophecy, or so I thought, and that was okay, because the deed would be done. When the time came that I really needed studded tires, I wouldn't be scrambling to get them on the bike.

I got the last one done watching the race Sunday, and then mounted them both up on some older Bontrager Race X Lite wheels I have with tubes. The Gravdal tires are not tubeless rated, and I figured tubes would be just fine in this case.

That all went on the Vaya. I figured I would ride it Monday when there was a chance of flurries, but not because I thought I needed studded tires, but because I figured I would bed the studs in by going to work and back. I could hear the difference in the sound the studs were making by about a mile in, and I knew that they were seating into their molded in spots well. By the time I got to work, they all looked great, setting just perfectly into the beefy tread blocks of the Gravdal tires. Mission accomplished.

And whatta ya know? They were right!
At work I saw the flakes start to fill the air. Nice, fluttering flakes of snow. No big deal. Then a barrage of snow, but I knew that the first few snows of the year generally don't stick. However; it kept coming down, and the temperatures were plummeting, and the winds were blowing hard.

Wait a minute....

I kept a watchful eye on the outdoor happenings from inside the shop. I was starting to get concerned when the streets were getting very wet, and cars were getting covered in the white stuff. Much more of this and we'd be seeing accumulations on pavement, and then the ice would form from car traffic. Hmm....

But then the snow faded, then it quit altogether. Maybe it would be all melted before I left. I figured it was no big deal, and I went about my business, satisfied that there would be no icy threat to getting home. Besides, I had studded tires! I had nothing to fear, right?

And I didn't need to worry, but I did run across plenty of snow and even some patches of ice that maybe would have been trouble on tires of this width. A fat bike or even a 29"er? pffft! Child's play for that, but I was glad I had studs all the same. And the bonus? These actually ride pretty okay for studded tires, which isn't usually the case at all. Oh- and let's not forget, I am ready for the next time!

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