First l will describe the conditions that the tires are being tested in.
Spokane Washington can be either "cold wet" or "cool dry".
(left in image) are on a Diamondback hybrid and I am using 26 inch Nokian Mount and Grounds on a Trek 820.
At first I was quite surprised at the required air pressure. Sidewall statement is 50 to 85
pounds and no less than 50. I run the Nokians at 40 on dry pavement or
compact snow and ice and down to 15 or so in deeper snow/slush.
Installation was a snap. No more difficult than your basic tire change.
One notable item though, these tires have a "direction of rotation" arrow. Thereby laying to rest the never-ending controversy over
inverted tread forward, backward or sideways.
Looking at the tires, the lugs look slightly larger than the
Nokians. The big test here will be how well they wear under extensive dry
The first ride was on a cool dry day. At 60 pounds of pressure they
roll just about the same as a semi-aggressive knobby. After a brief encounter with local law enforcement because I was stopping people
and saying "Hey man! Got any snow? Any ice?", I continued on.
A notable difference is the pressure. After riding all summer on slicks at
around 90PSI, a Nokian knobby at 35 to 40 felt like I was on water balloons.
The Nashbars, at 60PSI, were decent.
The next evening we received 2 or so inches of snow which became
compacted into ice on our local streets very quickly.
These thinner tires at 60 PSI felt just a bit unstable, and while I didn't
do a test, it felt that a quick emergency maneuver (such as to avoid a dog, cat or 3 toed sloth) would cause a crash. 50 pounds didn't feel
much better and being the typical male, I disregarded the instructions and took them down to 35. After going through 3 sets of tubes
because I was crushing them against the rim, it was decided that maybe 50
is better. Just kidding, 40 is as low as I went and then there was significant danger of rim or tube damage at the slightest
The decision for compact snow/ice: 50 pounds and try to avoid
emergency maneuvers. But being used to a wider 26" it may take a bit of getting used to.
After a few weeks of holiday madness and some major snow storms
I tested these tires on compact snow and ice. Since I was used to 26 inchers, I really had some doubts, my mindset being,
"I've always used these, they work, why try something else?" But
after feeling their stability, I was impressed, and became curious as to how they would operate in heavier stuff.
To test this I ran the tires in just about every situation you can
think of. Heavy deep slushy, light and powdery, semi-compact that gets chewed up when riding on it, wet
snow and wet snow covered with sand and gravel. All of the conditions were on a paved street/trail.
And in all of them the tires performed outstandingly while at 60PSI.
Being more narrow than the 26 inchers they cut through snow very
well. Surprisingly so. While that was expected, the excellent traction they provided was not. I really expected the decrease of
surface area contact to lessen the available traction.
But these tires gripped very well. While on some compact snow
I did an emergency stop (hard pull on both front and rear brakes) from approximately 10MPH and skidded about 1 foot. A gliding turn at
15MPH produced a feeling of imminent crash and was abandoned in favor of ploughing into a snow bank.
Knowing full well these tires were designed with the commuter in
mind we couldn't resist a bit of a trail ride. Again, a very admirable performance.
Piece of cake. Pedal, cut, grip and roll sums it up nicely. No slippage and the narrow tires cut through the
snow really well.
A ride though some 8 inch, heavy chewed up, slushy mess produced a lot of sweat, heavy breathing and a few cuss words (not
unlike some of the dates I've been on). We made it but the work involved really wasn't worth it.
At the end of my tests all of the studs were intact and hardly
showed any wear at all.