Monday, January 10, 2011

Nokian Hakkapeliitta Snow Test

Even though I rode the roller and trainer for 60 minutes this morning with the plan of driving to work because of the snow. The anticipation of trying out the Nokians proved too much.

Yep that's the cross bike. Why ride the cross bike when I have built a snow bike? I have to try out the studded tires. The usual 8 mile commute took about 15 more minutes than usual.

For some reason I had the bike setup 40x17 Fixed Gear. I'm not sure if that was a good idea or bad. Since riding in snow and ice is a game of balance, I found the fixed gear in some situations to provide more precise of control, than the brake. In other words you can feel the contact you have with the road better. I think there were more time I would have rather coasted then pedaled like the several parking lot curbs I had to go over, but it was a learning experience.
I found 40x17 over geared for the fresh snow and unplowed street this morning. Since I could not take the the busy streets because I would freak out and/or annoy the drivers, I had to plow through the semi-fresh snow in the neighborhoods and on the sidewalks. This is where a nice set of Surly 3.7" wide Endomorphs would come in handy. No tire is perfect for all conditions.
Another thing I noticed on the new snow is that once I had wide open stretchs and I was able to realize the potential of the 44x17. I was going so fast I couldn't feel the the tires contact with the road no longer. I did this a few time, but slowed down because I didn't feel like going down. Risk vs. Reward . . . Lots of Risk, no Reward. I've heard of this kind of thing before. They say a motorcycle going 100mph weights about 15Lbs. The 15Lbs. is in reguards to the verticle compliance of the motorcycles weight on the road.

However on the ride home after the snow had been plowed and the streets had a light cover, these tires hooked up nice. I had to slow down for cars. The shape of the thickness and shape of the knobs on the tire squeegeed the snow for beneith you, allowing the studs grip the road like a Bearcat or a Binuroug. Talk about riding with confidence.
I think they are great for conditions like this evening; but for conditions that we had this morning, they were not perfect, they were better than regular cross tires, but exect then to hook up like your on rails.

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