Snow Tire Review
December 12, 2009
I’ve tried Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106, Schwalbe Marathon Winter, and Schwalbe Snow Stud.
And more recently, Nokian W240.
In general, for my riding (mostly roads, some icy patches, thin-to-no snow), the Nokian W106 is best, especially for the front tire. I think that the Schwalbe Marathon Winter has slightly better rolling resistance, but it is less sure-footed on the ice.
Update: I bought a Nokian W240 and tried it as a front tire, and it was great. Same rolling resistance as the W106, but more traction on uneven ice. Note that both Nokians were incredibly hard to get on or off of my front rim (Sun Rhyno Lite).
I was quite unhappy with the Snow Stud as a front tire, but it works ok in the rear. The reason for this is that the studs are somewhat to the side; in theory you deflate the tire to get better contact, but that didn’t work for me. In the rear, however, if the tire starts to slide out, then you get contact, and decent traction.
You can see that here, where the two deep scratches on the right (starting just right of center bottom) were made by the studs on the right side of the tire, and the two trace scratches to the let, were made by studs on the left side of the tire, that were much less in contact with the ice.
It looks like it might also give better drive traction in snow, which would be a good thing.