Works Enduro Rider
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Grip Studs Customer Testomonial

 

I wanted to try winter riding after having done it only once, 30 years ago.  Since I wanted one set of tires  to “play race” on lakes as well as ride trails and frozen dirt roads I did not want to go the route of screws.  I also thought carbide studs would stand up better to the frozen sand and ice combo on dirt roads as well as the rocks and frozen bare ground I’d be hitting on some trails.

When I went to the sites selling studded tires the prominent warnings about not using them on frozen ground and rocks scared me a bit.  I knew I’d be hitting plenty of frozen ground areas, rocks, frozen gravel, frozen sand/water mix, etc.  Meanwhile, the company that did my suspension, Drew Smith’s Works Enduro Rider (www.werproducts.net), had some information on their site about screw-in studs.  After almost buying pre-studded tires elsewhere (due to the ease) I decided to try the WER system.  I kept having visions of glue letting go on the other system, my engineering mind stuck on gluing rigid metal into flexible rubber that is constantly being flexed in use.

I bought 200 studs for the rear tire, a Mitas cold weather tire I bought from WER, and 250 smaller studs into the stock Bridgestone MX front that came stock on the KTM 250 XCFW.  I knew that if the front did not work well I could always remove the studs and try another tire, something I like about this system.

I’m guessing that it took me 4 hours total to stud both tires.  There is definitely a knack to getting the studs to stay centered and straight on small knobs like the front Bridgestone has.  I’d love to take a video of this to help anyone doing the installation.  I think my take on the technique is a bit different than the installation video I’ve seen. 

My first 2 rides were on frozen lakes with temps in the low 20’s F.  I was extremely timid at first, not having ridden on ice for so long, and wondering if the non-ideal front tire I was using would skate all over the place, but I was able to keep pushing it harder and harder until, by the second ride, I was able to repeat wide, long, predictable slides out of the turns on the ovals I was riding.  Traction is predictable and easy to feel on both ends.  I was very happy with the ice performance.  Certainly, for use only ice-racing there are specialized systems that have evolved just for that use and I’m not presenting these studs as competitive against full out ice racing screw or spike systems.  My goal is to have a durable, all around system with which I can have fun on the ice, and I don’t plan on ice racing other than some informal dicing with guys I find out there.     

The next ride was on packed and frozen snowmobile trails and crunchy, rain-soaked-then-frozen snow.  I was climbing hills that had bare spots of frozen gravel, exposed ledge, and frozen dirt.  Since I really want to see what I can get away with I made sure whack the throttle every time I hit the bare areas.  I don’t want a system I have to be careful with. 

The entire trail ride was an absolute blast.  Anyone who has not ridden frozen snowmobile trails has to give it a try.  I was riding faster through the turns  and whoops than I normally do on bare ground on the same trails.  From smooth trails to whoops to glare ice in the low areas the traction was high and predictable.  It feels great to get out in the middle of a New England winter and have an aggressive ride without slipping and sliding around.  This ride was at 33 degrees F, and I was sweating.  On all 3 rides I have been warm without wearing extreme gear…..just a polypropylene long sleeve base layer, a heavier polypro layer, a fleece jacket, and a light shell on top.  On bottom just long polypro underwear, knee/shin guards, mx pants, and my trials boots.  If you are working it, at these temps cold is just not a factor.  I had so much fun on the 3 rides that I told myself after the last ride “If I don’t use them ever again the system has paid for itself in fun”.  But I’ll get much more use of course, this weekend I’ll be going out Saturday and Sunday, hitting the trails and lakes.

Instead of saying “Come on Spring, get here…….” I’m now saying “I hope cold weather hangs around a bit so I can try more trails and lakes”.  That’s a huge difference, instead of wishing part my life away I’m enjoying the here and now.  All in cold climates who have their bikes laid up for the winter, just dying for spring, should try this, including snowmobilers.  I just bought a sled (part of my winter enjoyment program) but the conditions are terrible right now for sledding.  But they are perfect for winter dirt bike riding.

 

My best,

 

Armando