Review: Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro Studded Tires (2015)

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It’s quite easy to notice that the bicycle industry’s offer grows by the year, and this growth doesn’t concern only quantity, but also quality, as more an more riders demand more performance from the products they use. Therefore, it’s hardly any surprise that even studded mountain bike tires like Schwalbe’s Ice Spiker Pro lost a lot of weight, while gained a lot in terms of other features.

The pattern of a winter mountain bike tire can vary a lot, as well as the number of studs used, but generally speaking, those models with one stud per knob are a sure bet. Also, they are expensive and heavy, two drawbacks with which you’ll have to come to terms if you aim for top performances on snow and ice. In the case of Ice Spiker Pro, things aren’t any different and, in fact, “expensive” is a word that describes them accurately.

However, Schwalbe provided enough arguments for the high price point at which Ice Spiker Pro sits. First of all, the tire is manufactured out of the producer’s very best compound, features the fabled stud per knob, can be mounted with almost no effort and we even go so far as to say that its weight is decent considering the 378 studs it carries. Furthermore, the knobs are pretty high so they will grip the snowy surface with problems next to none, even in corners.

We won’t refrain from calling Ice Spiker Pro a true winter all-rounder, since it tackled uphill, downhill and flat sections in the most efficient way, making drifts a long-forgotten thing. The only situation that proved a match for the tires was exiting an icy ditch, when the rear wheel didn’t have enough grip, but other than that the experience and performance delivered by them surpasses by miles that of regular, un-studded tires. Rolling speed can be rated as decent for a 2.25-inch tire with large knobs, still, in the same time, we do not recommend pushing yourself and your bike to the limit in winter conditions for obvious reasons.

You must keep in mind that Ice Spiker Pro belongs to snowy/icy rides, and asphalt roads are its enemy. On a 15-kilometer stretch across which we pedaled, the grip decreased dramatically because the metal studs started slipping when they came into contact with the tarmac. Also, the wheels seemed to lose all balance since the weight of the studs influenced the weight disposition, and the noise generated was beyond bearable. However, despite all this issues, the tire was mechanically sound, with all the studs in place and the casing intact.

Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro offers, from our point of view, everything you could possibly ask for from a winter tire in terms of performances, but its main drawback remains the price, even more so as in the case of this component it’s recommended to buy a pair.

Weight: 835 grams/piece

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