Autonomous Motion

Nokian Ice Bike Tires


How to ride in the snow

Scandinavian bicycle tire manufacturer Nokian makes carbide-studded “ice” tires for winter riding. Their “lightly-studded” 700c model, the Hakkapeliitta, has made my bicycle commuting season here in Boston last year-round. The carbide studs will give you traction through snow and across frozen trails, iced-over gutters, and unanticipated (and very dangerous) black road ice. I’ve been able to bike on surfaces that I couldn’t even stand on. In the worst of winter weather, it gives me great pleasure to smoothly cruise past entire fleets of cars stuck on the ice. For ultimate winter traction control, mount them on a “fixed-gear” bike with wide tire clearances, such as the Surly Steamroller.

I dream of a day, after weeks and weeks of frigid weather, when I can commute from Cambridge to Waltham on top of a frozen-over Charles River.

-- John Rieffel 01/12/04