45NRTH Xerxes Studded Tire // Long Term Review

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You might remember our First Impressions of the Xerxes (found Here). We were quite taken with it’s revolutionary way of dealing with icy, slippery streets and paths. So how has it fared after most of a Minnesotan Winter? Not to mention the thaw/rain/freeze/snow cycle we’ve recently found ourselves trapped in.

om_45_2I’m happy to report that the 45NRTH Xerxes has performed above and beyond the call of duty. As a self-proclaimed year-round Roadie, this is close to (if not) the perfect tire. That said, there are many different conditions and needs that a ‘typical’ Winter Commuter might have. Let’s run those down after the cut –

1. Clear or Slushy Pavement : Thumbs Up! Put it close to max (about 75 PSI) and you might as well be riding a nice Cross tire. Nice and cushy, but never felt soft. The only time I heard the studs was when I banked my tire at a severe degree.

2. Mostly Clear Pavement with Hidden Ice and Packed Snow : Thumbs Up! When put at the right PSI (which I found to be somewhere between 35 and 40 PSI for myself) it’ll be solid enough to cut through the snow, but grippy enough with the side studs to keep you upright if you chance upon some ice. As this is close to 90% of the riding that I encounter in Winter, it’s pretty much ideal. Experiment with different Tire Pressures and see what works best for you.

3. Very Icy Pavement with Minimal Snow (Like after a rain/freeze) : Not ideal. Even with the pressure put down all the way to the lowest recommended, it was pretty sketchy. To be fair, however, not many studded tires (barring the Schwalbe Marathon Winter or Nokian Extreme)  can handle glare ice. Fortunately, there aren’t so many of these days.

4. Deep Snow where a Trail Used To Be (Where Did That Darn Thing Go??) : Pretty great, actually! I was a little surprised when I took this out on a very snowy day early in the season. They dug through the fluff and gripped the bottom. I only fell once, and that was due to me riding off of a small cliff (which I could not see was there). Not the tire’s fault.

5. MTB Trails (Such as the River Bottoms) : Pretty okay! Not as good as a Fat Bike, but really as far as Cross tires go it’s fine. Add some studs and you’re protecting yourself from those nasty little spots of ice on the trail. If you’re into adventuring, this might be just the ticket.

om_45_3So there you have it. As far as Winter Tires go, it may be the best thing out there for your commute. It takes some time getting used to pumping up your tires before most rides, but just like brushing your teeth, you get the habit down quick. As far as durability goes, most studded tires last a couple of seasons, and I have yet to get a flat or have a stud pop off, so I think the Xerxes will follow suit.

We have a couple pairs left, and they’re buy one, get one 50% off right now! If you’re thinking of getting out there before everyone else does – these will do the trick. Come in and check out a pair today.


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