Nokian Hakkapeliitta Studded Tires
In Finland, where 25% of the country lies above the arctic circle, rolling on ice and snow is an accepted part of life. About 90% of Finnish vehicles run studded tires between December and March. And of course the tire of choice is Nokian.
Nokian has been making tires in Nokia, Finland since 1904. The tires shown here are 700×32 Hakkapeliitta A10′s. It’s plain to see these aren’t the most aggressively studded tires on the market. They’re designed to be reasonably smooth rolling tires that offer added traction on patches of ice. The tread is deep enough to negotiate slush and snow, but if you’re looking for extreme condition tires Nokian has other tires for you.
The 700×32 A10′s weigh in at a beefy 800g each, thanks to a wire bead and 72 steel studs. The steel studs have carbide centers to help prolong their life and usefulness. The rubber is relatively soft (58A durometer) and the 22tpi sidewalls are very sturdy.
Of course if you’re not constantly riding in snow and ice, these tires aren’t for you. The tires are only rated to 58psi. While they’ll get you home safe all winter long, 58psi in a road bike tire makes for slow going. And studded tires pretty much suck on paved surfaces—even with their relatively low stud-count, the Hakkapeliitta’s make sharp turns feel sketchy at speed. And the sound of metal studs scraping the tarmac just might drive some people crazy.
Hakkapeliitta A10′s retail for about $45 to $55 per tire, but good luck finding them. People in the north tend to snatch these up as quick as they’re offered. In fact, I recently heard that a Minneapolis bike shop sold more than 50 of these tires in 3 days. There are several other companies that offer studded tires, and even one discount mail order company has their own brand. But the word on the street is some of them just don’t hold up like the originals.
Visit www.suomityres.com for more info.