Continental Spike Claw 240 – First Impression

A Continental Spike Claw 240 Review

On Monday morning I awoke to a surprise coating of ice and snow covering the ground. My first thoughts were that this would be an opportunity to try my new studded ice tires! Before I made the decision to swap the tires, I took a stroll in the front yard to determine the slickness. It was a coating of frozen rain with a light snow covering, and quite slippery to walk on. I decided to mount the Continental Spike Claw 240 tires that I purchased at the Bicycle Authority, and see what they’d do for me. The “240” refers to the number of studs per tire.

Icy Commute Home
Icy Commute

After mounting the tires, I headed down the driveway and into the street. I gave a couple little brake checks to see how the back end would do. There was traction where I had previously slipped trying to walk. Once underway, the studs on the ground made a crackling sound. The sound reminded me of bacon sizzling in a pan!

After a short distance, I began to relax on ground that would normally make my commute very tense. I had to remind myself to slow down when approaching corners, not being sure how the studs would handle a turn. I figured, why hit the ground after spending so much money on these things? I would experiment with corners gradually, and not get too excited. The confidence built as my commute went on. The extra traction made darting across traffic much safer. This is always a problem on icy days. Slippery tires are like delayed reaction time.

Spike Claw
Spike Claw Mounted

At lunch, we headed up to Ash Canyon for a recreational ride. The ice had melted, but the canyon trails were full of snow and mud. This was my opportunity to see how these tires would transition into different terrain. The studs had no effect in these conditions, but the very tall knobbies of the Spike Claw dug deep into the snow and mud.

The Spike Claws come in a 2.1 inch width, and weigh about 970 grams per tire. That’s a lot of weight, and you feel it on the climb. The casing height is medium tall. Bigger than a racing tire, but not as tall as an “all mountain” or freeride tire. They weren’t as confidence inspiring as the big tires I normally run on my single speed, but certainly not horrible either. Considering the muddy conditions we were in, I thought they handled well, transitioning between ice, snow, and mud quite nicely.

Continental Spike Claw 240
Spike Claw Top View

At well over $100 per pair, the Continental Spike Claw is not for everyone. But if you rely on your bike for transportation in any weather, I highly recommend a pair. After crashing twice on the ice already this season, I wish I would’ve had these tires earlier. Commuting in ice was my biggest challenge, and these tires took care of the problem. Recreational riding at lunch was not compromised thanks to the aggressive knobby design. Thanks to these tires, there is now one less excuse not to ride!

7 thoughts on “Continental Spike Claw 240 – First Impression

  1. 20 below? I thought it was summer there.
    Those tires look mean. I think the DOT has outlawed tread like that due to road damage. Might want to look into it. You could be breaking the law.

  2. The sound of those tires on the street made me so hungry. I was dreaming of eggs, over easy with some bacon and grits. And then we hit the first climb and I was dreaming that the climb might go a little faster and I might labor a little less. Neither dream came true.

  3. You’re right, at that price, they’re not for everyone. But when new winter commuters complain about the cost of good studded tires, I always tell them to compare two tires to the cost of one trip to the emergency room.

    Good studded tires are worth every penny.

  4. No I don’t. Seems like if you aired down the tire enough, the side spikes of the 120 may engage the ice when riding in a straight line, but I’m not sure. I wanted to make sure there were a number of spikes in contact with the ground no matter if I was turning or braking…that’s why I went with the 240.

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