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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-11-07, 12:33 AM   #1
ax0n
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This is going to be awesome!

We're getting a hell of a downpour here, and it's freezing instantly onto whatever it touches.

I know I've been kind of a naysayer of studded tires, but I scored some decent Kendas for cheap, so I picked up some tire liners while I was at the LBS, then swung by the hardware store on my way home from work (with the Kendas around my neck and torso, riding the bike) for 200+ machine screws.

I spent about 2 hours total ghetto-studding my old knobbies. I figure if these don't work out, I'll throw the new Kendas on and keep doing the ice/snow without studs. I just got back from a 3/4 mile shakedown run on concrete covered in skating-rink glass. Stuff I can barely stand on, and can't walk on. This is a curvy walking trail with mild grades, similar to what the roads (or their accompanying sidewalks) will be like in the morning.

It was a huge success. Now I just need to see if these ghetto studded tires will last. When I fill them up to 65 PSI, the studs don't touch until I corner. When I run them at 30, the studs dig in no matter what. I know they're really, really tall. My digital calipers say they stand 4.5mm proud from the front tire and 4.7mm from the (more worn) rear.

They're positively evil on this ice. Not un-breakable, but extremely sure-footed.

Click image for my write up:



And yes, I know where the winter forum is, but you guys are my family.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:38 AM   #2
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Cool! Have fun tomorrow. I feel your enthusiasm!
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Old 12-11-07, 12:44 AM   #3
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People are already cowering in their beds, dreading the drive to work. I'm going to wake up, brew some coffee, drag that thing out and have a blast.
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Old 12-11-07, 01:13 AM   #4
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you the man! I rode today but the rain isn't sticking to anything, so I was just cold and wet (I took my rain jacket, not the pants).

It's late and I went out with some friends tonight. It's 1AM and so far the temp is holdng at 32 so we have less ice than we've had for three days. Wichita is spared as long as it doesn't get colder for the next four hours or so. Hopefully you will be spared as well, you're not too far from where I am. If it is icy in the morning, be careful. I hope thse studs work out. I gave up on my home-mades.

Anyone else interested in home made studs check out the Mountain forum, there are a ton of guys there trying it with varied success.
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Old 12-11-07, 01:29 AM   #5
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Good Luck with the studs, always find it suprising that you can easily bike over a surface
that is you can hardly walk on.
I've tried some basement made studs,
they work fine for a while- but don't last as long as factory
studded tires like the schwalbe ice or nokian tires.
starting my third season with the w106 tires.
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Old 12-11-07, 01:54 AM   #6
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That's pretty sweet. I hope they work for you.

Good job on an inspired mod!
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Old 12-11-07, 05:44 AM   #7
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If they don't work, then I'll fall back on the Kenda tires I bought. I did make it through last year on these same tires without studs, even on some pretty crazy ice. I'm not a believer yet. I do know that some of the inclines I tackled with them on last night would have been more difficult without them. Impossible? No. Just harder to tackle.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:24 AM   #8
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Cool. Like riding a chainsaw. They stick out so far, I can't believe they don't simply fold down when they make contact with the ground (even then they'd probably offer improved traction by virtue of increased surfaced area). I've been looking to get some studded Nokians but they're so expensive, besides, I had no problems w/ the recent snow on my worn Ritchey Speed Max 35 cyclo tires--couldn't believe it. Ride safe out there.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:29 AM   #9
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Awesome!

Looks like we're safe today in STL, but they're forecasting freezing stuff tomorrow morning. I've been waiting for AE Bike to get Marathon Winters in, but I could really use 'em now.
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Old 12-11-07, 06:31 AM   #10
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Ax... You are my hero! I wish I could get away with riding studded tires here in Georgia... I'd take care of business!

One question though... what clothes do you have to wear to match those tires?

Something like this?


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Old 12-11-07, 06:38 AM   #11
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Imagine The Stig (the first one, who wore black) with camouflage cargo pants. I'm wearing jeans right now, though.
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Old 12-11-07, 08:55 AM   #12
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man oh man....
enyoy
FWIW, the Kenda studded tires were on sale at Nashbar for like $15 earlier - don't know if they still are - and they work GREAT.
be safe & have fun!
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Old 12-11-07, 09:11 AM   #13
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That's awesome. I might try that next month if you're still alive.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:55 AM   #14
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It'll be interesting to hear how that works for you. My LBS owner suggested it, said he used to do it, but he said the screws would only last a few months before needing replacement. I decided by the time I bought the tires, the liners, and the screws, and had to replace the screws twice a year, and all the messing around, I'd just spend the $50/tire and buy some Nokians. They're going on their 3rd year (about 4500 miles) and the carbide studs still look good and the tread is still like new.

Still, I'd be interested in your results.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:22 AM   #15
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I used tires I had laying around, so total cost was $17 and 2 hours of my time. I'm pretty much just playing around anyways. Kansas really doesn't call for studs too often, so these would in theory last quite a while. Ice only kept me off the bike 4 days out of last season, when I felt that my knobby tires just wouldn't cut it. The only places in town want $60 each for cheapest studded tires they carry (Continental), and the prices on Nokians aren't any better than they are online and they'd still have to order those.

$17 in the name of goofing off? I can afford that. $120-250 for tires that will only have 2 weeks or so of use each year? I'll pass. Up north, I could see the value, though.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:43 AM   #16
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When I was in high school (a long time ago, I guess), I made my own studded tires and had a blast on them. I ran screws through the knobs and cut them off with a side cutter. The resulting tips ^ were great for riding on ice. I had a blast on those.

For commuting though, I just bought Nokians, and they rock! They were not cheap, but I think they were worth it. They will be on my bike until spring comes.

I am waiting for the first ice storm to go out and play on them when cars can't move. I might have to put studs in my shoes to stay up when I stop though.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:10 AM   #17
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is the failure mode of the home-installed tire studes/screws that they just wear down to nothing (nothing sticking out)? because it seems like even abusing them on dry pavement would not ruin them by just wearing them down until after a couple years' use. Am I wrong?
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Old 12-11-07, 11:21 AM   #18
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If they get loose in the holes I drilled, I could see the heads of the screws pushing through or around the Mr. Tuffy liner and puncturing the tube.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheloonybin View Post
I might have to put studs in my shoes to stay up when I stop though.
I just bought some devices called "Yacktraks" at a local sporting goods store for this (you can get them at any sportinggoods store, I've seen them around here several places). They work great and only cost about $20. It takes about 5-10 seconds to put them on your boots. It would stink to have high dollar tires and fall when you stop and put your foot down.

Now, if only yaktraks made a similar item for bike tires . I'd buy em
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Old 12-11-07, 12:17 PM   #20
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Those look cool Jeffbeerman. Thanks! I will look at them when I am out.

Cycling shoes, booties, Yacktraks. That's alotta footwear... LOL


And they do make them for bikes... they are called Nokians
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Old 12-11-07, 12:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffbeerman2 View Post
I just bought some devices called "Yacktraks" at a local sporting goods store for this (you can get them at any sportinggoods store, I've seen them around here several places). They work great and only cost about $20. It takes about 5-10 seconds to put them on your boots. It would stink to have high dollar tires and fall when you stop and put your foot down.

Now, if only yaktraks made a similar item for bike tires . I'd buy em
Similar, but not quite the same. I obviously can't do this since I have rim brakes.

http://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2007/02...y-tire-chains/
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Old 12-11-07, 01:21 PM   #22
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Just don't run over anybody's foot. Those look like they'd leave something of a mark
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Old 12-11-07, 01:58 PM   #23
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I did something similar with a $12 Kenda tire last year.

Drilled the knobs and pushed roofing nails through from the inside. Took a pair of end nipper pliers and chopped 'em down to size so they weren't sticking out like porcupine quills.

You'll actually get better bite on the ice if you cut those screws to nubs. Instead of folding over and wrenching around in the tire as they make contact, the nubs will bite into the ice. I rode mine during both ice storms in Seattle last season, and it was awesome.

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Old 12-12-07, 01:43 PM   #24
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Riding on newly formed ice is pretty down hard, especially going up any kind of incline.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Instead of folding over and wrenching around in the tire as they make contact, the nubs will bite into the ice.
I may have to try that, because these tires disappointed me a bit on today's epic proving grounds.

Quote:
... The sidewalk north of 87th was still covered in a thin layer of ice, which worked nicely with the studs this morning, but I think they would have been ridable with normal knobbies. The path over the viaduct, however, is a different story. The slush had frozen hard into an arctic moonscape. Imagine technical singletrack with 1/10th the traction. The studs did worse on this than before it was frozen. Yesterday, it was merely difficult to pedal through. This stuff was constantly flailing my bike around all over the place. Needless to say, my ride to the bus was very, very slow. I don't have a proper pair of studded tires to compare them to, but I'm pretty sure there's not a tire out there that would make easy work out of this stuff. ...
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