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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-15-08, 12:44 AM   #1
Sixty Fiver
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Making Your Own Studded Tyres

These directions come from The Edmonton Bicycle Commuter's Society, I volunteer there and you will also find these instructions at icebike.org

This is what you need to make your very own studded tire:

1. One tire. You need a tire with knobs big enough to support the stud. Slick tyres can also be studded but the stud will have less support.

2. 50 (approx.) Robertson head #8 by 1/2" sheet metal screws (the square head / socket, you'll thank me for this tip) for mountain bike tires (26inch) or #8 by 3/8 inch for hybrid tires (700c). The Robertson screw is a Canadian invention and has the benefit of being self centering and very hard to strip

http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/Ont...son_screws.htm

3. Liner for each tire. This can be made by cutting the beads off an old tire, cutting out the valve and slitting along the inside of an inner tube or just buying a Mr. Tuffy tire liner.

4. Baby powder.

5. One sharp awl. (or a 1/8" drill bit)

Instructions

* Count the knobs and evenly spread out the 25 screws for each side.

* Punch holes, from the outside of the tire, into the designated knobs. You can drill the hole, however, drilling tends to tear the fabric and thus weakens the tire. Caution you don't need a million screws in there! Too many screws just slows you down.

* Use Robertson bit in the drill to drive the screws in the tire from the inside.

* Put the tube inside the liner and then mount the tube and liner in the tire, making sure the liner covers the screw heads.

* Put a generous dusting of baby powder between the liner, tube, and tire .

* Mount tire on the rim (ouch! watch out for the points!)

* Inflate to maximum pressure. Put the wheel on the bike (mind the points). Spin the wheel to make sure that the studs don't catch on anything.

* One extra step that many people do is to use a grinder to remove the sharp points of the screws and this can also aid in giving you proper fender clearance.

Comments:

You only need to stud the front tire to keep upright; however, if you stud the back tire as well, it's even better. One caveat is that these tires are only suitable for winter conditions. The difference between one studded front and no studded tires in phenomenal. When the bike is travelling straight the studs shouldn't be hitting the road too hard; otherwise, they will just wear out too soon. Don't worry, when the tire slips just a bit the studs will bite in. You rarely notice the slight side to side movement.

You don't need to stud the middle knobs since you only need the added traction when you are turning. The studs should touch the road enough to allow sufficient braking. The studs in the middle knobs wear out very fast and soon become useless anyway.

Stainless steel screws will last much longer, but also cost about 3 times as much. You can change screws as they wear out, your tire can survive several sets of studs.



Edit October 21, 2009 - The number of screws you use can be varied depending on the conditions you ride in. I like to run 50 per side and my last build has 104 studs.

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 02-02-12 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 12-19-08, 11:07 AM   #2
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Thanks!!

I have an old set of knobbies...If I had more time I'd try it this weekend....maybe the following weekend...
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Old 12-19-08, 01:55 PM   #3
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Can/should you merge the recent thread that showed how NON-rim-brake folks can use zip-ties, and/or make homemade tire chains??

Also, my buddy did the DIY studs. Said they were REALLY heavy. Have an estimate how much weight we're talking about -- just by weighing the sheet metal screws??
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Old 12-19-08, 02:02 PM   #4
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Screw tires .... beware they are razor sharp and will rip you to pieces. One racer got sliced almost to the bone in a seemingly innocent crash. Our ice racers all run on screw tires, with hundreds of screws in them, danger. You will bleed mounting them as well. Buy some proper studded tires if you can. Build these for ripping up frozen lakes.

A buddy's awesome Ice Ripper


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Old 12-19-08, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0502 View Post
Can/should you merge the recent thread that showed how NON-rim-brake folks can use zip-ties, and/or make homemade tire chains??

Also, my buddy did the DIY studs. Said they were REALLY heavy. Have an estimate how much weight we're talking about -- just by weighing the sheet metal screws??
in excess of 800g/ea, proably closer to 1.2kg for a 26x1.75" tyre and 700x40c

the commercially available ones range from 600~1000g
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Old 12-19-08, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thanks, AEO!
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Old 12-19-08, 09:30 PM   #7
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I have not weighed my tyres... for road use you want to set the studs so they are off camber and not centred on the tyre.

When it's dry I run nearly full pressure and the studs do not make contact unless I am turning...when it gets crappy and icy I lower the psi which brings the studs into contact with the road.

This is not a good tyre for commuting / winter riding.

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 10-07-11 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-19-08, 11:03 PM   #8
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true enough, this one's for racing on glare ice
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Old 12-20-08, 12:05 PM   #9
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What kind of tires have you guys used to make studded tires? I mean, what kind of 700c tire? I can't seem to find anything that has enough knobs..
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Old 12-20-08, 12:21 PM   #10
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CX and 29'er tyres come to mind.
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Old 12-20-08, 01:10 PM   #11
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yes, but any you can link me to?
my bike has clearance up to 42, but i run fenders (not sure how that would come into play, though)

I picked up a cheap 35 tire so I'm about go to try this..will report back if successful (or if not)
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Old 12-20-08, 02:17 PM   #12
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Done (kind of)
I need to make a run to Home Depot for some more screws, but basically done.

Won't be able to test it out til after the holidays, though.

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Old 12-20-08, 08:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0502 View Post
Can/should you merge the recent thread that showed how NON-rim-brake folks can use zip-ties, and/or make homemade tire chains?

I made chains for my rim brake wheel. Bought chain for more wheels, but got to wait until after x-mas.

In stead of the zip ties I just used gift ribbon to keep them in place on the wheel. Then I put a double "washing line" nylon braided line trough the last link on each side and put the two ends trough the loop in the end and thightened it. Then let some air out and thighten more and then make the knot.

Do this on both sides. I measured the two lines to be exactely the same lenght first, then folded them in two and put the four ends of the ropes next to each other. Then make some marks on them, exactely 5 cms apart, different colours. This makes it easy to tighten them exactely the same on both sides.

What I did not do yet is to take a thin strong nylon line (1 mm?), we call it "blenders line", and sew each of the last links onto the nylon line with a knot for each link. This is to keep it all in place if you have a flat.

Now it is time to cut the gift ribbons (I cut them already, before sewing. Works fine, until the first flat...). Pump the tre preassure back to normal.

I find this quite light, and great to ride on since I can keep some soft quality tyres instead of the stiff heavy studded I used before.

Also I was thinking of doing this on a folder. Small wheels means fewer straps of chain needed, means lighter setup. Also cheaper (must change more often tough).

I bought something called "key chain", much like the twisted chains used for a dogs choaking neck colar. Cost pr MTB wheel approx £ 25,-

Bought screws for studded also, but found the box of screws so heavy (they all need to go in) so I did not do it yet. Maybe on a folder here too.

If you do not want to do this on a rim braked bike remember disk brakes is not your only option. This also work great on an old 3speed wih hub brakes front and rear.

I used this for some time now. Great setup.

Last edited by badmother; 12-20-08 at 08:30 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-20-08, 08:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post

2. 50 (approx.) Robertson head #8 by 1/2" sheet metal screws (the square head, you'll thank me for this tip) for mountain bike tires (26inch) or #8 by 3/8 inch for hybrid tires (700c)

5. One sharp awl. (or a 1/8" drill bit)
Could you possibly give us some metric hints here? Also more about the square heads. i bought the ones that looks like they`we got a washer behind the head. Not sharp tip.


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You don't need to stud the middle knobs since you only need the added traction when you are turning. The studs should touch the road enough to allow sufficient braking. The studs in the middle knobs wear out very fast and soon become useless anyway.
In my area there is so much ice and black ice so I need chains or studds front and rear. Also I ride with the dog, and he pulls, especially when he is under stimulated witch he often is in the winter. On snow I guess only the front wheel studded cold be ok.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:20 AM   #15
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Folks with bikes that top out at 35-45mm clearance might do well with pop rivets instead. I wrote an instructable:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pop_...our_Road_Bike/
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Old 12-22-08, 01:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Could you possibly give us some metric hints here? Also more about the square heads. i bought the ones that looks like they`we got a washer behind the head. Not sharp tip.

In my area there is so much ice and black ice so I need chains or studds front and rear. Also I ride with the dog, and he pulls, especially when he is under stimulated witch he often is in the winter. On snow I guess only the front wheel studded cold be ok.
Roberston head screws are a wonderful Canadian invention :

http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/Ont...son_screws.htm

Sheet metal screws are rather sharp...

The length of the screw is dependant on the tyre you are using...a tyre with deep knobs wil need a longer screw while a tyre with shallower or no knobs (slick) will need a much shorter screw.

1/2 inch is 12.5 mm

3/8 inch is just over 9mm

A 1/8 drill bit is 3mm
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Old 12-24-08, 12:48 PM   #17
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Thanks for the directions

Made my first set of DIY studs using these directions as a template. I used a set of Bell "on road/off road tires" and set the screws more toward the center of the tire. I put 80 #6 1/2 inch philip head sheet metal screws on each tire. I then took a Dremel and cut off the tip of the screws. I did this because I didn't like the idea of riding around the city with those tips flying around. I also wanted to reduce rolling resistence while mainting some contact with the ground. I'm happy to say that they worked great. They roll pretty much on the rubber in the center, but give enough bite on stops and turns. I put them on my winter beater ('89 Mt Shasta Serenghetti). I just rode to work this week through pretty much the worst weather Conn. is going to throw at us (12" snow that turned to slush, then ice) and they worked great.

This was great fun, and I would love to see pitcures of more DIY studded sets.
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Old 12-24-08, 09:38 PM   #18
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I have an idea for some high quality DIY studded tires. Instead of using screws why not just buy short carbide tire studs in bulk. They are about 65 bucks per 1000 in the 11mm size.

Since there are no threads I suggest drilling a small hole in each knob and pushing the stud through from the inside. Then glue a tire liner and use a puncture proof tube. Hopefully the air presure will be adequate to keep the studs from backing out. The trick will be to get tires with the right thickness of knobbies.

Most of the tire studs probably have a steel jacket but since Nokia makes a lighter tire using carbide studs with an aluminum jacket they might be available.
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Old 12-27-08, 04:01 AM   #19
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Done (kind of)
I need to make a run to Home Depot for some more screws, but basically done.

Won't be able to test it out til after the holidays, though.
Sheet metal screws come with quite sharp points also, but you used the drill point
variety. I hadn't even thought of those but they might work well.
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Old 12-30-08, 10:48 PM   #20
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so any follow up? how does the self tapping screws work for you?
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Old 12-30-08, 10:51 PM   #21
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I have self tapping screws in my tyres... I still drill the tyre first to establish the stud pattern
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Old 12-31-08, 01:54 PM   #22
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I have Schwalbe winter marathon tire, I haven't used them because I was expecting a typical Calgary winter with small amounts of snow, some ice, and lots of chinooks(indian for warm mountain air)

So far, we've had several weeks of -20 to -50(wind chill factored in), we have about 1-2 inches of snow each day. The bike trails are not plowed, and most of them have at least 6-12 inches of snow on them.

I don't need ice tires, I need a snowmobile - LOL
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Old 12-31-08, 08:38 PM   #23
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Seizetech - I was in your fair city a few weeks ago... you have my sympathies as it was worse than it was here.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:09 AM   #24
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I put 1/2" sheet metal screws on the outer treads on my Mountain bike tires years ago. Afterwards I had to pedal so hard that ever going down a steep slope I had to pedal. Also it would oversteer so often it was scary.

Since I lived in a place where the temps were always very cold and the street were always covered in a few inches of ice, I decided to put regular tires on and lo and behold it wasn't a problem.

The reason was that it was so cold and the roads were being driven on constantly so the top surface was slightly rough and water would sublimate on it creating almost a sandpaper surface so there was sufficient grip for regular (slow) driving. Slow down in the corners, you get my drift. (pun intended) I could drive over the snowbanks also because the snowmobiles in town compacted them. However there was no mercy if I strayed off the compacted trail.

At some point I started driving my road bike with skinny treadless tires on the ice. Again no problem. Had to drive slow and pay close attention, but no probs.... er... well I did wipe out twice and it was spectacular and very uncomfortable after one of them : )

Local mothers would get mad at me cause their little Johny would want their bikes out cause they sen an old fella drivin his.
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Old 01-03-09, 12:50 PM   #25
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Studs vs no studs vs one studded tyre...

It's that whole having to ride slowly that makes me nuts... I can't afford it and with the right setup I can still make some pretty good time in the worst of weather.

My new winter bike... it has front and rear studded tyres.



I also ride my longbike in the winter and it runs semi slick Schwalbe Hurricanes that have fairly aggressive side lugs and they perform extremely well. The weight of the bike is a factor as is it's length and all this comes together to make it a very stable bike on ice and snow and when you know you are secure you can make better time.

It is also really comfortable which is nice as besides being icy our roads get very rough.


Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 11-13-11 at 12:07 AM.
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