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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 12-19-10, 07:30 PM   #1
mtalinm
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poor man's studs for bikes w/o rim brakes

found this interesting:

http://www.dutchbikeco.com/_blog/Dut...Snowpocalypse/

the idea is to wrap zip ties around your tires instead of getting studs. author claims it works surprisingly well.

(of course you can't do this if you have rim brakes)

I just laced up the rear wheel on my Soho, which is a pain to remove. snow is expected tmw, so I'll see how they work..
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Old 12-19-10, 08:42 PM   #2
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I've seen fixie folks on some internet forums in the PNW doing this when they got some freak snow a year or two ago. I guess it's supposed to temporarily work OK. I recall people saying they'd lost half of them during their commutes.

FYI, I hear studs are more important on the front that the rear. I've never owned a pair though.
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Old 12-21-10, 12:13 AM   #3
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I don't think I'd call those "studs". Those are more like "temporary knobbies". I can see them helping with snow, but can't see them help with ice (not that they necessarily need to worry about ice out where it's probably 34 degrees when it's snowing).
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Old 12-21-10, 07:58 AM   #4
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FYI, I hear studs are more important on the front that the rear. I've never owned a pair though.
you really want studs on both wheels. having the front pinned in place while the back whips around isn't helpful.
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Old 12-21-10, 10:42 AM   #5
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you really want studs on both wheels. having the front pinned in place while the back whips around isn't helpful.
Well both is definitely better, but the front is the more important of the two. When you lose traction on the front tire you go down without a chance to react (that's what the say, and it happened to me once in the rain). I couldn't even put my foot down, nuthin' - I was just down. But when your back tire loses traction you usually have enough time to put a foot down or something before the bike goes down.

Of course all the power comes from your rear wheel, so if you're on ice and don't have traction on the rear wheel you're not going anywhere.
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Old 12-21-10, 12:56 PM   #6
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But when your back tire loses traction you usually have enough time to put a foot down or something before the bike goes down.
Ever try and put your foot down on ice when you weren't planning on it, in a panic situation?

Good luck if you go with 1 up front. I'm a fan of 2, and in many cases feel more secure on the bike than if I jump off and walk.
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Old 12-21-10, 01:02 PM   #7
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Used another cheap approach a few decades ago in college. Stuck thumbtacks through the tire from the inside and then clipped off the points so only a mm or two was protruding from the tread. Used some fairly heavy duty tubes so they wouldn't get damaged by the heads of the thumbtacks. This was using regular road bike tires (27" x 1 1/4"). Definitely made a difference on icy road surfaces.
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Old 12-21-10, 01:03 PM   #8
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Ever try and put your foot down on ice when you weren't planning on it, in a panic situation?

Good luck if you go with 1 up front. I'm a fan of 2, and in many cases feel more secure on the bike than if I jump off and walk.
A rear skid is a ton easier to recover from but I'd rather not skid at all in traffic so I have two. Studded tires are spendy though so I understand why some folks only get one. I spent more on my tires than I did on the bike.
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Old 12-21-10, 01:28 PM   #9
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Ever try and put your foot down on ice when you weren't planning on it, in a panic situation?
Yeah, I've done it when I test rode a Pugsley. It's tricky on sheer ice, you have to use the bike as a second leg which is really really difficult to do when it's unexpected. Possible, but it's a lot easier to ride with 2 studded tires.

Funny story - when I first got studs I quickly got used to the fact that ice was no longer an issue. The next night I drove to a friends place, walked around the back of the car - and nearly faceplanted into their driveway. There was ice behind the car, but my mind has decided ice was no longer a problem. Unfortunately for me, my shoes did *not* have studs like my bike tires did!

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Good luck if you go with 1 up front. I'm a fan of 2, and in many cases feel more secure on the bike than if I jump off and walk.
I agree on ice (though snow is a different matter).

Now to be fair, I've known 3 people who started riding with only a front studded tire. Of them, 2 went down kind of hard in their first year of riding and bought a 2nd studded tire for the rear (and I lost touch with the third guy so I don't know what he did). None of them broke anything, but they both decided it wasn't worth it.

I find myself in an odd position defending the front-tire-only thing, as I personally would not ride in the winter at all without studded tires, and I'd never ride with just one. A single visit to the doctor costs more than a pair of Nokian 106's - it's a no-brainer to me. I'm just saying it's "safer" to ride with a front studded tire than none at all. To add in a bit of hyperbole, kinda like it's safer to ride in a car with faulty brakes with your seat belt on than to ride in one without your seat belt...both options suck, one is technically safer than the other.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 12-21-10 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-21-10, 01:29 PM   #10
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Used another cheap approach a few decades ago in college. Stuck thumbtacks through the tire from the inside and then clipped off the points so only a mm or two was protruding from the tread. Used some fairly heavy duty tubes so they wouldn't get damaged by the heads of the thumbtacks. This was using regular road bike tires (27" x 1 1/4"). Definitely made a difference on icy road surfaces.
Yeah, but from what I've read they'll wear even with the surface of the tire fairly quickly if you have any bare pavement on your route.
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Old 12-22-10, 07:31 AM   #11
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well, so much for this bad idea. every one of the zip ties snapped while riding on bare pavement. oh well
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Old 12-24-10, 03:13 PM   #12
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An idea born from desperation... just stud your own tires using one of the many guides!
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Old 12-24-10, 09:18 PM   #13
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well, so much for this bad idea. every one of the zip ties snapped while riding on bare pavement. oh well
Ya, I figured that would happen but I didn't want to say anything. As long as the snow is soft packed snow they will last a while but as soon as you get on pavement they will only last a mile or so. On ice they will last a little longer. There really is no substitute for carbide studded tires unless you ride on exclusively packed snow. Homemade studded tires will not last on pavement unless they use carbide studs or are made so only the shoulder of the tire has studs which only grip when turning or in soft snow. The hardness and wear resistance of carbide compared to steel is great.
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Old 12-25-10, 12:14 AM   #14
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I think I said it before in this thread, but I'll say it again - those aren't temporary studs. They're temporary Knobbies. Useful maybe, but not in the same way that studs are.
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Old 12-25-10, 08:26 AM   #15
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Studs? by mmeiser2, on Flickr

Will let you know how they worked when I get back from my bikepacking trip down the blue ridge parkway.
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Old 12-25-10, 01:01 PM   #16
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Not to jinx you... Here's hoping flat tubes are a rare occurrence for you?
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Old 12-25-10, 06:02 PM   #17
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Studs? by mmeiser2, on Flickr

Will let you know how they worked when I get back from my bikepacking trip down the blue ridge parkway.
Maybe I'm crazy, but a bikepacking trip is not how I'd choose to test a homebrew solution like that. I hope you have an alternative available if they fail.
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Old 12-26-10, 10:57 PM   #18
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You could try some DIY Chains .
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Old 12-28-10, 10:20 AM   #19
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I knew a guy back in the day who used shoelaces for traction on a coaster brake bike with balloon tires. Worked better than my plain tires, that's for sure. Whatever you do, let the air out of the tires first, put your shoelaces, chains, or zipties on, then pump the tires back up. I'll stick with my studs.
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