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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 12-28-10, 06:38 PM   #1
FlatSix911
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Zip Tie Snow Tires: The Cheapest Way To Blizzard-Proof Your Bike

I just saw this on my favorite Tech site ... http://gizmodo.com/5719594/zip-tie-s...roof-your-bike

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Zip Tie Snow Tires: The Cheapest Way To Blizzard-Proof Your Bike
It's officially that time of year, with snow and slush and ice perpetually impeding your biking. What to do? Well, if you've got a box of zip ties and feel like getting your MacGyver on, you do this.



Fritz Rice of the Dutch Bike Co. is the clever rider behind these makeshift snow tires, and while he admits they look a bit silly (and that some fixie-riding hipsters may have pioneered the idea), he seems pretty thrilled with the results:



I can accelerate, brake, and corner with aplomb, even on the vile snowpack/sheet ice mix the plows leave in the bike lanes. The zip ties dig nicely into the hardest packed surfaces, but they're thin enough not to bounce the bike around at low speed or on short pavement sections.

Aplomb! That's just great. Fritz has some more tips on setting up your own in his write up of the project. [Dutch Bike Co via LikeCool]
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Old 12-28-10, 07:37 PM   #2
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That gives you power and brakes, but what keeps the bike from slipping sideways?
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Old 12-28-10, 07:54 PM   #3
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That gives you power and brakes, but what keeps the bike from slipping sideways?
That would be forward momentum ... just like with snow chains on a car
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Old 12-29-10, 12:39 AM   #4
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I tried it and all the zip ties snapped. got some heavier-duty ones and will give that a shot tmw.

studded tire on the front for ice traction, these on the rear wheel for propulsion...
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Old 12-29-10, 07:47 AM   #5
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Brilliant! Works on disc brake bikes only. Wouldn't be safe with other brakes. I will carry some of these in my backpack in the event it snows one day while I'm at the office. Otherwise, not much snow here in Charlotte that would warrant these. If only partially snow covered roads would wear these out quickly.

Ride safe,

Jeff
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Old 12-29-10, 08:03 AM   #6
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the only thing that would be a pain, are changing tubes if you get a flat.
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Old 12-29-10, 02:42 PM   #7
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Very dumb idea. How do you change a flat if you ever get one ? Why not just invest in a real studded tires or at the very least make your own using screws.
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Old 12-29-10, 02:43 PM   #8
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the only thing that would be a pain, are changing tubes if you get a flat.
Haha! Very true. I don't suspect they would last very long on dry pavement either. If anyone experiements, please let us know.
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Old 12-29-10, 04:23 PM   #9
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Very dumb idea. How do you change a flat if you ever get one ? Why not just invest in a real studded tires or at the very least make your own using screws.
I once got my car up a very slick hill by wrapping a couple of turns of nylon rope around the tires, like you have done in the picture.
I think this is a very intersting idea. Inexpensive, too. Might want to take precautions against flats, but that can be easily done. My Schwalbe tires have never flatted in several years.
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Old 12-29-10, 04:26 PM   #10
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Very dumb idea. How do you change a flat if you ever get one ? Why not just invest in a real studded tires or at the very least make your own using screws.
It looks like it would work in a pinch like if you were stuck in your office and all you had were zip ties. Definitely not a long term solution.

I would try it but I have rim brakes. In my riding conditions only a few times do I think I need studded tires. Just not enough to justify the expense.
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Old 12-29-10, 05:19 PM   #11
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Lighten up Guys
This is an inexpensive alternative to studded tires:
  • Remember to use Heavy Duty zip ties
  • Use only on Disc brake equipped wheels
  • Carry a pair a snips if you need to remove
  • Give it a try it on snow ... you really will like it!
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Old 12-29-10, 05:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
Lighten up Guys
This is an inexpensive alternative to studded tires:
  • Remember to use Heavy Duty zip ties
  • Use only on Disc brake equipped wheels
  • Carry a pair a snips if you need to remove
  • Give it a try it on snow ... you really will like it!
very important to get heavy duty zip ties! I used thin ones and they all fell off
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Old 01-01-11, 01:24 AM   #13
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I've never tried this idea, but i tend to think that the zip ties will snap when a force is applied in the direction it is not meant for. In either case, i'm sure it'll work for the trip to the bike store to buy some actual studded tires
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Old 01-01-11, 06:05 PM   #14
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You could buy one big-a$$ butt-load of zip ties for what a set of studded tires would cost.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:19 PM   #15
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That would be forward momentum ... just like with snow chains on a car
How do you figure that? I don't think speed affects traction.
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Old 01-04-11, 02:49 PM   #16
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I did this to my bike, it worked okay but none of my zip ties snapped. I used extra large ones from a pack I got at Costco some time ago. They do help with some traction but they are worse on ice than just the tires by themselves, they make turning much more slippery.

I just put chains on my tires and the difference is huge, I don't get any slipping and I don't really notice a dip in speed.





Besides the zip ties I used to hold the chains in place during installation, the chain has a quick disconnect so I can change a tire easily. I'm going to ride on these for a bit to see how well they work for me. If I like them I'm going to make a set with all chains instead of wire to hold the sides. That way I can take it on and off without the chains slipping down the wire. I'm most surprised at how cheap these were to put together. All the parts cost less than $15. I had to buy a special tool though, which cost $20, but I was able to find a lot more uses for it, so it is worth it to me.
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Old 01-04-11, 02:59 PM   #17
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DJConspicuous, please tell us more. I can't really see the chains well. How did you put them together, and what tool did you buy? I always need an excuse to buy tools.
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Old 01-05-11, 01:52 AM   #18
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The tool I bought is just a really strong wire cutter, which I can use for many things, even cutting through steel rods. The cutting edge goes all the way around, so I could set it closed on the ground and hammer the handle and it will cut. It looks like a pair of pliers. The chains are black so that does make them hard to see, you can barely tell I have them. I will post some pics of the installing of the rear ones when I do them tomorrow. I mis-measured and only had enough for the front.
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