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  1. #1
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    Grip comparison: DIY vs studs

    Does anyone own both DIY-studded tires as well as commercial studded tires? If so, how do the grip on ice compare?
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I run both and only because I was given a set of Marathon winter tyres... have been rolling my own DIY studded tyres for a decade and they work just as well and in some cases, better as you can really tweak the stud placement to suit conditions.

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    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    Do you use Robertson screws? Flat or round top? #8 or #10 ?
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Do you use Robertson screws? Flat or round top? #8 or #10 ?
    Robertson... with a preference for rounded heads as they do not abrade the tyre liner.

    #6 and #8 screws seem to be the best for most tyres... depth depends on the tyre being studded.

    http://www.ravingbikefiend.com/?page_id=131

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    Senior Member TuckamoreDew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Does anyone own both DIY-studded tires as well as commercial studded tires? If so, how do the grip on ice compare?
    I've ridden two winters with DIY tires and two winters with commercial tires. In my opinion, the DIY studded tires are pretty good and will get you through a lot, but the commercial tires are better.

    However, one thing I've noticed is that not all commercial studded tires are equally good. For example, the Schwalbe Winter Marathons are only a little bit better than a good set of DIY tires on ice, and because of the shallow blocks they are worse in snow. I haven't used the Kenda Klondikes, but looking at the lack of center studs, I would choose the DIY tires over them.

    I've also used Nokkian WXC300 and Schwalbe Icespikers, both of which I found to be vastly better than DIY tires on ice and they are also great in snow. Having used these, I don't think I can go back to using the DIY tires.
    Last edited by TuckamoreDew; 02-22-14 at 04:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    I've done both, would have to say it all really just depends. Not all factory studded tires are created equal and most work better in some conditions then others. Same goes for DIY with even more factors at play as to what kind of tire you start out with, what kind of screws (or something else) you use and how you go about doing it.

    I personally prefer self tapping metal screws because of their extraordinary hard and long wearing tips for DIY studded snows. Screws like this:




    Be warned though that not all of them are equal and the higher costing ones can indeed be better quality with harder higher grade self tapping cutting tips which is what you want. You want those tips just as hard and strong as full on drill bits which is what the higher quality more expensive brands have (go to an actual sheet metal contractor supply not just cheapest thing on the shelf at the big box store).



    But at the same time there are also situations where I prefer a factory studded snow over one of my DIY ones. I would say that in general DIY is better for "serious" winter conditions where as factory studded snows are better for having studs in case you need them but often not. Good carbide studs on factory studded snows run better with less penalty on dry pavement, but for serious winter weather work on constant ice and snow my DIY tires do better but are more of a drag if you try to run them on dry pavement and even the best hardest steel screws wear faster then carbide commercial studs. Not all commercial studs are carbide though, some of them are softer steel then some of the screw tips I have used so if your buying commercial ones because you know your going to be running them on dry pavement a lot make sure they are carbide studs and that they are well seated and deeply embedded in the tire.

    One thing that for a long time I've wondered why they don't do on a factory studded snow tire is why they haven't made one by first taking a fine tight weave ultra fine titanium wire web-mesh (like they have actually made clothes out of woven out of the resulting cloth like material) and bonding carbide square block studs to it first (use the same rectangular/square-ish carbide chunks they use for the teeth of carbide circular saw blades) and then put that in the tire mold instead of the traditional fabric mesh and form the tire with the mesh in-bedded in the tire to form a studded snow tire that would have extremely tough studs that with their square profile would grip in all directions with a sharp square edge all all their edges and being bonded to the inner mesh would be almost impossible to loose studs and the fine mesh in-bedded in the tire would also serve to make it highly puncture resistant. Now that would be a tough mean winter commuting tire !!!
    Last edited by turbo1889; 02-23-14 at 10:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    OK, this is all great information. I'm undecided as to whether to get the self-tapping sheet metal screws or wood screws but I'll make that decision soon (besides, I can try one and if I want to switch, it shouldn't be difficult).

    It sounds like using an awl is the best way to go, rather than a drill, I'll have to pick one up.

    I'm getting some tires this afternoon at MEC (Kenda Klaw, $15ea) when I'm in Toronto and will start building the tires after I return on Wednesday.

    I had considered getting a Mr Tuffy tire liner instead of an old tube (I actually don't have any spares so I'll have to buy tubes anyway) but I'll see how wide it is when I get to the store and make my decision then.

    I'll post my results later (it'll take a bit longer because I have to replace 4 broken spokes on the rear wheel before the job is complete).
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  8. #8
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    One thing that for a long time I've wondered why they don't do on a factory studded snow tire is why they haven't made one by first taking a fine tight weave ultra fine titanium wire web-mesh (like they have actually made clothes out of woven out of the resulting cloth like material) and bonding carbide square block studs to it first (use the same rectangular/square-ish carbide chunks they use for the teeth of carbide circular saw blades) and then put that in the tire mold instead of the traditional fabric mesh and form the tire with the mesh in-bedded in the tire to form a studded snow tire that would have extremely tough studs that with their square profile would grip in all directions with a sharp square edge all all their edges and being bonded to the inner mesh would be almost impossible to loose studs and the fine mesh in-bedded in the tire would also serve to make it highly puncture resistant. Now that would be a tough mean winter commuting tire !!!
    Sounds like a patent is in the works!!!
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckamoreDew View Post
    I've ridden two winters with DIY tires and two winters with commercial tires. In my opinion, the DIY studded tires are pretty good and will get you through a lot, but the commercial tires are better.

    However, one thing I've noticed is that not all commercial studded tires are equally good. For example, the Schwalbe Winter Marathons are only a little bit better than a good set of DIY tires on ice, and because of the shallow blocks they are worse in snow. I haven't used the Kenda Klondikes, but looking at the lack of center studs, I would choose the DIY tires over them.

    I've also used Nokian WXC300 and Schwalbe Icespikers, both of which I found to be vastly better than DIY tires on ice and they are also great in snow. Having used these, I don't think I can go back to using the DIY tires.
    Kenda Klondikes are pretty poor winter tyres... the studs wear quickly and are not that secure.

    Marathon winters are good if you don't have to deal with snow and just have icier conditions... my R20 has these and this was good when our roads looked more like curling rinks.

    You know I like my DIY tyres... but the Nokian and Schwalbe tyres are very very good.

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