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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 01-06-18, 07:43 PM   #1
gecho
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It turns out you can sharpen carbide studs

The rows of studs in my fat bike tires that are always in contact with the road were starting to get rounded on top, particularly on the rear tire. Running a finger across the studs I could feel that it wasn't grabbing which I'm assuming leads to poorer performance on ice.

So I picked up a diamond file to see if I could do something about those round tops. I was pleased to discover that just a few seconds of filing on a stud flattened out the top and restored the sharp edge of a new stud. I was able to do the roughly 75 inner studs of each tire fairly quickly. You don't have to do any fancy shaping, simply getting the top of the stud flat again is good enough.

A bit of caution is in order though. I read that carbide dust is bad for you in both its abrasiveness when inhaled and that the cementing process may include toxic metals such as cadmium. So it is best to do it outside while wearing a mask and protective gloves, also to clean the carbide powder off the file when done.
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Old 01-07-18, 08:34 AM   #2
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Yeah, but how long would it take until they are dulled again? Seems like a lot of work for little benefit to me.
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Old 01-07-18, 09:33 AM   #3
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Carbide is pretty hard. My studs have been used for 6,000 km with the rounding being the only sign of wear. I'll have to keep an eye on it to see how long until they start rounding again.

With the winters in Regina significant solid ice is usually present from December until March, so sharp studs are a huge benefit here. And on my fat bike I actively avoid the cleared roads because they are boring. If we have another ice race this year I'll give the studs a quick shine for maximum performance.
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Old 01-07-18, 09:48 AM   #4
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I just had a look at my 6 year old nokian studs (not a fat bike) and they are still plenty sharp. I suspect the fact that I regularly ride them on bare pavement helps.
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