Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hey There You Big Stud

Ready for a project?
If you are like me you don't have a whole lot of free time in your life, but you probably have even less free money. If the super sweet nokian studded tires are out of your price range at $180 for the pair and you've got some an old set of tires around it is worth your time to make some cheap studs.

If you're interested here's how to do it:

What you'll need:

-3/8 inch, #8 (i think) sheet metal screws, round (I've been corrected. If they're sheet metal screws it is called a pan head, not round. I apologize for any confusion), phillips head. 150-200 per tire. Buy 'em in bulk at the hardware store. $6 total when I made mine.

-appropriate phillips head bit.

-drill bit slightly smaller than your screws.

-2 old inner tubes for lining your tires.

-2 tires. large, deep, widely spaced knobs are best, but use what you got.

-Piece of scrap wood to drill into. (Better than drilling into your floor.)

Now pop in a movie and get to work. . . .

The necessary supplies

Drill bit, Phillips head bit, 3/8" #8 sheet metal screws.

Buy 'em in bulk at your local hardware store

Drill through the knobs into your piece of scrap wood.

Pre drilled holes, viewed from the inside.

Insert screws through the pre-drilled holes

Do your best to figure out a pattern and spacing that works for the
tires you are using.

Cut out the valve stem on some old tubes, then slice them up the middle
to line your new tubes and protect them from the screw heads.

New tube, liner tube, studded tire.

I eventually ended up filing down the points of the screws
on my tires because I kept scratching myself. Really
has no effect on traction. You can just ride them on bare
asphalt for a while and try to accomplish the same thing.

Looks pretty gnarly when it is all said and done.

Food for thought from Peter White cycles:

"To describe the stud's effectiveness, I'll use an analogy. Think about walking with rubber soled shoes on three surfaces; dry clean asphalt, glare ice, and glare ice that's been sprinkled with sand. On the dry asphalt you can run and make sharp turns without any concern about your shoes skidding. On the ice, you can only walk carefully, changing direction and speed slowly, lest you Fall Down Go Boom. On ice that someone has nicely sprinkled some sand over, you can walk easily and perhaps even run. But if you do run you won't be making any sharp turns or trying to stop quickly, as you would on dry asphalt, since you know full well that those little grains of sand aren't glued onto the ice, and can roll if pushed hard enough.
Riding on ice with studded tires is like walking on ice that's been lightly covered with sand. It's pretty safe. You're not likely to fall unless you do something stupid. You're not going to have the same traction you would have on dry pavement. But you're going to have far more than you would with regular tires on ice. Keep in mind that there's ice down there and you'll be fine. Try to be a hero, and you'll probably pay a price."

I made my first set 6 years ago now and have had some incredible adventures on them. I find myself looking forward to cold snaps, because there is nothing quite like cruising along a frozen stream or across a frozen lake on a winter evening.

Now go ride. . . .enjoy.

-bike wrider

1 comment:

  1. The whole process, including 6 pack of good beer cost me $80. Kenda Karma 29"-2.2", REI special.
    I couldn't be happier with the setup, especially in the hardpack winter 09'-10' in Anchorage. I'm running between 30-40 psi successfully. I didn't file the points, I wanna be James Bond!