Homemade ice (studded) tyres – experiences and advice

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  • Homemade ice (studded) tyres – experiences and advice
  • I’ve got a Maxxis Minion DH 2.35 tyre kicking about at home. Realistically I’m not going to use it, so was thinking about converting it to a studded tyre. Been looking online for different guides and found a couple – on this icebike.com page, and some general info on this snowbikers.com page.

    Has anyone else done this? Experiences, advice, pictures welcome please! Specifically: what to use for the studs; patterns and number of studs needed; how much stud do you want showing through the tyre for it to be effective.

    Think for now I’ll make it up onto a spare front wheel, to stick on when the commute gets worse (iced roads and paths, frozen snow/slush. Have got an old inner tube to use as a protector on the inside of the tyre.

    Interested to see what difference it makes – if none, then at least I’ve passed on an evening bike fettling, which is never a bad thing.
    Thanks in advance

    Ti_Tim
    Member

    I’ve just done exactly this on a pair of 2.1 Mythos IRC tyres.

    I got 200 1/2 inch screws (£2 from Wickes) and then put about 40 odd in each tyre.
    Using a slim drill go through the desired lug from the outside of the tyre carcuss and then screw in from the inside out.

    Next cover the screw heads with gaffer tape and put them back on but inflate tubes about an extra 10psi more than normal.

    I kept the spikes away from the main rolling part of the tyre and put them on the outside edge lugs. First ride out was excellent with good traction on compacted snow. Even with about 6mm sticking out of the tyre I had no problems. Makes quite a noise on Tarmac but when it goes quiet you know they are working. I then tried then in a bit more slushy snow and the grip wasn’t as good – I kept slipping sideways. So I’ve now put about 100 screws in each tyre. Still mostly on the outside edge but also some in the middle of the tread on the front tyre only.

    I did scratch my hands quite a bit putting the tyres back on and will probably use a dremmel to take the spikes down a bit before I ride them again.

    Can do an update on more spikes and frozen snow later if anyone else is interested…

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Given how bad Mythos IRC tyres are you could do a lot worse than try an convert them into snow / ice tyres, does seem like a lot of hassle though!

    Thanks Ti-Tim, very useful. Would be interested in a later update as well. Do the screws seem to hold in ok with just the gaffer tape on the inside of the tyre?

    Ti_Tim
    Member

    Rich – agreed Mythos are a bit long in the tooth these days – but relatively slim so I thought they’d work well cutting through the snow.

    Crisped – I’ll let you know how I get on – first time round they were fine with cloth duct tape although I did put a couple of layers in as I was concerned about the screw heads puncturing the tube.

    I did a similar job to ti_tim, but cut the screw heads down almost flush to the tyre and lined it with a couple of layers of gaffa tape. It worked fine for a few rides but when I took it off I noticed they had started punching their way through the tape – a bit of inner tube glued in place (or even an old tyre with the bead cut off) might be better if you’re not cutting corners.

    Whos_Daddy
    Member

    what about these…

    http://bicycleslut.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/diy-studded-bicycle-ice-tyres/

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Pop-Rivet-Ice-Tires-for-Your-Road-Bike/

    http://www.icebike.org/Equipment/tires.htm

    Comments

    You only need to stud the front tire to keep upright; however, if you stud the back tire as well, it’s even better. One caveat is that these tires are only suitable for winter conditions. The difference between one studded front and no studded tires in phenomenal. When the bike is travelling straight the studs shouldn’t be hitting the road too hard; otherwise, they will just wear out too soon. Don’t worry, when the tire slips just a bit the studs will bite in. You rarely notice the slight side to side movement.

    You don’t need to stud the middle knobs since you only need the added traction when you are turning. The studs should touch the road enough to allow sufficient braking. The studs in the middle knobs wear out very fast and soon become useless anyway.

    Stainless steel screws will last much longer, but also cost about 3 times as much. You can change screws as they wear out, your tire can survive several sets of studs.

    It worked fine for a few rides but when I took it off I noticed they had started punching their way through the tape

    +1

    Next time I’ll line it with an old inner tube. Or some DPM or something.

    Anthony
    Member

    If your running tubeless it’s even better as you don’t need to line the tyre with anything the sealant just plugs everything. If you screw through the meat of the tread then the air loss should be virtually none anyway, I certainly don’t experience any sealant oozing through anywhere with about 70 screws.

    Select a screw length that sticks out about 2-3mm at most.

    The noise they make on clear tarmac is very loud!

    Ti_Tim
    Member

    Loads of useful stuff here

    STW from last year

    I hadn’t thought about tubeless – don’t the screws get pushed back into the tyre though ?

    Premier Icon mangoridebike
    Subscriber

    That Zipties idea is geeenius 🙂

    That Zipties idea is geeenius 🙂

    +1

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Is it really worth all this hassle when you can get the tyres for less than £40 each?

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Yes. Yes it is.
    Not so sure the zip tie on will work as well with knobblies, mind.

    Is it really worth all this hassle when you can get the tyres for less than £40 each?

    £80 is a lot of pesetas for a couple of ‘specialist’ tyres. Plus, what better way to recycle an old pair of (semi) useless tyres and while away a cold winter evening?

    😀

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Is the main motivation for all of this not riding on ice/hardpack snow and on paths/roads rather than offroad (where snow is unlikely to compact to anything like the same degree)?

    warpcow
    Member

    MrSparkle – Member
    Yes. Yes it is.

    Can you explain a little more why? I’m kinda with Bob on this. Schwalbe do some with 300-odd carbide studs that only weigh about 700g IIRC. They last forever too, since you rarely actually need studs for most circumstances and they are all replaceable anyway. The only thing they don’t do is UST versions since it’s assumed the the temperature will have turn your fluid to chewing-gum anyway.

    Priceless…….love the piccie with the self tappers sticking out. First its Ghetto tubeless…now we have Ghetto Ice tyres.

    Made me chortle. Be interesting if you ran over someone in a crash!!

    Its quite awkward putting the screws in from the inside, I found it was easiest if I hng the tyre around my neck. I didn’t predrill by pressing on the nobbles with my left hand I was able to see the tread pattern from the inside and aim the screws. It took no time at all to put nearly 300 2.5x16mm screws in with my cordless drill. No gaffa tape or liner and they hold air fine. I’m tempted to try them ghetto tubeless with sealant!

    You could always try panaracer flataway to stop the heads puncturing the tube?

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    Yeah the Schwalbe studded tyres are about £27 each. FWIW I have used Panaracer Trail Rakers for snow and they are ace, loads of grip. Not on ice through of course! Loving the DIY tyres but too much phaf for me…

    Cool – just come out of my appraisal meeting and lots of info to go through. Thanks for all the replies.

    Is it really worth all this hassle when you can get the tyres for less than £40 each?

    If you can find somewhere that has the ones you want in stock. You can make a front tyre in an evening, it’s oddly satisfying, actually riding one gives an enjoyable frisson of danger, and it’s a good way of recycling those partly worn ones that are clogging up your shed – assuming you’ve already got one of those stupid belts.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    I wonder if the zip ties would stay positioned under cornering?

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Can you explain a little more why? I’m kinda with Bob on this. Schwalbe do some with 300-odd carbide studs that only weigh about 700g IIRC. They last forever too, since you rarely actually need studs for most circumstances and they are all replaceable anyway. The only thing they don’t do is UST versions since it’s assumed the the temperature will have turn your fluid to chewing-gum anyway.

    To me £80 is a fair wedge. To re-use some knackered tyres from the garage and attempt to turn them into something useful is a. fun, 2.cheap and c. useful.

    Lol @ 5thEllie!

    toys19
    Member

    Can you explain a little more why? I’m kinda with Bob on this. Schwalbe do some with 300-odd carbide studs that only weigh about 700g IIRC. They last forever too, since you rarely actually need studs for most circumstances and they are all replaceable anyway. The only thing they don’t do is UST versions since it’s assumed the the temperature will have turn your fluid to chewing-gum anyway.

    Your FAIL here is to assume that people make rational decisions about what they do/buy. It’s done because the people doing it think its good/cool/economical whatever pseudo justification you want to add onto it. I’ll bet if we analysed your spending on mountain bikes we could rationalise you into foolishness. We won’t because it’s pointless, life is about choice. I think it’s brill and cannot wait to do it myself with an old pair of tyres.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I just had a crack with a horrible Tioga Factory XC and a bunch of stainless pop rivets- drilled the tyre from the outside and then popped the rivets. Looks the business and works pretty well, and makes the all important tackety-boots noise, but quite a few have fallen out already- not sure if the rest are going to stay, or just haven’t fallen out yet. Will try again with longer rivets and if that fails, screws.

    Way I see it personally is that it’s not worth buying ice tyres for the amount of ice riding I actually do. But it’s an interesting project and it’s cost me next to nothing in bits.

    Ti_Tim
    Member

    Update – more studs is definately better – grip was much improved on compacted snow and also had a more predictable slide and then grab in slushier stuff – didn’t really ride on any roads without snow tonight but they did sound a bit louder. Approx 100 studs in each tyres now.

    The extra screw in the middle of the tread on the front made a big difference. I didn’t bolt crop or dremel them down but if there was less snow then I’d probably try that.

    Something I tried that might be useful to anyone else planning on doing this – I put a couple of layers of duct tape inside the tyre – then blew up the tube to about 60 psi – took it out and then added another layer – doesn’t look like any of the screw heads have got through yet – but only a 30 min ride.

    I didn’t loose any screws and so far no punctures.

    Oh and watch your hands I look like I’ve been in a fight with a baby tiger !
    Can’t get the image link to work !
    and yes I know its on backwards – but worked quite well that way round so I might just leave it

    Thanks for the update ti-tim, that tyre looks pretty lethal! Definitely going to have a go at this in the next few days now.

    Premier Icon lovewookie
    Subscriber

    So far this year I’ve not had to dig out the homemade ice tyres Mk2. The snow has plenty (well, not plenty, but you get what I mean) of grip. Once it starts the thaw/freeze/thaw/freeze cycle, I may well fit them.

    🙂

    Premier Icon Wally
    Subscriber



    Did these last year and they took ages, but the tyres were £5 each in a Decathlon sale and the screws £5. I have gone for the filed down 200 screws off centre approach, emulating a real snow tyre – works ace. All ready for the weekend blast now. The tyre is lined with innertube and carpet sticky tape.

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