A few minor snow flurries have hit Boston this winter, but the snowfall has not hindered my ability to commute with my "normal" tires. Reader Bassfran from Chicago took some inspiration from our post on Eight Solutions for Riding a Bike in the Snow and created some DIY studded tires. The only thing I might suggest adding to the instructions is a nice cold beer.
* * * * * * * * * *
So, after last year's winter on my Conti Tour Rides, (great tires IMHO, but strictly 3-season), I decided to mount up some good ol' MTB knobbies to fight the snow and ice. I've been interested in trying out studded tires for a while now but had no way to demo any for comparison and really couldn't justify the cost at around $65 per.
My research on various web sites lead me to the idea of D.I.Y.'ing my own. There are a lot of vid's on YouTube to help you- I'm certainly not the 1st person to do this but it's a fairly simple operation.
What you'll need-
- Used knobby tire that you don't mind sticking a bunch of screws into
- Power drill and thin bit for pilot holes, Phillips head bit for screws
- Box of flat head 1/2'' screws (measure your tire treads' height)
- Duct tape or equivalent to cover screw heads inside the tire
- A little time and patience
I decided to run the studs along the outsides of the tire to compensate for pavement. I also probably used more than necessary, but it's my 1st try with this, so...
Drill your pilot holes carefully and straight through the highest knob possible on either edge of your tire skipping every 2nd or 3rd knob. You should end up with approx. 50-65 when done. Remove and discard all excess rubber. Change bits and carefully and slowly screw your screws through the holes from inside the tire. Go slowly until you get the hang of it to be sure they're straight. (Mine ain't all perfect, believe me.) Personally, I'd do this step by hand next time to make sure they're properly set.
When you get all of the screws in, take a break- you deserve it. Cover the screw heads with your tape, etc. to protect the inner tube from possible punctures.
Be careful handling your tire because the screws will tear you up like a feral cat. You may want to wear gloves for protection. Mount your tire, fill 'er up a little soft, double check for clearance issues, and be prepared to conquer those side streets like a boss!