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I was living in Philadelphia four years ago. I managed to find some sweet commercially-available mountain bike snow tires from Eastern Mountain Sports in Canada. They worked incredibly on the snow- got me through a blizzard. I remember biking on the empty white roads to work.


About 15years ago I made a pair of screw-out (#3) and rode them in Boston for a few months. No one mentions the fact that the rolling resistance of these tires is MONSTRUOUS. Particularly in the days after the few hours before the roads are plowed, iced, and turn to slush. Off-road they'd be great, but for commuting, I found it better to take the bus for two days and then ride regular tires in the slushy edges. But fun project to kill a few hours when snowed in during a blizzard ...


Of course, for those who didn't follow #1's link, it only works on disc or otherwise hub braked wheels.


If you use zip ties, use the releaseable ones that are meant to be re-used, and don't cut them too short.


Thanks for the summary.

david p.

i live in montana and commute all year round. so far i've gotten by on the previously unmentioned, "option #9" - do nothing.

well, not exactly "nothing." In the winter I ride a mtb moderate knobbies, and when a fresh set of snow comes down i just lower the saddle a little so i can put my foot down in a hurry. Of all the options I think the schwalbe marathons have the most longevity. some of the guys report getting 4-5 winters out of them. i can't quite afford them yet, but i'd like to do it sometime.

i'd reckon that the DIY options last a season maybe. whereas the factory constructed ones use carbide and reportedly last a lot longer. any thoughts on screw choice increasing the life of the stud/tire?


I got a kick out of the zip tire idea...if I was on a budget I'd try it just for how ridiculous it looks. Studded tires can be good but they are not usually so essential for city riding.


I tried making chains once (internet DIY, advertised for a unicycle tire) and got so far as to ride on them. On clean pavement, the vibration was intolerable; I feared chipping a tooth.

I use Nokian studded tires, with carbide studs. The studs are only necessary/useful on ice; for snow, you need knobbies.


The bike chains are still going strong 3yrs later mates! We have no snow in Iowa (Des Moines at least) right now so I haven't even put them on this season yet. They work great but lets face it....ice and anything with speed = failure.



Nice idea on the homemade chains. I could also pass these ideas along to my disabled customers who want to ride around outside in their powerchairs! :) Those have solid rubber tires too.


Good write-up. Option 8 here I come. Weeeeee!

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