Riding on Ice!

Anybody else out there enjoy riding on ice? I’ve got a studded tire on my 28" Sun and it is a blast to ride around on the local hockey rink. We got blasted with snow over the last week or so, but good ol’ Burlington got their priorities right and had the rinks cleared via bucketloader way before the sidewalks! :smiley: It’s about the only place I can ride, other than in the middle of the road, which is never a good idea on the uni…

It is fun to watch peoples reactions to riding onto the ice. Kids pretty much stop playing hockey and even stop skating. You can do some cool stuff, like pedal hard and spin the tire, or try to skid sideways. I can’t freemount on the ice, but I haven’t tried all that hard. I can freemount on the edges of the rink, where the ice is rough or covered with snow.

Sometimes I ride one of my MTBs on the ice - with studded tires - and it is fun to do crazy stuff like take the handlebars and turn them 90 degrees while riding. Something you’d never do without the ice - it takes a bit of nerve to do it.

Anyway I had a few spills but still had a great time. I brought my skates with me, so I went skating after, and had a couple of nasty falls :astonished:

probs be a good idea to wear a helmet

I tried riding on ice once when I was in Germany on the German Exchange but it was on a 6 foot giraffe and my german kid talked me into it and it was my first time on a giraffe it was very slippy and i felll off and it hurt but it was all in good fun :smiley:

Haven’t done ice, but I went unicycling down the sledding hills this past week. Really fun riding on the packed snow from the sleds. Should have seen the looks. The little kids thought it was cool, but the parents weren’t too sure until I took off my helmet and they saw I was old enough to be their dad. What could they say then?

I enjoy not having ice around where I live. :slight_smile:

But I grew up with plenty of it around:

me and unicyclepa went trials riding and realized that we couldn’t do it with all that hardpack snow we have but we decided to ride across a frozen lake which was pretty hard but fun.

yeah but no studs…we skidded alot and fell even more…
everything got sooo wet from the snow though…
we must of been going about 5mph and skidded for like 6 feet then fell…it was funny…

whoo really i cant ryde in ice

My first successful ride was on ice, I bought my first uni in October last year while I was living up north, the frozen lake was the only smooth surface around so that is where I learnt to ride, I have found that 98 3/8" #8 Robinson screws in a Luna make a decent ice tire. After Christmas I moved into Saskatoon and again the only flat clear areas around were the skating rinks. All this riding on ice made me very good at riding very gently with slow turns but the slightest bumps would throw me off. I now ride a 26" MUni with a 3" Gazz and home made tire chains, the chains work well on most surfaces but the Luna with screws is better on glare ice.

Please tell us more about the chains.

Just for the curious, I use a cheapo studded Nashbar.com tire. I think it is 700x35. It’s like a studded pizza cutter, quite skinny and almost gets lost in the rim. I must say I don’t like it for anything but the studs.

You definitely have to be careful to keep the uni vertical – any tilting reduces the stud contact leading to UPDs.

Thanks for the link, PDC. That thread mentions this link

which if you scroll down to the Nashbar section, you’ll see some good pix of the 700x35 as well as the 26x1.95s that I use on one of my MTBs.

I paid $25 USD for the 700x35, and I think $35 USD for the 26x1.95s. Both are fairly good quality, rebadged Kendas. The rubber compound is fairly hard.

This is the 2nd year of use and - granted I don’t ride alot in winter - the tires show almost no wear.

The chains i made used approximately 7m of #4 tenso chain (that kind twisted wire kind with two loops per link), the chain crosses the tire 40 times in a criss cross manner using 6 links per cross. The end of the chain was opened and closed around the first link with two pares of pliers. On both sides at the end of each V a thin rope goes thrue the end link. These ropes were tied in loops as tightly as possible then i used a third rope to tension the rope loops further by weaving back and forth inside the rim. This all cost me about $12 and took a couple hours to get right. The chains work well and look impressive but I prefer a studded tire.

In my experience screws designed for going through sheet metal with a rounded head work quite well, get a length that just barely stick out of your tread (1-3mm) as long studs do not work nearly as well. You want the studs short enough that they will allow the rubber of the tire to contact pavement when not on ice as this will give you better grip in a variety of situations and limit the amount of unnecessary drag when going through hard-pack snow. Put he screw into the tire from the inside and try to center them on a lug because if they are off to the side they may rip your tread when forces are put on them, I use a awl to punch a hole from the outside for the screw to follow. Cover the screw heads with duct tape or an old inner tube to protect your inner tube. Wider screws are also better than thinner screws as they hold better in the tread and wear less quickly. I’m going to be gone for a couple weeks but when I get back I will try to post some pics of my tires.

Hmmm… maybe it’s just me but putting studs or chains on sounds like taking the fun out of it.

Maybe I’ll have to try it one day to be sure, but I find Ice to be fine just with my 24x3. The pond/skating rink is okay to ride on, but I prefer the mini-mall down town where the sidewalks freeze over for about half the width… it’s interesting trying to set up for a stair climb on a really slick surface. The best parts though are where the ice is mounded up from drips off the building… trecherous.

You pretty much have to love ice if you ride where I do… there’s just no escaping it.

Uni tire “chain”

Just thought I’d resurrect this thread to post a pic of what my friend in Portland, Oregon is doing to ride in the snow. Pretty simple solution. It might not work well in ice. Side slippage perhaps? I haven’t tried it out since I live 300 miles south.
He says:
I took some galvanized cable and just wrapped it around the wheel. Clamped the two ends with a cable clamp and Voila.

works great, no slipping.

Unicycle chain.jpg


Adventually you can place this “steal sponges” in between, those that painters use to use (in stead of sandpaper).

OFF TOPIC: Hey I now know what a saskwatch is…I found the mystery of your name yayayayayay :smiley: You look just like one.

His name has Saskatchewan in it and you thing sasquatch is the correct answer?

Sasquatch is an adaptation of the First Nations name for what some would call bigfoot. Saskatchewan is something slightly different.

The cable would probably work great in the snow… but it does look kinda helter-skelter. I wouldn’t suspect it would ride very evenly, and it looks more like he happened to ride through a tangle of wire than something that was planned. :smiley:

Im pretty sure his name is a province in Canada. And that he probably lives in there.