Riding on Ice!

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.

Maybe I am a sasquatch from Saskatchewan…

And in other news I am back, it is cold and I love it!

Here is a tutorial I wrote since last time I replied to this thread, now everyone go stud your tires and get back outside.

and merry Christmas.

i took my coker out on the ice in oregon (amazing we got ice i know) and it did really well. i only have a ribbed tire but didn’t slip at all. i almost cause an accident cause people were looking at me instead of riding and couldn’t stop cause of the ice. stupid people. :stuck_out_tongue:

who in portland do you know?

I’ve been riding out in the snow on my 36’er with TA tire and it rides really well with no chains or studs in the tire but corners and stopping/slowing on downhills causes quite a bit of slipping. Freemounting is hit or miss but can be done. Nasty UPD’s can result from large mounds of lumpy snow.

I’ve been doing skinnies on snow wet surfaces today, it was good fun with some spectacular bails. A helmet is highly recommended.

Then later on I was riding on ice, it was fine until I tried to stop abruptly and slide around for a bit. The unicycle slipped out immediately and I flopped straight on my back. But it was good.

I need to fix my rim ASAP so I can ride again.

THe past 2 days I hit “black ice” on the road and the Coker slipped out sideways so fast, my hips hit the ground and I was sliding before I knew I was down.

It’s a drag.

I’ve been riding in snow for 35 years and never recall this happening.

I’m wondering if my reflexes are getting old or what.

I know lots of people in Portland. Dozens and dozens. If I were to really scrape the bottom of the barrel, probably one or two hundred people. Plus a few dogs. And cats. I used to know some rats who lived there too. How many of them should I list? :wink:
You are probably most interested in the owner of the unicycle with the cable wrapped around the wheel. That’s Ben. He lives in a real house made of wood that is not behind a Taco Bell. His house is in South East Portland not far from Hawthorne. I’ll leave it to him to divulge any more identifying details. If it weren’t for him I never would have learned to build igloos like the ceiling of one that you can see in my avatar. We’re going to build some more together in a couple weeks.


cool, so he’s on the forums? I live in SW Portland about a mile and a half from the Oregon zoo, in a real house, not behind taco bell, a kind family decided to take me in for the winter. :wink:

Well I saw the pics of the leaf covered test ride and started to think… instead of camo, perhaps a bit of modding could result in a leaf-picker-upper unicycle apparatus. Just a thought :stuck_out_tongue:

Not yet. That’s why I posted for him. Maybe if he realizes what a celebrity he has become because of his ingenious wheel cable, he’ll join the forums. Maybe he’ll continue to use me as his proxy and live out his years in happiness and obscurity.



That’s not fun… I’m not a big fan of black ice. My car insurance went up $700 a result of that stuff. I think I’ve only seen true black ice once in my life. Many people seem to call any ice that makes them slip “black ice.”