Do they even exist? I’ve looked everywhere. If not, I guess I’ll have to make my own chains.
I just rode a mile through snow to get to school… Chainmaking tonight I think!
Here’s a brief article on making studded snow tires. They work really well. The article was for a smalltime bike magazine.
Here’s the deal, my sixth grade nephew is sick—home from school—and spending the day with me. Except PJ doesn’t look sick, and he doesn’t act sick. Remember those days? So what’s an uncle to do? “Let’s make studded snow tires for our bikes!”
We live on a lake in South Dakota, and the ice is at least a foot thick. A quick internet search turns up directions—using #8 half-inch self-tapping metal screws, and one-eighth inch rivet plates to hold the screws in place. We turn the tires inside-out, and PJ uses chalk to mark the backsides of the knobs. I use his marks to drill tiny holes through the middle of each knob, ninety-nine holes per tire. Then we drill the screws through the tires so the sharp points stick out of the knobs, and we use the rivet plates like nuts to hold the screws in place. These are wicked bad tires.
At this point we make a quick run to the bike shop for some liners. The guy behind the counter does a double take when he sees our tires. He puts his hand over his mouth, and you can see his brain is trying to process all this. “Boys, those are as rare as wingtips in Wyoming. Did you make ‘em yourselves?” He tells us he and his gang made studded tires back in the 50’s, using roofing nails. On ours it’s the rivet plates holding the screws that have his attention. “When we did it, the nails kept punching through the tubes. We couldn’t keep the nails from backing off. Finally, what we did was fill the tires with water, and leave ‘em out to freeze. You can imagine they were crazy to ride.”
Back home with the tire liners and plenty of duct tape we’re done in minutes. We mount the tires, and consider our options. What’s the old saying, “Freeze a cold, Sweat a fever?” We can do both with a few miles on the lake, so we take off. The tires work well, especially on clear ice, where they kick up a shower as the spikes grind the surface for traction.
The snow is another matter. Remember Mae West’s line, “I was pure as the driven snow, but I drifted.” The snow here has drifted into six-inch ridges that catch our front wheels, and stop them dead. A couple of falls later we figure out some technique. Run hard at the ridges, lift your front wheel over the crest, then dig in those rear spikes and plow right through. We carouse for a couple of hours, then suddenly we need some warmth and rest.
Back home we’ve got buffalo pot roast bubbling in beer in the slow cooker. A Winterhook Ale for me, a Dr Pepper for PJ, some pot roast with rolls, and I can’t see any sign of sickness in PJ at all.
Hey PJ, tomorrow, we mount those tires on our unicycles.
Make yourself a true goth unicyclist…
screw-on spikes for making your own bracelets, making your backpack more hardcore looking…or your unicycle.
Perfect if Rob Halford ever decided to take up unicycling…
Way too expensive for anyone else, though.
Funny, though…just the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the thread.
What are “rivet plates”? Where do you get them? How big are they?
Wow, thanks. I’m gonna hang on to that article. What are rivet plates and should I buy another Luna tire? I’ve got a Luna and a DX32. Will a 2.125 wide tire still fit ok on the DX32?
You can get 1/8 inch rivet plates at almost any hardware store. Remember, you’re using them like “nuts.” The metal screws you buy should “self tap” into them, and stay nice and firm.
Yes, get your Luna tire. The fatter the better. Your rim will love them.
Re: Studded tire for 20"?
“Sigurd” <Sigurd@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> writes:
> Do they even exist?
I havent actually seen one, but Harris Cyclery claims to offer a 20" x
2.125" studded tire by special order
I was surprised to see a Innova 20" studded tire
at a local bike shop the other day. I think it was 20x1.75 or 20x1.95.
They wanted 60.00 Cdn for it.