Studding tires

Fellow snow riders,

Recently Utah remembered it was January and it actually snowed a bit. I’ve finally gotten to take the fatty out into the snow, and absolutely love it. Our trails are fairly packed making riding pretty easy.

However, I’ve run into some pretty slick spots where I just didn’t have enough grip, including ice sheets.

I was looking online at some self drilling tire studs, but prices are right around $1 per stud, which when you are looking at around 50 studs is quite an investment for a maybe.

Has anyone had experience studding a tire? Are studded tires worth it? What about the homebrew methods using sheet metal screws from the inside of the tire (I’m tubeless)?

Thanks for any info.

I did the homebrew thing to a set of 29er tires - Kenda Nevegals. It worked well and I’ve had no problem with them. I have not tried them tubeless, but with a tube and a Mr. Tuffy tire liner, they work great. Pictures/details available on request.

Are you using them on a uni? What type of screws did you use? Do you have pics of both the outside and inside of the tire? How have the screws held up? It seems like durability is the biggest issue when studding them yourself.


Haven’t used them on a uni. You’d be welcome to borrow one and try it out, though. I’ve only ridden them on a bike.

As far as durability, no problems there, but I don’t ride 'em on pavement. So, as long as you are on snow/frozen dirt, the screws seem to hold up well. And, hell, if they wear out it costs you 50 cents to replace them.

I used #8, 1/2" flat head wood screws. You might need longer depending on how thick your tread blocks are. Next time, I might go with a pan head for a lower profile. I thought I’d be able to pull the flat head flush with the interior of the tire, but no such luck.

On the inside there is not much to see. I put a layer of duct tape over the heads, so that is hidden. On the outside, the screws poke out about 1/8", which I think is about right. They are spaced 4" apart on the same sides of the tire, so 2" between adjacent ones on opposite edges of the tire.

Yeah, I think you just convinced me. How old is that setup?

I was going to use pan heads as well to keep it tidy on the inside.

I’d likely go with a similar sized screw, maybe grind the tips a bit or go with a 3/8" length. Thanks for the offer to use them, but I don’t have anything to put one on at the moment :p.

I knew there was a reason I bought a second Floater… :roll_eyes:

Thanks for the pics! Much appreciated.

That setup is probably 4 years old, but only has about 2 seasons of frequent riding on it. Most of the time around here, I found that I could do OK on my bike with regular tires. That may be changing as all the fatbikers are packing things down and they are getting icy.

Good luck with the project!

Maybe I should stud my coker tire…

That’s great if it’s 2 seasons old. Those are holding up really well. I’ll be running up to Home Depot tomorrow after work.

If your going to do it you might as well do it right! This is what I expect :slight_smile:

Suddly (400x273).jpg

Actually I’m not sure I’d dare to run screws through my new Knard. I’ll let you try it out on your spare floater first :o

The spare will still be a spare, in case I botch the screw job (:p).

I’ll use my old tire and keep it for the winter season hopefully and just rotate.

Can’t see how this won’t be awesome…

Marilyn Manson called… :roll_eyes:

I have just studded my Gazza 24/3 with drilling studs. Yes, they are quite pricy, but predictably effective.


On a somewhat related note, this was posted on the facebook unicycle chat page. Interesting alternative to studs, and removable.

Nice chain link. (ba dump, ching)

I saw this zip tie solution on Facebook recently, cheap but I’m not sure how well it works…

From what I’ve read, the chains don’t work as well as studs when it comes to ice.

I like solutions like this. They don’t involve sticking screws through an otherwise fantastic tyre, so are easily reversable :smiley:

Maybe you could stick small metal studs to zip-ties if the plain ones aren’t enough though…

Well so far it’s holding air.


Are you drilling pilot holes?


Here was my method for those interested in trying it down the road:

I counted the number of lugs on the tire and decided what I wanted my stud pattern to be. From what I’ve read, less is more (avoiding extremes of course).

Then I drilled a pilot hole using a 3/32" drill bit. 1/8" would probably work, but I didn’t have one on hand. The drilling ensures that you’ll end up actually in a stud and makes it easier to screw.

I then dipped the screw in silicone prior to putting it in. The theory is that this will help keep them from backing out, and help them seal quicker since I’m set up tubeless.

I used self tappers because the chisel like tip should be more durable. I was going to use 3/8" length but decided on 1/2" and am sure glad I did. 3/8" would have been pushing it as far as length goes.

Once I mounted the tire, I poured in some fresh sealant (I use a lot of sealant, 6 oz because I’m anal) and stuck the compressor on it. Aired up like a normal tire, and the only leaks were around the beads. Seems to be holding air still.

Be careful, the studs will try and gut you like a fish.