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Make your own studded snow/ice tire

How to make your own studded snow tire.

Topic: Bicycle Touring  
Categories: Howto, Maintenance
Locale: North America
Keywords: Snow Tire, Snow Tyre


Copyright © 2007-2014 By Casey Saltness - (contact)

Status: Completed Dec 2007
Last update: Tuesday December 25, 2007 16:11 (US/Pacific) (edited Tue 25 Dec 2007 18:44 (US/Pacific))
8,706 hits since December 25, 2007 (hitcounts updated nightly)
8 pics

A Real Quick How-to on Studded Snow Tires


I've made my own studded snow tires and you can too. The cost of which was $5.00 (screws) + and old pair of mtb. tires. I had the tools so there was no cost there.

Tools and Hardware:
1- drill
1- 1/8" drill bit
1- philips head drill adapter
2- treaded tires
2- Mr. Tuffy inner tire prophylactics or a couple old inner tubes
1- baby powder
120- flat head 1/2" number 8 philip's sheet metal screws (front->50 screws, rear->70)
1- extra set of hands (my son) otherwise add an additional .5 hours

The way I figured the front/back screw ratio was that I really didn't want to have the screws on the front tire constantly making contact with the road.
I feared that the front would be more apt to slip out from under me while shifting weight. I really only wanted the front screws to make contact while leaning into a turn.

Further on you'll see the configuration placement of the screws w/ the aid of pictures I've uploaded.
I was less worried about the rear tire's propensity to slip out from under me causing a wreck. With that in mind, I loaded up the rear with 20 more screws than the front in favor of better purchase on snow and ice. Again, you'll see in the following pictures how I moved closer to the center of the tire when placing the screws in the rear tire.

Screw Type
There are hundreds of types screws one could use. I chose a flat head type sheet metal screw. There were several material types to choose from as well. I chose the stainless steel for durability.

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Just a 1/2" #8 stainless steel, flat headed, philip's head sheet metal screw.

As for the construction:
Using the the drill and 1/8" bit, I proceeded to drill form the inside-> outward concentrating on driving the bit directly through the heart of the outer most lugs of the front tire, leaving the center bead of the tread screw-free. As I said with the front tire only I really didn't want any screws making contact with the road unless I was making a turn.

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With the 1/8" bit aiming directly into the heart of the outer most lugs of the front tire.

Once I completely drilled around both sides of the front tire I began screwing in the sheet metal screws with the help of a drill, again, from the inside -> outward.

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Seen here screwing front tire from the inside outward. I couldn't imagine doing this by hand. I apologize about the poor focus. btw, The screw I'm using in this photo is NOT the flat head variety. I think it's more a pan-head type. I made this page and took the pictures after I actually made the tires and used all the screws I had.

Sorry I don't have a picture on me inserting the Mr. Tuffys into the tire but you can use your imagination.
I should say that I only had one Mr. Tuffy so I used it for the rear tire. For the front I simply used an old inner tube which I cut along the inside. Applying liberal amounts of baby powder- I slid the cut tube between the tire and the real inner tube to protect the tube form the screw heads. Again, no pictures.

Here's the result of about 1.5 hours worth of work. By clicking the picture you'll be rewarded with a much bigger and more detailed visual reference.

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Front Tire. You'll notice if you look closely that the screws protrude directly out of the center of the lugs. These lugs give the screw a little more backbone for support.

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You may notice the rusty chain. There's a good chance that if you're reading this you'll be riding in snow and ice. I would suggest keeping your chain in good working order by frequent drying and lube. I didn't but now I will.

"Make your own studded snow/ice tire" Copyright © 2007-2014 By Casey Saltness - (contact). All rights reserved.
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