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Ice Riding in a NY Swamp

4266 Views 24 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  misterbill
The ice is about 3" in "most" places. Last year we had just 1 day of good conditions.


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Holy NARROW handlebars!

I mean - nice pics!!

Where in NY?
Thats very cool; I like the leaning into the turns in the first picture.
Poughkeepsie NY

I checked with Chris of Team Hairbag and the bars are 19".


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Cool Ride

Nice pics. I am glad that you had fun at Blue. Nice Pics from the Monster trail. Where is that ICE spot. Up by 909 ?? I would love to give that a try.

This swamp is a mile from Vassar Farms. It's probably 100 acres...


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Few more...


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Very nice. Love the photo in your second post.
good stuff - screaming for an ice crit :D
Talk about a tire boot, cool.
Great pix!

Coincidentally I had just put my old homemade studs on my HT last night. I saw this post and decided I needed to get out for lunch. I did a few laps around the pond near my house. What a trip. I always love riding the ice. There's a cedar swamp nearby, looks like it will be a good trip for this weekend.

I gotta put more screws into my tires though, I can't lean over like some of those pics (ask me how I know that!). I have an old set of Tioga DHs that are screaming to be screwed (ha!). The ones I did two years ago are 1.95s or something, which is fine for the ice, not so good for getting to the ice over snow and whatnot.

Thanks! My old ht's inner chainstay shows that a tire that works well in snow is probably too big to be screwed...and so the tire pile grows!

Awesome lean!!!! You put a lot of trust in those studs!

What size and length screw did you use?

I'd like to make some studded tires. The amount of exposed screw on your tires looks great.
^Yeah, details please. I want to make some too.
Yes, the lean potential SEEMS like that of a roadbike on fresh sticky hot tar. The white bike has the best grip amongst us. Chris has old ('90) ice tires called Blizzards on it. Its got factory (unused) studs, but hes got 250 or so 7/16 pan head framing screws. I think he's got the ideal tread pattern which can be seen in a thread of pics I started today. The one's here on this thread are on my orange bike. That tire was unfinished with 2 boxes of 100 #6 zinc sheet metal in 3/8". The stick improved with 2 screws 1.5" apart down the center, now on my front. I think ideal spacing would be about 1" apart.Also the ideal pattern might be evenly spaced squarish knobs, like with at least as much mass as on a panaracer x/c. I'll stick with the #6's on a Fire x/c to be built next. Even predrilled tho I had trouble getting the 7/16" centered into the Fire's knobs tho. Figure about 2 hours a tire, and the #6 weigh less, probably have to go to the local hardware store. About $3.50 per 100. I hope this helps.
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Here's how I do it.

I just finished my second set of tires. My first set was ok, but did not have enough screws in them. This set has about 160 screws in each tire.

Steps 2 and 3 might not be necessary - I found that on the most recent set (using Tioga DH tires) I could see the knob pattern when I turned the tire inside out, so I didn't need to mark or drill - that saved a lot of time.

Step 6 isn't necessary if you are going to use the tires specifically for riding ice (i.e. pond or swamp) but is absolutely necessary if you are going to ride over leaves. The points of the screws will pick up leaves like velcro.

1) Any old tire works - bigger knobs are better for the screws to bite into, wider tires are better for float over the snow. Rounder tires are better for lean (as I learned from this set of pics!).

2) Use chalk to mark knobs where you want to install the studs, you want the studs to be on knobs, not between them. Ideally you should have 4 screws in contact with the ground at a time - its a lot of screws!

3) Using a broken spoke as a drill bit in an electric drill, drill into the tire where you made the chalk marks. Doing this ensures your screws hit knobs where there is something for them to hold on to.

4) Buy a box of screws. In some industrial settings they use metal instead of wood for framing walls. The screws they use to hold the framing together are 7/16" long and have a phillips, rounded head.

5) Turn the tire inside out and using an electric screwdriver (or if you have really strong wrists - you can do this manually - the repetition's a killer!) put the screws in from the inside of the tire. Its advisable to wear work gloves for this step, as you get the tire loaded up with scews it starts to get kind of pointy.

6) Use a bolt cutter to cut the screws off flush with the rubber knobs. As aggressive as it looks with the points of the screws sticking out, if you don't cut them off you will pick up massive amounts of leaves.

7) Cut two tubes (or one heavy tube) lengthwise and lay it in against the screws, this will be a liner to protect your tube from the screw heads. I glue these in with contact cement. I've also heard people using duct tape for the liner, (or the old tire like those other guys were using) that would probably work equally well.

8) Mount it up and ride...


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Many thanks!!!!!!!

Thanks to Pedaler845 and Jisch. I've got to get out on the ice!!!!!!!!!

I just got some screws. Now if I can get all the presents wrapped, and still have time to make studded tires, I'll be on the ice before Xmas!

Those photos have really got me thinking about where the best swamps are around here...I was scoping one out along the highway on my commute home last night! I usually ride roads during the winter, but you guys have got me inspired to get on the ice!

Thanks guys. VERY helpful information.
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