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That Unicycle Guy
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Those DIY tires you made would be great for hardpack but I think the standard screw form the inside technique produces a better, lighter, more versatile tire. I really like your idea of using latex to cover the screw heads, do you think you could run that setup tubeless? I have been thinking of loosing the DH tube in mine.

I wrote up a tutorial for canadianunicycling.com and unicyclist.com
 

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That Unicycle Guy
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DIY 3" studded tire

You can see the whole thread here:thumbsup:

Please excuse the unicycing content:)

I am going to go through how I stud a tire. There are many ways of studding a tire but this is what I found works best for me.

What you need

Tire
Screws
Screwdriver
Drill/stabbing utensil
An extra innertube or other barrier.

Choosing the right tire is the biggest factor in whether you will be happy with your winter tire or not. Generally in winter you want a tire that is as wide as possible and has a relatively open tread. I would not stud an old worn out tire as the whole point of studding a tire for winter is to have the most grip possible. The tire that I am using in this tutorial is a new 26x3.0 Duro Wildlife Leopard.


The best screws to use are #8 self-tapping metal screws at a length that sticks out 1mm to 3mm. On most tires I have done this means a 3/8” long screw but the duro has slightly deeper lugs and I needed to use 1/2” screws. Do not use wood screws as they are made of softer steel and have skinnier points resulting in them wearing faster.

Getting started



The first thing that I did was plan out my stud pattern. I decided to do a pattern that would utilize three different lugs varying from next to the center to the second closest to the edge. Generally I do not put studs in the very center or the very edge as the center will get worn away quickly adding more drag, and the far edges are rarely used. You do not want a screw in every lug as the plain rubber lugs will give better grip on surfaces like rock and clean pavement. I used a grease pencil to mark the lugs that I wanted studs in to help me remember where to make the holes for the screws.

Making the pilot holes



In a few studding tutorials that I have read people suggest using a drill with a 2mm bit to make the pilot holes, this is probably the fastest and easiest way to do it but I think that you should try to keep as much rubber as you can so that it effectively presses against the side of the screw preventing it from popping out.

I used a fork with one tine bent out and sharpened to a point. I would stab then give the fork a spin to make sure that I would be able to see the hole later from the other side. This took me about 15 minutes and the fork got quite warm after a while

Inserting the screws



Once you have all your pilot holes in place turn the tire inside out being careful not to kink the bead of your tire. Now all you have to do is drive the screws into the holes you just made. If the screw does not follow the hole you made just back it out and try again with the screw at a different angle.

Finishing the job.

Some people snip off the heads of the screws with a bolt cutter to save some weight and reduce the risk of pinch flats. I don’t like this practice because it makes it much harder to remove the studs if they need to be replaced. If you do cut off the heads make sure you don’t have any sharp ends pointing inwards.



You want to cover the heads of the screws with something to protect your innertube. The best option is an old innertube split down the middle. Another option is to apply several layers of duct tape to the inside of your tire. I attempted to rubber cement the old innertube to the tire this time but it did not help keep everything in place as well as I hoped during installation so I do not suggest doing it.

Install your tire and go ride






and more info since I am on a roll. From the same thread (I am saskatchewanian)
saskatchewanian said:
The first set of studded tires that I did I used sheet metal screws from the outside. This was on my bike when I lived in a small town They worked great for the streets which always had at least a few cm of packed snow-ice on the roads. They had great grip and I really liked them.

When I moved to a larger town that would occasionally have bits of bare pavement showing in the winter I noticed that the heads of the screws were wearing down way faster than back home. I also quickly noticed that I would have much more grip on the hard-pack and ice than on the pavement.

This is because the metal screw heads were the only parts contacting the road and the friction coefficient between steel and pavement is MUCH lower than the friction coefficient between rubber and pavement.

The next set of tires that I made I used wood screws. I did not make pilot holes so it was sort of hit and miss for whether the screw came out the center of the tread. If I was not happy with where the screw emerged I would back it out and try again. This ended up taking more time than if I would have done the pilot holes ahead of time.

The screws stuck out by about a cm and they looked MEAN! I had to remove the side screws on my back tire even before I rode on them because they would hit my frame. I got the bike outside and got on. The screws just folded over and I could hardly get going. I pumped my tires up to 60psi to see if it would help with the folding and it did but the tires still felt terrible. when I rode around a snow covered loop it felt like the tires were actively trying to pull me backwards. I did not bother testing them out on pavement and walked over to the hardware store to buy shorter screws.

When I dismantled my failed tire I noticed that many of the lugs were ripped half off from the crews pulling so hard on them. I re-used the tire but put the new screws on different lugs. I first tested out the tires with the new shorter screws on a skating rink and they had AMAZING grip... but the super pointy studs quickly wore down even before testing what they would do on pavement. I tried them out on a clear patch of road and they felt a little bit squirreley but the grip was not bad. The screws only lasted about a week before becoming short rounded and mostly useless.

The next thing I tried was regular metal screws (like what I used in the tutorial). They provided almost as much grip as the brand new wood screws but held their point much longer. Their grip on hardpack and ice was quite good and the handling and grip on dry pavement was improved. These lasted the rest of the winter and showed little wear compared to the other systems I tried.

Halfway through the next winter the studs were starting to get a bit worn so I replaced the screws on the back tire with self tapping style metal screws. I was expecting improved grip and increased drag due to the fresh screws but only noticed the improved grip. The new studs would bite into the ice and prevent slipping but the lack of threads on the ends stopped them from sticking to the ice. I then replaced the screws on the front tire as well and noticed that my grip was about the same as when the other screws were new but there was less rolling resistance even when compared to the slightly worn screws.

Those screws lasted for two years until I stopped riding my bike very much in the winter anymore after switching to a unicycle for transportation.

On a unicycle I have used the self taping metal screws, regular metal screws and made a chain.

So to sum it all up here are the pros and cons I found with each setup.

Sheet metal screws from the outside of the tire:

Pros - Excellent grip on harpack and good grip on ice. No increased risk of pinchflats. Easy to install.
Cons - Wears quickly on pavement, Horrible grip on dry road surfaces. possible to loose screws.
Possibly the best choice if there is no chance of a hard surface that is not covered in snow and ice

Long screws

Pro - Looks cool
Cons - Utterly useless and waste of time. Wrecks your tire, won't roll well, and dangerous.
BAD IDEA

Wood screws

Pros - Excellent initial grip on ice, better than the sheet metal screws on pavement.
cons - Wears out quickly, feels a bit odd on pavement, very sharp initially, could be dangerous. Slight road suck (drag)

Regular metal screws

Pros - Last longer than wood screws. Good grip on hardpack and ice. Good handling and grip on dry pavement.
Cons - Slight road suck/drag

Self tapping metal screws

Pros - Lasts the longest of all the screws/studs tried. Chisel point cuts into ice without getting stuck: reduced drag. excellent handling on hardpack, good handling on dry surfaces.
Cons - Can be hard to find in the right length
Best option for a variety of conditions. Also works well on wet/frozen wood.

Tire chains

Pros - looks cool, you aren't putting screws through your tire so you don't need a dedicated winter tire
Cons - less grip than studs, more expensive, more finicky, takes more time and planning, additional wear to your sidewalls, harder to make.
 

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Cheesehead

When I used to be a Broke-A$$ and couldn't afford nokians I used hardened "stove screws" with a smoothish, semi-rounded profile "cheesehead" (vs pan head or other). These stove screws are hardened (increased durability) and effen sharp. should be able to find them at a woodstove supply shop,...ran them through from the inside after drilling a pilot-hole from the outside...try slathering the threads of the screws with shoe-goo before you run them through the carcass...It seems to help keep the screws from pushing back through (reducing flats) and aids in restoring some of the structural integrity of the knob (reducing tearing). A set of tires made-up with attention to detail would last two full winters in Anchorage. Make sure there is plenty of clearance between the studs and your chainstays, the hardened steel will chew right through chromoly...(use a dremel to trim the tips of those that are too long).
 

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Here's pics of my homemade studded tires using car tire studs. Kenda Kinetics 2.6" Stick-Es.

Used pretty much the same process as Eric, except I used a sharp 1/8" drill bit to drill the pilot hole.

The studs are a press fit, nothing else holding them in. Used a cut tube for a liner.

Last set I made lasted 10 years or so. The studs are still sharp with lots of pavement miles, tires dry rotted, only reason I stopped using them last year.
 

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qayaq_alaska said:
Any other larger tires with lugs that will take the car stud...really like what Neal did with the Kinetics - little small for a 2.6 though...anything else out there?

M
The Arrow Racing Savage 3.0 has pretty large lugs. Those tires are already pushing 4 pounds each though; can't imagine what they would be like with studs in them.
 

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That Unicycle Guy
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I really like the car stud idea, I think I am going to have to try that next time I build up a studded tire.

If you are looking for a 26X3 tire the Duro Wildlife Leopard is pretty decent. One feature that I really like is it has a extra lip that locks the tire over the wall of the rim and helps protect the rim when running low pressures. I have yet to pinch flat using a Duro. You can get them at any of the unicycle.com stores

The Arrow Savage tire is just a re-branded Duro

There used to be a 26X3 version of the Intense DH tire but they are discontinued and hard to find. Wider and squarer than the Duro but not as tall.

I think everyone here knows about the Gazzalodi, It is the biggest 3" out there but are also discontinued. :sad:
 

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The Kenda tires were pretty much the largest tire I could find with big lugs (the lugs could be bigger). I saw the Arrows after I had purchased the Kendas. Anyone know the dimensions of the knob on the Arrows?

The studs added < 1 pound to the weight of the bike. That's w/ 124 studs in front and 64 in the rear. The rear only has the outer rows right now,by next season they get the inner row like the one shown. Yesterday was the first ride i encountered sheet ice going up a decent incline, it was a little lacking in traction in back.

I emailed Surly a while back asking for a Endo type tire with some knobs big enough to stud. Maybe if more people email them they'd see a market for them, albeit a small one.
 

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ericpulvermacher said:
I really like the car stud idea, I think I am going to have to try that next time I build up a studded tire.
I should also say if your using car studs, you should pre drill a hole and figure out how tall the knob and casing is. Tire studs come in sizes from ~8 to ~17mm. If they're too long they may fold over instead of biting in. I tried to keep the carrier about 1mm proud.

You can buy a 1000 of them for ~$60 or if you have a decent tire place around they may sell you smaller quantities or give them to you for free. At least you should be able to get them to give you one of each size to figure out what you need to order.

ericpulvermacher said:
I think everyone here knows about the Gazzalodi, It is the biggest 3" out there but are also discontinued. :sad:
Looked for the Gazzi's most of the summer, until I found out they were no longer, bummer
 

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That Unicycle Guy
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neal_b said:
I saw the Arrows after I had purchased the Kendas. Anyone know the dimensions of the knob on the Arrows?
Looking at my Duro (same thing as Arrow)

I don't have any kind of proper measuring tools but 1/2" screws stick through by about 2 or 3mm. The lugs are just slightly chunkier than the Kenda tire I had.
 

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I tried the Arrow Savage on my pugsley looking for some more knobs vs the endo. The problem is that the Arrow as a very stiff casing. I just kept letting air out and letting air out trying to get the casing to flatten out for a good contact patch. I sort of had it flexing at the end of the ride and when I got back to the truck, I measured the pressure at 2 psi. IMHO these tires are too stiff to use in the cold weather.

Oh and for more DIY stud advise check here
 

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Safety Dance

So one thing I've always wanted to try is to stud a tire with safety studs. At least I think they are called safety studs. They look just like a regular car stud, but the main body is plastic with a carbide in the center...absolutely minimal weight compared to a regular stud. Supposedly they don't damage the road surfaces like a regular stud. I've heard less than excellent reviews from folks with them in full-size car and truck tires...I guess the carbide punches out of the plastic, but I can't imagine the stresses imparted by a bicycle would be comparable...The Yugo or VW Rabbit size oughta do....If anybody makes up a set, let me know how they work...I usually have enough snowmachine trail obtions out here in SW Alaska i can usually avoid the icy routes if I want, not like commuting in Anchorage...
 

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Fat!Drunk!Slow!
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Never heard of an outer plastic stud. They have steel studs, and aluminum studs, which are deemed "Street Smart" as they are suppose to wear faster then steel on the roads.

I still like my 29er Nokians. They have been working great so far...no studs missing yet. I guess i'm not riding hard enough?
 

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taake this job...

I think I first saw them during a very brief stint working in a tire shop in Spokane. They may have met with an early demise doe to their popping the carbide loose...might be worth checking a couple of tire shops though...
 
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