BikePortland.org (then others) posted this MacGyver tip for improving cycling traction in snow and/or ice this winter. As you can see from the photo below the author placed zip ties around the rim and tire about spaced about every 3 spokes. At first blush this seems like a great idea but it is certainly limited to bikes without rim brakes. One commentor mentioned removing her rear brakes to allow the wheel to rotate freely with the zip ties installed but doesn’t this mean you’re riding on snow with just your front brakes attached? Seems a little more dangerous than both brakes in the snow WITHOUT rear traction.

What about the old trick of “studding” your tires with wood screws poked through the tire from the inside? I’ve never tried this myself but it seems like a decent solution as well, though clearly not as easy and not really reversible the way zip ties are. The post also mentioned “chains” for bicycle tires but living in the south I’ve never seen these. Anyone ever use bike tire chains?

Zip ties for bike tires
# Comments

  • 2leftfeet

    I have a set of studded CX tires made by Kenda. They just plain rock. Much less expensive than some of the other brands and they have held up really well. They don’t have quite as many studs as some of the others – but let’s be honest it snows like 3 times a year here. They are a blast to ride though.

  • ironhead700

    Studded tires should be specifically for ice and frozen snowpack. (carbide studs wear the best) Any tire with a fairly aggressive tread would be okay in snow.

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