DIY Studded Bike Tires

DIY Studded Bike Tires
If you don't have the money to purchase factory-made studded tires, you may consider making your own. Much like de-studding a vehicle tire, this is a time-consuming project, but entirely doable; budget a few dollars for screws and a tire liner, an hour or two of work per tire, and you should be set. Be warned that self-studded tires are relatively prone to flats. Using countersunk screws will help to reduce this, but you may still find self-studded tires to be more fragile than factory tires.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Knobby bike tire
  • 50-70 flat head, countersunk, 1/2-inch sheet metal screws
  • Awl
  • Screwdriver
  • Tire liner
  • Baby powder
Step 1
Divide your pile of screws in two; half the screws will be studded into each side of the tire. Count the knobs on the tire and calculate how widely spaced the screws should be. You should be putting a screw in at least every other knob, and they should be evenly matched on both sides of the tire to keep the traction even.
Step 2
Take the tire off the rim and use the awl to punch a hole, from the inside out, in each knob where you're mounting a screw. Put a screw into each hole, tip poking from the inside of the tire out to the outside. Using a power screwdriver for installing the screws will save you a lot of time and effort.
Step 3
Slip the liner into the newly studded tire. Dust the inside of the liner with baby powder, then place the tube into the tire. Work the tube and tire over the edge of the rim into the channel, then inflate the tube to your standard riding pressure.
Step 4
Put the newly studded tire and wheel combo on your bike and spin it a few times to make sure the studs won't contact anything. Take the bike out for a test ride, checking to make sure the brakes don't need adjusting, before going full-bore on the ice with it.

Tips & Warnings

Using a tire lever will help you get the tire on and off the rim; tire levers resemble small, flat-pointed crowbars.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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