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Stainless Steel Zip Ties For Winter Riding?
#1
Hi everyone!

My name is Jason and I'm new to this forum. I've slowly gotten back into cycling after several years off recovering from health issues and some injuries.
I started working a night shift last year and bike to work everyday rain or cold or snow. Unfortunatley even with strong lights it's sometimes hard to spot ice at night and I wiped out earlier this year. I tried zip ties but they soon eventually break off. After yesterday's snow fall I've considered buying snow tires for my bike. However, before I do has anyone heard of or tried stainless steel zip ties as an alternative to the plastic ones? Some cyclists I met on the trail recommended it. Any other DIY alternatives for the economically minded or should I just save up and buy actual snow/ice tires? Also, apologies if this topic has already been discussed =;p

- Ride On =Smile
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#2
(11-16-2022, 07:43 AM)Cyclebot Wrote:  Hi everyone!

My name is Jason and I'm new to this forum. I've slowly gotten back into cycling after several years off recovering from health issues and some injuries.
I started working a night shift last year and bike to work everyday rain or cold or snow. Unfortunatley even with strong lights it's sometimes hard to spot ice at night and I wiped out earlier this year. I tried zip ties but they soon eventually break off. After yesterday's snow fall I've considered buying snow tires for my bike. However, before I do has anyone heard of or tried stainless steel zip ties as an alternative to the plastic ones? Some cyclists I met on the trail recommended it. Any other DIY alternatives for the economically minded or should I just save up and buy actual snow/ice tires? Also, apologies if this topic has already been discussed =;p

- Ride On =Smile

@Cyclebot Hi Jason, forget the zip ties and either buy tire "chains" or studded tires designed for that type of riding. I have done thousands of miles in snow and icy conditions on 28mm touring tires without a mishap, but that's just being lucky, certainly cautious, having a lot of experience riding in those conditions, knowing the roads/trails, and gauging the conditions for the ride.
Zip ties provide no lateral traction per se while chains and studded tires do. When younger this stuff was not available and us kids rode on frozen lakes; fun and painful. We took old balloon tires and installed screws (the sharp pointy ones) through the tires from the inside out. It worked, but as children we were not thinking about inner tubes so problems arose from punctures caused the the screw heads, as well as other "design" shortcomings. You can make a studded tire yourself in the same manner, but you need to:
1) choose an appropriate screw length. For primarily snow only type riding studs/spikes can be longer (1/4" or more), but not good for road/hard surfaces due to the screw "folding over" in the tire and rougher ride). Generally use 1/4" max length (I think 1/8" or so would be best) for snowy/icy roads.
2) choose a desired stud end. Ice only use sharp/pointy ends (points will wear down fairly quickly on roadways); combination snow/ice can be blunter. Use a coarser thread and a thick enough screw/bolt with flat heads to avoid screw from pushing back through the tire. Each screw can be replaced when worn down. Use an industrial epoxy glue to the fix the screws, but one designed for rubber and still allowing for removal of the stud if necessary.
3) use an old tire as an inner reinforcement between the screw heads and the inner tube to prevent punctures (this is also a method to use when riding anytime where tire punctures are common in addition to using "reinforced/puncture resistant" tires). Go to your local bike shop if you need to find some; they are free! You need to determine the right size width to adapt to the tires you plan to ride with. Avoid a the reinforcing tire side wall since it is not rigid enough. Doing all of this will of course require a smaller inner tube than what you would normally use by a size or two smaller, but essentially the same width tube.
4) determine the style tire you will want to convert for the surface you'll be primarily riding on. Road, touring, grave/cyclocross (best), mtb, tread design, etc. will affect how the snow is shed from the tire to avoid build-up.
A good reference for making your own is to compare production designs of tires on the market; there are a bunch out there.
If would be a fair amount of work, but studded tires (good quality ones) are not cheap.
Remember safety is your first priority; day or night you cannot always avoid or see ice covered by snow. I still ride in the winter since there is nothing more fun in my opinion than to go out at night with a full moon and ride around in the snow; everything glows like a fantasy landscape; it's killer!

Here is a link for tires and "chains": https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.icebike.org/the-ultimate-guide-to-winter-bike-tires-and-studded-tires/&ved=2ahUKEwjZz6jl6br7AhWAVTABHXTCAscQFnoECEAQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2sk7nMewqQDS4XR7CqIQma
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