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Zip ties cum snow chains January 3, 2011

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.

Saw a post recently displaying use of zip ties to turn regular treads into snow treads, and got all excited over the geniosity (or ingenuity for those of you who like real words) as I’ve long resisted getting studded treads for winter biking. So I grabbed a pack of zip ties Friday with the intent to DIY (or I guess DIM) some snow tires, and this morning when I grabbed my bike and zip ties ran smack into a wall of duh: silly girl – you can’t zip tie tires if you have cantilever brakes. Sigh.

Decided to drop down to One on One bike shop en route to work and see what disc brakes hardware/installs are going for these days, as well as check to out what studded treads are currently in the offering. I really haven’t been all that gung-ho on needing studded tires in past winters. I prefer thin treads even in winter conditions, as I’m mostly biking city streets (no trail riding or commuting in from the sticks) and fat tires just make me feel like I could walk faster. But given the plentiful ice layers and slick spots amok this winter, I thought the zip ties cum snow chains on my tires would be genius – add just enough bite to give added traction without slowing me down as much as fat studded knobbies would.

My drop in to One on One (seriously best bunch of bike nerds you could ask for, and extra gold stars to them for never making me feel like an ignorant twit) imparted me with the knowledge that disc brakes aren’t doable for me short of some serious retrofitting of my Surly frame (nope – not gonna), in addition to acquiring disc-ready hubs (also a nope – I have some lovely ectoplasm green hubs that I’m not giving up, nope never). So cross disc brakes off list of possibilities.

Next I checked out their studded tires, and they actually have some thin-tread studs for about $45 each I’m going to consider. Yeah they’re knobby, but still less surface area than the fatter treads. And given the death-traps the streets seem likely to continue on as this winter, might be worth giving them a shot. I still really pine for being able to do the zip ties though (and not just cuz they look cool :)) – I just have the sense they would function better for me than the knobby studdeds. But ok fine – let the dream die already.

And on that note – time to head back out onto the slushy, slippy streets.


1. Stefanie - January 4, 2011

I saw that zip tie post and thought it very clever but I don’t have disc brakes on my bike either. But since I left Chrysalis I take the train to work instead of bike because downtown traffic scares me half to death especially on narrow snow/ice covered streets!

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