Tires winter tires: homemade airless w/self-studs?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by banzo, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. banzo

    banzo New Member

    Anyone ever tried the screw-in type studs in solid, air-less tires for winter use?

    I'm curious about using the Schwinn Meridian in winter with three, homemade tires w/ studs for winter use only? The 26" wheels could be swapped for the winter set and swapped-back in Spring with the originals.

    Any experience using the air-less tires that might work would be appreciated. Some are filled with solid foam. Others are solid rubber? Which would hold the studs the best?

  2. Chalo

    Chalo Member

    Most airless tires are made entirely from polyurethane foam. A few are normal tires with a polyurethane foam tube tucked inside. It is also possible to fill an existing tire with the same kind of foam and let it cure in place (this is normal for agricultural equipment and off-highway utility vehicles).

    No bicycle tires I have ever seen, other than 19th century high-wheelers, children's tricycles and miniature bikes, have solid rubber tires. That's just too heavy and hard-riding for normal bicycle use.

    Amerityre, Greentyre, and Nu-Teck all make polyurethane foam tires for bicycles. They all have the typical foam tire drawbacks of extra weight, extra rolling resistance, harsh ride, increased risk of roll-off, hardness changes with temperature, and accelerated wear and tear on wheels. They are all relatively affordable and easy enough to try for yourself, though.

    It seems to me that you could just drive short drywall screws or the like into the tread of a foam tire, leaving the heads proud of the surface of the tire, and they'd likely have the same effect as studs.

    Funny time of year to be thinking about winter tires, isn't it? You live in Tierra del Fuego or something?

  3. banzo

    banzo New Member

    I like to think a project through before I dive in. I'm looking at a Schwinn Meridian with a Staton 18:1 transmission/Honda 35cc/4cycle for these hills I live in. I gave up on the friction drive: Studs would never do...

    I'm thinking of this as a regular commuter/grocery shopping vehicle. I need to know I can go where I need to, even when it snows! I work graveyard shift so it can snow/ice while I'm at work and have to get home! I have a second 27-spd. bike for pleasure/fair-weather riding. I was going to friction-drive it until I pondered all the impossibilities that could arise.

    I'm told that trikes like to pop spokes going around curves? That mag wheels bend and re-straighten avoiding the spoke popping? I'm also told that self-studding Mag tires has been done/is doable. The pics of these look like standard tires filled with something? Is that the foam inside you were talking about?
  4. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    having studded bike tires would probably work good as long as you are ALWAYS riding on hard packed snow or ice.
    They would not work so good on fresh fluffy snow or on wet concrete / blacktop.
    they could quickly put you on your face on wet concrete because they will slide on the wet ground very easily.
  5. DougC

    DougC New Member

    I've not ever heard of this. Certainly no recumbent trikes have problems with the issue. Properly built bicycle wheels will have no problems with being mounted on a trike. That said, if you are breaking spokes, then you may need to get the wheels re-spoked completely,,,, either do it yourself, or at a bike shop (if you don't know how or don't want to do it yourself).


    As far as studded tires go,,,,, I tried using home-made ones, and then paid $200 for some Nokians. The Nokians weren't perfect, but they still worked about ten times better than any of the home-made ones did.

    The home-made tires were heavy to pedal, vibrated and rode rough while rolling, and threw screws pretty much constantly. The Nokians hardly ever threw studs (until the 4th-5th years) and felt just like riding on normal tires, except that they had a lot more traction on ice & snow.

    Mount them only when you need them, ride them slowly (<15 mph) and gently (flat ground/pavement only) and they will last several years before the stud-holes wear out so loose that the studs won't stay in.
  6. banzo

    banzo New Member

    DougC reply

    Thanks for the tips on the Nokians. I'll start saving my pocket change -- maybe I'll have enough by winter for a set!

    I gave up on the trike build ideas. I didn't want a recumbant [too low to the ground for my comfort to be mixing with auto traffic on the highways] and I didn't like the quality that I could afford in the standard designs [not counting the cost of motorizing them!] Also, turning/tipping on standard trikes without slowing WAY DOWN seems to be a constant. Who wants to be faced with plowing into someone/something at xy m.p.h. knowing you can't swerve to avoid them/it? "I dont."

    There are "stabilizer wheels" kits available [12" dia. for a 20" fold-up bike] if I feel I need the help in winter -- that would make four wheels total -- 3 in the rear. I'd still be riding on two wheels most of the time. Has anyone ever tried a set -- they're like the "grown-up version" of training wheels. Sears/WalMart sell them for $189.00/set.