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Snow, Ice, and Mountain Bikes?

985 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  YPSIFLY
I've been doing a bit of winter riding over the last couple weeks and I'm wondering if anyone here modifies their bikes for the winter. Specifically I'm wondering about tires. Another is lubricants, are there any that are best for cold weather?
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I haven't done much riding this winter. Last year I used a set of studded tires on my cyclo-cross. Nokians are the most popular, but most expensive. If you're not riding on frozen lakes you can get away with cheaper brands. I don't remember the brand I had, but it was an asian name and half the price of Nokians. FWIW, summer is the best time to order studded tires, availability can be a problem in the winter.

My lube of choice is ProLink no matter what season, Pedro Dry is my stand-by. I'm not sure if a wet or dry would be better in the winter, but the coating ProLink (if directions are followed) puts on the chain works great. I've never found anything that works well with road salt, however. What I do is save chains I replace during the summer and put them on in the winter. I usually change chains in the summer prior to them being over-stretched. I find Gore-Tex RideOn cables work better no matter what season and require no lube in the summer or winter.
The brand of tires I had were Innova, they are the bottom of the line cheap. IRC and Nashbar (Kenda) also make studded tires, they should fall somewhere in price between the Innova and Nokian. If you can only afford to buy one tire, mount it on the front.

If you want to build your own you'll need:

One tire. You need a tire with knobs big enough to support the stud. the stud as explained further down, has to be on the outside.

50 (approx.) Robertson head #8 by 1/2" sheet metal screws (the square head, you'll thank me for this tip) for mountain bike tires (26inch) or #8 by 3/8 inch for hybrid tires (700c)

Liner for each tire. This can be made by cutting the beads off an old tire, cutting out the valve and slitting along the inside of an inner tube or just buying a Mr. Tuffy tire liner.

Baby powder.

One sharp awl. (or a 1/8" drill bit)

Mark out 25 stud locations (on outside knobs) on each side of the tire. Punch a hole from the outside at each stud location, if you try and drill the hole you could tear the material. Then from the inside of the tire, use a drill with a Robertson bit to drive the screw through. Put in your tire liner. Apply a generous amount of baby powder between the tire liner and tube. Inflate the tube to it's max. Spin the tire in place to make sure the studs don't hit anywhere on the bike.

Caution: Be careful when you mount the tire on the rim, puncture wounds hurt.
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