How To Make Your Own Studded Bike Tires

With snow and ice abounding in Missoula, it would be so nice to ride a fat bike around, but maybe you don't have one and a rad, new bike just isn't in the cards this year.

To stabilize your own bike travel, you can make your own studded tires! It's probably easier than you imagine. Rachel Stevens made a video to share this ever-rewarding DIY with you.

For this do-it-yourself, you will need:

  1. Set of bike tires
  2. About 200 ¼" pan-head screws
  3. Drill
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Tire Liners

Special thanks to Josh Tack, Evan Smith, Winona, and Patrick for their collaboration and support.

Blog post originally published February 2013.


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william buttry January 19, 2015, 3:37 PM

how far should the screws stick out and would it help to put silicone around the screw head to keep water out of the tire and to bond the tire liner to all in one swoop so it does not move around in the tire at all

lezhiped February 13, 2013, 7:58 PM

Thank you for the cool video, Cheers!

Mac, Media Specialist February 13, 2013, 7:54 PM


Rachel, Graphic Designer February 13, 2013, 7:46 PM

I LOVE that sound!

Thanks so much for your studded tire insight and enthusiasm. I'll be sure to pass it on!

lezhiped February 13, 2013, 6:56 PM

Hi Rachel, I'm glad I helped. It would hurt the tire feelings if you do it with a drill.

I'm kidding, but I think that you can't control the power of the drill as you can control the screwdriver by hand so you know when to stop screwing. The screws should be tight, but if you are pushing it too hard you can damage more the already damaged tire.

Also, nothing bond you more with your bike like little "elbow grease". So if you ask me, Ill still be doing it with the screwdriver.

Did someone mention the sound of the tire on the ice? It's just fantastic!

Rachel, Graphic Designer February 13, 2013, 4:58 PM

Thank you, everyone!

Nick: I love FreeCycles! That's where a couple of the tire shots were taken.

Anon: Thanks! This video was powered by positive vibes and americanos.

Lezhiped: That makes so much sense about the positioning, but it never crossed my mind. Thank you! I did make sure the front tire was the burlier of the two.

Hey, I have a question for all of you that I got from another viewer. They asked why I didn't just use a cordless drill instead of a screwdriver to drill in the screws. Did I waste countless minutes by not doing this? I was taught to do it with a screwdriver. Would it hurt the tire to do it with a drill?

lezhiped February 13, 2013, 5:59 AM

I've done my own 3 years ago in the same way and it's really work. It does took long time to screw all the screws but it pays of at the end. I just have small suggestion about the pattern. You don't really need screws on the center of the tire, you need them more on the sideways, so when the tire begin to slip there is something (sharp screw) to grab the ice. Also, more important tire to be studded is the front one because you have weight on the rear one. The rear does not slip that much, and if it does, it's not dangerous as the slipping of the front one. This is my winter rig. (its in Macedonian, but you can check the pics, and Ill answer questions if someone ask).

Happy winter riding!

Anonymous February 12, 2013, 4:32 PM

Fun, informative, and full of positive vibes. Well done!

gypsybytrade February 12, 2013, 3:36 PM

Awesome. This is how we built studded fatbike tires in Anchorage before they became commercially available this year.

Some tires you don't mind drilling holes through?-- head over to FreeCycles! Great video.

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