I thought I would give a quick update on how my DIY studded tires are doing. I’ve ridden one week with them and had one flat on the rear.
Day three of riding, halfway home I got a flat tire. I ended up walking/jogging 4.75 km home, which surprisingly only added 3-minutes, compared to the next day when I rode again. Maybe I should just ditch the bike and jog to work. Granted, the hour and 36-minute bike ride the following day was due to snow accumulation and no clearing on the paths, so my average riding speed was about the same as jogging (13km/h biking in 4-6″ snow vs. 11km/h jogging while pushing bike).
Let’s examine the tire failure for a minute. When I went to repair the flat, I marked the tire, the tube, and the outer tube which protects from the screw heads. I found the puncture, a very tiny hole, dead-center on the outside of the tube, right along the seam. I checked this location against the tire and the protecting tube and found that it did not line up with any screw heads. I have no screws in the very center. So, I believe the flat was just a flat and not related to the screws. I checked the entire circumference of the protecting tube and found no tears or holes, so I think it did it’s job. You can see below the indents from the screw heads, but none of them go through the outer tube. The shiny part in the picture, dead-center lined up with the puncture in my tube.
I replaced the tube with a new one and decided to go with a bit more tire pressure for the rear, since there’s much more weight on it. I put 50psi in (indoors), which went down to about 40-45 out in the cold.
I’ve now ridden two more days (40km and yikes, 3 hours!) with no further problems (other than the insane amount of snow that hasn’t been cleared from the paths). I just checked my front tire pressure and it was at less than 20psi, so I pumped it up to just under 40. Will keep monitoring for leaks.
Ride wise, I’ve been totally confident in the corners and have absolute control at all times, except in deep snow, such as drifts when studs do absolutely nothing. My route consists of many four-way stops with turns, so I had some fun accelerating from the stops with the studded tires. It’s crazy: I can stand on the pedals and just give ‘er without slipping! It’s been a blast and I hope I can keep going through all the snow.
Here’s a couple pics of this year’s tires on my bike:
I will keep on with updates if anything else happens, otherwise you can assume all is well with the tires and I’m still riding.