Saturday, December 20, 2008

Zip tie bike tire "chains" II

I woke up to a couple of inches of fresh snow, with more still falling, and 28 degree temps. I headed out from Sellwood about 9 AM, and testing conditions were perfect for the zip tie-re chains:

I decided to head for Mt. Tabor (a local park on a hill). There are a couple of packed down intersections around Ladd's Addition that would make for good start-up traction tests. I cruised through the neighborhoods and emerged on Division. The intersection of Division and 11th was a good first test. I slowed down to hit the red light and put my feet down. Things were good and packed down and slippery from cars spinning out. The light turned green, and I spun out sideways. One more try. Nope. Now, some cars were coming behind, and I had to boot shuffle off the road in shame. I tried again at 12th with the same result.

If this were a winter gear review site, I would only give the zip ties 1 snowflake. They are a good conversation starter at bike racks, and they don't seem to do any harm. But, I think a pair of regular knobby tires beats slicks + ties hands down. Plus, there's that nagging feeling that zip tie-ing your tires on is just asking for a flat. I think I'll cut them off before they wear through and release themselves into the wild.

After sliding around quite a bit on the last steep bit on Lincoln, I turned around at the base of Tabor. I wasn't confident enough to climb the hill. Still, a nice couple of hours out and about. One block had cordoned off their prized sledding hill--nice!

The beard worked better than the zip ties. I give it 4 snowflakes. I would give it 5 if it covered my nose, but then it might become socially awkward. Also, my ears haven't actually turned gray just before falling off. Those are Ear Bags (R), and they work OK. My ears get a little chilly downhill, but they don't freeze, and this way I can wear a brimmed hat. The safety glasses are strictly for looks.

Happy riding, or sledding in laundry baskets (I was too slow with the camera), strange fellow PDXers!



Blogger MichaelR said...

Studded Tires. They rule.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

We sold them when we moved from Montana. something about Portland just getting rain...

Actually, I don't think they'd be any use in the deep snow here in Sellwood, but they do help on ice. I'm wishing I could borrow a Pugsley for the rest of the week!

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joe, Speaking of snow and bikes remember this one?

I haven't ridden it much this past year but it handled the snow this winter quite nicely. Happy New Year.


11:25 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Awesome, Rob! Glad the Rockcombo's seeing some use. It did well in my first Portland snow here a couple of years back. Happy New Year.

4:36 AM  
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1:10 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

you might check out this company's bike tire chain setup for ideas:
Slipnot Traction Systems

I bought a pair in Durango, CO when I lived there.

4:55 PM  

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