TYRE GRIP GOOD FOR WINTER TRACTION?
October 31, 2007
Back to questions
I'm looking to ride a bit this
winter (Detroit area). I have a standard '80s road bike
with 27" tires. Can't find a studded tire in this size,
and less luck finding a bicycle tire snowchain.
Do you have any experience with
Tyre-Grip? Would it make a difference at all for a generic
Panaracer road tread on snow/ice?
Turns out that a couple years ago,
the persistent folks at Triangle Associates (the manufacturer)
sent me a can of Tyre-Grip to test. I waited for a blizzard,
then went out with some pals for a snow ride. I used a bike
with tires that have almost no traction on new, wet, thick
snow. (Great for laughs.) I sprayed each tire liberally
with Grip, waited the requisite "3 minutes before carefully
driving off," and went to play in the snow for hours.
The Grip had no discernible effect.
I now use it when hunting wasps as a flamethrower, for which
I made no other test, so I can't
give you a very scientific evaluation of Grip. (I left it
on my winter
accessories page to stimulate more empirical data.)
But I'll make a wild guess: To actually grip, Grip's active
ingredient (wood resin) needs something on top of it having
substantial weightlike a car, for which use the manufacturer
On to other tactics. As you've learned,
you won't find studded 27" tires. But you can make
your own by following the directions at the bottom of Icebike's
tire page. And some folks use tire chains, but the chains
listed on my winter accessories page won't fit on your tires.
But the foregoing obscures a basic
fact: Lots of people (including me) bicycle all thru winter
and do nothing special with their tires. Why? (1) You don't
always encounter snow or ice; and (2) you can learn to ride
on snow just by doing it. Give it a shot. If you need winter
bike-handling tips, find 'em in my book, Urban
Bikers' Tricks & Tips.