The $3 Hack to Make Your Bike Tires Skid-Proof for Snowy Winter Rides

An easy DIY trick every cyclist and bike commuter should know about



Man, the gals over that the Women Bike PHL Facebook group are killing it lately with useful tidbits for bike commuters. First, they alerted us to this weird yet ingenious trick for keeping your hands warm during cold winter rides, and now they’ve left a trail of breadcrumbs for a $3 hack that could make snowy winter rides a whole heck of a lot safer.

The trick actually seems to have been around for a few years, but a quick poll of a few bike-commuter friends assured me that I wasn’t the last to know about it, so I figured a good swath of you haven’t heard of it, either. It’s easy: All you need are a bag of plastic zip ties to create insta-tire traction. You simply fit them all the way around your tire a few inches apart—looks like one for every spoke—and you’re good to go.

Sure, it looks funny, and changing a flat would be, er, difficult. But listen to this glowing review from one person who uses this trick:

I can accelerate, brake, and corner with aplomb, even on the vile snowpack/sheet ice mix the plows leave in the bike lanes. The zip ties dig nicely into the hardest packed surfaces, but they’re thin enough not to bounce the bike around at low speed or on short pavement sections.

Check out the photos and tutorial here to see if it might work for your bike. (Make a note to see if it will work with your brakes.)

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