Fat-bike.com friend, Sam D, was looking for a way to stud the fat-bike tires that he currently owns and likes rather than buying a new set of dedicated, studded fat-bike tires. Grip Studs offered the perfect solution. Let’s see how Sam likes them!
Grip Studs are a versatile option for those who prefer using tire studs for increased traction in the snow and ice conditions of winter riding. There are several tires on the market today that offer a preset pattern of holes which accommodate tire studs. Grip Studs offer the opportunity to install the studs manually in a pattern of choice. I chose to stud my 4.8” Surly Bud (front) and Lou (rear). I’ve found this tire set to offer very adequate steering and traction in snowy conditions, and was curious to see how this killer combo could be further enhanced specifically for those icy days. There’s always the chance of hitting an ice patch during any winter riding, and the security of a little something extra on the tight turns and icy climbs definitely enhances the fun of winter riding on and off road.
Grip Studs, composed of solid tungsten carbide offer a very wide range of options in terms of stud widths, auger lengths, and knob sizes to custom fit your studs to any type of tire from bicycles to cars, trucks and beyond. Bike studs retail for right around $1.00 per stud.
I found the installation to be very straight forward if a bit time consuming, but that’s expected. I looked over each tire, decided on a pattern and went for it. It is advertised that they can be installed quickly with a power drill. I used the hand tool offered by Grip Studs, which worked very well. I spent roughly one minute per stud and installed nearly 300 of them. If you’re a perfectionist proper positioning can be a challenge, but a little patience will go a long way in achieving a tight pattern that’s effective and pleasing to the eye. Studding my preferred tire exactly how I want is definitely a plus, and in addition, having the ability to add or subtract more studs at any time offers increased versatility.
The Bud and Lou both have 7mm+ lugs, so I went with the Model #1000 bicycle studs that are 6.2mm long and the worked just fine.
Front pattern alternating on the center lug and adding some alternate outside studs.
I recommend inspecting each stud upon installation for ideal positioning, making certain they are screwed directly into the tire at a 90 degree angle to ensure the proper function, and allow the studs to set perfectly into their desired locations after a handful of rides. The studs can be easily removed, but after the time spent on installation I prefer to keep this wheel set permanently studded and specifically for winter riding.
Partially done rear pattern alternating the placement of the stud on the center paddle.
Another useful application for riders is installing Grip Studs into biking boots, Sorels, or whatever preferred winter footwear.
I’ve had the opportunity to test them in a variety of winter riding conditions. There is no doubt that Grip Studs drastically increase traction and steering ability in every situation where ice is present. They seem to have a way of biting in and giving you just a little something extra in all snowy conditions even when ice is not an issue. Using Grip Studs I could ride more aggressively and care free through icy areas where others had trouble slipping around. They certainly bring enhanced confidence when attempting icy climbs.
Grip Studs out perform any competing products I’ve tried to date, and offer adaptability. Though installation is a bit of a chore, the outcome can be quite rewarding. Positioning the studs to ones personal preference is definitely a nice advantage, and presents the unique opportunity to customize the stud pattern. Having the option of choosing a preferred tire set was definitely the most significant factor in my choosing Grip Studs. Given the rather limited options of pre-studded tires available, and the expense of purchasing an entirely new tire set, it was an easy decision to stud the tires I already own, and prefer. I would definitely recommend Grip Studs and while Grip Studs did provide promotional pricing in exchange for writing this piece, I’d buy them at full boat, they are that good!
Looking to stud up your own fat-bike tires with stud placement that will suit you specific tires and local riding conditions? Look no further than http://gripstuds.com!