studded tires, winter riding

Living in NH, winter is just around the corner. Any sugestions on what to use for tire studs and where to get them? I am really looking forward to driving through the mud when it's frozen. I won't have to wash my bike until spring.

Cold Cutter was the brand I used to use years ago. They are basic hex-head screws really. They work great on glare ice, not so good on snow. They do tear up a tire though, you can get shorter ones for the front tire, longer ones for the rear.


There is only one winter tire. TRELLBORGS!!!

Not so cheap though. The screws come out. Good luck.


Take a hike down to your local hardware store and purchase sheet metal screws. Again, different lengths and different size heads. This is the cheapest way to go. You can put up to three screws in each rear knob depending on which tire your using. Eventually these will ruin your tire because they will rip out.


[This message has been edited by npuza (edited 10-24-2000).]

I have only ice raced, not trail ridden with them, but there was an article in our CCC paper about this, so I'll summarize.

You pretty much have 2 choices, Trelleborg carbide studded tires, or putting Kold Kutters in your reg tires.

Both ways get the same traction.

The Trelleborgs are almost $500 for a pair... but they will last real long, the guy who wrote it had a pair like 8 years...still good.

The Kold Kutters are a custom made hex head sheet metal screw with a 3/16ths tall head, with a deep, sharp V-cut head to the screwdriver slot. They come in all diff lengths, from 3/8ths to 1 1/4" lg. ... they cost $10 for 250 short ones, $15 for 250 long ones.

You have to figure out how long you can go without penetrating to your inner tube (the longer the better).. and you install them with an electric drill with a 1/4" hex driver... one bag of 250 will pretty much do your rear tire with 2 screws per knob....front takes less.

So you can do your bike for about $30 and it should last the winter, but some will tear out, some will dull on rocks (or pavement!)... the guy who wrote it says the traction is every bit as good as regular dirt.

On ice tracks with Kold Kutters you get GREAT traction.. with extreme lean angles possible, and it is hard to get the tires to slide... Nowadays more tracks are running roadrace style or hare scramble type tracks, instead of just ovals.

I have some doubts about using screws as studs when riding on frozen mud. If you look at spikes used when riding on ice they are sharp and thin. Good at ice but will bend on frozen mud or other tough surface. I think that screws will bend too. Buy real enduro stud tires, they tolerate even asphalt, should you come across any.

Can't suggest where to buy, though, as I live in Finland. We're expecting winter in a month or month and a half. I'm anxious and have my stud tires waiting.


Originally posted by mike68:

Living in NH, winter is just around the corner. Any sugestions on what to use for tire studs and where to get them? I am really looking forward to driving through the mud when it's frozen. I won't have to wash my bike until spring.

Hey i am with you, I live in Michigan and we ride year round. After the snow falls I change to Bridgestone Gritty ED11 Carbide studds you can order them from most dealers and they are around $100 cheaper than the Trailborges. In my opinion studds have much more traction than Cutters or hex head screws.

Stud Fans,

Last year I had a rear knobby tire studded at my local tire store for about $13 after I predrilled the holes. They installed regular automobile tire studs.

Performance of studded tire vs. regular knobby:

1) The traction was definitely improved on hard icy surfaces.

2) In the deep snow, I saw no improvement over a good soft terrain knob.

3) In snotty mud, I did not see much improvement.

4) The tire still worked reasonably well on hard rocky surfaces.

Bottom line, I would only do it again if I spent a lot of time winter riding on icy surfaces.

Eric in WA


Studs have been illegal for cars in my state for 25 years... so that never occurred to me.

How was the durability?... Do they still look good?... How much time on them?

Do they use a special tool to install them?.. Or could I do it?

Congratulations on spelling definitely correct... that makes you about 1 in a million...What a Stud!

And for.. Ande749 .. the screw heads are what rides on the ice, and they are about 5mm tall, and 8mm wide, so they don't bend, but they will get dull on rock or pavement. Traction on clean ice is unmatched...Except maybe for those spikes the Russians and Czechs use.

Thanks for all the advice everyone. There are quite a few options for me now. I think I am going to go with Eric in WA. I am not sure how much winter riding I am going to do. If I find I an doing a lot, I will drop the cash on some trellborgs. Again, thanks to all for the advice.

And for.. Ande749 .. the screw heads are what rides on the ice, and they are about 5mm tall, and 8mm wide, so they don't bend, but they will get dull on rock or pavement. Traction on clean ice is unmatched...Except maybe for those spikes the Russians and Czechs use.[/b]

I've seen screws screwed through the tire so that the heads are inside the tire and sharp ends pointing out of the knob.


In my opinion, installing studs without the special pneumatic tool would be an exercise in frustration and futility. Get the right tool or a professional with the right tool to do it. Otherwise, forget it.

As far durability goes, the tire compound is the primary limiting factor. The most common failure mode was the stud ripping out, along with the usual chunks of knobs tearing off. With or without studs, I usually trash a tire in about 300 miles. That is until the Dunlop 739AT Desert. Today my first 739AT at 300 miles still looks reasonably good. While I did not put the studs in the Dunlop 739AT Desert tire, if you are going to stud a tire I highly recommend using the Dunlop 739 AT Desert tire. I found them to be much tougher than most other tires (D739 std, D756, IRC MX05h) and offer good grip. Another option would be the Bridgestone ED78 as Dirt Bike claims they are the most durable desert tire on the market. However, I have not personally used this tire.

Good luck,

Eric in WA


I find this thread fascinating as I have never ridden a motorcycle in the snow & ice. I am now getting juiced to try it this winter. Is it a futile effort to try without studs? Would you ride on hardpacked snowcovered/icy roads (at slow speeds for short distances?)

Debarker, where did you get the Kold Kutters?

First... Angry Candy... How did you get such a funny name?

Kold Kutters are available from Interstate Oil... 800-369-0001... or I would imagine your local dealer might have them (if your weather gets cold enough to have a demand)... you will have to remove the tire and run some generic screws through to check length before you order... and center knobs can use diff lengths than edge knobs... you have to try'em all.

As far as "can you trail ride with no studs".. I will say that as a kid I used to do it a fair amount... BUT!.. I also cracked my head a few times... you are riding along getting confident and getting faster and you come to a low spot (everything is snow covered) forgetting the low spot was a puddle 5 days ago and is now sheet ice frozen to the bottom and covered with snow... and you are down before you can even think...CRACK!.. so after about 4 of those over a 3 year period you become a little more cautious... I would stud up.

.. Or those Bridgestone Gritty's sound good if they last as long as the Trelleborgs... or the car carbides installed for what.. $13 ?... if those last 2 years in an old set of knobs that has to be the best... if your state has people to install them.

The frozen lake thing is a blast with Kold Kutters... there is so much traction you wouldn't believe it... picture a dirtbike lowered 2 inches in the front only.. leaning over so far that you can't get your boot under the shift lever.. and you are not sliding.. you are roadracing... that's a lot of lean... in long corners you get a dis-orientation from g-forces pushing on you so hard... you have to look UP to look Down the coming straightaway in the corner

One of the nice things about it is that everything is white and clean... your bike doesn't get filthy every week (and I'm not a "cleaner" so my bikes are usually dirty)..

But the sport may have progressed to the point of taking some of the fun out of it because there is so much traction that big HP is quite useable... and speeds are fast... 280 pound bikes going over 80mph can get a little intense.. the costs are high now too... a complete set of Pro done ice tires is about $500.. and only last 1 year on a big bore.

One of the other good things about it is that everybody else is in the doldrums of winter hating it (some do) and I am in an intense 7 week period of high octane fun... and when that is over... the snow and ice start melting and spring is coming!

As far as the Kold Kutters for trail riding I know that pavement will dull them fast.. but I also know people who just use a set of knobs that they are going to toss anyway and avoid the pavement and replace the 20 or screws they lose each week and think they work great.


I would not recomend riding withought studs in the winter. I did it on my mountain bike when living in m

Maine, and was put down pretty hard by some unsuspecting ice. If it hurts on a mountain bike.........

If you are planning on buying Trellborgs you should do it soon. They have either quit making studded tires or have completely gone out of business. My local shop was talking about it, but I really didnt care so I didn't pay much attention.


npuza, you are right, Trelleborg have closed down their motorcycle tire construction. There are still studded Trelleborgs avaliable, though. I also heard a reputation that anoter manufacturer have taken over Trelleborgs studded tires. Don't know if this is true.

Does anyone know if these Kold Kutters are avaliable in Europe?


WR400F '99

CBR600F '98

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