Interbike 2011: Slipknot Tire Chains

When I first saw this product, I just about flipped! My brother made something like this for his Winter Commutes while he was stationed in PA.

But someone else had the idea to commercialize it and turn it into something that everyone can enjoy. Slipnot Bicycle Traction System. Kudos to Slipnot!
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Plus side: V-Brake friendly!
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6 Comments

  1. Tracy W September 20, 2011 11:26 am 

    Ingenious! Makes perfectly good sense…we’ve got guys a work who use a similar concept on their work boots in the winter time. I’ve always avoided commuting in the snow and ice, but with something like that I might be tempted to do it!

  2. SingletrackM1nd October 3, 2011 1:45 pm 

    Sweet! Someone recycled a really really bad idea to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Buy some Kendas or Schwalbes.

  3. John F October 3, 2011 2:05 pm 

    Wow, this is the exact same thing as what was attempted about 15-20 years ago. It’s a noble idea and one that almost works. However, there are a couple of key details that destine these to the dusty corner of the garage:
    – they provide marginally better traction in snow.
    – they are terrible on dry pavement, in terms of rolling resistance and traction
    – they are inconvenient to remove and reinstall, meaning that when the roads are clear you’ll still deal with the chains.
    – they don’t provide anywhere near the traction on ice that studs do.
    – they are FAR heavier than studded tires
    Chains are great on cars and trucks because they have ample power. Humans do not. Sticking transverse chain segments on a bicycles tire makes it incredibly hard to pedal and to maintain speed.
    Honestly, if you’re in the need for winter traction just save up and invest in a set of high quality tires. There really is no substitute.
    And yes, I do have experience with them, nine years in Montana gave me ample time to explore winter traction solutions.

  4. Cherilyn October 3, 2011 3:09 pm 

    I bike in the winter in Montana, and I can’t think of a reason to get these. Studded tires work perfectly well without all the hassle of chains. I don’t want to cast dispersion on anyone’s ingenuity, but this just seems like a higher maintenance idea than studded tires.

  5. Rob October 3, 2011 8:09 pm 

    I made it through an icy Chicago winter over the last year, (5 miles on-road, 4 miles plowed-but-not-salted asphalt) and only tipped over once. So long as I stayed centered over the bike and moving, things went remarkably well.

    This seems like a good idea, except for that whole mixed-surface issue of my commute. Plus the trickiest thing to navigate is ice that melts and refreezes again, and I don’t know that chains, studs, or anything short of tires made of MOLTEN LAVA would help that situation.

  6. Elizabeth October 24, 2011 7:09 am 

    We will be testing these over the course of this winter and will let you know our thoughts. I have not had the opportunity yet to test out studded tires to compare.

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