chains for the rig?
Reen
Posted 1/2/2004 7:03 AM (#1889)
Subject: chains for the rig?



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Location: Port Angeles, Washington, USA
so we've had a bit of the white stuff here in the Seattle area. took the rig out tonight and did a little Experimentation With Traction. here are my results. note that i do not run with auto tires - just the standard all-purpose bike ones.

empty of cargo, the rig and i achieved less-than-optimal traction on the gently sloped street in front of my house so i tried strapping my regular 'car ballast (army duffel containing 60lbs of granite) onto the seat behind me, positioned over the rear axle of the bike. this helped with the traction somewhat but put my overall center of gravity too high and tippy. 'car really wanted to come up in the air at the slightest provocation. my visiting relatives and fickle friends refused to come out and play with me ("it's cold! it's snowing! it's three in the morning! we'll all die in a ditch!") so i put the hundred-pound dog in the 'car to hold it down. this ended up being the best compromise available with materials at hand.

it was still a bit of a wiggly ride, though. i've spent the last two hours at google searching for any reference to the use of chains on motorcycle tires. the most intriguing idea i came across involved fastening several short lengths of chain around the tire/wheel. but it seems to me that the chain would rub and mar the nice chrome of my wheels and perhaps even damage the spokes.

so what gives? there's got to be some sort of tried and true motorcycle-tire-chain out there. postulations?
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Posted 1/2/2004 12:16 PM (#1890 - in reply to #1889)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?


Take short sheet metal screws with a hex head and make your own studded tires. You can also get studs for motorcycle tires, just do a web search for ice racing.
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Reen
Posted 1/5/2004 5:18 AM (#1903 - in reply to #1890)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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Location: Port Angeles, Washington, USA
weeeelllll... that wasn't quite the effect i was looking for. you see, where i live we get - on average - maybe four inches of snow perhaps four times a year. and each snow episode usually lasts a day or sometimes less. two days if we're really lucky. so burying a bunch of screws in my tires for such a rare occasion seems like an awful lot of work for a couple hours of doing doughnuts and dragging the kids in the sled behind me.
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Posted 1/5/2004 5:24 PM (#1907 - in reply to #1889)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?


Reen, on a Moto Guzzi site I frequent some guys from your area rode in the Polar bear ride and used many zip ties around the wheel/tire. I asked how it worked as I may want to try it, but I haven't heard. If nothing else it would be less damaging than chain and less permanent than studs. I am considering experimenting with it myself. BillinPA
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Reen
Posted 1/5/2004 6:35 PM (#1910 - in reply to #1907)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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Location: Port Angeles, Washington, USA
zip ties! that's an excellent idea. the weatherfolk are talking "snow" again for tonight - if we get enough of it, i'll try out the zip ties myself and give a full report for the curious or bored.
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claude #3563
Posted 1/5/2004 8:08 PM (#1913 - in reply to #1910)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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Short pieces of chain run around the tire and zipp tied together and to the wheel works pretty good. If the tire is deflated some when they are installed and then reinflated they will stay pretty tight. It is better to bolt the links together but zip ties can work okay.
Now..remember..this is not a recomendation, you didn't here it here, if you try it it is your sole resposibility if something happens, close cover before striking, coffee may be hot drink at your own risk, do not take internally, not meant for human consumption, staring at the sun may cause eye damage,,,,all disclamers whether written, implied or even thought of after the fact apply.
Hack'n (lol)
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Hack'n
Posted 1/5/2004 11:49 PM (#1920 - in reply to #1913)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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Claude,
Are you running those chains longways or sideways? Key-chains or watch chains? Heh, Heh. All seriousness aside I have seen short pieces of bicycle chain used with nylon wrap ties for low speed off road usage on ice. The chain will gouge the tires and the ties will let loose at times. Also the chains make for a bumpy ride so this method is not well suited for ones pride and joy shiny street bike with chrome wheels. For snow or slush, off road knobby tires are about as good as anything, around here.
On sub-freezing days like we're having today, I like to open up the shop door and look at the nice dry bikes through my office window. That beats sliding around out there. The ice doesn't stay long here in the Puget Sound area anyway. I even sold my Studded snow tires yesterday. I only used them once in ten years and spring's comin' soon. Rain tires are what we need up here most of the time. Think I'll kick back in the old recliner and give that some thought, or better yet, take a little nap.
Have a great new year everybody!
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Reen
Posted 1/5/2004 11:55 PM (#1921 - in reply to #1913)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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aw, man, claude. and here i thought i was so clever for having invented the chain-and-zip-tie combo at the hardware store a half-hour ago. i get back here and click over to the board to brag about my "cunning plan" and find that it's old news. there goes my bubble.

in any case i hope the zip ties hold up. i'm concerned about them turning brittle in the cold and snapping. guess we'll see.
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claude #3563
Posted 1/6/2004 3:02 AM (#1922 - in reply to #1921)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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>>in any case i hope the zip ties hold up. i'm concerned about them turning brittle in the cold and snapping. guess we'll see.<<

Let us know how you make out should be interesting. I have run trials tires. the ones with a lot of smaller knobs on them and not a real knobby, in the snow and they work pretty good. One year I took the rig to go get a Christmas tree. Our driveway is pretty steep and the Isuzu Trooper we had at the time would not come up it in four wheel drive due to the snow. I took the rig down figuring it woul dend up at the neighbor's garage until the snow melted. Well the darn thing made it back up the hill without a glitch beleve it or not.
Be carful and have fun. Keep in mind that on the slick stuff the traction at the front of the outfit will suffer too when under a load. If traction is increased at the rear with chains, studs or what ever then traction at the front may have to be increased in similar fashion too. This will be most noticable on a hill as you may find you are trying to go straight with the bars turned all the way to the left and still are turning to the right.
Overall snow riding is a lot of fun. You will also get some weird looks from people. Watch out for the guys in the white coats.
Claude
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claude #3563
Posted 1/6/2004 6:06 AM (#1923 - in reply to #1922)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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F.Y.I.
There are some pictures of bikes with chains on them and one of a tire with screws in it here:
http://tinyurl.com/ywfhf AND HERE: http://tinyurl.com/24v29

Edited by claude #3563 1/6/2004 6:10 AM
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Reen
Posted 1/6/2004 8:21 PM (#1927 - in reply to #1923)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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brrr! well, all participants survived; we're now warming ourselves with food and drink. full report shortly, but first a safety tip:

the zip ties can give suddenly, flinging short pieces of chain out in random directions! thank the gods i guinea-pigged with my boyfriend instead of the neighborhood rugrats!
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claude #3563
Posted 1/7/2004 1:04 AM (#1931 - in reply to #1927)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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SWorry to hear about the 'flung chains'..like I said bolting the chains together works a lot better.
Claude
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Reen
Posted 1/7/2004 1:25 AM (#1932 - in reply to #1931)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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well, scot has the requisite catlike reflexes so the chains didn't hit him. and we just kept going even after the peril became evident so you can just chalk it up to darwinism. you know, we really shouldn't breed, we sidecarists.

i put some photos up in an album titled "The Great Chain Experiment" if you'd like to see what i tried. the zip-ties were really quite beefy specimens but they didn't last too long. if i wasn't somewhat fond of my finish, i'd definitely have tried bolting longer bits of chain 'round the wheel. hm. IF there was sufficient clearance, which, now that i think of it, i'm not at all certain of.

as i noted in the caption of one of the photos, the 24" zip-ties gave out after only five or six low-speed blocks. i think it would have lasted longer if either:

1.) i wasn't dragging a 220 lb man behind me on a sled or
2.) i hadn't tackled some pretty steep hills dragging aforementioned man.

once one or two of the chains give out in sequence, you start getting intermittant traction, which puts a jerk on the next chain in line, rapidly causing it to give out as well. after that it just sort of "snowballs".

at the bottom of one particularly long and treacherous hill i finally realized my grevious error in not bringing any spare zip ties. how dumb! there was no way i was going to make it up this hill on the four chains i had left (i started out with ten). each time i tried i lost another chain or two in the process but only made it about 2/3 of the way up before spinning to a stall and had to go back down to the bottom and get another run at it.

in desperation (i was *not* going to leave my rig on the side of the road for the bored neighborhood teens to jack with - i'd sleep in it if i had to.), i took the sled tow rope and wrapped it around the wheel. it worked! made it home a-ok just before the snow turned to rain and sleet and converted the lovely white stuff on the ground to slush. i wish the snow had stayed useable longer because now i want to experiment with rope around the wheel.

well, that's my story folks. take from it what you will.
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Posted 1/8/2004 1:18 PM (#1942 - in reply to #1889)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?


What I've seen used here on small cars is a coated stainless cable "tire chain" that uses springs for tension. Never used them myself, but since we got a bit of the white stuff here, I might have to play around with that. It's rather fun getting the dumb looks tooling about in the cold/snow.
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Hack'n
Posted 1/8/2004 3:03 PM (#1944 - in reply to #1932)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?



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Reen,
Go down to Bent Bike and pick up a spare rear wheel assembly for cheap. Get some bicycle chain, used if possible, and a chain breaker. For closures, 3/16" cold shuts or hog rings work well and they look better than bolts. (Lowe's or other hardware store or industrial supply). Cut chain to fit snugly on airless tire with closure attached. The chain pictured in your album would work OK with 1/4" (steel) closures. When completed, add air, put the whole thing in the loft or attic and wait till the next storm comes, install and enjoy. These won't fly off as easily as nylon wrap tied chains, but are just as destructive if they do.
For a luggage rack for your Eagle, take a look at some of the many that J.C.Whitney has in their catalog. Some are adaptable to different sidecars.
No catalog? A call to 1-800-529-4486 gets you whichever one you want.

Edited by Hack'n 1/8/2004 3:06 PM
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Posted 1/11/2004 9:18 AM (#1963 - in reply to #1889)
Subject: RE: chains for the rig?


Reen, The guys I was referring to took the zip ties and put them around the tire with the "closure" outward to act like a stud. They put MANY of them on the tire but did not use any chain, I think they will last longer this way than the chain and zip tie approach. however it will take alot of them so you can stagger the "studs" around on the tire. BillinPA
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