Ziptie your tire for better traction

[Cheaper and lighter than chains.]
Photo by Todd Boulanger

Having trouble getting a grip on all that compacted snow and ice? Here’s a super-cheap DIY solution sent in by City of Vancouver transportation planner Todd Boulanger (and originally commented on by Ian…thanks guys!):


  • Zip tie every other rim section between spokes (range: 1 per 3 spokes or 1 per 1; depending on ice) on only rear wheel
  • Place and center and tighten zip ties so that tie clasp is facing towards hub (not too tight, just tight enough to keep from moving and not pinching tire) and between spokes
  • Test with 1 tie and spin wheel to check for tolerances with fenders and frame
  • Trim off extra cable on all ties
  • Push clasp to center it on rim facing hub
  • Spin wheel to recheck
  • Work around tire as needed (add more later if needed)


  • 20+ zip ties (6+ inches in length) ~$3
  • Large nail clippers
  • Bike with hub or disk brakes on rear wheel


  • Pedal in low gear smoothly and take shallow turns use only rear brake when possible.

Where would we be without zipties?

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