How to Make Unicycle Snow Chains

I've been riding my bicycle to school every day this year but then the snow came... A racing bike just didn't cut it. It was time to throw the snow chains back on the unicycle.

I first made the chains a few years ago and have since seen similar pictures online. Surprisingly It is pretty easy to ride under the right snow conditions and at least ridable in almost anything. If you too want to give it a try, here's all you need to do:

• First, learn to ride a unicycle. (If it's not completely obvious, it's hard to learn in the snow.)
• Next, go to the hardware store and pick up some raw materials. You will need a surprising amount of chin (I used .77"/link chain). You will also need two clips
Fortunately it's all pretty cheap stuff. Take your wheel diameter (likely 20" or 24") and call that d. If you use the same chain size as I did, you'll need (d - 6") x 4.25 inches of chain. (That's 15.58' for a 20" wheel or 20.1' for a 24" wheel.) The chain will form a d - 6" dimater circle on each side of the wheel with a 9 link cross chain every 4 links. (I originally made it with a cross chain every 9 links but found I didn't have the traction I wanted.)
Here's what I used:

• The tools I used were a pair of regular pliers and a pair of needle nosed pliers. There are two loops of chain, one on each side of the wheel, attached by cross members.
Here's what I found worked best:

Laid flat the chains will form a ladder shape. (You want to make sure that the side chains are lying flat so that you don't have kinks once you finish.) break apart the chain so that you have two lengths that are just over (d - 6") long each (that's inches).
• Lay the two chains next to each other and make sure they are free of kinks.
• Take the remaining chain and break it into 9 link lengths. Now attach those 9 link sections to each side of the two long chains.
Here's the effect you should get:

Be sure that there are no kinks and that every cross member attaches at exactly the same spacing. It's not crucial to the chain's performance but the chains will look much better and fit more snugly to the wheel that way.
• Once you have put on all of the "rungs" of the ladder shape, you need to attach The clips. (You may be able to get away with not using clips and just leaving a link open at the end to act as a hook but I have't tried.)
• Now you can get the chains on the wheel. This might be easier with two people but it's not that hard. This is the point where you'll see if you made the chains long enough. (If they aren't, just add more chain an no one will know the difference.) At first the chains will be very tight but after a few minutes of lining things up you should be able to tighten things up by a link or two.

• Finally, the fun part. Can you ride it?

I've found the chains work fine on pavement and cement as well as industrial indoor carpet. Watch out for things like marble flooring. Although the chains grip well in ice, on hard, smooth surfaces you are riding on just chain and have almost no grip. Ideal surfaces are packed snow and fresh snow on cement and asphalt (like a sidewalk or parking lot).

Obviously riding in the snow is stupid and dangerous. The chains do help but if you hurt yourself it's your fault.