Slipnot Bike Chains – Interbike 2011

by Brian Mullin on September 26, 2011

Hidden around the periphery and back bowels of Interbike you always find some small companies that have interesting, innovative, thought-provoking and sometimes just plain weird products. I stumbled upon Slipnot (not the band), which makes a bicycle chain product, or in their terminology ‘bicycle traction system’ for riding in inclement weather. Bad weather and hazardous conditions mean you are dealing with slippery environments, such as ice, snow and mud.There have been some other products in the same vein as the Slipnot, but their system is carefully thought out, is easy to use, has minor clearance issues, and should provide good durability, and hopefully some amazing traction?

I watched a short video that Justin Shaw, the owner and president of Slipnot, had on his iPad showing the system in use. The video showed some hilarious crashes on ice without the system installed, and then the impressive traction control in icy and snowbound conditions with them in place. I was pretty impressed watching the footage, and can’t wait to see how they’ll work in real life once the snow flies. Justin said that the system provides better traction then studs, and obviously would be more beneficial since then can be easy be swapped out for normal riding. The system will work with disc and caliper brakes, and fenders, and only requires 1/4″ of clearance around the tire, so it should usually not be an issue with most frames and bike setups? It’s best to use the chains on both tires, and installation takes around 5 minutes for both tires, and is very much like doing a set on a car. Longevity depends on usage, terrain, care and environmental conditions.

They get my small company innovation award for this year, and the Slipnot looks to be a great addition to anyone’s winter time arsenal if they live in non-temperate locations.


Slipnot Specs:

  • MSRP: 26″ $84.99 and 29″ $94.99
  • Kits Includes mesh bag for rinsing and drying.
  • Sizing as follows:
  • 26″ Combo – 1 small 26″ x 1.95″ – 2.5″ and 1 large 26″ x 2.5″ – 3.5″
  • 26″ Large – 2 26″ x 2.5 – 3.5″
  • 26″ Small – 2 26″ x 1.95 – 2.5″
  • 29″ Combo – 1 small 29″ x 1.95″ – 2.5″ and 1 large 29″ x 2.5″ – 3.5″
  • 29″ Large – 2 29″ x 2.5″ – 3.5″
  • 29″ Small – 2 29″ x 1.95″ – 2.5″

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous September 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Very cool, but I wonder whether I could just build a set using a few bucks worth of chain from the local hardware store.

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet February 28, 2012 at 6:02 am

Yep, you could, and you can find some articles on the internet about how to build them. These are pretty well built and a lot of trial and error went into them already. Chain isn't that cheap unless you buy it by the roll, although the bits and pieces for DIY are going to be cheaper then a ready made one like these. Not worth the effort IMHO.

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