A friend of mine was working in Antarctica as a diesel mechanic at the time ( now works a few weeks on/few weeks off on the pipeline corridor). He said, and I quote "that didn't go so well". He didn't elaborate a whole lot but I expect the bike didn't work as well as expected. The first Hanebrinks were set up a little different than the later more "produced" units. They used a taller, wider tire and way wider rim. The rim was made from an aluminum ATV rim w/ the center cut out and alu sides welded on to carry the bearing/axle assembly and the tire was a custom "grooved" Atv unit as well. The early rims were something like 8 inches wide and, along with the slightly bigger tire, had better floatation than the late model Hanebrink that Stoup was using. The early stuff proved to be too labor/cost intensive to produce in numbers and I suspect they didn't work so well on anything BUT sand or snow. I also suspect that some of the early owners were disappointed in it's performance on trails & etc... especially considering the price. The later models used a 4 inch wheel (produced for Hanebrink) and a Grooved Duro turf tire. Much cheaper to produce; better steering & etc. for all around dirt riding (possibly more appealing to the masses) but not as good for floatation. The early models(and the in between models) also used a jackshaft system to clear the larger tires and straighten up the chain line which also gave the owner the option of adjusting the gearing by changing the intermediate gear. This also proved to be a hassle to produce in numbers. The narrower tire/wheel set-up also allowed them to do away with the jack shaft in leu of a wider bottom bracket to take care of the chain line. And, these changes also saved some weight. Mine is an "in between" model with the older style frame w/ jackshaft but the smaller,narrower tires and wheels. Mostly shot when I bought it, I did ride it at the beach a couple of times before I disassembled it. the smaller tires combined with the long wheelbase did NOT work as well as I had hoped! and when I tried to lower the pressure things went from not so good to worse. The narrow rims made them feel like flat tires instead of floatation tires! The early promotional pictures and articles show the larger tired/wider rimed versions riding dunes and snow but I havn't seen pictures of the later models doing much more than packed beach sand or etc... Since Stoup was mounted on the later version, I'm guessin' the expedition didn't get too far! Since my frame is the early style (with clearance for ALOT bigger tire) I hope to someday get some appropriate Douglas blue label atv rims, have someone machine me some axel assemblies and make my own fork to breath some life into the old thing. Should be fun to haul beer to the beach fire ... but I can't imagine it even competing with our "evolved" fat-bikes.sean salach said:The little snippet on there mentions, "After the success of the Antarctic expedition.....", but I've been having trouble locating anything that tells just how 'successful' it was. Lot's of press releases talking about how Stoup tested it and planned to use it, but none that I can find stating that the expedition ever happened. Anyone have any info?
Looks as though Stoup moved back to skis and snowshoes not long after the initial test.