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Moosehead
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after seeing tremendous photos of Larry riding a Pugsley in fresh snow, I got the bug to put together a (relatively) poor man's version of a snow bike. Put the Schwalbe Icespiker Pros on the Spot and headed out on New Year's Eve. Had visions of cleaning my favorite ST at less than top speed. Some weak photos below.

Truth is maybe covered 9 miles in 2 hours or so, did ton's of hike a bike, and a few OTB when the front tire submarined. It was a warm day, low 30's, which was not ideal as the 2.1" studded snows sank in the softer snow under my big behind. Even firmly packed snow was like riding in deep sand due to the warmer temps. My first ride take is that ideal conditions would be firm and frozen, or 3-4" of fresh over firm base.

ST was redefined, because if you didn't ride the packed middle rail, you were supermanning into the snow. Riding on ice and hardpack snow gave nearly as much traction as rubber on dry pavement, though slightly slower due to the increased rolling resistance. Speed is your friend in the softer stuff, though it will punish as well if either tire pokes through or goes sideways. Going 10 MPH feels like 25 MPH in normal conditions.

Early read is go Pugsley if you are serious about riding soft snow all season, as it provides bouancy with 3"+ rubber. The studded snows work well in hardpack conditions, and would be ideal winter commuters as well. They gave better than imagined traction on pavement, but were loud and slower. Some here ride the studs for MTB in spring and fall for mudshedding capability, and they actually provide traction on wet roots and manmade features or stunts. Suggest flats and lightweight snow boots vs. clipless and booties which were a total PITA.

Any other snow tips would be much appreciated. I'll send out other ride notes and hopefully better photos in colder conditions.

Link to Studded Schwalbe's: http://phattire1.stores.yahoo.net/scicespproke.html

Other helpul link: http://www.icebike.org/
 

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Bite Me.
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I never was much of a fan for studs unless I was commuting on packed road ice - for general snow riding I rigged the Burner with Snow Cat SL rims and 2.4s and stayed on pretty well packed snowshoe trails or snowmobile routes. If the powder got really deep, it would get impossible to ride, even with a Pugsley ('tho I never rode one). But by then the skiing was pretty good. If you live near a resort, it's great - all the tourists pay top dollar to slap on the snow shoes and pack out your favorite summer single track into a buff winter riding trail - the folks from Kansas used to look at me like was insane.
 

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fried stuff with cheese
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I agree, I've had no luck with studs unless riding on glare ice.
I found that just running really low pressure on my Fat Albert 2.35's work really well. Even on the occasional ice patch. Once there is more than 3-4" of unpacked snow on the ground I find it's not worth even trying to ride. (Keeping in mind that our NE snow is typically like wet cement and when we do get then nice fluffy stuff it's too cold to ride)
Today in central NH the snow conditions are ideal, ground frozen solid and a fresh 3" coating of powder but given that today's high temp is going to be -10 F I think I'll just stay inside.
 

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moosehead said:
Going 10 MPH feels like 25 MPH in normal conditions.
Good observation. I think this is a large part of why snow biking can be so rewarding (when it isn't downright frustrating). I was out on my RFX yesterday and had it in my second smallest gear pedaling downhill. This was after I labored through a flat section, and quickly discovered that anything with an upward slope was unrideable. :madman: Fortunately I found another trail that had been ridden by ATV's, and was able to ride most of it.

When conditions are right there is nothing better. The more floatation you have, the more likely you'll encounter such conditions. Fortunately Turners are known for their generous tire clearance. :cool:



 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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It's fine when the snow is packed down pretty nicely. Here are some shots from a couple days ago in AZ.
 

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tscheezy, Do you have much clearance on the rear tire, and have you compared the set up to a pugsley? Building a set of these wheels seems like a good option instead of a pugsley. Any thoughts or guidance on mods that need to be made besides the wheels.
 

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Moosehead
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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