Thursday, January 27, 2011

Riding in the Snow

No, I didn't buy another bike. I borrowed a Surly Pugsley from Corner Cycle. We've been riding mountain bikes almost every Tuesday night since late October, but with snow on the ground since before Christmas, the riding lately has been difficult. Last week Geo built up three snow bikes, so now we are able to ride all winter. This past Tuesday night we rode the snow bikes at Otis for an hour and a half, conditions were perfect, a couple inches of fresh snow on top of three or four inches of hard packed snow and ice. I was surprised how well the bikes climbed in the snow, and the downhills felt like you were skiing. We received more snow last night, so tonight I rode by myself on some local trails near my house. All I can say is it's the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time.

The Pugsley is cool for sure, but the other two bikes, Fatbacks from Alaska, seem to have the snow bike thing really figured out. The Fatbacks are made of aluminum, so I suppose they are lighter and less prone to rust over the years, but the real cool thing is they have a 170mm rear hub (the Pugs has an offset 135mm), which allows for a symmetrical wheelset. If I were to build one up I'd probably make it a 1 x 9, I don't really see a need for a triple, save some weight, and less places for snow to collect (see pic above). Either way, riding in the snow is a hoot for sure, it extends the winter mountain biking season, and beats the hell out of riding on a trainer or rollers.

Listening to: Art Blakey- "A Night at Birdland, Vol. 1"


Sean said...

I've already laid down the law, I told M if we move back to Spokane I'm picking up a snow bike next winter. I'm by no means a Salsa zealot but the Mukluk looks awful nice for the price.

Rambling Canuck said...

Those are some PHAT tires!!

JMH said...

Sean, you should seriously check out the Fatbacks. They seem to have really figured out the whole snow bike thing, not to mention Salsa copied their design.