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Real Snowbike

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    Real Snowbike

    This is a million dollar idea! I pursue this open source and hope to give away enough golden nuggets of secret knowledge that inspire you too to spend a million.

    Google snowbike and up comes pictures of Motorcycles. Where in motorcycle is there a “B”?

    All joking aside, the criteria to define this build is not so much a devotion to bicycles, but to keep things at a weight and format that allows one to get out of a tree well without help.

    This level of independence can be redefined to ease of transportation etc., but this short quip reminds me the acid test is independence with safety in the backcountry.
    Last edited by xcnick; 11-13-2018, 01:02 AM.

    Day one. Hardly a build, I am focused today on what you get by just writing a check. It is great, however I focus on just snow and as all commercial ideas should, they focus on flexibility, appeal to the masses etc.

    Bikeboards is out of Colorado and one basically just plops the bike on the ski. It fits many size tires and is well made.

    I was worried edge angle would be lost with this type of attachment. I tried it as directed and also strapped to the frame to eliminate the flex.

    No side bite either way. The fact they both failed means I will try a different ski and start over. These guys are from the land of soft snow and I am on man made snow.

    With any luck, a rear ski will be rarely needed. Only on the steepest.

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      Adapting the Bikeboard to another ski was a bit ugly. I took a grinder to a brand new four hundred toy knowing I had to try, but with little hope. I put it on a ski like I have in the front, a skiboard with side cut 100/80/100.

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      Once I strapped the ski to the frame it started to work.

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      I have never ridden a ski bike, bicycle with two skis one takes up on a ski lift. However I knew this worked because I was inspired to take it to the top and run wild until I figured it out. Five pounds strapped to the rack is hardly noticeable. The only thing to do better is a quick connect to the frame, and a quick attachment to the rack when not in use.

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      very first try:
      Last edited by xcnick; 11-12-2018, 04:10 PM.


        It just got very real:

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        I am always pursuing what I call the Devils triangle. There is some math equation of traction, flotation, and power. I think of it as an equation from the devil because snow can be bottomless. Any equation with infinity as a factor gets ugly fast. If a human calculates the formula he or she is biased by the insatiable desire for unlimited power. The devil will have a hand in this build.


          These things never turn out how I expect. Quick, before I forget, bigger paddles, number seems fine.

          The fact I can use bigger paddles is crazy. I thought these would be too big and I would be cutting them down. Just the idea of spinning any paddle tire with less than a horse power was nuts to begin with. No real dramatic improvement with paddles. However where I thought it would fail is side bite and although lacking what I dream of, it was more fun to drift sideways. Not any better than 2XL in total side grip, just more fun. I will figure the math to explain this later. remember the paddles are on a single XL.

          This is where I make a phone call and get the next tire made from what I learned this morning. However until I can build a bike to swing a bigger tire I am frozen in my tracks. No tools or skills. So I wrote this, let us see if it puts a fire under my saddle.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by xcnick; 11-20-2018, 07:52 PM.


            Sand paddles on a bike tire is a first. This is done by Skat Trak and they deserve a shout out. Even if this doesn't work, the interaction alone was worth the time and money.

            About a year ago I gave Skat Trak a cold call. To my surprise Ramon listen to me, thought about it, and told me a bit about the process, and most importantly, did not say no. Another call a few months ago he told me how they make tooling, and I would need a rim in steel.

            It still took a great leap of faith to fire up the Millennium Falcon and fly down to Calimesa. Google maps took me the wrong way to the back lot. As I walked through the compound looking for the office I saw a guy at a desk and had to say: “This almost looks like an office.”

            What ensued is probably normal for men with skills, tools, and self confidence. For me it was a pleasant surprise. My new friend got me to the front door. We looked at everything together and came up with a plan.

            Here is what creative heroes look like. I asked for a card so I could remember my new friend. I called yesterday and asked for Ken. She said, Ken doesn't take phone calls. LMAO. So this is Ken's place. His card doesn't say this. He never said this was his place, although he walked with a certain swagger. He drops everything for a stranger walking by his door, but won't take phone calls. This is not a CEO just looking for facebook or google to buy out his company.

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            Ramon was out the day I visited, but he is the man. We are doing the next tire, an XL again with as many quarter inch paddles as possible with a max offset of ½ inch. I really expect it as soon as next week although they said nothing. How many companies do you deal with that you don't even have to ask?


              First contact with another human. The front ski was awkward for Frank. I tried to demonstrate on something a bit steeper how it works and took this lame video.


              So the customer doesn't understand my product, sounds like a problem for the marketing department. Onward I go.

              The 2XL is one hell of a tire. I think he had fun on the snow with this set up. The last few days I have experienced an accidental comparison of the 2XL to some of my other tires and it is light years a head in the snow. Frank didn't even notice the paddles having more grip. It is slight. However next week the tire will have 16 instead of 8 paddles. How did Tim Allen put it: Ar Ar Arg. Or Bruno's More Poweeer!
              Last edited by xcnick; 11-20-2018, 07:55 PM.


                Looks like a ton of fun to me.


                • xcnick
                  xcnick commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you are in Tahoe, come and try it out! I have two fat bikes.

                I tested sand and snow yesterday. Bud is good, but this tire is something else. The XL is useless and the Maxis on the new 3000 is a joke in comparison. Just looking at the 2XL you would never know how much better it is. White is sexy. However I don't know how this new white pure silicon compares to the older black one. The compound and siping is such that the white one will grip ice. However when it does let go it will leave a bruise on your hip. I put studs in Lou, not sure I want to on the 2XL.

                All in all I was happy with just the 2XL and no front ski. We only have snow on the bunny hill so I am not tested by steep slopes. The other tires were just annoying.


                  xcnick - you like those 2XL's.... I never deal with snow but I sure deal with a lot of sand and loose dirt. I've been running the bulldozers in 26 x 4.7" and pretty happy with them. They handle well on hard surface as long as they have at least ~11-12psi although I prefer a bit lower for the soft stuff but they fall into turns on hard surface when low like that.

                  They're not much harder than the 2XL's and not much narrower - I've got room to go larger if I wanted to. I get about 2000mi on a set - just putting on another set for thanksgiving. The cost of those 2XL's is twice the bulldozers :-/

                  Any compelling reasons I should look into doubling my tire costs for my riding?


                    Yea, buy 'em so I can get your opinion. I sometimes don't trust what I feel.

                    There are some things people rave about that are simply performance idiosyncrasies a connoisseur would feel. The 2XL leaves me WTF, they don't look that different.

                    The extra volume I thought would make it bounce more hill climbing in sand and it bounced less. The snow traction is where it really shines. When the front is light they still provide some traction to turn and the others don't even try. They just push until you stop and start over.

                    I also have the bald one, but first I will try to put climbing skins on it to see if that gets me some snow traction. Trying to keep it clean for now. The bald one looks like it would be super cool for the street. Same price I think.

                    Remember, million dollar idea. I went to the hardware store for a few straps. They only had 10 foot long ones and time is always of the essence. Thirty five bucks in a blink of the eye.

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                    I did not have the skill to go down this. too narrow. Doesn't mean I didn't try.

                    If you double click on the one bellow you can read the sign.

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                    • xcnick
                      xcnick commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Lost the ski area for testing. One of us broke a leg and now the sign is being enforced. I hate it when my employees tell me I can't play in my own back yard.

                    What about bikeboard on the front? To carry a ski and the front wheel adds 6 pounds. Just the ski unit I have is 2 pounds less than a wheel. However how will it work? I had to tie the ski to the frame on the back, but maybe not on the front. The flex is a problem, but a ski has so much more side grip it has value and I will pursue it more. Of course I used my skis, Skis are the only area I really know something about.

                    Posting what I am going to do it nuts. Thanks Commuterebikes. It is like the only thing I have written to myself. You did it, so off the cliff I go too.

                    I could tell by the video at bikeboards the ski choice of the bikeboard wouldn't work for me. I have to have confidence that I can see this sort of thing. Oddly I have never been on a skibike, the two skis on a bike used on ski lifts similar to me using two skis.

                    Learning to ski bike from scratch and blogging will be boring, but the content will be there. I learned from doing build posts that were written after the fact, that no matter how organized, the long winded, real time, builds had more content.

                    Last edited by xcnick; 11-20-2018, 09:30 AM.


                    • xcnick
                      xcnick commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The bike board on the front is digging in and burying the tip. This is because I hold the brake in fear and this just makes it worse. Some kind of bungee like the dedicated front end will be next, but it is way down the priority list.

                    Bikeboard on front, use as directed.

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                    Hey, just because this is going to read like a bad novel, doesn't mean I can't put the conclusion at the top. Tried strapped to the frame so it would be like my mounted ski.

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                    By accident the paddle tire on the rear won the day. Of course snow conditions are the factor, good I had something new. However the happy accident is the paddles work really well when I hike and bike, using the throttle to move the empty bike. I do this hike and bike BS a lot and am very happy.

                    Every day is little stuff. Snow kickstand for the new bike. Quick and dirty, I give it a week.

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                    My marketing department has promised me the new wave of popular girls will be Rubenesque.

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                    The red one is naked, no battery get it? Not that I am above a good fat joke. Backpack battery is not that bad for ridding. However it reminded me I am really there just to walk the dog. Not convenient at all.

                    New tire comes tomorrow. UPS comes after dark, damn. Forgot to ask for FedEx.
                    Last edited by xcnick; 11-21-2018, 11:36 AM.


                      I have lost control of what I am going to do, the weather gods have sung their siren song and I dream of free riding in the forest as fast and free as the deer.

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                      However UPS finally came, long days ahead for the boys in brown.

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                      I am starting to remember what is what like to be 6 instead of 60.


                        First was 4.8 with 8, 3/4 inch paddles. Second was 4.8 wide tire with 16 3/4 inch paddles offset. Third was 5 inch tire with 16 3/4 inch paddles offset.

                        The last one would not fit so I had to mangle the bike with a block to get the axle further back.

                        Stay tuned, next is 5 inch tire with 16 1 and 1/4 high paddles. Skat Trak is great, I bet by the end of the week