Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snow Bike In The Making

After a rather aggravating commute on Thursday (I ended up airing my rear tire up 3 times on the way to work, 2 times at work and 3 times on the way home due to a leak which wouldn't seal), I took the opportunity, today, to start experimenting with my new SnowCat-rimmed wheels.
I pulled the pink bike down and took the wheels off of it. After installing some 2.4" Mutano Raptor tires on the wheels, I tried the rear for clearance. It fit in the frame fine, but the cantilever brakes aren't going to work with the wide rims.
There was no way to get the front wheel and tire into the suspension fork. I knew this would be the case, because the Manitou Mach V fork has clearance issues with regular rims and 2.2 inch tires. So, I removed that fork, and replaced it with a rigid cromoly fork I had picked up, back in the summer. Again, the wheel and tire slotted right in, but the cantilever brakes aren't going to work. I will end up with v-brakes on the front and rear.

The difference between a 2.1" tire on a normal rim (left) and the 2.4" tire on the SnowCat. The actual measurement from outer knob to outer knob on the normal set-up is 2.3", with maybe 1.5" or 1.75" of tread on the ground. The SnowCat wheel had 2.4" of tread on the ground at 25 psi. Dropping the pressure to 10 or 15 psi will put even more rubber on the ground.

I took a quick little test-ride through my snowy yard and up the street to see how everything worked. I didn't get too involved with the test ride, as I had no brakes hooked up.

You can see the footprint of the tire in the snow. The bigger footprint does seem to allow the tire to stay on top of the deeper snow, a bit, and seemed good on the packed snow in the street.

While not as impressively large as the Surly Endomorph 3.7 tire on a Large Marge Rim, these tires and rims are better than stock, anyway. And, they don't require a special-built frame, bottom bracket, and fork like Surly Pugsley. As much as I would like a Pugsley, I can't build one up for less than two grand, and I just can't justify that kind of expenditure for a snow bike.
Tomorrow, I will try to hook up some V-brakes and take a ride in the snow before the coming warmer temps melt it all off.



At 10:34 AM , Blogger katina said...

Next thing you know, you're going to be one of those people wearing a speedo and racing down peak 8 at Breck on your bike...


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