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  1. #1
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    Homemade groomer for fatbike trails

    I finally came up with the design I wanted to use for a homemade groomer and had a chance to put it together this weekend. The plan is for it to be pulled behind an old snowmobile that I have, though if it does a decent job I could see snowshoeing with it. It's mainly wood with a few metal parts. Pretty basic, but should do an OK job of processing and then packing snow. Colorado snow tends to be really soft (most of the time) so just running a snowmobile over fresh snow doesn't seem to be enough. I'm hoping the groomer will make the snow a little easier to ride.

    Unfortunately we don't have enough snow right now to use it, so it's just sitting in my garage. There is a chance we'll be getting more snow this week and if that's the case I'll give it a go on Saturday. The only part I haven't installed yet is the rope to pull it, but that will be coming soon.

    Total length is just under 5', and width of grooming surface is 21". The angled blades in the front are 1.2 cm deep into the snow and the flat blade behind that is 1.7 cm deep. Behind that is a packing pan. I'll put rocks or metal in the tray to help pack the processed snow. I used sheet metal as the packing surface. Should slide pretty well. The whole groomer weighs in at about 35 pounds so it will definitely need weight in it to pack properly. I realize I may need to make running changes to it as I use it, but this should be a good starting point.

    I'll report back as I know more about how it does.

    Shot of the whole thing.


    The front angled blades.


    The packing pan where the weight will go.


    Picture of the bottom of the groomer as it's being held up.

  2. #2
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    you might want to add at the very least a piece of corrugated steel as your packing surface. not only will it give you texture on your track, but it will help keep your groomer running straight, and not dangling off to the side

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias View Post
    you might want to add at the very least a piece of corrugated steel as your packing surface. not only will it give you texture on your track, but it will help keep your groomer running straight, and not dangling off to the side
    My plan is to add metal "wings" to the sides of the packing pan that stick straight down into the snow if it doesn't track straight. I like the idea of the corrugated steel but I wonder how to seal the front so it doesn't get snow in the corrugations. I also wasn't sure about the textured surface since it's a bike and not skis. I'm wanting as consistent of a surface as possible. Is this something you've used for bike trails? Thanks for the thoughts!

  4. #4
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    Funny I made one almost like it but I use it just for cutting the trail down and leveling it. Instead of a pan in the back I have a piece of expanded steel.
    Last edited by bdundee; 02-04-2014 at 05:40 AM.
    And I love beer!!

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    did that work? what kind of soil? Rocks etc??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Funny I made one almost like it but I use it just for cutting the trail down and leveling it. Instead of a pan in the back I have a piece of expanded steel.
    Nice, I'd love to see pics of it. It seems there are a lot of people using different homemade designs but I always have trouble finding many pictures of them.

  7. #7
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    Nice work! Since Snowmobiles aren't allowed on our bike trails and your groomer is a bit long for our twisty trails, I did a quick web search and turned up a commercial groomer designed specifically for fat bikes: Fat Tire - Human Powered Trail Grooming.

    I'm intrigued and am seriously considering pulling the trigger. Anyone got any experience with this product?

  8. #8
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    One of the guys in our area is considering picking one of those up. I read about the background of the guy who makes them and he really seems to know what he is talking about. If you get one make sure to report back on how it works and take some good pictures. We have a lot of trails here that are the same, to tight for a snowmobile and a long groomer so that would be a great option.

  9. #9
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    One thing to keep in mind with creating a corrugated surface is that it increases the surface area exposed to the air, thus the grooming sets up faster and is more firm than a smooth surface. Of course, as it gets ridden, it will further smooth out and firm up, but if you start with a smooth surface it will take much longer for it to get firm enough to be really ridable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    One thing to keep in mind with creating a corrugated surface is that it increases the surface area exposed to the air, thus the grooming sets up faster and is more firm than a smooth surface. Of course, as it gets ridden, it will further smooth out and firm up, but if you start with a smooth surface it will take much longer for it to get firm enough to be really ridable.
    Yup I did a side by side test, comb vs smooth and combed kicked azz.
    And I love beer!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradogoose View Post
    One of the guys in our area is considering picking one of those up. I read about the background of the guy who makes them and he really seems to know what he is talking about. If you get one make sure to report back on how it works and take some good pictures. We have a lot of trails here that are the same, to tight for a snowmobile and a long groomer so that would be a great option.
    Seen it just build your own.
    And I love beer!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Yup I did a side by side test, comb vs smooth and combed kicked azz.
    I had heard that the snow set better on a combed surface. I may have to give it a go. I have some leftover metal from making the blades and I have a plasma cutter that I could cut a comb with in a hurry. Maybe just bolt it right on the back of the packing pan. I may try both and see what works best. Thanks for the advice on this everyone!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradogoose View Post
    I had heard that the snow set better on a combed surface. I may have to give it a go. I have some leftover metal from making the blades and I have a plasma cutter that I could cut a comb with in a hurry. Maybe just bolt it right on the back of the packing pan. I may try both and see what works best. Thanks for the advice on this everyone!
    I don't think it's just the grooves but the micro compaction helps as well.
    Yellowstone Track Systems, Inc.
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