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  1. #1
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    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?

    I was curious if anyone out there would be willing to share how well the Best Tracksled is working for grooming? Any comparison to a Rokon/roller combo or other implement would be great.

    We recently got the ok to groom a 15 mile singletrack loop and are trying to determine what will be the best option for grooming. We are using snowmobiles pulling a roller and a Rokon pulling a roller on some of our other trail systems but the Tracksled looks pretty interesting. Seems like it is a more simple device (aka less to break/fail/maintain), the price is right and looks like it can handle tight singletrack.

    Ken

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    Cuyuna - We got the first one.

    The newer version designed around what worked and what didn't with ours is much easier to maneuver.

    This is a demonstration at Marquette in 40d weather and (very) wet snow. I was there along with another Crew member: https://youtu.be/MRlutC-7ak4

    https://youtu.be/MRlutC-7ak4

    If you want more details, PM me.

  3. #3
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    Sure looks like a lot more work than sitting on the Skandic, I could see it if the trails are to tight for a snowmopile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Sure looks like a lot more work than sitting on the Skandic, I could see it if the trails are to tight for a snowmopile.
    Yes, either in trail width or in radi of turns (or both). Also, the groomed width is true singletrack, 20" wide, if you go with the narrowest groom.

  5. #5
    N8R
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    I'm in the process of building a tracksled for grooming my own trails and should have it finish within a couple weeks. I'll let you know how it does

    My design is significanlty better than the Best Tracksled in several ways, including a much lower center of gravity. I'm using a 13hp 5 spd Honda ATC 200 with an automatic centrifugal clutch as the power plant. These old Honda motors go forever and are about as reliable as you can get.

    13 hp is fine for grooming established trails that have been packed and groomed frok the start of the season, but is not a lot of power for making new trails in deeper powder. Should still be doable if multiple passes are made to precompress the snow before trying to pull a groomer.

    As far as it being alot more work than a sled......not necessarily. If you dont want to stand up, just put a seat on it. I'll have a wide bike saddle on the groomer so I can sit when I want. It will take a little more effort to steer due to you pivoting the entire mass of the track sled, but still not something to make a deal about.

    One big advantage of the tracksled is all your body weight is directly on top of the groomer so you dont have to carry extra dead weight for compaction which is a very significant advantage in a low hp machine. The Best Tracksled groomer shown in the videos is a rather poor design as it has no notches to create a corderoy pattern in the snow for bike tire traction. Not absolutely necessary, but if you're going to make a groomer, why not make it to make the best trail with the most amount of traction. Also, it has a fairly large footprint which compacts less. Using a small 4" corrugated roller has a much smaller footprint and will give way more compaction for the same weight.

    My design will also have a bike mount ontop of the tracksled so I can take my fat bike with me when I groom, in case of a machine failure, I can ride out. Plus it'll look awesome with my steed mounted on it. Another bonus, the extra 35 lbs on top of the tracksled will be welcomed additional traction.

    One flaw, if it can be called that, with the Best Tracksled design is the front track profile. Its low and a perfect semi-circle which is a poor design for powder perfomance in breaking trail/compacting initial contact snow. Look at snowmobiles and the front underside of the track angles up to help precompact the snow for the rest of the track. I'll be incorporating this feature in my build.

    All in all, the Best Tracksled is a noble attempt at making a simple trail groomer and they did a decent job, but still much can be improved upon. IMO, its a much more capable trail groomer than a Rokon. Rokons are also only about 13 hp, and have way less traction and deep snow potential, even being 2wd.

    I'll be making several more tracksleds after my prototype and keep working to improve the design and may even offer a few for sale if theres interest, although I dont really want to turn it into a job. I'll start a new thread in a couple weeks or so with my finished machine and pics/video. I really think a tracksled is the best way forward for fatbike grooming narrow single track, and it can easily fit on a hitch rack on the back of a car or truck. Much easier to load and transport.

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    I would suggest that that adding weight vertically is going to have unforeseen issues. Our first one had a 13hp motor. It was extra-ordinarily tippy in off-camber or bermed corners conditions. Like "nearly kill volunteers" tippy. The newer ones have 7hp engines and pull fine and far less tippy.

    We are testing a new one created by a local company. The first thing we requested is as little weight above the track as possible. We've found that tracksled seems to do best when it's floating on the snow vs. plowing through it.

    As to the flatness of the groom, the new grooms we use have a whole bunch of 1/2" deep skegs vs. 2 or 3 deeper ones. Otherwise its flat. At Cuyuna we haven't found a bike traction/ice issue with this design, generally the fat bike tires come along and "chew up" the top 1/8" of the groomed surface anyway. I would like to see a "mini-roller" style groom, with a bunch of 4-8" textured rollers in front of foot plate, I think that type of design would be great to refresh the already groomed trail.

    If you are thinking you've hit cats meow with your tracksled design, and live decently close to MN, PM me and I will send you some information.

    I'm with you, the Best Tracksled is work in progress, but I think over the long haul some type of tracksled based device will the grooming answer.

  7. #7
    N8R
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    CycleKrieg, hope I didn't come across as being cynical towards your design in my post. I'm a critical thinker and am always trying to point out flaws and potential design improvements, even in my own work to continuously improve, and not to discredit past achievements. I think you guys have done a good job and watching your demo vids convinced me tracksled is the way to go. I've been pondering for a while the best machine for fat bike trail grooming, and its down to the tracksled and snow bike, with tracksled having some distinct advantages.

    I've spent a lot of time thinking about the ideal groomed trail, and its not the same IMO as the perfect ski groomed trail. Skiis are long and are better suited to nice flat trails without deep curves and dips. Bikes on the other hand, are well suited to big dips, rollers, etc and this is part of what makes it fun. An overly long machine has a hard time following the contours of deep dips and is less manuverable which is the major flaw I see with current snow bikes fitted with a Timbersled kit. I have a pretty cool short wheelbase snow bike design I may build in the future, but the tracksled is so much simpler, with better weight placement with much lighter overall weight potential, I may never even get to the snow bike design.

    I've got some more ideas for the tracksled, and I'm even planning on building a 50-100 hp version for powder and backcountry use. I wasn't going to give away my design idea yet, as I wanted to be the first to build it. However, I'm more interested in the progression of fat bike snow grooming. To get the center of gravity as low as possible, I'm putting the engine and entire drivetrain inside the track, not ontop. The bottom of the engine will only be about 2" off the ground. The top of the track will go over the engine, and the only thing above the track will be the gas tank. But I may even put the has tank below inside the track on a future build and use a fuel pump to get the fuel to the carb.

    With this motor-in-track design, even a high hp large motor can be used and still have a really low COG. I'm not interested in having a large business making and selling tracksleds, maybe just a few here and there so I'm more than willing to share ideas and collborate on design with you guys, and like I said, I'm more interested in progressing the sport than anything else. I'm in Utah so too far to meetup, but shoot me a p.m. with your contact info and we can talk design.

    Also, on the groomer side of things, the reason the top of the groomed snow gets chewed up by tires is because it isnt packed down densley enough, had time to set up enough, or its too warm out and snow is softening. If the snow gets packed down hard enough with enough weight and as little foot print as possible, the top edges of the grooves in the groom should not be damaged much by low psi tires. If snow is compressed enough, it turns into ice. So if we can achieve the sweet spot of super hard pack, groomed snow but not quite to the point of turning to ice, I think we'll have some durable, fast, good traction trails that retain the ridges in the groom as long as it stays below freezing. How feasable this is, I dont know yet. It could well be that its not easy to achieve this and the top of the groom will always get chewed up by tires, but I'm motivated to try and perfect the art of fat bike grooming.

  8. #8
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    I'm not affiliated with Best Tracksled at all, other then being a customer. I am a big supporter of the tracksled for fat bike grooming, though, and think more clubs should go that way. We (being fat bike groomers) need to work with builders to create the best solution possible.

    We have different needs. In the Midwest, we need something that can go up punchy climbs, fit between trees, turn tight and is safer than a Rokon, etc. That is why we like the МОТОБУКСИРОВЩИК (literally, "Motor Sled Dog") style tracksled, similar to the units you can buy in Russia from Praxus, Boltmotr or Lebedev. We also would like something a 120# woman can use, so versus the tipsy beast that was the 13hp one, we have downsized.

    The style you are talking about is similar to Crosley T28 or the more refined Crosley T28E-1. The Ski-zee from Canadian uses a small power unit like that. The Russians had something similar, though that was 2-cycle and with the tank up by the user. ( https://i027.radikal.ru/0912/ba/dfab2ad449ae.jpg )

    Yeah, if you were closer, I would invite you to our groom learning/cross-pollination session.

    We are getting pretty good compaction and its not instantly getting chewed up. But a few days with fat bike tires on it does chew up the top little bit. That's why a refreshing groom would be nice. Don't over compact, just uniformly chew up and squish back down.

    At our race last year, we ran 300 racers over tracksled groomed sections and those sections held up better than the doubletrack which was groomed with a Yellowstone groomer.

    I do wish I had some actual "building things" skills because I would build something like the Technomaster Ruff TM-02, but with drop in grooms under the seat.

    Look forward to seeing your version!

  9. #9
    N8R
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    Great info, and thanks for the links I'll check them out. I think an in-track design is going to be hard to beat for stability and can accomodate any engine size. I'm projecting total machine weight to be 250lbs or less for my first build and with light weight components, future builds could be sub 200lbs. Have you weighed your Best tracksled? I started a build thread you can follow here:

    Intrak Tracksled groomer build- Mtbr.com

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    Thanks for the warning about Cuyuna's old tracksled, I've tossed a few messages back and forth with Aaron about buying it. It looked clumsy to me, but if the price was right (it isnt) I would have been willing to try. We have 10 miles to groom here in Fargo-Moorhead. Still looking for a solution! I'll have to hit you up when I head to Cuyuna again. The groomed riding there this January was amazing! Then again every trip to Cuyuna is amazing.
    Jason
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    We have 10 miles to groom here in Fargo-Moorhead. Still looking for a solution!
    PM me with your email address/contact info, we (Cuyuna) are working on some learning/cross-pollination/ideas/come-to-Jesus stuff that will help everyone in upper midwest with grooming.

    I will say the newer models Best Tracksled is pretty easy to use. You are still going to get an upper body workout, but you won't be toasted after a mile. Also, it's not so overpowered and heavy that it drives volunteers vs. the other way around. (In Soviet Russia, tracksled drive you.)

    As I said before, this will be a user based solution and we will have work on it ourselves. That may mean in short run caring less about keeping secrets and more about sharing and communicating.

  12. #12
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    Still waiting for this to come to market: Home | MTT136 Yvon Martel.
    Advantages I see: 1. low maintenance motor, 2. maneuverability, 3. light weight, fits in SUV, 4. stealth (electric motor) to facilitate grooming trails in areas where motorized vehicles are prohibited.

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    wow, jealous of your abilities.... I'm in Western NY and have been having the hope and dream of grooming some of our local trails. done the snowshoe, marquette skies, pulling a tire, pan of a wheelbarrow, etc.... then bought a gravely tractor, then a rokon, then a small arctic cat panther sled, now trying a ski doo alpine, twin track..... problem is that last week, we got 20 inches of snow in 36 hours... so anything but a deep powder snowmachine is going to bog down especially when trying to follow the trail...

    I too, have been looking at all the ingenuity on youtube, (seems like a lot of ideas come out of Russia)... I'd be willing to help fund a local project for a "tracksled" type contraption, I really like the idea of the INtrak mockup you have N8R. be willing to buy blueprints, parts list, and a how to book if any of you are thinking of going that way.

  14. #14
    N8R
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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    wow, jealous of your abilities.... I'm in Western NY and have been having the hope and dream of grooming some of our local trails. done the snowshoe, marquette skies, pulling a tire, pan of a wheelbarrow, etc.... then bought a gravely tractor, then a rokon, then a small arctic cat panther sled, now trying a ski doo alpine, twin track..... problem is that last week, we got 20 inches of snow in 36 hours... so anything but a deep powder snowmachine is going to bog down especially when trying to follow the trail...

    I too, have been looking at all the ingenuity on youtube, (seems like a lot of ideas come out of Russia)... I'd be willing to help fund a local project for a "tracksled" type contraption, I really like the idea of the INtrak mockup you have N8R. be willing to buy blueprints, parts list, and a how to book if any of you are thinking of going that way.
    I never build anything with blueprints, I just make a quick concept drawing, sometimes, or just have the idea in my head and build as I go. Fabricating isn't all that hard, especially with the internet and youtube tutorials on about everything. Best thing is to just jump in and start doing it! My 2 pieces of advice to anyone wanting to learn is to not worry too much about making mistakes, they are valuable learned lessons, and always safety first! I'll be documenting the build in the link I posted above, so feel free to ask any questions there on how I'm doing anything.

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    Tracksleds can handle deep snow.

    https://youtu.be/3sfhOyA8qQA

    Some models in Russia have an removable upward curving "bill" in front of the track to increase length and floatation. Yeah, it would be a two or three pass groom, first with tracksled and small Otter sled and then coming back with the actual groomer, but with some throttle work and not putting your biggest volunteer in there first, it should be doable.

    twright205, if you know someone that can build one of these, give it a shot. Otherwise some manufacturers are coming online. Best Tracksled is there, the new prototype we are testing for another company is almost there. N8R might be getting there also.

    What's going to happen in the long term, I think, is that there will be a messy beginning with lots of Darwinian sorting going on with tracksled designs and features before a "typical" model is birthed. It might be 2 models, a small one, for east of the Rockies that can handle tight spaces, corners and trees and a large one, for west of the Rockies that can handle long grooming sessions in the mountains.

  16. #16
    N8R
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    CycleKrieg, thanks for all the links of the Russian tracksleds. I didnt even know they existed so it will be a huge help examining their designs. It'll be fun to see where we end up with them.

  17. #17
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    Might be some worthwhile ideas here: ONE, 2 OR 3 TRACKED RIGID VEHICLES, LIGHT

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    I think the tracksleds are definitely the future of singletack grooming. For the time being our group took an AD Boivin Snow hawk JR and made a custom roller to pull. Our trails are very tight with steep elevation, this set-up worked well, however it didn't have enough power and the Snow Hawk engine is a piece of junk. During the off season we put a new 6.5 hp engine in the Snow Hawk and it pulls the 60 pound roller no problem, 1 pass and our singletrack trails are perfect. The only thing that could make the set up better would be a little wider track on the snow Hawk.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_1357.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    So if we can achieve the sweet spot of super hard pack, groomed snow but not quite to the point of turning to ice, I think we'll have some durable, fast, good traction trails that retain the ridges in the groom as long as it stays below freezing. How feasable this is, I dont know yet. It could well be that its not easy to achieve this and the top of the groom will always get chewed up by tires, but I'm motivated to try and perfect the art of fat bike grooming.
    I don't think that you will ever retain the ridges after a bike rides over your work. I used to operate snowcats at ski resorts and that high speed tiller in the back beats the arms off of the snow crystals night after night to quickly turn the trail into hardpack and the ridges would still deform quite easily. I don't think it is important to maintain those ridges for fat biking though.

    One resort I worked at modified cats to spray water on the trails and that would create a really strong base at least, but not practical for the application you guys are talking about here as the weight would be tremendous.

    Pretty neat to follow this discussion though. The machines people are posting here look as fun as actually biking the trails.

  20. #20
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    I thought this was interesting: SNOWDOG CLUB Looks like the Russian Baltmotors tracksled is working on districbution in the US.

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    If you haven't yet, hit up the NTN. Earlier this year at the Fatbike Summit they tried one out on the North Trails and I was told they were purchasing one. The resulting groomed surface was nice to ride, and they were able to get it through narrower corridors and up/down greater slopes than they could with the snowmobile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbudell View Post
    I thought this was interesting: SNOWDOG CLUB Looks like the Russian Baltmotors tracksled is working on districbution in the US.

    That looks pretty cool and reasonably priced.

    Their dealer locator shows dealers in the U.S.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    That looks pretty cool and reasonably priced.

    Their dealer locator shows dealers in the U.S.
    I'm somewhat suprised the snowdog has not gotten more traction as a groomer. I believe it's safe to say that one of these snowdogs will make it's way into western WI in the near future for grooming singletrack.

    The price is right for one of these, and as mentioned above it's nice to have a dealer backing. The design also looks spot on, which only makes sense as the Russians typically have to deal with lots of snow.

    As a bonus it appears this unit may work well for hauling equipment in the summer months.

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    Just pulled the trigger on the 10hp compact snowdog model. expect it to get to me in Western NY by 12/28... of course two weeks ago we got over 20 inches of snow in 36 hours. now with a chronic thaw, melt, rain cycle, who knows what I will have to play with when it gets here.. but Winter just started so I am sure there will be opportunities... I'll be sure to post up some pics and videos if it works like I am hoping... if you are in the market.. I dealt with Vlad [email protected] .... if you happen to be in Southern Ontario check out Scott at [email protected] I know he had a compact 10hp... and a few of the regulars coming in....

    Merry Christmas and here's to a grooming new year

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    Quote Originally Posted by blum585 View Post
    I'm somewhat suprised the snowdog has not gotten more traction as a groomer. I believe it's safe to say that one of these snowdogs will make it's way into western WI in the near future for grooming singletrack.

    The price is right for one of these, and as mentioned above it's nice to have a dealer backing. The design also looks spot on, which only makes sense as the Russians typically have to deal with lots of snow.

    As a bonus it appears this unit may work well for hauling equipment in the summer months.
    One of our local trail groomers in northern WI is thinking about buying one of these.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  26. #26
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    Whats the price of the Snowdog?
    Jason
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Whats the price of the Snowdog?
    Prices are given on the web site; about $3k+/-: SNOWDOG CLUB

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    Thanks, I missed that. I'm tempted! This from the FAQ is concerning though:

    Why Snowdog`s engine shut down when going up the hill?

    Snowdog is equipped with an automatic oil level sensor that shuts the engine with a low oil level or when Snowdog is at a large angle of inclination. We recommend to place the Snowdog in the horizontal position, check the oil level and start the engine.
    Jason
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Thanks, I missed that. I'm tempted! This from the FAQ is concerning though:

    Why Snowdog`s engine shut down when going up the hill?

    Snowdog is equipped with an automatic oil level sensor that shuts the engine with a low oil level or when Snowdog is at a large angle of inclination. We recommend to place the Snowdog in the horizontal position, check the oil level and start the engine.
    Well, Having purchased a snowdog for our local club 2 days ago then grooming for the past 2 nights I can say that the engine does not shut down on anything it can actually climb. It does shut down if it's about to tip over, it's got to be at a 45 deg angle or greater. With this said, like every tool, it does have it's limitations. It tracks much better on side hills when the left side of the unit is on the up hill side of the hill. And it's not something that you can just unload and go. unless you are grooming really flat areas. If you are grooming singletrack it will take some time to learn to use it, trust it, and find it's limits. I groomed some of the tightest single track found in La Crosse WI, and after learning how to use it go through nearly everything. It does have width limitations, but then again so do your handle bars. I got through trees that seem tight in the summer with 720mm wide bars.

    We picked our unit up and Kinni Sport and Power in Riverfalls, WI. The snowdog is new as of this year to the states. We paid $3165 (tax included) for the unit, the sled, seat and cup holder. Haven't used the seat, and have only groomed with the sled. We will be working on testing attachments that may led to better grooming. All of this fatbike grooming is still a work in progress.

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    The tracking on hills is due to the gyroscopic forces of the clutch mechanism. (We have had the same thing with our tracksleds, they are not Snowdogs.) If it really bothers you, groom the trail in a direction determined by which side (left or right) has the most uphill to it. Otherwise, you get used to it.

    Build a groom vs. using the otter-style sled. You will get better results, the groom can be easier to maneuver. We've only used pan grooms so far, but have ideas to build a small roller groom (6" lawnmower wheels) and leveling/de-icing groom (reverse V).

    Another thing we found: grooms work best if they have a skeg (the vertical runners) every 2" or so across the bottom. The skegs then can be shorter (3/4") in height and you will get better tracking and easier to maneuver because you get more vertical surfaces to interface with the snow. Having only 2 skegs, one on each side means the downhill skegs is just flapping in the breeze without much snow push against. A series of them across the bottom give you uniform bite across the whole surface.

    Questions:
    Did you get the 7hp or 10hp model?
    Compact model?
    Is the include headlight worth anything?

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    Our trails are very flat, this thing looks ideal. I'll reach out to the dealer in St. Cloud! Thanks for the info!

    Edit: The 10hp Compact model, sled, and seat would be $~3280 after tax. In stock too!
    Last edited by JAGI410; 12-23-2016 at 09:52 AM.
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    mine is set to arrive in Western NY on Tuesday or Wednesday,,, I got the 10hp.. compact model, looking into fabricating other stand on grooming attachments as well. please post up pics of ideas if anyone has one.. thanks for the update on your experience, really hoping this does the trick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    looking into fabricating other stand on grooming attachments as well. please post up pics of ideas if anyone has one.
    You mean like this one?

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-tracksled-groom-pan.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    The tracking on hills is due to the gyroscopic forces of the clutch mechanism. (We have had the same thing with our tracksleds, they are not Snowdogs.) If it really bothers you, groom the trail in a direction determined by which side (left or right) has the most uphill to it. Otherwise, you get used to it.

    Build a groom vs. using the otter-style sled. You will get better results, the groom can be easier to maneuver. We've only used pan grooms so far, but have ideas to build a small roller groom (6" lawnmower wheels) and leveling/de-icing groom (reverse V).

    Another thing we found: grooms work best if they have a skeg (the vertical runners) every 2" or so across the bottom. The skegs then can be shorter (3/4") in height and you will get better tracking and easier to maneuver because you get more vertical surfaces to interface with the snow. Having only 2 skegs, one on each side means the downhill skegs is just flapping in the breeze without much snow push against. A series of them across the bottom give you uniform bite across the whole surface.

    Questions:
    Did you get the 7hp or 10hp model?
    Compact model?
    Is the include headlight worth anything?
    We bought the 10 HP Compact Model, the light is a dual LED is and is more than bright enough to groom with at night. I bring a spare light along mainly to use as a flashlight. Do you have any photos of the groom that you've use? The sled that comes with the unit has 4 or 5 runners on the bottom, and it does float a bit too well.

    Kinni Sport and Power in Riverfalls are selling these unit's for $2999 plus tax. This is for the 10 HP contact, with sled and seat (and beer holder)...

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    We don't have a picture of our groomer that shows the unit in any detail.

    Its very similar to the one shown here, at Black's Grove.

    https://twitter.com/BlackGroveRCR/st...55470000250880

    Instead of the plastic boat runners, we have skegs made with 3/4" angle iron.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    We don't have a picture of our groomer that shows the unit in any detail.

    Its very similar to the one shown here, at Black's Grove.

    https://twitter.com/BlackGroveRCR/st...55470000250880

    Instead of the plastic boat runners, we have skegs made with 3/4" angle iron.
    That drag is even being pulled by a Snowdog. Looks like a winner.

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    Is there a boxer style engine (like BMW motorcycle opposed cylinders) made that would work? Lower center of gravity.

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    it's a single cylinder engine, probably 2 strokes, so you can turn it any way you want. you'll have to refit everything then. not sure there is somethings to win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    We don't have a picture of our groomer that shows the unit in any detail.

    Its very similar to the one shown here, at Black's Grove.

    https://twitter.com/BlackGroveRCR/st...55470000250880

    Instead of the plastic boat runners, we have skegs made with 3/4" angle iron.
    Do you have any better contact information for this club? Their website is not very helpful for contacts...

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    Yeah, they are no good at the web stuff.

    I have found their FB page to be the only way to get a hold of them consistently.

    https://www.facebook.com/RiverCrossingMountainBikeRace/

    Its a shame I'm a little booked up with other things. I'm designing a grooming system I plan on open-sourcing that would work for tracksleds, snowmobiles and Rokons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    Yeah, they are no good at the web stuff.

    I have found their FB page to be the only way to get a hold of them consistently.

    https://www.facebook.com/RiverCrossingMountainBikeRace/

    Its a shame I'm a little booked up with other things. I'm designing a grooming system I plan on open-sourcing that would work for tracksleds, snowmobiles and Rokons.
    Awesome, can't wait to see what you build!

  42. #42
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    I'm curious what the COG is like on the sled dogs. I'm about 90% finished building my Intrak tracksled and am very pleased with how low the COG is, at least on flat level ground not running. Its pretty effortless to tip it over to a 45 deg or more angle in riding position behind with the steering pole and doesnt feel like it wants to tip over at all. Its super stable. That is with an empty tank of gas though, so we'll see how much difference 8 lbs of gas makes. May play with putting a large gas tank down low infront of the motor with a fuel pump that pumps fuel into a tiny tank above the tracks and recirculates back down into the low larger tank . Then the small tank above will gravity feed to the carb. That way if the fuel pump ever dies, you still have a very small tank on top that you can just manually fill to get home.

    I'm already designing my next model that will have the motor cylinder in a horizontal position which will get the engine mass and carb even lower and allow the machine to be quite a bit lower. I'm not sure its even necessary as the current prototype has such a low COG, but always have to improve regardless.

  43. #43
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    More pics please

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    Quote Originally Posted by blum585 View Post
    I'm somewhat suprised the snowdog has not gotten more traction as a groomer. I believe it's safe to say that one of these snowdogs will make it's way into western WI in the near future for grooming singletrack.

    The price is right for one of these, and as mentioned above it's nice to have a dealer backing. The design also looks spot on, which only makes sense as the Russians typically have to deal with lots of snow.

    As a bonus it appears this unit may work well for hauling equipment in the summer months.
    I'm picking one of these up and delivering it to a trail in northern WI today. If I get to see it in use maybe I'll be able to provide some feedback.

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    Again, I want to put a gentle reminder out there.

    There is some planning for a tracksled demo. The planning is in very early stages and may not happen. However, if you are in MN, WI, IA, ND or SD and are interested in the idea of a tracksled, PM me with your email address and I will add you to invite list.

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    Delivered a Snowdog to northern WI yesterday. Got a chance to try it out on some tight twisty single track. It works real well. Little bit of an arm workout but not that bad.

    The new owner was able to groom some trail that wasn't possible with the snowmobile.





    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I'm curious what the COG is like on the sled dogs.
    I'm curious about that too. Though the Snowdog uses a 20" (500mm actually) track vs. the 15" ones the USA built ones are using. Based on our experience, a wider track should make it less tippy on off-camber turns.

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    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-15823353_10211520998808669_5473607376141465652_n.jpg

    just had my snowdog out this am... we got socked with 12 inches of new snow overnight. almost too much, had to break trail walking it in some deeper sections, others, the sled worked well.. I tossed on a pair of marquette fat skies and that helped getting through the deep stuff. after one pass , subsequent passes much easier.. I agree there is a learning curve, certainly making a stand up ride on grooming plate for it.

    center of gravity question... again learning curve. so deep today it was easy to start rolling over, but you can catch it, once a track is set, very little issue, I did have it start to go over and shut down.. but started back up with no issue. the quality of the build and thoughtful design is nice...https://youtu.be/0_kpKLde9t0

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    Hello folks.
    As we just found out that Fat bike racing activity is big time in USA couple weeks ago we began working on a special accessory for fat bike trail grooming based on our X-country ski trail groomer. We will not be able to provide them this year but some demo`s in February, but next year you will be able to purchase it before the season starts.

    Vlad Filatenko
    Snowdog team.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sndg View Post
    Hello folks.
    As we just found out that Fat bike racing activity is big time in USA couple weeks ago we began working on a special accessory for fat bike trail grooming based on our X-country ski trail groomer. We will not be able to provide them this year but some demo`s in February, but next year you will be able to purchase it before the season starts.

    Vlad Filatenko
    Snowdog team.
    My organization is interested in buying a Snowdog, but we'd really like it to come with a stand-on sled for grooming single track fat bike trails. If you can come up with a factory solution for this -- so we don't have to build our own -- it'd be excellent. If you offered a single track grooming package specifically, that'd be all the better.

  51. #51
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    Hi sndg, could you show us the xc ski groomer?

  52. #52
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    I have been talking with a dealer for the snow dog in Canada He says he is having troubles with the carb and clutch freezing up on the 10 hp one. we are looking to get th 13 hp one. So he is holding off on selling it till that problem is resolved. Any one else have issues?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbudell View Post
    I thought this was interesting: SNOWDOG CLUB Looks like the Russian Baltmotors tracksled is working on districbution in the US.
    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    just had my snowdog out this am... we got socked with 12 inches of new snow overnight. almost too much, had to break trail walking it in some deeper sections, others, the sled worked well.. I tossed on a pair of marquette fat skies and that helped getting through the deep stuff. after one pass , subsequent passes much easier.. I agree there is a learning curve, certainly making a stand up ride on grooming plate for it.

    center of gravity question... again learning curve. so deep today it was easy to start rolling over, but you can catch it, once a track is set, very little issue, I did have it start to go over and shut down.. but started back up with no issue. the quality of the build and thoughtful design is nice...https://youtu.be/0_kpKLde9t0

    Why would anyone buy or use one of these things? It looks like an ass backwards snowmobile. A regular snowmobile can do everything it can, much faster and more easily and then still be used for a ton of other things. You can tow whatever groomer attachment you like off the back of a snowmobile so I'm trying to understand why this machine even exists? It's cheap compared to new snowmobile, I'll give it that but plenty of good used work/utility snowmobiles can be bought for the same price and are actually easy to get parts for, can carry two people, and be used to haul somebody out if they are hurt back in the woods, keep the wind off you when riding it, etc, etc. This thing looks like a 1950's snowmobile design that never went anywhere because it is so impractical.

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    Because snowmobiles cannot fit on single track trails, add a groomer and you are limited to double track.

    The idea is having a machine that can be manipulated in tight areas, even turned around, by one person, which is necessary when grooming narrow and windy trails.

    Not to mention, snow mobiles are loud, fidgety, and hungry.

    Our state park went as far as to say no to snowmobiles, but yes to a Rokon.

    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Why would anyone buy or use one of these things? It looks like an ass backwards snowmobile. A regular snowmobile can do everything it can, much faster and more easily and then still be used for a ton of other things. You can tow whatever groomer attachment you like off the back of a snowmobile so I'm trying to understand why this machine even exists? It's cheap compared to new snowmobile, I'll give it that but plenty of good used work/utility snowmobiles can be bought for the same price and are actually easy to get parts for, can carry two people, and be used to haul somebody out if they are hurt back in the woods, keep the wind off you when riding it, etc, etc. This thing looks like a 1950's snowmobile design that never went anywhere because it is so impractical.

  55. #55
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    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-sled.jpg

    This is my current project. It should be ready for field testing next week after final welding, aluminum decking, hood, and paint. Planning to bolt on the handlebar so that it can be moved if placed wrong.

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    This looks rad I want one Message me if it works!!




    Quote Originally Posted by Deadman View Post
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    This is my current project. It should be ready for field testing next week after final welding, aluminum decking, hood, and paint. Planning to bolt on the handlebar so that it can be moved if placed wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbudell View Post
    I thought this was interesting: SNOWDOG CLUB Looks like the Russian Baltmotors tracksled is working on districbution in the US.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Because snowmobiles cannot fit on single track trails, add a groomer and you are limited to double track.

    The idea is having a machine that can be manipulated in tight areas, even turned around, by one person, which is necessary when grooming narrow and windy trails.

    Not to mention, snow mobiles are loud, fidgety, and hungry.

    Our state park went as far as to say no to snowmobiles, but yes to a Rokon.
    How wide are the trails you are trying to groom? Many snowmobiles can have their front ends narrowed up either with available adjustments or aftermarket front ends.

    Regarding noise, these gasoline engine powered track contraptions are going to make noise as well and very likely use carburetors. Modern sleds are fuel injected, can be had in either 2 or 4 strokes and are not at all figety. I bet a Ski-doo 600 ACE gets better mileage than the tracked lawnmower type machines I'm seeing in this thread.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    How wide are the trails you are trying to groom? Many snowmobiles can have their front ends narrowed up either with available adjustments or aftermarket front ends.

    Regarding noise, these gasoline engine powered track contraptions are going to make noise as well and very likely use carburetors. Modern sleds are fuel injected, can be had in either 2 or 4 strokes and are not at all figety. I bet a Ski-doo 600 ACE gets better mileage than the tracked lawnmower type machines I'm seeing in this thread.
    We're grooming 24" singletrack. A snowmobile is very limited to how narrow it can be made due to the wide engine and hood. It would take a lot of modification to even try and get a snowmobile less than 36" in width, and forget anything even close to 24".

    A tracksled is about half the weight of a snomobile and much easier to manuver, has double the floatation over deep snow, and can go many places a snowmobile wont fit, like between trees, under and over logs, etc. Snomobiles are also terrible for the beginning and end of season when the snowpack is minimal and rocks and roots are near the surface. Tracksleds are all season and can be ridden over rocks, roots, in sand, mud. Sometimes conditions are such that theres enough snow to pack a trail for fat biking, but too little to safely ride a snowmobile.

    They are also much simpler and easier to work on. Some of the Sleddog models are a bit heavy at 350 lbs, but my Intrak is around 250 lbs, and I can transport it on the back of a car in a hitch cargo carrier.

    I've ridden snowmobiles alot and for what they were built for theyre great. Not sure what fuel mileage the newest crop of sleds get, but the older used ones that are cheap and affordable get crap fuel economy, like 10 mpg or worse average. Just putting around a tracksled is going to be more fuel efficient, and with the proper exhaust, much quieter.

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    XC ski groomer

    This is what we use for Xski trail grooming. Scheme in PDF is under the link.
    Groomer is 9 inches wider than the track, coming up ti 29,33 inches wide.
    Snowdog track is 20` wide. I would be very thankful for the feedback, how wide of the trail groomer that will feet your needs the best ?

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_2896.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_2897.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_2898.jpg

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw...1VWWHlBLUYxMXM
    Quote Originally Posted by dudeist View Post
    Hi sndg, could you show us the xc ski groomer?

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    That looks great, Snowdog. Thanks. Do you sell them and how mucho$$? We would probably want only 20-24 inches wide. Our bike trails are narrow and have lots of trees and rocks on the sides. (and in the middle) . Probably should taper the front a bit so it doesn't get caught on stumps and rocks. Others may want more width, but I'm curious how that works. I guess one needs a little overlap for the corners. Some trails will need reroutes or added B-lines for a machine anyway.

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    First shipments of XC ski groomer will be available in USA this February. But I have got few suggestion how to improve it from Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike for Fat bike trail grooming and we are making something very convenient for use and factory manufactured. I am hoping to fit into $450-600 MSRP price.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadman View Post
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    This is my current project. It should be ready for field testing next week after final welding, aluminum decking, hood, and paint. Planning to bolt on the handlebar so that it can be moved if placed wrong.
    Looks good! I was originally thinking of going that route, and just putting a motor ontop of a complete snowmobile track and skid, but wanted to try and in-track motor design. Where did you get the CV clutch, is it one for a go kart off ebay? I've been eyeing those to possibly try on my next build.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sndg View Post
    This is what we use for Xski trail grooming. Scheme in PDF is under the link.
    Groomer is 9 inches wider than the track, coming up ti 29,33 inches wide.
    Snowdog track is 20` wide. I would be very thankful for the feedback, how wide of the trail groomer that will feet your needs the best ?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw...1VWWHlBLUYxMXM
    Desired width can vary depending on preference. Some fat bikers like narrow 24" trails and others like wider 30-36" wide. I would suggest making the groomer 24" wide and then making some side attachments that can bolt or clip on the sides to make the groom wider when desired. That way, when grooming if you wanted certain sections of trail wider or narrower, it would just be a matter of adding or removing a couple side attachments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sndg View Post
    This is what we use for Xski trail grooming. Scheme in PDF is under the link.
    Groomer is 9 inches wider than the track, coming up ti 29,33 inches wide.
    Snowdog track is 20` wide. I would be very thankful for the feedback, how wide of the trail groomer that will feet your needs the best ?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw...1VWWHlBLUYxMXM
    I've put about 15 hours in on the snowdog now for grooming very narrow old school hand built single track. There is no way another machine such as a standard snowmobile could even come close to fitting into the locations that the snowdog fits.

    With this being said, the width of the track is all the wider a drag / grooming attachment should be, any wider and it would not fit between the trees or rocks on our trails. So far I've been using the sled that comes with the snowdog, but will soon be building a drag similar to the drag used a Black's Grove MN. Having a snow comb on the back would be nice, along with having something that will help level / cut up ice.

    regardless myself and others in my area really appreicate that a machine like the snowdog was designed and built as without out it we would not have groomed single track!

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    Yes, the clutch is a Comet knockoff. Some in our group think a hydrostatic drive from a lawn mower is the direction. It would be nice to have reverse and variable speed at full power.

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    Watch those Comet knockoffs. They will go SPLAT! on you. Drop the extra coin for a real Comet, you won't regret it.

    You don't need a transmission. Grooming is done at fast walking speed, depending on the size of engine, it will be about 3/8 to 1/2 throttle, max.

    If you make it light enough (as close as you can to 200lbs), you will find you don't need reverse. Just pull the unit backwards.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    Watch those Comet knockoffs. They will go SPLAT! on you. Drop the extra coin for a real Comet, you won't regret it.

    You don't need a transmission. Grooming is done at fast walking speed, depending on the size of engine, it will be about 3/8 to 1/2 throttle, max.

    If you make it light enough (as close as you can to 200lbs), you will find you don't need reverse. Just pull the unit backwards.
    In this regard, I really like the 5 spd tranny with the auto clutch with the 3 wheeler motor. The gearing is so low I can start in 4th gear from a dead start no problem. I find that just leaving it in 2nd or 3rd gear is plenty fast so no need to even shift gears at all. But its nice to have the option depending on what I'm using the machine for. 1st gear is way low and really useful for snow plowing or pulling heavy loads. I built it primarily for grooming, but it is a multi use machine.

    I'll post a more detailed report in my Intrak build thread, with my observations. The biggest thing I noticed is it does take a lot of effort to steer the thing, but there's a lot of room for optimization such as changing underside track profile, increase leverage etc. The COG is low, but my machine would still be a handful for a small person to manuver. I dont think theres anyway around having to build much smaller tracksleds for smaller people.

    Once I get the steering dialed in, I'll be happy with the tracksled.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    You mean like this one?

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    This looks ideal. I assume the fold out wings are angled to chamfer the sideslopes? Have you built any of these and if not would you be able to send a .dxf file of this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    This looks ideal. I assume the fold out wings are angled to chamfer the sideslopes? Have you built any of these and if not would you be able to send a .dxf file of this?
    This actually the "old" version. It's based on the first groom we had with the improvements we wished for. I'm working on a new one that will be modular. It will be designed to work with tracksleds, snowmobiles, Rokons, and everything inbetween.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    This actually the "old" version. It's based on the first groom we had with the improvements we wished for. I'm working on a new one that will be modular. It will be designed to work with tracksleds, snowmobiles, Rokons, and everything inbetween.
    This sounds great, looking forward to see your groomer design.

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    Snow Dog looks like a good solution, following this thread for more info. We are ready to buy a groomer for fat bike riding as soon as we get some snow.
    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB President
    www.CLIMBonline.org
    www.IMBA.com
    NY State Trails Council Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick4surf View Post
    Snow Dog looks like a good solution, following this thread for more info. We are ready to buy a groomer for fat bike riding as soon as we get some snow.
    Suggestion: Buy your groomer before the snow hits. Once the snow falls you'll want to get on it, not start shopping and find a week/month/whatever lead time.

    We (cramba.org) bought our groomer and snowmobile in autumn, then when snow came to SE Michigan last year we got things done. It's been great! (Wildcat groomer and small sno-scoot-like snowmobile.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by belterskelter View Post
    I have been talking with a dealer for the snow dog in Canada He says he is having troubles with the carb and clutch freezing up on the 10 hp one. we are looking to get th 13 hp one. So he is holding off on selling it till that problem is resolved. Any one else have issues?
    I have the 10 hp. compact.. no problems so far,

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by c0nsumer View Post
    Suggestion: Buy your groomer before the snow hits. Once the snow falls you'll want to get on it, not start shopping and find a week/month/whatever lead time.

    We (cramba.org) bought our groomer and snowmobile in autumn, then when snow came to SE Michigan last year we got things done. It's been great! (Wildcat groomer and small sno-scoot-like snowmobile.)
    yes, to the above.... having it ready to go and keeping on top of each snowfall sounds like the key to having a good season...as I stated previously mine arrived day after 12 inches of new fell on top of about 8-10 base, then 55 degrees and an inch of rain, now back to 18 degrees. taking more work to get the trails packed down,, but I believe at least for our trails, this will be the best solution...(still working on a standup groomer to ride on)

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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    ...(still working on a standup groomer to ride on)
    Mine is due to arrive Monday. Please post pics of what you end up with for a grooming sled. I have a bunch of scrap steel and am going to start cobbing something together.

    Can you give me dimensions of the hitch? It looks like a mini-pintle hitch?

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    Curious what people are using for insurance when grooming using tracksleds that do not require a license plate. Snowmachines with license plates are way to provide insurance (at least in Canada).

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    guess if your land manager allows lawnmowers, weed whackers, or chainsaws perhaps.. tracksled is ok, kind of like on same level or a motorized wheelbarrow

    that's one of the perks for me, no reg. no insurance no need to have a trailer.. plus with 20 inch track packs a nice size swath..

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    or lawn Tractor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hehnerca View Post
    Curious what people are using for insurance when grooming using tracksleds that do not require a license plate. Snowmachines with license plates are way to provide insurance (at least in Canada).
    I have checked with ICBC and the track sled does not need to be registered, that is for bc, alberta, sask, and manitoba. that is all i know so far.
    Our organization still is going to be getting liability insurance to cover, trails society and land owners and directors and volunteers. we just put our money down on a 13 hp snow dog today!!!! so cool things will be happening in Rossland

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    A quick note from those considering any type of tracksled.

    Length and weight are the two determining factors on the maneuverability of tracksleds. I know its tempting to go all 'Merica and go bigger, but the heavier you go, the more muscle powered required to move the machine. The longer you go, the further you have to move the bars to get a tight turning radius. When you combine long and heavy, you need your He-man volunteers to use it.

    The big advantage of tracksled, beside cost and narrowness, is that (at least with smaller/lighter variety) they are easy enough to maneuver that volunteers (teenagers, smaller women, etc.) that may not have strength to manhandle a snowmobile or Rokon down singletrack can now groom. By going long and heavy, you negate that advantage.

    If someone approached me and asked me describe the perfect tracksled based on our 2yrs of experience, it would 36" to 48" long, 6hp to 9hp and have weight at or below 200lbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sndg View Post
    This is what we use for Xski trail grooming. Scheme in PDF is under the link.
    Groomer is 9 inches wider than the track, coming up ti 29,33 inches wide.
    Snowdog track is 20` wide. I would be very thankful for the feedback, how wide of the trail groomer that will feet your needs the best ?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw...1VWWHlBLUYxMXM
    I think a 20"-24" sled trail laid down by a 1.25" lugged track is perfect, no additional grooming required. That said, there's a lot of "bike" trail a skandic will never be able to negotiate like your Snow Dog could.
    What's the machine behind you in the last pic? It looks like something different. Thanks
    Last edited by Johanneson; 01-09-2017 at 03:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadman View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is my current project. It should be ready for field testing next week after final welding, aluminum decking, hood, and paint. Planning to bolt on the handlebar so that it can be moved if placed wrong.
    You're probably going to need a track with taller lugs, I've seen where anything less than 1 3/4" lugs spins up easily.
    SR Suntour

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    A quick note from those considering any type of tracksled.

    Length and weight are the two determining factors on the maneuverability of tracksleds. I know its tempting to go all 'Merica and go bigger, but the heavier you go, the more muscle powered required to move the machine. The longer you go, the further you have to move the bars to get a tight turning radius. When you combine long and heavy, you need your He-man volunteers to use it.

    The big advantage of tracksled, beside cost and narrowness, is that (at least with smaller/lighter variety) they are easy enough to maneuver that volunteers (teenagers, smaller women, etc.) that may not have strength to manhandle a snowmobile or Rokon down singletrack can now groom. By going long and heavy, you negate that advantage.

    If someone approached me and asked me describe the perfect tracksled based on our 2yrs of experience, it would 36" to 48" long, 6hp to 9hp and have weight at or below 200lbs.
    thanks for the info.
    SR Suntour

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    A quick note from those considering any type of tracksled.

    Length and weight are the two determining factors on the maneuverability of tracksleds. I know its tempting to go all 'Merica and go bigger, but the heavier you go, the more muscle powered required to move the machine. The longer you go, the further you have to move the bars to get a tight turning radius. When you combine long and heavy, you need your He-man volunteers to use it.

    The big advantage of tracksled, beside cost and narrowness, is that (at least with smaller/lighter variety) they are easy enough to maneuver that volunteers (teenagers, smaller women, etc.) that may not have strength to manhandle a snowmobile or Rokon down singletrack can now groom. By going long and heavy, you negate that advantage.

    If someone approached me and asked me describe the perfect tracksled based on our 2yrs of experience, it would 36" to 48" long, 6hp to 9hp and have weight at or below 200lbs.
    I would have to agree with this assesment, that if one's primary use of the tracksled will be grooming using volunteers, a smaller lighter machine is better. The smaller machines will struggle in non-grooming use such as pulling a cargo sled through deep snow. Also, for heavy snowfall, and neglected trails a larger machine with a longer track and taller lugs is going to be much more effective, at the expense of greater effort/strenght expense.

    IMO, the ideal situation is to have one of each, but if grooming is the primary use and only one machine can be had, I'd say get the smaller 6-9 hp machine and stay on top of grooming from the start of the season. I have an old honda 5.5 gpx160 generator motor lying around I think I'm going to build another one with, with about a 3' track footprint, and see how light I can make it. It'll be one speed, no transmission, just a centifugal clutch. I will use a longer lugged track something around 1.5"-1.75".

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I have an old honda 5.5 gpx160 generator motor lying around I think I'm going to build another one with, with about a 3' track footprint, and see how light I can make it. It'll be one speed, no transmission, just a centifugal clutch. I will use a longer lugged track something around 1.5"-1.75".
    Something like a Technomaster maybe?

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-technomaster-ruff-tm-02.jpg

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    Something like a Technomaster maybe?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, I'd like to build something like that, thats along the lines of what I'm thinking. Your suggestions have convinced me thats a good option to explore.

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    Where did you guys find that Tecnomaster thing?
    SR Suntour

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    I found pictures of this one on Unusual Locomotion.

    Technomaster is the distributor for Ruff. The new Ruff models look all 1950s with curves and cherry/cream paintjobs.

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-minisnegohod-yersh-02_534x400.jpg

    The Russians have all manner of snow machines, from the Мотобуксировщик (lit. "motor snow dogs"), which we call tracksleds to mini and micro snowmobiles. Some of seen the Fisher 2MP or my favorite the SnowFly (picture below).

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-show-fly-02_534x400.jpg

    If you want ideas and can read through Google Translate or have someone that can read/speak Russian, take a look at motodog.ru . They have forums, include DIY build forums with pictures. If you want to see what machines are purchasable in Stalin's neighborhood, check out master-tehno.ru .

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by skota23 View Post
    Where did you guys find that Tecnomaster thing?
    I posted this on page 1 of this thread and may have found it from a link CycleKrieg posted earlier. Cool stuff in it: ONE, 2 OR 3 TRACKED RIGID VEHICLES, LIGHT

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    awesome, thanks
    SR Suntour

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    I bought a Snowdog 10hp compact, along with the sled and seat. Demo'd one, made sure it fit in the back of my Subaru, and bought it. Will work on grooming this weekend!
    Jason
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I bought a Snowdog 10hp compact, along with the sled and seat. Demo'd one, made sure it fit in the back of my Subaru, and bought it. Will work on grooming this weekend!
    I bought the same set-up and have done just a few test runs around my property. Unfortunately we have a hard & sketchy crust that is not really groomable at the present time. The thing is going to be fun! I'm going to try hauling some sizable rock slabs to a wet spot on a snowmobile trail for armoring in the spring. Need to build a stone boat to haul them on first.

    How about that steel shipping frame? That thing is awesome and will become a project in itself. Not sure what I'm going to turn it into yet...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-snowdog-package-2-large-.jpg  


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    I picked mine up from a dealer, so I missed out on the steel frame! Groomed about 3.5 miles tonight. That little headlight on there is plenty bright, but I supplemented it with my helmet light as well.
    Jason
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    This is the track that came with the skid as a $15 package. Once the thing is proven to run I will change it to a more aggressive track. It will only take about 30 minutes total to change. It should run by Monday!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadman View Post
    This is the track that came with the skid as a $15 package. Once the thing is proven to run I will change it to a more aggressive track. It will only take about 30 minutes total to change. It should run by Monday!
    If you are just using the machine for grooming, the track you have should be fine. If you are wanting to also use the machine to play in deep snow, you'll probably want a more aggressive track and a bigger motor.
    I built mine for grooming, but now that it's running and I've experienced how awesome these machines are in and of themselves, tracksleds and using them as utility/exploration/fun machines is turning into a winter activity on its own, not to replace fat biking of course though.

    Here's a vid of mine in 2' plus deep snow. My track is same as yours and does ok. More aggressive would be better though.

    https://youtu.be/ipTiJd1bsAo

  96. #96
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    The tracksled continues to impress me!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCFlmrWaCTA

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    Fun in and of itself!
    But how does it compact/groom? After 1 or 2 passes shown above can you bike the tread?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    Fun in and of itself!
    But how does it compact/groom? After 1 or 2 passes shown above can you bike the tread?
    Not with a big high floatation sled behind it. Also, number of passes doesnt matter, the first pass compresses the snow as much as its going to, and addition passes wont compress it any more unless you add weight to the machine and sled or decrease the footprint. I'll be making a much smaller footprint groomer to stand on that will compress the snow enough to bike on.

    This is just a generalization, good hard snow packing depends on variables such as snow consistency, temperature, etc. White fluffy sugary snow does not pack well. Slushy snow does not pack well. Some kinds of wet dense snow do pack very well though.

    Generally, you're never going to be able to make a pass and then bike right away. The groomed trail needs to set up for a while, overnight is usual. With the right wetter snow conditions, I have had the high floatation black sled in the video make a track that overnight set up super hard and was perfect for biking, but generally, you don't want high floatation for grooming.

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    first try in Rossland BC

    this was our first test on the 13 hp snowdog !! and it worked great with the ghetto drag that we made out of old skis and what ever we could scavenge


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    Some footage of using the Snowdog to groom my local trails still tweaking a smaller footprint stand on groomer, so for now still using the sled. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=TeivfmlP2H0

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    I'm jealous of your snow! Since I bought one, we've had a bit of a thaw and most of the snow is gone! I also wonder why I have an all-black Snowdog 10hp compact when most others have the snow-camo look.
    Jason
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    the weekend I got it. we had just got socked with 12 inches of new on top of probably 8 inches. the increased drag from the sled, made it tough going, I tossed on some short skis and did a first pass, then the sled with the second.

    still working on a smaller footprint stand on top of groomer, took a bunch of old skis cut them in half and attached them to a board with a rubber car mat on top for boot traction. first attached it with cable to snowdog.. bad idea, no control... now solid piece of wood, but I need to create and attach perhaps two runners on bottom to give leverage something to push against when manuvering... my trails are very tight and twisty... but with some practice it is working well. keeping the left side (clutch belt) side on the up hill side of the trail helps.

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    Some footage of using the Snowdog to groom my local trails still tweaking a smaller footprint stand on groomer, so for now still using the sled. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=TeivfmlP2H0
    Good stuff, Thom! I'm loving the Snowdog, it is fun to operate besides being really versatile and getting thru tight spots the snowmobile would not fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I'm jealous of your snow! Since I bought one, we've had a bit of a thaw and most of the snow is gone! I also wonder why I have an all-black Snowdog 10hp compact when most others have the snow-camo look.
    We have 3 distinct layers of hard crust that is pretty challenging to groom. The ground pressure is light enough with these machines that you don't break through much. Time it right and it works great though.

    Consider yourself special, i ordered a black one and Vlad said he just sold the last one. So mine is white camo like Thom's.

    I'm also working on a small stand-up groomer which will have 3 or 4 skegs on bottom. I bought 2 pieces of comb from Yellowstone Track Systems for a trailing edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Good stuff, Thom! I'm loving the Snowdog, it is fun to operate besides being really versatile and getting thru tight spots the snowmobile would not fit.


    We have 3 distinct layers of hard crust that is pretty challenging to groom. The ground pressure is light enough with these machines that you don't break through much. Time it right and it works great though.

    Consider yourself special, i ordered a black one and Vlad said he just sold the last one. So mine is white camo like Thom's.

    I'm also working on a small stand-up groomer which will have 3 or 4 skegs on bottom. I bought 2 pieces of comb from Yellowstone Track Systems for a trailing edge.
    nice, toss pics up when done,, i am hoping that one of my welding friends get some time to make a proper one.. but we got snow now, so I need to groom... I was able to get around to about 6 miles of trail last night within a 2 hour window... keeping up with the continued snowfall is key from what I hear... but at least with my trails, it ain't just point and shoot, a lot of body language happening behind the handlebars to get it to where you want it to go, once you have the track set, quicker and easier the next times around.

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    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-nodabgroomednn.jpg

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    Q/ What do you call July and August in Canada?
    A/ Two months of dusty biking.

    Courtesy of a new SnoDog and the determined efforts of Belterskelter (another dude on this forum) our little ski town of Rossland, BC now has some WWS (Wicked Winter Singletrack). The Dawg has only been here for two weeks but it's already carved out a rolling 7-kilometre loop on our local golf course plus a few of the easier summer bike/hike trails are seeing some corduroy love, with more flow in the works. Where else can a person enjoy a 3-hour fat bike ride, on white singletrack, beginning and ending at the LBS and adjacent brew pub?

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    conditions were perfect today.. a few passes over the last few days with the snowdog... and some riders out yesterday, made today so nice.. sorry for the length and no music, but it was a blast.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc5F...ature=youtu.be

  110. #110
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    Are any of you SnowDog owners having clutch issues? Mine won't disengage and the sled moves when you try to start it. Consequently it won't idle because it bogs down & stalls. I pulled the cover off tonight but can't figure out what is going on. Does this look right?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_7937-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_7938-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_7939-medium-.jpg  


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    I haven't used mine in a month, as we've lost all our snow. The belt should be pretty loose when not running.
    Jason
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Are any of you SnowDog owners having clutch issues? Mine won't disengage and the sled moves when you try to start it. Consequently it won't idle because it bogs down & stalls. I pulled the cover off tonight but can't figure out what is going on. Does this look right?
    Radair, that looks like a Comet Series 40 driver/clutch, I am willing to bet it's a lube issue inside the drive unit, either with the moveable sheave and/or the roller weights (the thing shown in your second photo, and one on right in your last photo is the drive unit). There are a few videos on net showing how to service these, here's one that should give a good idea of the inner workings.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3FCcLlR-sg

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.P. View Post
    Radair, that looks like a Comet Series 40 driver/clutch, I am willing to bet it's a lube issue inside the drive unit, either with the moveable sheave and/or the roller weights (the thing shown in your second photo, and one on right in your last photo is the drive unit). There are a few videos on net showing how to service these, here's one that should give a good idea of the inner workings.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3FCcLlR-sg
    Awesome, thank you! Snowdog sent a pdf manual on checking and upgrading drive pulley so I'm going to get into it soon.

  114. #114
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    The link C.P. sent was a big help to resolve a simple problem. One of the roller weights in the primary drive was skewed so it was as simple as putting it back into its track. Dry-lubed it all while I had it open as it was bone dry.

    I started working on a stand-up grooming sled. I scored a 2' square of Grip-Strut from a friend in the tower business. I welded a yoke to a piece of beefy angle and welded that to the platform. I screwed & bolted a couple 2x6 sleepers to the bottom and cut up a pair of twin-tip skis. I screwed a pair of Yellowstone Track Systems combs to the trailing edge, and am going to attach three L1.5 x 1/8 angles as skegs between the skis. I like these, as they will help protect the P-Tex and combs on the one road crossing I need to do.

    I still need to drill out and extend a piece of 2" square tube steel for the connecting arm.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-grate-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-grate-close-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-bottom-medium-.jpg  


  115. #115
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    Finished off the grooming sled tonight. Stoked to try it out tomorrow but will ride first thing in the morning while it's all frozen. Today's ride made all the Snowdog effort worthwhile.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-top-final-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-bottom-final-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-hitch-final-medium-.jpg  


  116. #116
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    OK, I'll let this one die after this. Works great but 55 degrees F is way too warm!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-snowdog-grooming-sled-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-corduroy-medium-.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-grooming-sled-2-22-17-medium-.jpg  


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    That looks great!
    Jason
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    Nicely done! I imagine the three L1.5 x 1/8 angles/skegs make it easier and more stable to handle turning etc standing up? I am intrigued by these tracksleds for SEMASS, and since we get less snow (esp the last few years) I keep wondering if they can be used in other seasons to pull materials to project sites or if there would be too much risk to damaging the track.

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    Their videos show them used on dry-ish land, and people are buying them around here for hunting. I bought one with summer use in mind as well. It could be an extra hand when moving downed trees, or using the sled to move dirt.
    Jason
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    Chris, the skegs are so you can track on off-camber terrain and turn in firm conditions. When I first received the unit we had a hard crust layer that the sled runners did not penetrate. Try to turn and you just pushed the sled off to the side. So the skegs would not really be needed in soft conditions but are needed on harder snow. Plus they provide some protection to the P-Tex and combs. They could probably be shallower but that's what I had on hand.

    Tough call on summer use. I am not anticipating using it on dirt and your area is so rocky that I suspect you'd be tearing up the track pretty quickly. It would be great if it worked well on dirt; it would be easy to build a wheeled sled for hauling materials.

    We still have not bought a Muck Truck - can't seem to find one and I even called them and left a message.

  121. #121
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    Hello,
    As I have mentioned before, we are working on a trail groomer, that can be mass produced at reasonable price. Here at this link we are already offering a ski groomer, you can take a look at the design here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kve4kyb4b0...00199.PDF?dl=0

    We have worked on a little and plan to manufacture a fat bike groomer.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tv61yopedf...oomer.PDF?dl=0

    It will 100% metal, powder coated. Please let me know your thoughts about it.

    Vlad

  122. #122
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    or here is another device, that one of our dealers has created.
    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20161202_134734.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20161202_134758.jpgName:  20170101_140247.jpg
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  123. #123
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    I built a similar machine three years ago and have been using it in Madison Wisconsin ever since with some tweaks. Here's a video from the first test run.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFYmehzE3o

    I've found that trying to shave peaks and carry snow like a snowmobile trail groomer is unnecessary for bike trails. A basic sled flattens the trail just fine and uses less power. If the trail is truly ice, you can't fix it anyway with a machine this size (you need a power tiller and a lot more weight and horsepower like a groomer at a ski resort).

    The final drag (V3) is basically a steel and composite sled that creates a ridged surface and glides over concrete on wheels with a special hitch for weight distribution. Unfortunately, I don't have many photos or videos of the machine due to limited use with the warm winter the past two winters.

    Here's a photo of the groomer on the first demo drive around the yard and the V3 drag.

    It's been a fun project.Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-1-img_20150228_151712104_hdr.jpgName:  1-IMG_20170108_143031047.jpg
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  124. #124
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    Home-built Tracksled Experiences

    After a few months of constructing, using, revising, and perfecting a home version of a Tracksled for Fat Bike grooming I think this is about as good of tool as I can make.
    The first version had the engine mounted on top the frame and more forward. This worked well on flat, open terrain, but was nowhere near stable enough to use for grooming the singletrack we were trying to use. I quit counting after tipping the sled on its side 10 times on a 7 mile loop.
    Version 1.0
    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_0158.jpg
    A few hours of cutting/welding later I had moved the engine to the center of gravity and as low as possible without interfering with the track. This made a huge difference. The sled was now very stable and turned much easier than the first version. The 7 mile summer singletrack test loop was fully groomed in just over an hour. This thing was looking promising but while steering was easier than the first version still was quite an upper body workout.
    The final modification made the steering far less dependent on upper body strength. I moved the groomer attachment to the Tracksled from the "bumper pull" location to a "gooseneck" connection. The thought was with the rear connection when standing on groomer you have to essentially lift/move half of you body weight each time you turned the sled. This contraption is actually a skid steer of sorts and lifting anything more than weight of the machine was a waste of energy. By moving the groomer connection close to the sleds center of gravity it made a huge improvement in the effort steering the sled took.

    Version 2.0
    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_0200.jpg
    The next one I build will be far more "clean" as the various adjustments, and modifications left this one not quite as clean as I wanted. One side note is the seat on the groomer plays an important part in steering the sled as well. It allows a better leverage point when skid steering the sled went seated or standing by pressing the seat against the inner thigh.

    Version 3.0
    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-spruce-goose.jpg

  125. #125
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    About 6 weeks ago we purchased a SnowDog B13ME. Unfortunately it was right after a big dumping of snow (4 to 5 feet in 10 days). We are also on pretty hilly, tight terrain. This is pretty tough conditions to operate these things in, especially while learning how to handle them. As the snow settled.. and went through some freeze thaw cycles, and as I got more practice.. things got better. but I still found the machine to be tough to handle at times. I would be going along great with it.. then suddenly it would tip, and head off into the woods. I had a hard time keeping it upright at times. I started wondering about the handlebar placement. Looking at other machines, it seemed as if where they fastened on the machine varied. Looking again at the SnowDog, the handlebar folds nicely nestled onto the top of the machine, it's pretty slick that way. I wondered how much of it's design was toward that goal. I decided to try some experimentation. I made up some moveable temporary mounts. I tried mounting them on the top rail [higher up than the stock location] and toward the front of the cargo area. That made a huge difference. It quickened up the handling… and was somewhat easier to keep upright [although still not "perfect"]. With the HB assembly sticking out less distance from the machine, means it doesn't need as much space in a turn also. I did find with it set up this way, it was tougher to turn on bare ground, but on snow, I found it better. Next up was handlebar width. For a temporary test. I whittled down a dowel, to splice on some sections of an old mountain bike handlebar. I originally went from roughly 22" width to about 35". With the altered mount and wider bars.. the difference was amazing! It was so easy to handle.. and didn't even come close to tipping. The 35" was too wide, it wasn't comfortable, and of course it would limit where one could go. I was going to have more durable handlebar extenders made up.. but I wasn't sure what width I wanted.
    I have decided to have permanent mounts made along the full length of the storage compartment's top rail. This will give me a great deal of adjustability. As well as a spot to bolt in another cross rail, to sit under the assembly [to push down against]. Instead of making width extenders. I am having a mountain bike fork's steer tube welded to the top of the HB assembly. That way I can place a stem and handlebar on it. So it will be very easy to alter the fit. Also with this set up, if I get to a spot that is too tight and can't fit through. I can easily loosen the stem and turn the handlebars upright to fit through. It's at a friends now being welded, I will post photos when I get it back.

    I need to update this. I did continue having some handling problems with my machine. I did not know if it was me, the snow.. or what. I had purchased the first one in our state, so I had no one to go to. So I did write Snowdog.. for some feedback, and or suggestions. The track was too loose on my machine. Making the adjustments, made a world of difference in it's operation.
    Last edited by Fenlason; 12-21-2017 at 05:49 AM.

  126. #126
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    nice alterations, looking forward to pics.

  127. #127
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    I got my machine back from my friends shop yesterday, but unfortunately I can't post photos yet. My computer is "melting down". It does't seem as if I can post my wife's Facebook photos here. So maybe I can get my wife to join the forum.. and we can post them that way.

    I put the machine back together. Mounting the handlebar assembly roughly where my experimental set up was. It's about 13" ahead of the furthest forward stock position, as well as higher up on the machine. I put on the first stem and bar set up I came across. The stem position felt perfect. The bars a little narrow. [26" range]. Next up.. a 30" bar. Unfortunately the clamp diameter was different. So the longest stem I have for that is a little too short. I know I don't have any wider bars for the "good" stem. I will have to look around for other stems.. but I might have to order something.

    I took it out for some more "testing". I could pretty much put the sled where I wanted.. and keeping where I wanted. I got brave and tried another tightish single track trail. Not far in, I hit a lot of steep humps.. and currently with our melting.. water in the valleys.. it is also quite twisty through these humps. Some of the humps.. are the ground terrain, but the snow seemed to magnify them. It I had known the terrain was as bad as it was, I might not have tried it, but once there I was rather committed. Amazingly it went through without any significant difficulties. It took a little physical effort, but it really wasn't bad.

  128. #128
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    A group of us are looking into buying a Snow Dog and have begun discussion with our local dealer. From the above thread we went with the intention of buying the 7HP compact model as our trails are narrow and twisty. We recently received an email back from the dealer that stated this:

    "Apparently the research on the B7ZE Compact and the B10ZE Compact have not been that favorable, they have been found to be underpowered and we want our customers to be pleased with the product, so we decided only to bring the B10ZE and the B13MER".

    I'm not sure the dealer understands our needs (using it as a groomer) versus what I suspect he sees it being used for (ice fishing, hunting, etc). Just thought I'd seek other users opinions about his comments.

  129. #129
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    I bought the B10ZE Compact and really like it. It works surprisingly well in tight trails and I would not want the longer track and frame of the bigger models. Nor would I want to have to fight the extra weight of the larger machines when they inevitably get off track - and they do on a regular basis IME.

    Any of these machines can be tricky to use in deep snow but they do an amazing job packing tight trails
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-shumway-2-22-17-medium-.jpg  


  130. #130
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    One of the determining factors I think, would be the amount of snow you get.. and what depths you might be working in / with. SnowDog, in my talking with them, did recommended the compact for trail gooming... EXCEPTING where you can have the deeper snow. I own the B13ME. My only use of one of the compacts, was a quick demo on a snow-covered plowed "parking lot". The snow otherwise was too deep and soft for the compact, to use else ware. [We had just gotten buried with big dump of snow.] I have found that even the bigger machine will go into some pretty tight places. The mods I did to mine improve on that. It results in the machine being shorter in overall length. [from the very front of the machine to where the handlebars are.] My dealer had that compact demo..but they said they would no longer stock the compact either.
    Last edited by Fenlason; 04-23-2017 at 05:26 AM.

  131. #131
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    Snowdog tracksled - new grooming accessory.

    Hello folks,
    We have came up with a new trail grooming accessory for the tracksled. Its 20` wide, and may be extended to 27` with 2 side panels. Retail price will be around $390. Please let me me know what you think about it.

    Vlad
    Snowdog team

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-_dsc9765-26.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-_dsc9818-49.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-_dsc9820-50.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-_dsc9832-54.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-_dsc9896-79.jpg
    Last edited by Sndg; 08-11-2017 at 06:18 AM.

  132. #132
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    Groomer

    That groomer looks different than the one on your site. I was going to build my own, but I am interested in yours. I am also very interested in your new suspension option for deeper snow.

  133. #133
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    I'll buy one. How soon will it be available?
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    I'll buy one. How soon will it be available?
    Dealers will have it in stock by November.

  135. #135
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    That looks fantastic! We will likely be ordering one this fall.

    Dan
    Laramie, WY

  136. #136
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    Vlad, are you sure the groomer widths you gave are correct? It looks like the panels are all the same width, and the base groomer has 3 panels, add the extensions for the 5 that we see. If 3 panels are 20", and 5 are 27", there's no X panel width such that 3x = 20 and 5x = 27. Either the base groomer is 16", or the extended groomer is 33"... or my math or understanding of the setup is wrong, which I'll grant is very possible.

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaten75 View Post
    Vlad, are you sure the groomer widths you gave are correct? It looks like the panels are all the same width, and the base groomer has 3 panels, add the extensions for the 5 that we see. If 3 panels are 20", and 5 are 27", there's no X panel width such that 3x = 20 and 5x = 27. Either the base groomer is 16", or the extended groomer is 33"... or my math or understanding of the setup is wrong, which I'll grant is very possible.
    Actually, I was wrong in my previous post, the right dimensions: center panel with a standing grip is 20,47 inches (52 cm) Each side panel is 6.69 inches (17 cm) wide. Total 33,85 inches wide.
    So you can either groom a 20 (20.47)` wide trail, same size as Snowdog track, or make a little wider with adding the side panels.

  138. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sndg View Post
    Actually, I was wrong in my previous post, the right dimensions: center panel with a standing grip is 20,47 inches (52 cm) Each side panel is 6.69 inches (17 cm) wide. Total 33,85 inches wide.
    So you can either groom a 20 (20.47)` wide trail, same size as Snowdog track, or make a little wider with adding the side panels.
    Thanks for the clarification!

    Some models just arrived at the new local dealer and my friend is going to check them out.
    Last edited by spaten75; 08-29-2017 at 12:02 PM.

  139. #139
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    Hi Vlad , Thanks for getting that groomer ready on time. The Farmer's Almanac and NOAA are predicting a colder than average winter here in New England, which could mean more and earlier snow.

    I'm wondering if there is room on the back of your groomer for the blue plastic combs like radair's in post #115. I think they might be important as the final step in surface compaction. I guess one could cut into the skegs a little if necessary, or notch the plastic. Have you tested this groomer on snow?

  140. #140
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    Hello,
    I can change the design to fit the blue plastic comb, but I think that it would be better if I order a metal comb, along the back side of the groomer. Right now the metal comb is only in the middle, but it will covering all the backside on the groomers I will be shipping to USA.

    We have not tested it yet, waiting for the first snow.

  141. #141
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    Yellowstone Track Systems, Inc. This is the comb I'm talking about. It's on the back of many snow groomers. It seems to me that it will compact the snow much better. The metal teeth will rough up the otherwise too smooth surface, but won't provide the extra fine compaction and lasting corduroy surface.
    Thank You again for helping to grow our sport. Mountain biking is always a blast, but floating through the snowy woods on smooth white trails is sublime, and second only to go-anywhere crust nirvana, which is available only at the whims of Mother nature.

  142. #142
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    I dont see a problem connecting a comb like you have mentioned. If factory made - I believe I can do it only next year. We will purchase some combs, try them out this winter, and see how it works out.

    Other than that, I can only suggest that if anyone buys it, to upgrade it personally. There is plenty if room at the back.
    The groomer is either 20,47 inches (52 cm) or 33,85 inches wide with 2 side panels added.

  143. #143
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    Vlad, do you have an update on the ETA for the singletrack groomer? I purchsed a 10hp compact this year and was told the groomer is on backorder.

  144. #144
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    Snowdog experiance

    We have been using a Compact unit for grooming here in Northern Michigan for two seasons, and in looking at some of the posts on this site, it seems that some of the issues being encountered are things that we struggled with in the beginning. The biggest initial problem was in controlling the power unit, especially on off-camber sections. Many times this would turn into a real wrestling match requiting a lot of upper body strength to keep the machine from leaning to the downhill or running off the trail all together. What was needed was a way for the operator to use their body weight to counter the roll effect rather than relying on strength alone. The design of the grooming attachments that I built for the Snowdog do away with the factory hitch and replace it with a much more robust connection that attaches at the machines center of gravity, and limits the movement of the machine / groomer connection to the x and y axes. Now the operator can move their weight to counter any tipping of the power unit. This connection takes all of the struggle out of grooming and makes the experience much more enjoyable. Additionally, the roller does a much better job of compaction than plate-type groomers, providing a noticeably firmer surface. For this season, I have replaced the stock 32 tooth driven sprocket with a 40 tooth, giving a 25% reduction in speed and a corresponding boost in low end torque. The hope is that the lower speed will allow the operator to step off more easily if needed for steep sections or if the machine is bogging in heavy snow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20161202_134734-copy.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20170101_135117-copy.jpg  


  145. #145
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    Our second Snowdog

    To follow up on my previous post, after the success of our first unit our local IMBA chapter -Top of Michigan Mountain Biking Association (TOMMBA)- has purchased a second Snowdog unit to groom another of our local trail systems. Since the topography of this trail is more severe than what we had been doing, I chose to go with the Standard model rather than another Compact. The larger motor and more robust clutch of the standard seem a better match for the hills it will need negotiate. We are also experimenting with a different type of grooming attachment, the compactor bar. This unit is designed to overcome the tendency of the roller to push snow ahead of it during deep conditions. It still has a small contact area to maximize compaction, and of course it retains the two axis connection to the power unit. This is basically a smaller version of the 6' drag we have used behind a Cushman Trackster for the last 6 years. No snow for field trials yet, but hopefully I'll be posting the results soon!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20171118_132702-copy.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20171112_083354.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20141129_115719-copy.jpg  


  146. #146
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    Knucklehead6, having not groomed with my snowdog yet, rollover has been one of my concerns due to the off camber and technical terrain I plan to use it on. I have thought about adding some sort of support bar that can be stepped on if the unit starts to roll but your design makes sense as it would be nice to have your weight prevent roll without additional effort. Do you have any close up pictures of the hitch?
    Last edited by woodsbiker; 11-27-2017 at 09:48 AM.

  147. #147
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    ^seconded.

  148. #148
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    Two Axis Hitch

    Here are some shots of the two axis hitch that i designed for the Snowdog.
    It attaches to the mid-point of the frame using the existing bolts. It pivots in the X axis at this point. At the rear of the "U" shaped bar is an attachment point that moves only in the "Y" axis and is connected with a 3/4" pin. I have tossed around the idea of producing these if there was enough demand..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20171022_160202-copy.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20171022_104801-copy.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-20171022_104752-copy.jpg  


  149. #149
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    That is pretty beefy! I am curious to hear how the machine and drag respond with the rigid design. With little to no upward flex do you think the unit will be harder to steer? Keep us posted and thanks for sharing your ideas!

  150. #150
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    It is rigid only in the roll axis. The machine can still fully flex up and down, but this happens at the mid-point of the machine, so the effect on the groomer is minimal. It is much easier to steer and much smoother to ride than the stock sled. I'll try to post a video soon.

  151. #151
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    So if the snow dog rolls sideways it takes the groomer (and the person standing on it) sideways with it?

  152. #152
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    Has anyone added a few inches to each of the handle bar ends... someone, somewhere shared this idea and felt it gave a bit more leverage and control in making sure the groomer stayed upright.. I had my snowdog out about a half dozen times last year before the snow decided to go away. was able to groom 6 miles of trail in about 2 hours. once you have the initial tread packed down, much easier to keep the beast in the lane. one side slope section, the snowdog would tip and cut out.... just learned to attack that section from the opposite way, and seemed not to have the same issue.

    cool to see all the mods and custom stuff..

    keep it coming...

  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    So if the snow dog rolls sideways it takes the groomer (and the person standing on it) sideways with it?
    I have got to imagine it would take quite a bit to tip the rider and machine. The machines only weigh 250ish pounds.

  154. #154
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    Why not just use an old snowmobile if you want something cheap and effective?

  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Losvar View Post
    Why not just use an old snowmobile if you want something cheap and effective?
    Tried that. These go places where a snowmobile doesn’t fit and work much better IME.

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Tried that. These go places where a snowmobile doesn’t fit and work much better IME.
    I see, we don't have a lot of dense forest where I live, so a snowmobile is perfect for making fat bike trails.

  157. #157
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    If you have trails that a snowmobile works, then yes that would be the way to go... I have personally tried two snowmobiles on the wider skid road trails.. could not manage my true singletrack., a Rokon which worked to reach the singletrack. but depending on the snow fall characteristics, it was difficult to get a nice consistent tread. the bought a ski doo alpine, twin track, mono ski (still have it for sale if anyone is interested)... again, great for the more open areas,, but I wanted singletrack experience when fatbiking... the Snowdog (and my guess any tracksled) is the answer....

  158. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsbiker View Post
    I have got to imagine it would take quite a bit to tip the rider and machine. The machines only weigh 250ish pounds.
    I've driven the machine with the pull behind sled/chair attachment. It actually tips over quite easily if you aren't careful. It's top heavy because of the engine location. Thus why I think Snowdog designed it with the rotating hitch as a safety measure.

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    I've driven the machine with the pull behind sled/chair attachment. It actually tips over quite easily if you aren't careful. It's top heavy because of the engine location. Thus why I think Snowdog designed it with the rotating hitch as a safety measure.
    I agree on the design of the factory hitch but you are standing to groom and we need a way to counteract the tipping of the machine. Worst case, you step off.

  160. #160
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    That is some solid work!

    I would love to own one of these machines, definitely a long term goal for opening up much needed winter terrain in Carson City.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead61 View Post
    Here are some shots of the two axis hitch that i designed for the Snowdog.
    It attaches to the mid-point of the frame using the existing bolts. It pivots in the X axis at this point. At the rear of the "U" shaped bar is an attachment point that moves only in the "Y" axis and is connected with a 3/4" pin. I have tossed around the idea of producing these if there was enough demand..

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    So if the snow dog rolls sideways it takes the groomer (and the person standing on it) sideways with it?
    In our experience, the operator being able to use their weight to counter any machine lean has virtually eliminated the roll-over problem, however if you were to find yourself in that situation you can simply step off the groomer. Much safer than a snowmobile in this regard.

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead61 View Post
    I have tossed around the idea of producing these if there was enough demand..
    Like the look of that set up. I know a few folks in Manitoba that have snowdogs that would be interested in your groomer if you were ever wanted to sell a few.

  163. #163
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    we want one !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead61 View Post
    Here are some shots of the two axis hitch that i designed for the Snowdog.
    It attaches to the mid-point of the frame using the existing bolts. It pivots in the X axis at this point. At the rear of the "U" shaped bar is an attachment point that moves only in the "Y" axis and is connected with a 3/4" pin. I have tossed around the idea of producing these if there was enough demand..


    I will buy one now!!! We are going to get the snow dog drag but this will help with our bench cut trails and the machine falling off and me with it .

    we have the standard model message me !!!!

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    Knucklehead: I bought a Snowdog compact today and am also fighting with turning it. I'd be very interested in your frame/hitch setup if you are thinking about building it. No need to paint it, I'll buy it raw and do the rest.

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    We were blessed with a pile of snow, then Mother Nature took it away... hoping that more comes for Christmas.... youtube of last year grooming HHE singletrack... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeivfmlP2H0&t=32s

    found in deep snow the sled does a good job for the initial pass, then had a guy fab up a stand on groomer that ought to be great for subsequent passes and upkeep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    Has anyone added a few inches to each of the handle bar ends... someone, somewhere shared this idea and felt it gave a bit more leverage and control in making sure the groomer stayed upright.. I had my snowdog out about a half dozen times last year before the snow decided to go away. was able to groom 6 miles of trail in about 2 hours. once you have the initial tread packed down, much easier to keep the beast in the lane. one side slope section, the snowdog would tip and cut out.... just learned to attack that section from the opposite way, and seemed not to have the same issue.

    cool to see all the mods and custom stuff..

    keep it coming...
    I have wider handlebars on ours. I had a mountain bike fork steerer tube welded on the the handlebar assembly. With this I can install a separate stem and handle bar. I can more easily play with different widths this way.

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    Unfortunately, my real job is crazy right now. I will not have any time to devote to groomer production until after this season...

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    Care to share what you used for the frame mounted pivot? It's hard to tell from the picture. Looks very clean and well done.

  169. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead61 View Post
    Unfortunately, my real job is crazy right now. I will not have any time to devote to groomer production until after this season...
    My nonprofit is looking into grooming for next season. If things work out for you next year, we’d also be interested.

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    had a welder friend fab this up... of course rain came in so haven't really had the chance to put it through it's paces
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_20171208_194405365.jpg  


  171. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    had a welder friend fab this up... of course rain came in so haven't really had the chance to put it through it's paces https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1Q...UqNgfVKx2_v_8U
    Link is not working for me

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  173. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    How tight and narrow are the trails that require a Snowdog? With the lateness we had in getting snow this winter I’ve been cutting trails and just recently got to pack them down with my snowmachine (snowmobile). My trails just followed the path of least resistance through the woods and are tight and twisty making them fun for a fatbike. I have no issues riding through them on a 32” wide ski stance sled. Looking at the Snowdog it isn’t that much narrower and it’s longer with the groomer attachment. Reading about them being top heavy and tipping over it just makes more sense to buy an old used snowmachine. From what I’ve read the deep snow capabilities of the Snowdog is lacking. In low snow, early season conditions, one could just drag the groomer with a 4-wheeler. A person could by both a used snowmachine and used 4-wheeler for the same price or less than a new Snowdog and have way better versatility and parts support.
    Tried that, there's no comparison. The Snowdog has a 20" wide track and overall width with sled is about 2'. Its effective length is way shorter than a snowmobile too. Think of pushing down on the handle of a lawnmower and pivoting it to turn - same applies to the 'Dog. I spent 2 winters grooming with a Skidoo Safari and there's no way it will fit in the spots where I take the SD now.

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    A little more detail

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-sd-brkt.pdfAttachment 1173431
    Not sure how this will come through...if its hard to read send me your e-mail & I'll copy you.

  176. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Interesting, I didn’t realize it used a 20” wide track. I’m still trying to picture the trails where that much maneuverability would be necessary. They sound so tight that they don’t sound like they’d be that much fun to bike on. My trails are tight for a snowmachine but allow you to ride at normal speed on a bike. My trails don’t seem much different at all than the official single track trails they’ve got in bicentennial park in Anchorage. I’m not certain if anyone grooms the narrow trails up there or if they just get packed down from users?
    My local trails have some really tight, bike handling sections and then some others which use skid logging roads are more opened up.. but to groom a loop, got to be able to handle both. I've tried 3 different sleds. a 74 puma, a 89 ski doo... and a 79 ski doo apline...the two normal sleds.. just couldn't keep up the speed necessary to move through the stuff, and forget making it around the tight sections.

    also tried a Rokon. better, but unless the tread was packed down solid, the rRokon's tires at times made issues. .

    I am very happy that the snowdog showed up.. I can do the sidesloped trails, I can get to most (not all) of the loops that we ride...

    it fits in the back of my truck, no reg. no insurance no trailer required..Briggs and Stratton engine

    if I lived next to the trails, and my trails were more open where a snowmobile could make it around the whole loop, certainly that would work very well... but for me and the trails I am focusing on... it's the Snowdog..
    ..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_20171217_100529264.jpg  

    Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_20171217_105344849.jpg  


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    Definitely no getting through the trails where we ride on a snowmobile. Our group certainly prefers tight twisty trails. I got my first groom in with the snow dog and even with that I have to take my time getting through some of the tight sections so that I don't run into or take out any of the trees. The first groom was certainly a learning experience. Hoping that each pass gets easier. We also had a member of the group fab up a plate which he did an incredible job on. Snowdog plate is back ordered until January or later. Not sure that we need it anymore though.Best Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_20171216_193545.jpgBest Tracksled Grooming Experience?-img_20171217_123652.jpg

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    For those that feel their sled is tippy.. check the track tightness, It makes a BIG difference!
    Tight East Coast single track here. There is no using a snowmobile on our trails. [our own personal trails.. there are places where people are grooming with snowmobiles] Even some of our dual track is tough on a snowmobile. I am amazed what this machine will do, and where it will go. With that said.. I do have trails that even this machine won't do, but we have no problem saving those trails for summer use. I am bummed that the Snowdog groomer is back ordered. I have been waiting since summer for one.
    Last edited by Fenlason; 12-22-2017 at 11:02 AM.

  180. #180
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    Slightly off topic, but still might be of interest to groomers.

    The company in MN that is the importer of the SnowDog is now also importing Irbis 3/4 (more like 5/8) sized snowmobiles. Not good for the tight and twisting stuff like a SnowDog, but if you could use and sled and don't want to drop $8K to $10K for one, its an option at $2,500.

    https://www.irbisusa.com/irbis-t150/

  181. #181
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    2 axis hitch

    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead61 View Post
    Unfortunately, my real job is crazy right now. I will not have any time to devote to groomer production until after this season...
    Ok, so I'll be next in line to purchase one of your 2 axis hitch setup.
    Or would you be willing to share plans / high rez pics?

    Special request: a back hitch to be able to tow my pelican sled.

    I love the dog. It's compact, lighter than my old bearcat and it starts easily.

    But the off camber turns thing totally slipped my mind. I've bought the unit for weekend forestry work and got lots of uneven terrain and off camber spots. On an ordinary snowmobile it's easy to put all your weight on one side and ride safely in bad situations. Now I have to put so much strength on the handlebar it even twist (and my poor back doesnt like me).

    Other than that it's perfect.

    Standard B10ZE camo.

    Quebec Canada :-)

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsbiker View Post
    ... We also had a member of the group fab up a plate which he did an incredible job on...
    Nice work! Add a pair of these combs to it and you'll have perfect corduroy. Our experience is a smooth track quickly ices over from freeze-thaw and you want a bit of texture.

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    Laramie BikeNet would be interested in buying one of these. Do you have an idea on how much one might cost? We can wait until next season if necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    I like the idea of those Irbis sleds, especially the size and price but I think they’d be quite limited in the trail breaking department.
    I'm not suggesting breaking alpine trail or lake effect locations would be this sled forte. But I could see how this would be a great sled if you had smaller snowfall averages (<8") and/or wanted something that wouldn't be such a bear to drive around.

  186. #186
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    Knucklehead6: First of all thanks for sharing your fabrication work! Looking at the detail photo it seems that the bar stock rotates on the 7/8'' rod and is held on by the washer and bolt? That seems really simple. I'm assuming the pivot is greased?

    I'll have to dust off my metal fab skills and my welder. My back will thank you as well since the off camber here in Maine is tough to groom. And then we got 12'' of powder...

  187. #187
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    I'm happy with my 13hp Compact unit. It's pulled 5 kids with 3 sleds attached, gone through 12'' of powder and generally been a blast to use. It also lays down a track that is just wide enough but not too wide for most Maine single track trails. I'm impressed with the stock sled's packing/grooming ability right from the start and am excited to see how much better I can make it with some modifications. This was a much better investment then a snowmobile for my use.

  188. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenlason View Post
    For those that feel their sled is tippy.. check the track tightness, It makes a BIG difference!
    Just to clarify - do we want the the track tighter or looser?

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  190. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmbrown View Post
    I've driven this one on that piece of trail (ST from the Train Tracks to the top of Blue Heron) and it really, really impressed me. I'm wanting one for River Bends; if we didn't already have a snowmobile+Wildcat, CRAMBA would have bought a tracksled by now.

  191. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastman115 View Post
    Just to clarify - do we want the the track tighter or looser?
    If the track is too loose.. this machine is quite tippy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0nsumer View Post
    I've driven this one on that piece of trail (ST from the Train Tracks to the top of Blue Heron) and it really, really impressed me. I'm wanting one for River Bends; if we didn't already have a snowmobile+Wildcat, CRAMBA would have bought a tracksled by now.
    Yeah those tracksleds look pretty cool, but I think one of those Rokon Trail Breakers would be ideal for Highland.

  193. #193
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    Spent some more time on the snowdog today trying to groom a section of tight off camber. I don't think I will be trying that again. This thing definitely wants to roll down the hill. I have been having a lot of primary clutch problems as well. The rollers in the clutch keep popping out of their tracks and creating a nightmare as the sled is basically stuck in gear. Also managed to flip one of the bogey wheel assembly's upside down and partially jammed the track. Probably did it going over a log. Not a good day for the groomer. Going to need to focus on less off camber trails.

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsbiker View Post
    Also managed to flip one of the bogey wheel assembly's upside down and partially jammed the track. Probably did it going over a log. Not a good day for the groomer. Going to need to focus on less off camber trails.
    The dealer installed big ti-raps on my unit before delivery. Asking me if it would be used on snow only or summer also. Nothing crazy tight, but just there between bogey wheel assembly to prevent them to flip.

    Fun fact about track tension is that my dog was always trying to roll off on the left side. So I checked the tension to realize the left tensioner was loose. Fixing this helped a bit.

    Long reach and narrow handlebar makes me think about the evolution of mountain biking. Gonna try to remove the stock steering to put something short and wide. Pretty sure it will allow me to correct the tipping tendency. But I'd rather go with Knucklehead's solution ;-) Working with body weight, instead of upper body fighting with poor leverage.
    Last edited by ant01ne; 01-01-2018 at 01:20 PM.

  195. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by ant01ne View Post
    The dealer installed big ti-raps on my unit before delivery. Asking me if it would be used on snow only or summer also. Nothing crazy tight, but just there between bogey wheel assembly to prevent them to flip.

    Fun fact about track tension is that my dog was always trying to roll off on the left side. So I checked the tension to realize the left tensioner was loose. Fixing this helped a bit.

    Long reach and narrow handlebar makes me think about the evolution of mountain biking. Gonna try to remove the stock steering to put something short and wide. Pretty sure it will allow me to correct the tipping tendency. But I'd rather go with Knucklehead's solution ;-) Working with body weight, instead of upper body fighting with poor leverage.
    Hello.. I altered my Handlebar assembly. I changed the mount toward the front of the machine. 13" or so inches. It puts it closer to the center of gravity.. so the machine doesn't have as much leverage against you. It also changes where the machine pivots.. quickening up the handling. It also shortens up there overall length of the machine. I also welded on a mountain bike steer tube to the handlebar assembly, so now I can fasten a mountain bike stem and handle bar.. allowing me a pretty infinite range of adjustments. The relocated mount locations and my now wider handlebars make a huge difference in it's handling. With that said I still want to try the dual axis hitch mount.

  196. #196
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    Ok, pretty interesting Fenlason. Could you share some pictures? Seems like were all on the same boat. Thanks!

  197. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsbiker View Post
    Spent some more time on the snowdog today trying to groom a section of tight off camber. I don't think I will be trying that again. This thing definitely wants to roll down the hill. I have been having a lot of primary clutch problems as well. The rollers in the clutch keep popping out of their tracks and creating a nightmare as the sled is basically stuck in gear. Also managed to flip one of the bogey wheel assembly's upside down and partially jammed the track. Probably did it going over a log. Not a good day for the groomer. Going to need to focus on less off camber trails.
    I prepare my sketchiest off camber sections on snowshoes using a grain shovel. It is pretty quick and easy to do a little cut and fill with a shovel. Moving snow is far easier than digging dirt and IME can last all season.

    Put some dry lube on your rollers the next time you pull the clutch off. I had the same problem and it was bone dry in there. There’s a good YouTube link earlier in this thread about servicing these clutches.

  198. #198
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    hmm I was thinking I had posted photos on an earlier post, but it must have been else where. just a second..

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    https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...28&oe=5AC678D7

    The only photo's I have are on FB.. hopefully this will work. I first added new mount locations for the handlebar assembly. Doing over again I would bother with all the various possible mount locations.

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    https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...47&oe=5AF69C21

    The lower bar is the original part of the frame where the handlebar assembly rests.. or what you push down against. With the new mount location.. I needed a new spot to push down agains. Fortunately I was able to use the original handlebar assembly mount locations to bolt in another bar. [a piece of pipe with a piece of threaded rod]

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