first major snow storm = first real snow biking experience- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    first major snow storm = first real snow biking experience

    Had the pug since last summer. Some real significant snow blew through the past few days and I got my first true taste of snow biking.

    THe snow was powdery, depth = height of tire sidewall + rim. The rear endo (mounted normally) really struggled with traction. I had push whenever there was some incline. The front larry didn't track too well, except on virgin snow. I had it aired down to 5.5f/4.5r. It was a struggle to do a fun filled 4 miles loop. However I was concentrating on the lines the whole time so not too much scenery viewing.

    Did I pretty much experience the pug's full potential given the conditions? Would I see a significant improvement going to RD rims? Thanks

  2. #2
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    I also finally got to do some decent snow trail riding this last weekend on my pretty new pugs. I didn't measure, but I was easily below 7-8psi front and rear. So low in the rear endo I was scared of pinching while seated over rough stuff. It was ok in untread snow. But on the already travels single track, it was tricky around some corners and while climbing. I found I had to stay mostly seated and power my way up to keep the weight on the rear. Which is hard to do if you're in anything techy or rocky/rooted (which most of our stuff is). Momentum is key. But even the moonlanders were having trouble on those climbs so I don't feel so bad.

    Obviously something more knobby like a Nate would have been night and day, but once I got used to the Endo and how it worked, I wasn't hating it as much... There certainly are gripper options on the half frozen well packed trail stuff like I encountered though.
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  3. #3
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    I don't have any experience with anything other than a 27tpi Nate on a RD, but I can say that even with some decent trail conditions, getting good traction requires me to drop the pressure pretty low.

    I am not exactly sure on the pressure was in the front or rear tonight, but if I leaned on the bars hard the sidewall would wrinkle. The back tire also had a nice bulge which meant I was putting down some good rubber. I found this combo best for loose over hard or packed down w/ loose spots. I did go down a few times tonight, but it was all good.

    OT Have we come up with a fat tire guide to trail conditions??? (i.e. loose over hard, loose over icy, icy, sh!ty, slushy.)

  4. #4
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    I ditched the Endo for a Mission Vee and the traction has been worth the tradeoff in additional weight, for the most part. I'm cleaning hills that I would regularly be pushing up on my 29er. I'm running somewhere between 6-8 pounds in the rear and 8 on the larrys.

  5. #5
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    Traction is everything! Buy some Nates and never look back! Just studded mine and now they'll handle anything. Have fun.




    QUOTE=boogman;10138285]Had the pug since last summer. Some real significant snow blew through the past few days and I got my first true taste of snow biking.

    THe snow was powdery, depth = height of tire sidewall + rim. The rear endo (mounted normally) really struggled with traction. I had push whenever there was some incline. The front larry didn't track too well, except on virgin snow. I had it aired down to 5.5f/4.5r. It was a struggle to do a fun filled 4 miles loop. However I was concentrating on the lines the whole time so not too much scenery viewing.

    Did I pretty much experience the pug's full potential given the conditions? Would I see a significant improvement going to RD rims? Thanks[/QUOTE]

  6. #6
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    hmm i also discovered granny gear is snow biking's enemy in certain situations, causing rear tire to spin out..

    I've never really examined snowmobile tracks before. But it seems to me, the wide center track, from the snowmobile's center rubber drive, has a slightly convex profile. Higher snow in the middle of the track and dips slightly lower on the sides. As a result, when trying to follow the track, the bike's front-end would often slide into the channels on the side...

    Not sure if most snowmobile tracks are as I described.

  7. #7
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    I discovered that keeping my ass planted on the seat improved traction a great deal while climbing. This took a while to get used to as my other bike is an SS. I'm running HD's at about 6.5psi and went 1x9 with a 32t chainring.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    I discovered that keeping my ass planted on the seat improved traction a great deal while climbing. This took a while to get used to as my other bike is an SS. I'm running HD's at about 6.5psi and went 1x9 with a 32t chainring.
    yeah i figured out the seated trick.. it's like with my rear drive pickup.. weights in the back is crucial for winter traction... Even then, the endos were quickly defated.

    The snow was slightly wet due to temps in the high 20s.. the snow quickly packed on to the endo, turning it into ice covered slicks.

    I knocked my nadz a few times jumping off to catch the slipping bike..

  9. #9
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    Switched from Marge rims to Rolling Darryl rims this year. Not a whole lot of traction improvement, but they are definitely lighter. So there's that. Fresh powder is kind of a pain in the ass to get traction in no matter what- figure it won't even stick to itself, so you try and dig in and you just get spin, even with Nates, even with RDs.

    Powder is tough. I had the same experience- 4-5 inches of fresh powder and my bike wanted to slip all over the place, far more than it did last week when we had a similar amount of wet snow.

  10. #10
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    It turns out that rabbits have a knack for finding the most packed snow. When the combination of fresh snow obscures the path, I just follow the bunny trails.

  11. #11
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    The Endo rear is what's bringing you down.

    Try a Husker Du for versatility, or a Nate for full-on traction (at the expense of rolling resistance on non-slick surfaces).

  12. #12
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    I think you are overstating the abilities of tires to get traction in powder. Running a nate on an RD rim I was still getting spin on climbs and slip on off-camber sections.

    Powder is powder because it's got extremely low moisture. That's why it's so awesome for skiing- very little friction. That's also why it's nigh-impossible to make snow men out of powder. Once you've run over it a couple times and packed it down good it'll be fine, but until then, if you're the one breaking the trail it's gonna be slippy and no tire that fits on a pugsley will change that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    I think you are overstating the abilities of tires to get traction in powder. Running a nate on an RD rim I was still getting spin on climbs and slip on off-camber sections.

    Powder is powder because it's got extremely low moisture. That's why it's so awesome for skiing- very little friction. That's also why it's nigh-impossible to make snow men out of powder. Once you've run over it a couple times and packed it down good it'll be fine, but until then, if you're the one breaking the trail it's gonna be slippy and no tire that fits on a pugsley will change that.
    I run Husker Dus on 82mm Rolling Darryls. Powder up to the depth of tire + rim (say 4") is no big deal...plenty of traction for it. Even 6" is pretty simple...particularly in powder. When you get to 8", you start having more serious problems.

    Endomorphs really have no tread. They may be great in sand, but I just don't think they have a place in snow...at least when you need actual traction and not just flotation. Spinning on climbs and off-camber sections? Sure...on a super-steep climb (or if I get out of the saddle), I'll spin a bit. If there's ice, I'll spin. Off-camber, again, you can get into slippage.

    But riding on the flat, in 4" of powder, Husker Dus or Nates shouldn't have any problem on "some incline"...and I'm not surprised that Endos do have difficulties. When seated, running 5psi in my Husker Dus, the Muk will ride up things that I have difficulty walking.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    I run Husker Dus on 82mm Rolling Darryls. Powder up to the depth of tire + rim (say 4") is no big deal...plenty of traction for it. Even 6" is pretty simple...particularly in powder. When you get to 8", you start having more serious problems.

    Endomorphs really have no tread. They may be great in sand, but I just don't think they have a place in snow...at least when you need actual traction and not just flotation. Spinning on climbs and off-camber sections? Sure...on a super-steep climb (or if I get out of the saddle), I'll spin a bit. If there's ice, I'll spin. Off-camber, again, you can get into slippage.

    But riding on the flat, in 4" of powder, Husker Dus or Nates shouldn't have any problem on "some incline"...and I'm not surprised that Endos do have difficulties. When seated, running 5psi in my Husker Dus, the Muk will ride up things that I have difficulty walking.
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Shouldn't have problems, but did. **** happens.

  15. #15
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    I hated Larry as a front tire in every condition I tried it on. I always had the sensation that it was "dragging" or slow, or that I had to put extra oomph into the bar in order to steer. I guess that's just another way of saying it has little grip.

    Just my .02.

  16. #16
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    well it just occurred to me.. unless riding on groomed trails.. riding in any other snow conditions will be pretty much a struggle, almost to the point of un ridable..

    On our multi-use trails, there are no motorized vehicles, so after a few days, the 6in of fresh snow got packed down to sloppy combination of shoe prints and ski tracks.. none of which were packed down sufficiently for the fat bike... I don't see the trail condition would improve sufficiently for snow biking.. Does cold temp help harden the snow for fat bikes? Then again, sustained cold days are so infrequent these days...

  17. #17
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    Every snow is different- last week, we got the same kind o light powder you're talking about and it was slippy but pretty easy to plow through when the trail was reasonably flat. It was a blast.

    Today, riding on that last week's powder that then got rained on followed by wet snow followed by powder and riding across the lake was nearly impossible.

    Every ride is different and sometimes it seems like there's no way of knowing what the conditions really are until your tires hit the snow. Best i can say is be flexible.

    My goal of riding around the lake was pretty well scotched after trying to just get across squaw bay was almost impossible, so... rode around the lake anyway, on the bike path. Still fun, still hard to do on anything but a fat bike.

  18. #18
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    first major snow storm = first real snow biking experience

    Powder is great down hill or flat. I stick to snomo trails until the atmosphere gives a little warmth and/or moisture, and back to the freeze. Before this big storm, there was nowhere that I couldn't go on snow. We were riding around in logging clear cuts in high noon sun, launching off of stumps and not breaking through the crust. I doubt I could even reach that clear cut today. Mixed precip tomorrow, back to 0 degrees tomorrow night, and Tuesday I'll be up there riding again. Pick and choose your battles. The bike has its limitations, but in the right conditions your legs will give up before the bike does. The other day I likened it to the first time I rode on slick rock...gobs of traction. I am on a necromancer with. Nate in the back and a Bud in the front. Killer combo.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    I am on a necromancer with. Nate in the back and a Bud in the front. Killer combo.
    I'm thinking about this combo for my Beargrease. I checked the specs and they'll fit.

    That's gonna be one expensive combo so I bought my summer tires (wearing down the expensive tread for grocery trips) first. Vee Rubber Mission, 4.0" for around $33 each.

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