How do you ride?
– Always keep in mind the techniques you use for skiing or snowboarding. How do they react in powder and on ice, and how do you maintain control? It is the same. Remember not to turn the wheel like when you are cycling if you are on a hardpacked surface. This will mean less control and skating of the ski. If you are on hardpack, lean the bike to make contact with the edge of the ski, and trust the edge of the ski. This will give you the same control and quick turning ability as skiing or snowboarding. It helps to practice by engaging the brake, releasing and engaging again in short movements, while leaning to the edge to inch forward. Then when you are comfortable release the brake for longer increments, lean on the edge and trust the gliding motion. When using the edge of the ski, keep the front brake engaged to help maintain contact of the edge against the hardpack surface. The brake strap will help you to keep the front brake engaged when learning to use an edge on icy conditions until you remember to do this on your own. When on rolling terrain or not using the edge, “feather” the brake. “Feathering” the brake is lightly releasing the front brake in increments but not completely releasing the brake, followed by completely opening the brake, as needed so the wheel has some movement and can follow the terrain. Otherwise, use your break just as you would in everyday mtb riding, but instead of using it for breaking you are using it for your comfort level in the snow. If riding in an area with snow wells or that is heavily rutted, keep some closure on the break to maintain a level ski for a smooth ride. If you are getting air, you may engage the brake to prevent the wheel from turning but this is not necessary. The ski acts as a weight on the wheel, and gravity naturally allows for the ski to stay in position and the wheel not to rotate back with the ski. After you land, use “feathering” again so the wheel can move slightly with the natural terrain. When going downhill or along the edge of a slope, use a side-gliding technique. This is a popular technique in ski-biking. It is similar to rolling the edge of a snowboard into the upside of the slope, then turn downhill and then the opposite direction, and engage by leaning the edge against the upward slope again, repeating side to side. Just like skiing and snowboarding, it is easier at first in powder. In heavy powder with one ski, make sure you are in a gear that allows for quick pedaling. The faster your rotation the easier to ride. This may be counter-intuitive as some would think you want a gear that works harder to push more. The smaller gear for more spinning works. In heavy powder with one ski, rocking your weight forward to the front ski will prevent the rear wheel from getting bogged down, and the forward weight will provide the energy needed to propel you forward on the ski. When your momentum picks up just balance your weight evenly on the bike. To slow down using one ski you can create friction by engaging the rear brake or also drop your weight more to the back tire. If on two skis use the side gliding technique to slow your speed. As you develop your skills to trust and engage the edge of the boards, you will find yourself riding like a pro. When you are really ready for a new experience, practice drifting (see Danny Wilson’s ride on the Riding Adventure/Free Ride page), for a feeling you won’t get anywhere else.
Do I always have to hold the brake or need the brake straps?
– No. The straps are just a tool to use while learning your coordination. You can ride entirely without the brake straps and without holding your brakes. The idea is to use your brakes to your comfort level riding in the snow on ice or in powder conditions just as you would riding every day on regular terrain. The weight of the ski and gravity maintains the ski position when airborne. Will the ski dive without the brake engaged? Like skiing or snowboarding it is possible for the ski to get caught in a well or other pockets, so you just need to be aware of your surrounding conditions. Engaging the brake in these conditions will maintain a level ski. The wheel strap is also not a necessity but a leash mechanism. The kit fits solidly against the tire and fits tight without the leash. Pressure is not applied to the rims or spokes of the wheel. Please view the videos for demonstrations in different riding conditions.
How does using a bikeboard ski make winter biking more fun?
– The bikeboard ski allows the front tire to float. This means less resistance. It gives you a smoother, faster ride on the snow than a bike without the ski. In soft snow conditions of just a few inches or more, the bike and ski combination has an advantage. Without the ski in front, the front tire sinks and loses momentum, forcing the rear tire to sink and struggle as well. This is why the bikeboard ski was created. Where there are ruts or an uneven surface, the ski creates a track that provides a consistent and smooth ride. Ultimately, with two skis, you can also convert your own bike for ski-biking in the snow, without removing your tires.
Does it work in deep snow?
– The BB actually allows the rider to go into deep snow much farther and faster and with greater control than a normal two tired bike. As the ski glides over the snow it creates a “footprint” that the rear tire follows to maintain traction and keep rolling. On a long ride in the snow, the BB saves huge amounts of energy enabling you to float the bike on the snow, pushing to glide over the snow, instead of pushing your bike through it!
Will it fit your bike?
– Like a (tight) glove. The boots will hold virtually any wheel/tire combo securely. BMX, no problem. MTB, no problem. Snowbike, best situation possible and no problem! It would also fit a cx bike if you really want to use that skinny of a tire! Any bike you choose can also be your favorite snow bike or ski bike.
Do you ride one ski or two?
– Whatever and however you want! One, for pedaling up and over the countryside. One or Two for gliding down the mountainsides. Downhill with one allows some speed control by applying rear wheel traction. Downhill with two provides the best speed advantage and full snow-bike experience.
Why would you ride your bike in the snow?
– You’ve never had so much fun and such a big grin on your face as when cruising through the snow on a bikeboard ski with your mtn or snow bike!! Instead of slogging through the wintry landscape you are half biking and half skiing, gliding and carving the downhills with your board! You’ll be laughing to yourself it’s so much fun!! If you love boardsports and mtb, you will love the feeling of combining both to take advantage of all seasons and conditions.
What keeps the wheel from turning?
– The wheel does not rotate within the boot. To prevent the wheel from rotating with the ski and contacting the frame, engage the brake. It is rare to be in a circumstance that this would occur. A brake strap is included in the kit that prevents rotation without the rider having to concentrate on when to or not to engage the brake. With more practice riding, you will become comfortable loosening the strap to allow some movement for the ski to more naturally follow the terrain. Then you can remove the strap entirely and brake as you feel necessary.
How do you stop?
– If you are riding with just one ski on the front, you can still use the rear brake or put more weight on the back tire to drag and slow down. Now, how do you stop when you ski or snowboard? It is the same for riding bikeboards with two skis. Create a half-circle and lean to an edge or shift your weight like a hockey stop.