Tips for Downhill Snow Biking

Tips for Downhill Snow Biking
Snow biking is the winter sports version of summer mountain biking and BMX stunt biking. The cycle of choice is usually a sturdy mountain bike that has been adapted with snow tires and other little extras to make the experience enjoyable and safe. Unlike mountain biking, there is no official snow bike you can just pick up, and it is a good idea to network with other sports aficionados to find just the right cycle for you. Once you have the hardware in place, you are ready for downhill snow biking.

Pick the Right Terrain

Snow bike in icy terrain that is lightly snow covered. Fresh snow is hard to traverse, and you will soon tire from the experience; ice, however, offers the perfect surface, while the snow covering serves as traction. The incline of the downhill portion should match your expertise level and also the nearness to any roads and other winter sports devotees who might need you to stop suddenly.

The more advanced you are, the more hilly you want the area to be. Snow biking is a mix of mountain biking and also trick jumping, and therefore little hills with differing grades are perfect. Since there really are no snow biking trails, it is a good idea to check for snowshoe routes and other forays into the landscape that have packed down a good bit of snow. The downside of this kind of terrain is, of course, the fact that the downhill incline is very gradual.


Bring the Right Hardware

Retrofit your mountain bike if you cannot find an already adapted snow bike. Good choices are Snow Cat rims with proper winter tires for grip and a steady ride.

Outfit the bike with a light. Remember that in winter the light fades rather quickly, and since you are riding off the beaten path, a light is essential for personal safety. A great option is the Princeton Tec Switchback 1.0 bike lamp that allows for a wide array of mountain options and also recharges lighting fast.

Finally, do not go downhill snow biking without a helmet and goggles, no matter how experienced you are. Accidents are very likely to happen on unexpected patches of snow-covered rocks, and the helmet will protect your head against getting hit on the rocks. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from the rays of the sun and from the stinging cold.

Bring Along a Friend or Two

Snow bike downhill with a few friends. They can summon help if needed. Consider that you are not only facing the danger inherent to backcountry snow play, but also the dangers that come from downhill mountain biking and BMX trick biking. This tripling of the injury possibilities ought to make safety your number one concern, and there is definitely safety in numbers.


Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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