Can Snowbikes and Sleds Co-exist?
Mountain Sledder | On 10, Feb 2017
Snowbikes aren’t a fad; each day there are more in the mountains, and they’re here to stay.
It’s a certainty. The snowbike market is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s still just in its infancy. It seems like every time we walk into our local motorsports dealership, there is another former sledding friend standing there—sometimes looking sheepish—with a snowbike bill of sale in their hands.
How often in the last year have you called up a friend to go sledding, only to hear them say, “Hmm, I think I’m going to ride my bike tomorrow”? Or more likely, how many shots have you seen go up on Instagram of your ol’ pal out riding with his new sledbike posse? And guess what, you weren’t invited Mr. Twoskis.
It’s become clear in the last couple of years that a snowbike can be taken into tight, lower elevation trees that you wouldn’t dream of trying on your sled. But on the flip-side, a snowbike will struggle to follow a sled straight up a steep slope in heavy snow. Each discipline has its own merits and limitations. And those will dictate what kind of terrain is the most fun to ride, to some degree at least.
Will a mixed group of sledders and snowbikers (is that really what they’re calling themselves?) be happy riding the middle ground? Or will each want to stick to the terrain best suited for their vehicle?
I’ve heard snowbikes referred to as the rollerblades of the powersports industry—by sledders of course. Funny as that may be, it raises the question: is there a certain “uncool” factor that prevents some sledders from accepting the legitimacy of snowbiking? Is the dynamic really akin to the skaters vs rollerbladers or snowboards vs skiers holier-than-thou mentality? Given the way that a good portion of the sledding community hates on the brands of snowmobiles that they don’t own, I would say yes. Haters gonna hate. Can’t we just all get along?
The question remains: can snowbikes and sleds co-exist in harmony?
Sometimes if you want an answer that you can respect, you have to turn to an expert. In this case, two of the top riders in sledding and snowbiking (again… can’t we come up with something better than “snowbiking”?) came together to produce a short video edit that effectively answers the question.
Keith Curtis—who dominates the hillclimb circuit and is an absolute fiend in the backcountry—joined up with Reagan Sieg—who is constantly reshaping what is thought possible on a snowbike—to film an early season edit last year.
The video shows the two shredding a good mix of mellow terrain, with burned trees, sidehills and plenty of fun features. It looks like one heck of a good time, and I think both sledders and snowbikers alike would be hard-pressed to say that it doesn’t look like the boys were having fun.
And it proves that two sports that share an affinity for the mountains and snow can absolutely co-exist. One ski or two, it’s all about shredding the pow!
All we need now to bring the whole snow sliding world into peace and harmony is a sled/snowbike/ski/snowboard/snowblade/tobogganing segment!