Snow Bike

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by snowman11, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. snowman11

    snowman11 Guest

    In my introduction, I state that I dont much care for bikes. I dont, my knees dont like them either. But I like to ice fish, and I need to get out on the ice in the best possible manor....and I need it to fit in the trunk or on a rack of my Hyundai Accent. So, snowmobiles and traditional ATV's are out.

    You guys are the experts.

    I don't need to go fast (if it's faster than walking, it's awesome) but I've gotta have torque. For my first build, I'm shooting for the ability to run through 6" of snow. Probably a trike for stabilities sake. The kicker, I need to be able to pull my sled. I figure total weight will be around 500 lbs (hey, I need to get my deep cell out there!)

    So, if you had a machine shop, a welder, time and lots of junk....what would you do?

  2. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    start with the "similar threads" section below this post, there's a bit of discussion going on here about that :)
  3. snowman11

    snowman11 Guest

    already read them for the most part. situation is a little different because i'm not looking for a mini snowmobile...if i was, i'd make my own "sno runner" and just use a cut trailer tire as the track. It's the whole weight thing that keeps throwing me, I'm looking for a light weight tank that will still go through 6" of snow :)
  4. mickey

    mickey Guest

    I agree that a trike would make sense. Nice fat (maybe studded) tires and large sprocket for low gearing would be much easier on a three wheeler since you wouldn't have clearance issues. Since it would be offroad only, you could use a b&s or similar engine with more than the road legal 2-2.5 hp. How much weight could you tolerate?

    Edit: never mind, I reread your post and I see that weight is a big deal. I was thinking of something that would end up like a skinny Honda ATC-70.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2007
  5. ChrisHill

    ChrisHill Guest

    Here's an idea...take a regular mountain bike, and two matching front ends from other mountain bikes...use some 1" emt welded out from the head of the main bike (which you remove the fork and headset out of)...weld that out to the two donor front ends. steering is accomplished using tabs welded to the of your upper for tube from the original, and the ackerman methodolgy.
    That's the short description...if you are interested send me a PM or an email.
    What you are basically making is a trike with a mountain bike frame and both wheels up front. This is actually lighter, and at the same time more duarable (if you can weld good) than an actual, I think it handles better. You will still have the original frame size to add on which ever engine you choose to go with. You have better clearance for deeper snow (up here we got a foot last saturday to add to the 8 inches we had already). For what you want (an ice fishing buggy), you'll probably want studded tires...most bicycle shops sell them starting around $30-40 a piece.
  6. snowman11

    snowman11 Guest

    I'll use homemade tire chains and ditch the rear brake system on the bike. I can set up a really really rudimentary disk brake, but I'm not overly worried about stopping.

    I'm not sure how well I can weld EMT, it's galvanized and sputters a lot...I HATE welding galvanized.

    The welding isn't an issue though. I did all of the welding on one of these in college (not this one, just an image I linked off the web)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2007
  7. snowman11

    snowman11 Guest

    And weight isn't too much of an issue, as long as it will push itself and I can pick it up. I'll end up using a briggs, or a 2 stroke snowblower engine...just because I've got a bunch of them. I'll make an engine mount that "pops off" for easy disassembly and loading. Using a quick release boat fuel line or an on-engine tank (again, depending upon the engine) and an easily removeable throttle should make the engine mostly modular.
  8. ChrisHill

    ChrisHill Guest

    use a rag soaked in vinegar to remove the zinc / galvanized coating before you weld the'll save you a few hours of feeling really sick, lol. also helps to make it easy to weld with.
  9. snowman11

    snowman11 Guest

    sweet, had never heard that before. how long do you to soak/wipe it for??
  10. ChrisHill

    ChrisHill Guest

    You'll want to totally soak the rag, and rap the area to be welded. Let it sit for awhile, probably about a good 1/2 hour. I never bothered really watching the clock before. I usually wrap everything up as I'm getting organized and everything out and ready (yes, I move slowly somedays, lol)...sometimes I'll leave stuff wrapped over night and do the welding the following day.
    I guess one of these days when I'm at it again, I should keep an eye on the time, lol.
    All in all, I'd have to say leave the area wrapped for at least a good 1/2 hour.

    This is not my bike, nor did I take this pic, but here is a pic of what I was talking about earlier. I used to have plans laying around for putting one of these together...I'll have to take a look for them.

    Attached Files:

  11. I was thinking take a basic trike,motor it out and put a sled up front and maybe wrap some track or something around the back tires. Or even take wheelchair wheels and weld on some tracks.Then in the spring,replace the front sled with a wheel and switch out the rear tracks to wheels. Make sure your rear axle is what's doing the driving and mounting the wheels would be no problem.Maybe even go with small tractor wheels that bolt on the same way a car rim bolts on to a car.
    Year round fun plus light weight equals epic win.
  12. snowman11

    snowman11 Guest

    Ok, I'm looking at pictures of the snorunner...there is NOTHING to that thing.

    The US military turned it down because it wouldn't go through powder? Do snowmobiles go through deep powder? Seems like a sweet little machine...also seems like i've seen it in James Bond movies.

    Also thinking about quadricycle style right now...wife likes to go on occasion, but I might just make her walk.

    I get to go check the junk pile today and see what I've got for parts.
  13. Herrmanator8

    Herrmanator8 Guest

    may i suggest, this is your chance to try out the 2 wheel drive system. front wheel mounted engine( now i would think that the tire would grab snow and cause the friction drive to slip, but maybe a custom chain drive would help.) in addition to the front drive, a frame mounted 70cc or 4 stroke larger on a trike would work best, . i think that it would work better to run both those controlling speed while towing 500lbs.

  14. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    if you are interested in snow cycling get a bike shop address in fairbanks alaska on google- those guys have rims that are double wide w/without studs. they ride all winter and ride and race cross country. just look it up- or look up iditabike, which is a cross country race in alaska.
  15. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I believe that you would want to use two rear drive wheels, studded (or at least knobby) and a narrow front wheel that will cut through the snow. Most of a riders weight is on the rear tire(s) so that would give you the best traction. Mount the rear-engine fairly low, and use a live axle...

    Maybe you would want to try a short, velcro-strap-on front ski also.

    Even so, there's going to be a LOT of torque involved in towing 500 pounds. You're probably be best off if you use 20inch BMX tires mounted on mag type wheels (which are available in the 20 inch size)

    All Weather Sports has the double-wide rims and they offer Finnish snow tires, some are titanium studded.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
  16. turbo/chaos

    turbo/chaos Guest

  17. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    i was in anchorage last summer and noticed a lot of pugsleys, they look great
  18. DougC

    DougC Guest

    You don't need a Pugsley and you don't need a trike--a MTB with studded tires will run through 6" of snow easily (and even on smooth wet ice) and be as stable as a regular bike is on clean pavement--as long as you don't try any of your "X-games" maneuvers.

    All you really need is an engine that can deliver the torque you want.
  19. graucho

    graucho Active Member

  20. Mark W

    Mark W New Member

    Last edited: May 3, 2008