David Bach is a general contractor by day but his passion is mountain biking. Bach, of Boulder, Colorado, lives in a state famous for its ski snow, but instead of hanging up the wheels until spring comes around, Bach has developed a clever conversion kit called Bike Boards that promise to open up a whole new world of riding.
Originally conceived as an aid for Bach as a way to push through snowpack and have his bike glide better on all-day adventure rides, Bike Boards are essentially repurposed snowblades that attach to virtually any mountain bike tire (“BMX to fat bike,” he says) with adjustable clamps. Once in place, they provide much the same control as dedicated ski bikes but without having to completely commit to going downhill only.
Attach both for bombing the slopes or simply use the front one, leaving the rear to dig into the snow and drive your forward. In theory, you could even just carry the Bike Boards in a pack and attach them as needed. They’re ideally suited for fat bikes but they’ll apparently add immense ability on reasonably packed snow to even standard mountain bikes.
“I don’t think you get a feel for how well they work until you use them but they actually work,” said Brian Hannon, who has been working with Bach on the design. “On a fat bike, it’s amazing – and it’s still an advantage on any [mountain bike] tire if you’re bogging down in front. When you it on a fat bike, that particular ski is about as wide as the tire. It has a lot more leverage to lift up the ski so it goes up on edge a lot quicker.”
Users shouldn’t have to worry much about the front ski rotating down underneath them, either. According to Hannon, the front brake should be locked out when the Bike Board is mounted. On snow bikes with no front brake, the wheel is simply anchored in place with a figure-8 strap.
Projected retail price will be US$389.99 per ski and Bach says they can be ready within days of receiving an order – meaning there’s still time to try a set this winter.
For more information, check out BikeBoards.net. Anyone up for a pedal-powered hut trip?