I was wondering if anyone knows what the snow surface is comparable when groomed by a piston bulley; as I am trying to figure out gear that I want to go with for a race (winter triathlon). Is it more like a snow covered road (pretty hard packed), or more like a snowmobile trial (seems like it is hard packed until you start to try biking on it). I just tried to go out on the local snowmobile trails after about a foot of new snow, and it is still cold snow (doesnt stick together and then refreeze); and it was pretty frustrating. Is it going to help you go faster with something like a Pugsley than a normal Mtn bike with low pressure and 2.3in tires on a trail groomed with a piston bulley? Thanks for the info.
Soulcraft MTB, Salsa Ala Carte converted to SS, '07 Schwinn Peleton, Bruce Gordon Touring, Miyata Team converted to fixie, Salsa Beargrease, Ross Mt. Hood commuter bike
Sorry, I don't know anything about a piston bulley, but I can point you in the direction of another wheel option. Check out the Snowcat rims. A lot lighter then the Large Marge rims by Surly, and at 44mm wide they will probably fit in your current bike. They are the original winter rims.
The conditions you rode in are universally frustrating. Depending on how fresh and deep the snow is, a set lf Large Marge/Enduromorphs might not help out anyway.