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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 01-23-05, 05:36 AM   #1
royalflash
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it is snowing again here and I am really tempted to get some of the 44mm snowcat rims. They just look so good. Has anyone here ever tried them.

I have Nokia Extreme 296 tyres mounted on my MTB at the moment.

Would the snow cat rims be a big improvement in handling or safety or speed?

Does anyone know of any European sources for them as well?
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Old 01-23-05, 09:10 AM   #2
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Hi.

The picture you've linked shows the lightweight racing version. I actually have the heavier weight version without the cutouts.

I use snowcats year round with Nokian Extreme 296 studded tires. They do make a difference for me mainly when riding offroad on snowy trails but also on the roads on days when lots of snow has fallen and piled up snow remains.

For me there are a few differences when compared to a tire on a standard rim.

1) The rim allows the tire to spread wider meaning that more of the studs are in contact with the ground depending on how much tire pressure you run.

2) The wider contact patch helps you to continue through marginal snow sections where you might just punch through with normal rims.

3) You can go much lower in tire pressure without the level of concern you would have for snake bite flats using normal rims. I find lower pressure helps with traction in snow while higher pressure seems to help the studs bite better on ice.

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Old 01-24-05, 01:48 AM   #3
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I know of no euro outlets. I do know some of the history of the rim they originally were welding/bonding(?) two rims together, which sometimes meant they cut out the center walls of the rims. They sold wildly expecially for Idaride race riders. The poularity grew and innovations had to be made.
I have thought that it would be interesting, especially for my commuting needs to see a 700 Snow Cat rim. I don't think there are too many forks out there that could accomodate such a rim, but it would be a great winter tire, for Xbikes.
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Old 01-26-05, 02:57 AM   #4
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thanks for the replies- I don't think there are any euro suppliers for the snowcats. it looks like I will have to send an order to Alaska!. There is thick snow here in Munich at the moment and it can be a bit scary at times on the commute. I have had to bail out on the bike path a few times and get in with the traffic.

Could anyone tell me what the total width of the rim complete with tyre is?. I would like to check first that they will fit in my fork and frame.

Also I seem to remember reading somewhere that there are additional difficulties building up a wheel with the Snowcat rims. Has anyone any experience of this? do I need an expert wheelbuilder?
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Old 01-27-05, 10:13 PM   #5
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I built my own snow cats up with shimano hubs. No big deal. The issue might be that the rims have the nipple heads sticking thru. Make sure you grind off any sharpness then I use a piece of very wide velcro as a rim strip. The fuzzy side to the tube. Glue it in. Given the low pressures you run off road in the snow the tube won't even bulge out the velcro with the drilled out holes. The holes save a lot of weight. Consider though Surly's LargeMarge rims. www.surlybikes.com They are 20 mm wider than snowcats almost. Will even take a 4" tire. Which no one makes as of yet. For bikes anyway.
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Old 01-28-05, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xylx
I built my own snow cats up with shimano hubs. No big deal. The issue might be that the rims have the nipple heads sticking thru. Make sure you grind off any sharpness then I use a piece of very wide velcro as a rim strip. The fuzzy side to the tube. Glue it in. Given the low pressures you run off road in the snow the tube won't even bulge out the velcro with the drilled out holes. The holes save a lot of weight. Consider though Surly's LargeMarge rims. www.surlybikes.com They are 20 mm wider than snowcats almost. Will even take a 4" tire. Which no one makes as of yet. For bikes anyway.
why would the nipple heads stick out- are the rims not very deep?

The LargeMarge´s look interesting but I think they would be too wide for any normal fork and frame
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Old 01-28-05, 08:32 PM   #7
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Single wall rims allow the nipple heads to protude into the interior of the rim.
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Old 01-31-05, 06:59 AM   #8
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Correct. Snowcats are single wall rims. Like old timey cruiser rims. So you have to use a good rim strip. Noboby makes a rim strip that fat, hence the resort to velcro. The new version of Largemarge rims appears to be a form of double rim. Can't imagine what they cost.
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