Mountain biking in the snow

Why, why and is it even possible?

Right off the bat, yes you can mountain bike in the snow, and yes it can even be fun. But just like skiing in winter, the quality and quantity of snow must also be right for biking. The first prominent cold fronts in autumn deliver partly 20cm to 30cm of new snow in the mountains, if you use the day after the front for a bike tour you usually find cold and dry powder snow. This offers pure biking fun. In small amounts it even goes well for uphill pedaling, it is grippy and the snow crunches under the tires. In addition, there is cold and clear air, simply a dream. If the snow is more, however, is quickly end with cycling and the bike must be carried. This can definitely be a bit tedious, but it is definitely worth it. The descent through 30cm of powder snow by bike is an experience in itself. Wrapped in a cloud of dust, you can either just let it crash straight down, given enough steepness, or you can start ‘swinging’ slight curves, which is roughly equivalent to wagging as if you were skiing.

It depends on the quantity and quality of snow

However, if you miss the cold day after the cold front, the fun of mountain biking in the snow together with the snow quality decreases significantly. When the snow becomes wet and slushy, there is inevitably a mud fight and the ground shows an unpredictably slippery side. So better get out on the mountain before it starts to thaw, or just be prepared for a good portion of dirt. Of course, with the right attitude and the right clothes(Dirtsuit for example), this can be fun.

The right material

As long as it’s not icy, studded tires offer absolutely no added value. You can safely dispense with them in the first few cases. In the real winter, things look a little different. Once the ground and the puddles are properly frozen, the spikes can save you from a stupid fall or two. For the less ski affine (but we are definitely not one of them), it is therefore a good idea to treat the bike to a set of studded tires instead of the dark basement. Furthermore, platform pedals are preferable to clickies, because the cleats can form an unpleasant cold bridge into the shoe. Of course, the shoes should also be waterproof (eg Etnies Marana Mid Crank).

Fatbikes have so many advantages in the winter. If the snow is a bit softer and less compressed, you can definitely pedal further with the fat tires while you already have to push the normal bike due to too much slip. But whether the purchase of an extra bike is actually worth it, everyone must decide for themselves.

An alternative to classic winter sports?

In winter you can also enjoy biking on the bike track. Prepared toboggan runs are almost made for the mountain bike and with the EMTB it even makes sense in the uphill. In addition, you can finally drift here according to your heart’s desire without leaving traces that someone could complain about. Ski slopes also work well downhill, but you don’t make friends with the lift operators… And believe it or not, the most fun, as in summer, are the trails, and those that are well tracked by hikers in the snow. The best thing is just to try it and you will see that the mountain bike is a year-round sports equipment. But hurry up, because who knows how many more winters there will be thanks to climate change. ;-)