Cold Michigan Winters Make Snow Bikes A Hot Seller

Luxury Vehicles

Jill Martindale of Ada Bike Shop says she can’t ride far without someone commenting on her snow bike.

"It's definitely a conversation starter,” Jill said.  “They ask what they're for and they try to guess what they're for."

Jill says they're simply for winter riding or riding through the sand.  The thicker tires make it easier to handle those types of terrain.  But there is a compromise.

"On pavement you do notice they're a little more sluggish because the wider footprint so it does have a lot more friction,” Ada Bike Shop Service Manager, Ted Bentley said.  “But as soon as you get off on dirt road or dirt trails it feels like a normal mountain bike."

The biggest difference between a snow bike and a speed or mountain bike is of course the wider tires and frame.  The snow bikes also weigh considerably more, about 35 pounds, where a traditional road bike weighs anywhere between 15 and 20 pounds.  And snow bikes also come with a bigger price tag, $1,600 to start.

Bentley says it's worth it if you're a rider who wants to take advantage of the winter season.

"They're easy to ride across the snow and they ride perfectly fine on dirt and gravel roads, the streets,” he continued.  "You're really smiling the entire time you're riding the bike."

Stores across West Michigan are hoping this new model stays popular to bring in more business during the winter season.

This year the Ada Bike Shop sold four times as many bikes as they did last year.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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