Don't let the simple design fool you. The SnoXcycle is a completely different ride with an emphasis on groomed trails.
The SnoXcycle “Xtreme” is a completely different animal. Honestly, it almost looks like a toy when parked beside the other more sophisticated brands. However, looks can be deceiving, as we will see in the ride report. The SnoX is highlighted by the fact that it is such a simple and intuitive design. Unlike the others it retains the motorcycle’s stock swingarm, shock, drive chain and rear brake system.
A large toothed drive wheel slides in to replace the stock motorcycle wheel. The hub is configured to handle both a rear disc and sprocket. The aluminum track system stretches back to the rear rollers, around which a much narrower track rides.
Like the rest, the front ski is supplied by Simmons. The attachment is via struts. What is really unique here are the modifications that have been made to the underside of the ski. Where the standard ski of the other brands uses carbides down each side, the SnoX adds a flexible carbide runner down the middle of the ski. This dramatically changes the way the ski handles on hard-pack surfaces. It can run on the one protruding center carbide, providing a huge improvement in hard surface riding. The outer carbide runners are modified into an “L” shape to give greater bite when leaned over.
Riding the SnoXcycle Xtreme Kit Snow Bike
Simple design and lower cost makes this an attractive option for new snow riders.
This is a totally different kind of ride. I almost made the mistake of totally discounting it before taking it out for a ride. Its unique design platform has its own strengths and in some ways out performs the other models. With its narrow track system the SnoX is not the choice for tackling deep snow. But the track lays down a very narrow contact patch, similar to a motorcycle tire. Therefore, it rides almost exactly like a motorcycle.
Where the rear subframe and track are rather simple looking, the modification to the Simmons ski is a near stroke of genius. With the addition of the center carbide, the SnoX is the first snow bike that actually excels at riding on a hard-pack surface. On the other snow bikes a groomed trail is something to be avoided as much as possible. Yet on the SnoX is hard packed conditions can be an absolute blast. For a first time rider this bike is by far the easiest to ride.
I see this as opening up a completely new area of opportunities for snow bikes. Where the other models are aimed primarily at off-track, backcountry travel, the SnoX is ideal for areas that have more groomed trail systems, or marginal snow conditions. With its lower cost and ease of installation, it can be a great way to get more people involved in the sport.