Abominable snow bike

Winter came early in Seattle, and shut it down, much like the storm dubbed “Snowpocalypse ’08.” It will likely be rained away soon, but for now, the steep streets are closed and there are cars still littering the roads, abandoned, or acting as bumpers for 2 ton pinballs called SUV’s piloted by over confident and under experienced drivers.  Despite what some people might tell you- the clothes do not make the man, and the car does not make the driver.

I first built up my snow bike back then, using tires I had from my winter bike in Alaska, and my old 1979 Schwinn Typhoon.  A ton of fun, when traffic came to a grinding halt, I hop on this thing, and it takes me anywhere.  We were riding down Denny in 2008, when people were scared to walk down it.  Nokian 296 tires (that means 296 studs PER tire) provide the grip- a coaster brake doesn’t ice up, and other than the fact that the bike weighs about 50lbs dry, it’s perfect for the snow.  Uphill can be a little slow, but for cruising around the neighborhood- it’s super legit.

Probably my favorite part is riding by at 15mph or so or downhill even better, watching people look at me in horror- thinking I’m some crazed madman riding around on a jalopy beach cruiser.  Though I may be a little mad, they don’t know about my secret weapon…

What are you using to keep the rubber side down?


  • bubble

    November 23, 2010

    haha i love this bike man, its so much fun. it could have helped me on my 5 and a half hour drive yesterday from vashon island.

  • jennylee

    November 23, 2010

    Hmmm… there’s a worksman cruiser sitting in my living room as we speak that might just be calling for some snow tires. 🙂

  • Val

    November 24, 2010

    Me, I have nice handmade studs for all my bikes, and don’t mind switching them out. See here: When the mashed potato slush gets more than 8″ deep, things get a bit ridiculous, but otherwise, cake.

  • Julian

    November 24, 2010

    I’ve been tearing up North Seattle with my 2-wheel-drive sport-utility-bike for the past three days:

    Low-pressure balloon tires great on snow, not as good as studs on ice but better than the skinny tires or CX tires I see folks skittering around with. And yeah, electric assist up front does help me float like a butterfly. As long as I remember to slow down well in advance of turns.

    And it does groceries. Family’s gotta eat.

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