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Snow Bikes the Latest Toy on Ski Slopes

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WHISTLER, US (Jan 14) – The latest craze on ski-slopes are snow-bikes. Basically an altered bike frame with skis instead of wheels. The machines offer a combination of speed and agility, and are easy to master in a half-day course. This makes them ideal for first-time winter sports enthousiasts. Originally called ski-bobs, snow bikes first […]

WHISTLER, US (Jan 14) – The latest craze on ski-slopes are snow-bikes. Basically an altered bike frame with skis instead of wheels. The machines offer a combination of speed and agility, and are easy to master in a half-day course.
This makes them ideal for first-time winter sports enthousiasts.

Originally called ski-bobs, snow bikes first appeared in the European Alps in the mid-19th century, at about the same time that early road bicycles made their debut. Paintings from that era depict outdoor enthusiasts riding on wooden-framed contraptions with a handlebar attached to a front ski. The first commercially manufactured ski bikes hit the market in the late 1940s in Austria. Particularly popular were the Sit-Ski models patented by Englebert Brenter. (www.snowbike.net)

Snow biking broke big in North American in 1965 when the sight of the Beatles racing downhill on ski bikes in filmmaker Richard Lester’s ‘Help’ propelled the sport into popularity. By the 1970s, innovative designers, particularly Kevan Leycraft in Calgary, tricked them out with full suspensions and floating rear skis.

It seems that now ski-bob’s are being rediscovered by a growing number of people – and that opens possibilties for the bike industry too: after all we have the technology to make succesfull models.

However, there is one crucial difference: unlike bicycles, snow bikes aren’t fitted with brakes…

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