The Snow Bike Festival has seen competitors from across the globe congregate in the unique region of GSTAAD (Switzerland), ensuring a genuinely international atmosphere. Europe’s winter festival of snow biking is a heady mix of fun, both on and off the slopes. The third edition will take place in GSTAAD from January 19th to 22nd, 2017 and will feature a 4 Day Stage Race, Eliminator Night Race, Fat Bike and MTB EXPO as well as lots of partying.
Besides action-packed events such as the Eliminator Night race, the Fat Bike and MTB EXPO gives key players in the bike industry an opportunity to exhibit to the rapidly growing Fat Bike and MTB market. The EXPO is hosted indoors in a heated venue where exhibitors will be able to promote their bikes and associated products to riders, skiers, spectators and the many other day visitors to GSTAAD.
The Snow Bike Festival origins lie in the demand for winter riding opportunities in Europe, where there are few formal events other than one or two aimed at extreme adventurers.
With lots of snow bike trails, hearty meals and great facilities at the Sporting Centre in GSTAAD (incl. two heated swimming pools) riders will be spoilt with entertainment during and after riding.
The Snow Bike Festival will be run under UCI rules (for MTB stage races).
Snow Biking Explained
Fat Bikes, MTB’s and other bikes with wide tyres providing them with lots of traction can be used as Snow Bikes.
In 2014, bike enthusiasts either living or travelling to countries with snow welcomed the introduction of the Fat Bike. These bikes are usually equipped with 3.8 – 4.5 inch (9.7 – 11.4 cm) tyres and are ideal for riding in snowy conditions.
In 2015, further development by the mountain bike industry led to the introduction of the mid Fat Bike, now commonly known as the Mountain Bike + (Plus). With a new tyre format of 2.8 – 3.0 inch (7 – 9 cm) wide, it lies between the traditional Mountain bike and the Fat Bike, making it the ideal bike for all four seasons (also qualifying as a Snow Bike). These bikes offer a good combination of traction and moderate weight and are available from most bike brands in 27.5 and 29 inch wheel sizes. Mountain Bikes with tyres up to 2.5 inches, good grip and run at low pressure to increase traction can also easily ride on snow.
Recent bike tyre development led to the release of Pure Silica (a softer rubber compound), studded options (tyres with spikes) and colour variations, all testimony to the growing Snow Bike market.