Winter Challenge Bike Questions

Q. How will I be able to bike on the snow?

A. The race takes cyclist on nordic trails that have been packed almost daily during the winter season. Cyclist will not be pedaling on fresh, soft, powder, which would be slow going indeed! 

Q. Do I need a special bicycle to compete in this event? 

A. Not at all, a traditional mountain bike should work just fine. If you have a 'fat bike' that would also work, but is definitely not necessary. Most athletes who compete in a winter triathlons use 26'' or 29'' wheel mountain bikes. 

Q. What width tire should I run? How about tire pressure? Any specific tire recommendations?

A. We recommend running the widest tire your fork and frame can accept. For most bikes this may be a 2.3'' or 2.5'' tire. Combining a wide tire and relatively low tire pressure is usually the best way to setup your bike for a winter triathlon. Tire pressure may vary from 20-35psi, depending upon your specific tire choice and wheel setup. As far as tire recommendations go, we'll do some specific tire testing leading up to the event, but usually a relatively knobby tire would works best- no smooth racing tires for this event! 

Q. Are studded bike tires allowed?

A. Yes most certainly. Studs would be most helpful on an icy course, which is not usually the case. When the snow is groomed the morning of the race it really decreases the likelihood of icy buildup.

Q. I'm relatively new to cycling, will the course be too technical for me?

A. We really doubt it, the course is completely flat on the way out, and has a few good rollers on the way back. What usually makes a course technical are lots of turns or objects on the path, which is not the case with this course. Each lap of the bike has only two turns of significance, and both are on wide open paths.

Q. Where can I rent a mountain bike for the race?

A.  There are a couple of great local bike shops that rent mountain and fat bikes. Contact them directly to check inventory and pricing Idaho Mountain Touring, Meridian Cycles, Bikes 2 Boards.

Return to Q and A page