Living & Working in Great Places
Randy Schrauder hops off one of his snow bikes while out riding near Phillips Canyon on Friday. The relatively new conversion kits can turn a dirt bike into a powder shredder for around $4,000. NEWS&GUIDE PHOTO / PRICE CHAMBERS
Randy Schrauder is an avid dirt biker. So once winter settles in on Jackson Hole, his bike typically sits in a garage collecting only dust.
Schrauder, 38, a civil engineer, has recently bought a dealership from 2Moto to sell snow bike conversion kits in Jackson.
The kits, which retail for around $3,900, allow dirt bikers to replace the wheels on their bike with a ski on the front and a 10.7-inch wide, 93-inch long rubber track on the back.
Schrauder now has two bikes he uses in the winter to access areas of the backcountry where snowmobiles won’t go. He said other companies have unsuccessfully tried to make snow bikes, and that 2Moto’s conversation kits are better than most.
“A lot of people are skeptical of them because there were other companies making some bad kits,” he said. “They didn’t work. Now that these 2Moto guys have come up with this, it’s so vastly improved. I wouldn’t have bought it if it was a gimmick. They work and they go everywhere.
“Theses guys at 2Moto are engineers,” he said. “For them to create something like this is right up their alley. They were die-hard dirt bikers.”
Schrauder said 2Moto launched this model two years ago and he caught onto it last winter. He purchased a dealership from the company a few weeks ago. Anyone in Jackson who wants a kit can visit www.jhsnowbikes.com or call Schrauder at 733-7107. He also rents snow bikes for $200 a day.
Installing the conversion kit takes about two and a half hours. Schrauder can also install kits for customers at his Jackson shop.
Schrauder also said he is planning a demo on Togwotee Pass later this winter where people can come ride a snow bike. Controlling it, he says, is not much more complicated than riding a bike.
“The difference between a snow bike and a dirt bike is that you have to steer them the whole time,” he said. “There’s a quick learning curve but they’re easy to use.
“I was riding with a guy who had only been on a dirt bike one other time,” he said. “He had no problem enjoying it.
And if you fall off, it doesn’t hurt as much as falling off a regular bike.
“Riding in the winter time hurts less when you tip them over,” he said. “Now that we’ve got a good snowpack, I can go anywhere now. It’s so much fun.
“In a snowmobile you have to watch where you’re going. These, I can ride on a singletrack like on a mountain bike. It brings a whole new element to riding in the snow.”
Schrauder doesn’t believe anyone else in the valley has a snow bike. But he hopes his dealership will begin introducing people to a new way to travel the rugged backcountry.
“It’s a way to have fun with a hobby I really love,” he said.
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