It Looks Like 'Snow Biking' Could Earn a Rainbow Jersey & UCI Ranking Points in 2024

Nov 24, 2023
by Ed Spratt  
Eric Barone breaks the World Speed Record by bike on snow with a maximum speed recorded at 223 30 kph.
Eric Barone breaks the World Speed Record by bike on snow with a maximum speed recorded at 223,30 kph. For the record, this is *not* what we think the UCI has in mind for Snow Biking. Photo: Richard Bord.

In the latest update to the UCI mountain bike World Championship rule book it looks like we are getting a snow bike rainbow jersey.

In the publication listing rule amendments applying from January 1 2024, it confirms that there will now be ten mountain bike events given World Championship status with next year adding not just EDR/E-EDr racing but also snow biking.

bigquotesThe UCI world championships shall comprise ten specialities: the Olympic cross-country Olympic (XCO), the cross-country marathon (XCM), the crosscountry team relay (XCR), the cross-country short track (XCC), the cross-country eliminator (XCE), the downhill individual (DHI), E-Mountain Bike (E-MTB), the enduro/e-enduro (EDR/E-EDR), the snow bike (SNO) and the pump track (PUM). UCI-9.2.030

We don't know just yet what form the snow bike racing will take but we do know it will feature separate categories for men and women aged 17 and over and there could be UCI ranking points on offer.

Listed as part of the World Cup rule amendments there is now a new points chart that alongside the ranking points given for World Cup and World Championship downhill is the inclusion of snow bike racing. From looking at the Annex 3 DHI Points (image below) a Snow Bike World Championship victory will offer 100 UCI points or the equivalent of slightly more than a sixth place at a World Cup final. To enter a World Cup (without the help of a trade team) you need 40 or more UCI ranking points so placing fifth or above at the snow bike World Championships could get you entry to World Cup racing if these do count towards the UCI's individual DHI ranking.


This news isn't the first time we have heard about snow bike racing from the UCI as it announced at the start of 2019 that it aimed to have a five-round series of snow bike downhill in 2020.

At the time the then Head of Communications at the UCI, Sébastien Gillot, said the events could "take place on any pre-existing ski Super-G courses" and were "convinced that this thrilling format will soon attract a whole new audience around the world."

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edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,971 articles

151 Comments
  • 127 6
 I've defended the UCI before,and tried my best to understand their decisions before hating like most do.
But this is just stupid.
A world championship of a sport maybe a dozen people actually practice?
If the idea is TV content,create a event but don't call it world championship.
  • 17 0
 it is very hard understand fatbiking from Portuguese perspective. Way easier from northern countries.

for me it is more interesting that the hell is e-mtb race is it that fail concept of ebikes on MX track? because they have separate e-edr
  • 6 0
 Reminds me of the 'Extreme Skiing' championships back in the '90s, which were actually televised until some particularly bad falls shocked too many viewers. Again, you could've counted that crowd on your fingers'n'toes.
  • 12 1
 @rent4trail: Yeah fat biking would be one thing, but what they’re describing is some sort of downhill mountain biking on snow, very different from the fat biking people in colder climates are used I’d think.
  • 8 0
 @rent4trail: snow bike is this thing with skis instead of both wheels, it's completely different from fat bike.
  • 72 0
 Wait till the UCI announce the inaugural snow biking world championships in Qatar!?
  • 8 2
 I mean at the speed of killing regular DH..this might be an avalanche of success
  • 3 0
 @theboypanda: would that be considered ‘Snowwashing”?
  • 8 0
 @theboypanda:
Qatar gets the second year, the inagural Indoor Snow Biking World Championship is slated to be held at the West Edmonton Mall. I kid you not, eh.
  • 3 0
 For real, where will they host this? If it's grouped with mtb disciplines they'll now have to find a venue that has
- snow for snowbiking
- an uplift for dh (plus no snow, heavy rain (remember Loudenville?) heavy wind or other winter related weather)
- a venue for xc and xcc (also with no snow)

Plus presumably also tracks for edr, eedr and the e xc I forgot existed til now
  • 8 0
 I just happened to watch a Palmer interview where they talked about how stupid an idea this is, and that was in 2009! Worth a watch m.youtube.com/watch?si=X_5_fC6q37CYt_y_&v=v3bUY3CvuQI&feature=youtu.be
  • 2 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: That was rad as hell though, In Valdez with Doug Coombs. Fat biking has nothing on that.
  • 9 0
 You're forgetting that there's no business like snow business.
  • 3 0
 @carrottread: ok. I assumed that snow biking was referring to fatbikes. If it is DH on bike with skies then it is ultimately weird.
  • 2 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: Yeah except there is the Freeride World Tour, and its fairly succesful. www.freerideworldtour.com. Not sure I fully understand what they are counting as Snow Biking, do they mean Fatbiking? From the description it sound like some kind of sport that would take place on a Super G course, which doesn't sound like Fatbiking.
  • 7 0
 I feel like someone at the UCI is afraid the world might take them seriously, and are working hard to make sure that never happens. Don't worry guys, we all know that you are a joke.
  • 4 0
 Seems like their just throwing s&%! on the wall and seeing what sticks.
  • 1 0
 @5chmaus: Well this is a perfect analogy of this weirdness happening right here.
  • 2 0
 I'm all for sh!tt!ng on the UCI, combing 2 sports already accepted by the IOC, UCI etc..why not?

The guys doing this have the larger reproductive organs than most (if its the DH Speed biking, snow thing as depicted). None of these points affect any of us here, if the UCI wants to create something for them, who give a flying ...f#$k.

Atleast it's not Ebike world championships
  • 4 2
 A ton of people fat bike. Anyone in a northern climate should try it. It is hilariously fun because you are drifting half the time!

Pinkbike did a shit job covering it and the photo is misleading. @brianpark what gives with the complete lack of journalism here?
  • 2 0
 They just want to ensure that if it does someday get bigger and more lucrative, they goy their hands on it first and will be able to dictate how it works.
  • 1 0
 @mattg95: I guess it depends on what the UCI defines as a snow bike. If it is what is sometimes referred to as Ski Bob it's an incredible amount of fun. Any ski hill could presumably hold a race, DH, GS, Slalom...

www.skibanff.com/explore/equipment-restrictions

If it is a regular tired bike on snow, then that would be awful. Fun to do, terrible watch others doing it
  • 1 0
 @ridedigrepeat: I don't disagree, but with the typos that no one seems to catch and poor grammatical choices in most articles you're looking in the wrong place for journalism.
  • 69 0
 What's cooler than being cool?
  • 67 0
 Ice cold!
  • 43 0
 I can't hear you!
  • 30 0
 Ice cold
  • 57 0
 Alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright alright
  • 32 0
 Now ladies!
  • 16 0
 Now, we gon' break this thing down in just a few seconds Now, don't have me break this thing down for nothing Now, I want to see y'all on your baddest behavior
  • 24 0
 Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor
  • 7 59
flag scott-townes (Nov 24, 2023 at 18:10) (Below Threshold)
 I'm a big fan of the Gorillaz also!
  • 17 3
 @scott-townes: great job ruining a great thing these patrons had going on.
  • 6 0
 Cooler than a polar bears toe nail, oh hell
  • 3 2
 Lopes and Palmer. In fact, I hear they’re making a comeback for this
  • 5 0
 @emptybe-er: You want a comeback?

Ah! Here we go
Shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake, shake it (Uh oh)
Shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake it (Uh oh)
  • 40 0
 Uci proving once again just how in touch they are with the sport.... face palm.
  • 29 0
 These organizers should go back to the early 90's X-games board of directors. It's like they don't even know what biking is, and are just like "how about this? Or This? Or this?" these are wacky daredevil antics, not legit athletic sports
  • 26 0
 It's crazy that this was published Nov 24th & not April 1st
  • 4 0
 Woke up from a turkey blackout and what it's April already, sadly no it's the UCI, now where is my Pound cake
  • 23 0
 Next year it will be E-Snow Biking
  • 5 0
 Snowtocross
  • 17 0
 Current affairs: Climate crisis.
UCI: SnowBikes!

… wait what do they know that we don’t?!?
  • 17 0
 Bring 4x back!! That was actually pretty cool to watch!!
  • 1 0
 Came here for this!
  • 3 0
 Yep. In before me. So hard to believe the 4x got shafted for this irrelevant bullshit.
  • 12 4
 I imagine it will be fatbike racing, which if one lives in a place where its cold half the year its pretty common to see tons of very fit XC riders looping their local XC trails on them. Goofy or not, it's a hell of a workout so I don't really think it's that silly of an idea.
  • 12 1
 That's not what they're talking about though, "super G" is giant slalom which means it would be on a downhill ski slope with gates (maybe still fat bikes though?).
  • 4 1
 @mattddrchs: TBH my Friday brain skipped that last paragraph!
  • 5 1
 fatbiking is not guffy, it might looks like at first when you see those massive tires, but even rigit fatbike is soo capable on a snow. I've added a Mostodon fork to mine this year, cannot wait till snow starts flying
  • 5 0
 Didn't they do 4X racing on snow back in the days, like at Tignes Airwaves? The same event where Gee Atherton overshot a big jump (outside racing, not a jump of the 4X course). Seems like proper snow biking. You don't want rock gardens and roots like on a regular 4X race, but off camber turns must be pretty cool at such a course. Ok, ideal world: UCI is intend on bringing back 4X racing and this is the winter format.

That said, in this era of global warming so a shorter snow-sport season it seems a bit of a silly move. Especially if they are shooting themselves in the foot by creating artificial snow.
  • 11 0
 @valrock: it is totally goofy. I say that as a person who owns a fat bike and rides it 1/3 of the year. and then the rider base attracts the nerdiest of riders who actually walk around their group nit picking 1psi difference between tires, with hand pogies on their bars and somehow even uglier riding gear than in the summer.

all that said, it's still a blast. and sure as hell beats XC skiing for me.
  • 4 0
 @mattddrchs: >"maybe still fat bikes though?"

I don't think so. There's a snow-downhill cup in Austria called Schneefräsn every year, and I've never seen someone on a fat bike. Most are DH or Enduro bikes. There are also a couple jumps on some tracks and I think those would be too harsh on a rigid bike.
  • 1 0
 @Pussyslayer: interesting, good to know!
  • 4 0
 @Pussyslayer: just because its fatbike doesn't mean it needs to be rigid. Check www.runtelibike.com we have people riding these on bike parks in Finland, even in the summer and doing some gnarly shit. Just a slack hardtail with some big ass tires.
  • 3 0
 It'll be DH racing on a ski slope or 4x style DH on a ski slope. Chatel will have a round this winter and I already know where it'll take place and they'll be no climbing...hehe Bike of choice will be a DH bike with spikes
  • 2 0
 Yeah man it's all good. I watch a bunch of Pat Smage's fatbike videos, they're awesome. He lives in the Midwest where it's cold out and he still has to train for the pro moto trials circuit. He gets out on the fatty and it's hell impressive what he can do with one. Quietly one of the best bike riders around. youtu.be/CZltdXn5enA
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: do you know when?
  • 1 0
 @d-rangrider: Not yet. Should know in a month or so.
  • 1 0
 @on-the-move: I'm very positive that I don't have the body and fitness of a moto pro to handle a heavy bike lol. I also don't understand his need for a suspension fork since he 90% only rides on his rear wheel
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: les gets also planning one in January I believe
  • 1 0
 @Pussyslayer: For the other 10% when he only rides on the front wheel ofc.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: is the uci, it'll be dentex
  • 1 0
 @Roguee: the French DH snow champs are chalked in for 3/4th Feb with the world champs the following weekend in Châtel
  • 2 0
 @acdownhill: while I agree with you, I hate myself for agreeing with XC skiier... talking about goofy... XC skiing is the goofiest sport I've ever tried... you need to hate yourself to like that sport ahahaha Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @valrock: XC ski is as cool or goofy as DH ski to me. As long as people do what they like and don't bother anyone else.
  • 7 0
 Why does XC get 5 specialties and E-MTB (whatever that even is) is separate, but EDR and E-EDR are combined? It there going to be an option to ride an ebike for a singular Enduro rainbow, attempting to justify it as "fair" with the climbs not counting for time?
  • 7 0
 From the UCI press release on what Snow Biking is because it looks like not a lot of people know (I didn't):

The Super-G races will take place over a single run on a slope with a vertical drop of between 350 and 650 metres depending on the route chosen. The distance between the gates will be around 20-25 metres, as in alpine skiing. The racers will start one by one at regular intervals.

The dual slalom (comparable to the parallel slalom in snowboard and alpine skiing) is an event made up of a series of elimination races in which two riders go head-to-head on two parallel slalom courses. They compete against each other in two heats, switching courses for the second heat. The rider with the fastest combined time advances to the next round of the competition. The courses will take approximately 30 seconds to descend.

These two competition formats will be held on downhill mountain bikes and will be open to all riders holding a licence from a UCI-affiliated National Federation.

TL;DR: DH bikes on the snow!!! I can't wait to try it.
  • 4 0
 Opportunity for a Megavalanche World Cup missed. What a shame!
  • 1 1
 @HankHank: Mehavalanche isn't really fair unless they go one by one...i have no idea how XC mass starts are considered fair either
  • 7 1
 They're trying to kill Enduro for this? jesus christ.
  • 3 0
 Video explainer from the UCI here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuuOJrbhJng
  • 2 0
 @mkul7r4: I think xc start row is given by the points you hold, so faster guys are at the front. Prly megavalanche is something similar. They do the same in running mass starts too
  • 6 0
 I'm disappointed with how overlooked this comment is.
  • 9 0
 Can we just get UCI out of cycling. This is really dumb
  • 6 0
 "take place on any pre-existing ski Super-G courses" Maybe my poaching the hill with studded tires all winter long could pay off someday.
  • 6 0
 Just tell me where are the riders going to get some training for snow biking? Ever tried to get a lift with bike in winter at your resort?
It's like once a year chance
  • 6 0
 If I can count to ten, and I think I can, then EDR/E-EDR is the same speciality? How does that work then?
  • 4 0
 Looks like the rumors are true that enduro is getting downsized to just ebike racing.
  • 3 0
 This is a shame. Instead of promoting fatbiking they are simply creating a downhill enduro cross over. Places like the upper Midwest and Scandinavia are getting passed over. New England, the Rockies and the Alps could host an event IF a ski mountain changes their rules fit a one time event. And good luck having these athletes getting practice runs in. No mountain is going to allow this outside an event. Instead of growing an existing segment of cycling, they created a made for TV event for athletes that already exist.
  • 3 0
 I swear people can't read sometimes!! They clearly say it's gonna be on a Super G ski hill so this is not XC fatbiking!! lol Am I just too old or what?! Maybe it's just a Quebec/Canada thing but when I was young (like 20-30years ago) there was some winter downhill racing for fun....DH bike with big studded tires! Like big, really big, screws! lol It's nothing new, anyway not for us that have snowy winters...

I still don't understand why they would put that and maybe stopped enduro racing but yeah, just to say that it's nothing new.
  • 3 0
 This has been done before. Snow King happened in 2004 on the same tracks as the World Cup skiers. No Fatbikes in sight, and it was kind of cool at the time. If done right this might have potential.
  • 6 0
 This is dumb AF. Almost as dumb as eBike enduro racing.
  • 2 0
 There is a rad dh off the mt rose highway back down to the incline flume that we use to do on the first bluebird powder day of the year. Climb up highway and shred down pow covered trail w little pow filled gullies. So fun, even in the old rim brake funhater 26 bike times. def not sketchy 223mph.
  • 2 0
 Isn’t this just usurping or stealing an avalanche style event from a ski resort that just wanted to hold a ridiculous and fun thing. Absolutely spectator and ski resort friendly, but as a discipline it’s just a reasons to pull your DH bike out for a day then immediately put it right back into storage.


I’m pro fat bike i live in an area where winter is on my roof and at my door steep. My MTB club grooms close to 20 miles of single track so our community can fat bike, snow shoe and just hike on groomed snow cover trails while enjoy living and exist in winter even at -20F.

A XC style cold weather snow covered race is much more a thing, to me. For us fat bikers it gives us the ability to cast off cross country skis and keep riding our bikes. We hold a race in the dead of winter with all the uphill and as much down hill as northern Minnesota can muster, not that much vertical, and it’s amazing and you could hold this style of race anywhere there’s snow to groom.
  • 5 0
 Winter X '98. Featuring "mechanic" Jeff Steber:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLlYWIC4O80
  • 1 0
 Extrême mechanic... Lol
  • 3 1
 To bastardise the last paragraph - I personally find enduro, DH & 4x thrilling. Rather than attraction a new audience how about retaining your existing one? Pumping money into team's & riders that know what works, what helps sell bike's.
  • 2 0
 This reeks of out of touch executives trying to generate more revenue by chasing mainstream TV content. If the UCI would focus on providing great racing and content for the people who want to watch mountain biking, they would be much more successful.
  • 2 0
 Sick another uci event with no prerequisite races to gain points. Snow racing is a different ball game than dh or xc. Yet again uci proving how out of touch they are with cycling.
  • 4 0
 Wow, way to read the room UCI. Can't we all decide to boycott this corrupt, useless and embarrassing entity?
  • 5 0
 Please just bring back 4X
  • 2 0
 For those wondering what is Snow Bike, it is simply downhill ski on a bike. I wonder what are the real reasons to include as a UCI World Championship.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuuOJrbhJng
  • 1 0
 “MTB advertising is down in the winter. I know, let’s start a snow bike race series no one asked for!!”
  • 1 0
 Anyone read the rules (if they have been published), more specifically the tire rules? Are screw tires allowed, and what is the max length of screw above tire knob surface, if they are? Not that you'd necessarily want them if it is really snow, as they'd have more rolling resistance, but on more icy conditions they're the ticket (screw, not stud - studs are also good, but different). In that old 2020 UCI video they say tires can be studded, but would assume there might be some limitations on the studs/ screws. Or then not. But yeah hope they add some jumps on the course.
  • 2 0
 @FIN599 in rules published in 2019, the UCI says: "The day before the competition, the organiser will give information and
recommendations about the tyres to be used according to the snow characteristics."

Elsewhere it does mention that "the use of tyres fitted with metal spikes or screws is not permitted, except for Snow
Bike and should not exceed 5mm (excluding rubber)."
  • 1 0
 @edspratt: Thanks!
  • 5 0
 Doin it for the fan!
  • 4 0
 Can’t wait for the Fat Snow e-Bike chumpionships.
What a world.
  • 3 0
 Let's get that Oprah meme going! You get a rainbow jersey! And you get a rainbow jersey! And you..
  • 2 0
 Shawn Palmer's opinion on snowbike, 8:50"... Pretty accurate... m.youtube.com/watch?si=X_5_fC6q37CYt_y_&v=v3bUY3CvuQI&feature=youtu.be
  • 1 0
 Way more interesting is that the points scale for Women's World Cup finals now goes down to 20th place. Top 20 finals next year?! About time, if so. Depth of competition is so strong now.
  • 1 0
 Wow, the UCI creating a "world championship" for a bike sport we're not even sure what they're referring to. Probably only has meaningful participation in a handful of European countries. Shocker.
  • 3 0
 Haven't they done enough?
  • 1 0
 Hey if I see a race near me in Western Canada I wold go. Looks like fun, after all going fast on bikes downhill is fun winter or summer.
  • 1 1
 Our local organizers did an event a few years ago that was like boardercross but for fat bikes and XC Skis (separately though). It was pretty sweet and I got some sick air, but they stopped doing it during covid
  • 4 0
 i miss dirt magazine Frown
  • 4 1
 whats happened to my beloved hobbie/community. this is such shite.
  • 2 0
 I can’t wait to watch the DownhillEskibike race it’s going to be so rad.
  • 2 0
 Judging by the photo, it looks like snow-biking has already built up an impressive following.
  • 4 0
 UCI = Kooks SMH
  • 2 0
 In Winter i prefer my fat skis over fat bikes. Way faster, no cold feet and more fun…
  • 1 0
 WE cannot enter a bike in a skilift on winter anyways, only once a year at Verbier... I don't know why they promote an sport WE are not aloud to practice, and with a Real climats change Happening... Last winter somme ski stations in the alps were opening for bikes, but it was more or a Mudbiking than Snow..
  • 1 0
 Suspect partly down to to snow bike easier to put on television live. Imagine if it was a red bull/Warner snow bike race series.
  • 2 0
 The UCI continues to bastardize the sport of mountainbiking. They are so incredibly out of touch.
  • 2 0
 Just give the megavalach and the mountain of hell UCI status as that has snow in it. Far more entertaining
  • 2 0
 what on earth did they smoked at their last meeting and where we can get some?
  • 1 0
 Funny how UCI is capable of cancelling 4x which was a most exciting form of mtb you can watch, and then introduce us to shit like eco or snowbiking XD
  • 1 0
 This deserves a Down-Something Field Test with the return of Mike Levy in spandex and brakeless Smile
  • 2 1
 I would do it with my Downhill or my FATBIKE... but I think he's talking about a bike with ski...?
  • 2 1
 These things have 'bike' in their name because you sit in a similar position, but as there is no pedaling and there are no wheels, it's very unlikely they would fall under cycling's governing body. It's a (niche) ski sport.
  • 1 1
 The way is being described there is no advantage to a fatbike. It would be on a groomed firm trail.
  • 2 0
 April 1st came really early this year.
  • 4 1
 Uci and ebikes suck
  • 2 0
 Sure to get a cold reception in the MTB world.
  • 1 0
 Leave enduro out of it, the best rider in the world for the year is the best all round at every event.
  • 1 0
 Welp, they ruined something I didn’t even care about to begin with. Way to go, Dick Pound.
  • 3 0
 Snowbiking but no 4X?
  • 2 0
 Available now on GCN+ !!

Oh
  • 2 0
 What does a pro snow bike racer make and should I quit the day job?
  • 2 1
 They always try and make it sound faster, talking in kph! It’s only 139mph, no big deal
  • 2 0
 What about e-fat-snow-slopestyle world championship?
  • 1 0
 First they stick DH behind a paywall now this! looks like its the end of Downhill.....
  • 1 1
 It's an outside sport of an outside sport... and you do it outside, so it's really a triple entendre. Amazing.
  • 2 0
 WTF?
  • 2 0
 Sorry, what?
  • 1 0
 I fatbike a lot. This is dumb.
  • 1 0
 Seeing your name, I'm assuming you are Wyoming. How much fatbiking is done in the rockies? Is it on trails or snowed in roads? Out west does not get much fatbike press but I'm assuming it's there.
  • 1 0
 Runs off to dig out my 90's skin suit kit.....
  • 2 0
 It's not April Fool's...
  • 2 0
 Vinny T is king of snow.
  • 2 0
 What about the Trials??
  • 1 0
 this remember that 1993 movie: Cool Runnings
  • 1 0
 Fat Bikes?
  • 1 0
 Get I C E D dummy
  • 1 0
 beyond stupid!
  • 2 1
 Is it April 1st?
  • 1 1
 pffff
  • 1 1
 Whatever







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