Video: "Highlights" from the Snow Bike World Championships 2024

Feb 17, 2024 at 1:28
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesTake a behind-the-scenes look at the first edition of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships, which took place in Châtel, France on 10-11 February.UCI


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Member since Mar 16, 2017
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94 Comments
  • 150 1
 The snow mountain bike world championships is a bit like headset cable routing , it’s something you didn’t know you didn’t need until it was invented
  • 24 1
 1. No disrespects to the participants...

2. IMO: DH racing is rad because on that track, there is NO faster vehicle, I dont think a moto could keep up with top 5 DH racer. And for XC, that is the fastest self powered tool for the race... In snow DH (whatever it's called) on that track, there are faster tools (skis, snowboard). Same reason bike polo has not taken off, just watch/play hockey, or football, and don't take something fun and make it something stupid cuz you added a bike to it.

3. Can we ALL (you too UCI) just pretend this didn't happen and never talk about it again.
  • 73 1
 I was withholding judgment until I saw some footage (which took a while to appear). I had hoped that this would be steep with jumps and plenty of sketch…I was worried people would just be foot dangling all the way down.

Sadly my worries ended up true…this was bad
  • 14 36
flag hohmskullkrishten (Feb 17, 2024 at 5:07) (Below Threshold)
 A steep snow course would not hold up for very long, it has to be somewhat flat if you want it to last through the event. Why you hating on flat out foot out action? It's more fun in the snow than it is on dirt.

Everybody decided they hated this event a week ago and now are looking for ways to justify their hatred of bikers having fun sliding around in the snow.
  • 18 2
 @hohmskullkrishten: every ski World Cup (Slalom, GS, Super-G and Downhill) is held on a bloody steep pitch (minus 1 or 2 “gliding”downhill course, and even they will have proper steep pitches). If you’re saying that bikes aren’t capable of being raced on such pistes then we’re back to the problem of this being a joke of a discipline
  • 20 0
 @hohmskullkrishten: Everybody decided they hated this event a week ago based on it being a bad idea and now they are looking at it,their hatred has been justified.
  • 6 10
flag CYCOlogist818 (Feb 17, 2024 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 @watchmen: The very fact that it's a bad idea is why it's such a great idea.
  • 9 0
 @hohmskullkrishten: Dude, it was genuinely shit. Source: the video in this article.
  • 8 0
 It was hard to watch even 4 minutes of it.
  • 4 3
 Maybe this is not really about entertainment.

Maybe this is more about trying to develop ways for ski resorts to be economically viable when there's not enough reliable snow to ski on?
  • 4 1
 @hohmskullkrishten: As @aliclarkson pointed out, he was withholding judgement so your last sentence in your initial response is inherently wrong.

My main issue with the event was that the first event was a world championship straight away so without any preceding rounds selecting the best athletes for the main event. Now it is just Ireland, Great Brittain and the Alp countries. As far as what I was expecting, I was expecting something a bit cooler indeed for such a high profile event. Nearly two decades ago they did the Tignes Airwaves which already looked much more exciting and obviously the Megavalanche has been going for a good while too. Instead of setting up an event like this, they could just as well have timed the snow section of the Mega and handed out the rainbow jersey based on that.
  • 7 0
 @vinay: Also; it was shit.
  • 4 13
flag hohmskullkrishten (Feb 17, 2024 at 19:18) (Below Threshold)
 @mashrv1: Bikes can be raced on a steep pitch in the snow but the track wouldn't hold up throughout the race.

The racers that raced it said it was fun and it looked fun to me. I enjoyed watching it and think it should be an event. So did thousands of others. You don't have to watch next time but I'm sure you'll keep complaining about people having fun racing bikes in the snow.
  • 8 0
 Waste of a good ski hill.
  • 3 0
 If you necessarily have to take a foot off to make it down, you're using the wrong tool. who knows, it might evolve, but as it is, for me, this ain't it.
  • 2 4
 @aliclarkson: @dirtbaggraeme:

Lamest argument ever. Word cup DH riders don't put the foot down too often because modern suspension and tires offer a lot of grip and DH tracks have progressively steered towards being slow, narrow and technical over fast and open wide so it matters more being able to balance the bike with both feet. But I can show you plenty of pictures of the MTB pioneers of the 70's and 80's 90's DH "legends" putting a foot down. Also you will see a lot of 2 wheeled motorsports where riders often put a foot off because the speed / grip ratio is much higher than in DH. If the track courses were designed for the riders hitting +120kph speed and had super wide long corners you bet they would put a foot off more often.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: early pioneers were tripodding, but they were also riding slicks down fire roads. Then what happened? The sport evolved to a point where the bikes were more capable of handling the terrain, so the foot down wasnt necessary. In a more modern setting, with guys like Sam Hill, the foot isn't on the ground, it's a balance/counter weight thing. No one is tripodding down a dh track unless something has gone wrong. Foot out and foot down are very different things. If snow biking evolves, like mtb did, it might be cool to me, but honestly, the ski is just a better tool for the job, and consequently, something I'd personally rather watch and use to get down a snowy mountain. You do you though, no one says you can't like it.
  • 30 0
 Again, snow biking is lots of fun (except for uphills, they are a pita).
Calling that a world championship is a bit over the top, oh well...
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I cannot imagine how much fun this event must have been for the riders though, I'm jelly.
  • 28 1
 I still can't believe they're trying to kill EWS in favour of this bollocks

(And yes I know it's "EDR" now)
  • 3 48
flag deadmeat25 (Feb 17, 2024 at 4:28) (Below Threshold)
 Really..? I'm surprised you are surprised that someone would want to replace the single worst class of bike racing ever conceived by any possible metric, with this...
  • 1 1
 @deadmeat25: you’d better be careful talking about EDR like that in these circles… you might have someone Italian in a suit knocking on your door real soon…
  • 1 0
 @blissindex: in Tippies voice "the mafia!"
  • 11 0
 @deadmeat25: How someone could make a comment this brain-dead is beyond my understanding. Enduro racing is extremely well loved at a grassroots level, and extremely fun to participate in. The fact that UCI has mishandled the pro-level stuff so spectacularly shouldn't be a mark against the discipline as a whole.
  • 4 0
 @deadmeat25: EDR is imperial and thus crap. Enduro is metric and great.
  • 2 3
 What makes you think they are trying to kill it? Not managing something as well as you would want doesn't mean they want to kill it.

And I am pretty sure you would not do a better job at it anyway.
  • 27 1
 E-mtb snow bike world champs for 2025? Let's go full idiot while we're at it!
  • 8 0
 It was supposed to be stationary e-bike championships...
  • 1 0
 @FredFreeRideGang: on a trainer…
  • 1 1
 I'm down.
  • 1 0
 @FredFreeRideGang: you forgot it will be a simulated snow track in the alps
  • 1 1
 Riding an e bike in the snow is more fun in the snow than a regular bike so with not?
  • 1 0
 @FredFreeRideGang: peloton world champs!
  • 22 0
 Looks fun,but definitely not worthy of being a world championship race.
  • 14 0
 Here's an idea for the videos: You could show the names of the athletes talking to the camera or being shown on the podium. Or maybe even put up a list of the winners at the end of the video, with times or whatever metric was used to decide who became uci world champion. Just a suggestion, maybe it's a silly idea.
  • 13 1
 Here's an idea... Don't bother organising this shit show again. What an embarrassment to mountain biking.
  • 15 0
 This is like cutting an apple with a spoon
  • 3 0
 Yes, why cut an apple at all?
  • 8 0
 @Fill-Freakin: Well, have you tried swallowing one whole?
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: don't know about you, but I got these hard cutty things in my mouth. Is the NHS really that bad these days?
  • 11 0
 It´s also funny UCI was years standing against disc brakes on road bikes due to kind of danger situations while crash, but they are fine to let the MTBers race with spikes
.
Also training possibilities are extremely limited.

This ogranisation needs a massive bitch slap
  • 15 0
 Tripod world champs
  • 16 5
 Lame, this is even la,er then the e-bike world champs.

I think all bicycle racing is awesome but at some point you’re diluting the pool of money that is already small as it is.

UCi are f*cking retards.
  • 14 0
 This somehow managed to land below my expectations.
  • 6 0
 Absolutely genuinely shockingly bad…. I can’t express how bad that was !!!! Can someone please start a rival governing body that understands and respects mtb and who is capable of turning it into the brilliant spectacle it should be.
  • 6 0
 ha ha how much money did UCI stump up to create this? and wtf drugs were they on when they decided to green light the event? what a waste of resources. Do UCI have any comprehension how ridiculous this is for the sport of MTB? Off to watch a darkfest vid to clear that from my brain...
  • 7 0
 Wow all the spectators. I am sorry although it might be Hard to ride it is just really bring to watch....
  • 8 0
 Took week to cut and it's still look so boring
  • 6 0
 This is like one of those races you do with your mates when you're 10-12 years old. It's the absolute best thing ever for about 10-minutes. No one else thinks it is though
  • 3 0
 Best thing of the snow for mtbiking is the soft pillow dor crashing wich allows contact mass start and another level of risking... just see megavalanche and 4x in winter X games... UCI you completely lose track of whar this sport offered in terms of good show on the snow and just applied your ski mindset to a wheels in 2024 which is an insult...
  • 2 0
 Watching the amount of Snow in that mountain i guess is safe to say that the "Snow" part in Snowbikes is Not gonna last long...
But it'll be Keen' to watch dual slaloms in Mudbikes...
I guess people can relate more to this..

Pd: i live in the alpine area and bikeparks like Habere poche are open for bikes because Not enough Snow, while the rest of snowed Resorts don't allow you to enter on a bike..
  • 2 0
 Again, why no fat bikes? A 5" front tire and a 4" inch rear, aired down enough to keep the sidewall up, would have smoked the slalom course. Also held a better line on the off camber bits and corners in the GS, but likely slower in the straights. But here is the world's consensus, Google winter X games downhill bikes. It was SOOOO bad, it doesn't even pop up first, or second, or third... It's found in stories with titles, like"That one time the X Games got weird". I don't get it. No disrespect, I've stormed a few snowy downhills and you need some skill but, not a full fledged category, especially on a standard trail or DH bike.
  • 2 0
 I love fat biking so here is my thought. I completely agree that fat tires would be better. Maybe suspension would be more useful that the extra tire width. There are very few full suspension fat bikes out there, however. I'm sure they had the snow very packed down so floatation wasn't the issue. Maybe a skinny tire would be faster. Regardless, very lame race format.
  • 2 0
 Having ridden fat bikes, normal bikes and normal bikes with studs on ski hills I don't think that's true. Fat bikes are great at floating on top of the snow on a trail that would otherwise have a normal bike sink. However sinking isn't an issue on ski hills because the density of the snow base is much higher after skiers and groomers have been over it again and again. When you try and corner at high speed with the fat bikes they slide very easily, you can't get deep enough in to the snow to have it bite, you just float. But with normal tires you sink in just enough to have some bite to work with. Think of it like trying to turn a snowboard, vs. standing on a sled and doing the same thing. Studs help further, especially in the particularly slushy or icy conditions. When it's super slushy and they blow through all the slush or sugar hitting the usually firm, icy base they bite in. Icy conditions are pretty self-explanatory. Studs are slower rolling speed wise compared to normal tires, but never rode fat bikes not enough to get an idea of rolling speed compared. Could be more on account of it sitting higher on the surface, could be less on account of the giant face of them catching wind.
  • 1 0
 @ADHDMI: im still not convinced that fatbikes would not be faster. I do agree that narrow tires cut deep in the snow just like deep snow rally car tires. But on hard pack snow with proper fatbike studded tires at low pressure(between 2.5 and 5 psi) I’m pretty sure they will keep the grip at high speed no problem ? On one nigh ride I got up to 87kmh on snow with no studs and corners were not a problem. I just wish the trail was steeper and ad a bigger chainring so I could get more speed.
  • 6 0
 Wish they would put this energy towards getting DH at the summer olympics.
  • 3 0
 I don't think they put much energy into this.
  • 4 0
 Snowbike and mass start must go toghether... it is mtb proven record of milions of views... solo is freaking boring no one will watch it...
  • 5 0
 Pinkbike should interview the organizers and the UCI on why they thought this was a good idea! Brutal
  • 4 0
 *interrogate
  • 2 1
 No need for me to add to the universal condemnation. So, I'll be a contrarian and say this discipline could develop into an elegant thing to watch once riders refine their gear and technique for cutting and drifting in snow. As it stands, the people in the video look like novices wobbling down the mountain, which is a major optics fail.
  • 2 0
 Welcome back to the 1990s lol...Surprised this wasn't broadcast on MTV with a Rap Metal backtrack, ha ha. On the plus side, chairlift to the top and no need to wash the bike and kit afterwards- result!
  • 4 0
 Seriously? You've got to be shiiiitting me.
  • 3 0
 World Camps and 30 spectators showed up? Make it mandatory clip pedals would be interesting?
  • 1 0
 What if they integrate a ski blade into their shoe, so when they put their foot down it actually helps them cornering?
  • 5 0
 TRASH
  • 1 0
 they promote this type of sports so that they still have income (bike park and UCI commissioner) even off season or winter season.
  • 2 0
 The snow mountain bike world championships is a bit like headset cable routing its shit and needs to do one.
  • 3 0
 I can't think of anything as ridiculous to compare it to.!
  • 7 0
 How about the original ebikes race that happened on a motocross course
  • 3 0
 How was this so incredibly terrible?.
  • 2 0
 Hey Guys what happened at the end? I was watching but the paint drying on my walls caught more of my interest.
  • 1 0
 I saw a comment from one racer that some competitors were bending the rules in terms of bike set-up - any ideas what this could be?
  • 3 0
 longer studs on tyres than what was in the rules apparently.
  • 1 0
 The mega starts on snow and is always entertaining to watch, how they made this so un-entertaining to watch us hard to work out.
  • 2 0
 They are using mudguards LOL
  • 2 0
 So would I. The thought of buzzing a rear tyre full of metal spikes isn't too appealing.
  • 2 0
 This looks awful compared to alpine ski racing.
  • 2 0
 It felt like Danny was being interviewed with a Gun to his back...
  • 1 3
 In defense of the UCI, and this needs mentioning first, they don't organise the events; they just sanction them, essentially putting their name to them for recognition. So this wasn't the UCI's idea. I think it's important for people to understand that before they start bashing them.

This was a bit like what those moron americans do with their rounders "world series". It's not a world series when it's just americans. Similarly, you can't call something a world championship when it is essentially an invitational event. When did all the national federations hold their national championships for people to qualify for this.

Third, and this isn't limited to this, this also goes for the kind of diabolical bike youtube channels like gmbn, putting high tempo music on a video doesn't make bland content exciting.
  • 1 0
 It's ok guys chill, the FIS have a reciprocal programme where skiers will ride grass skis at Windrock
  • 2 0
 Is it just me or is this completely pointless?!
  • 1 0
 No. It's not just you.
  • 1 0
 The funniest thing is that the UCI are doing this in an attempt to get more people mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 Where's Sam—Foot out! Flat out! — Hill?
  • 1 0
 How to admit that UCI is eating ita own tail?
  • 2 0
 Wow. that WAS bad.
  • 2 1
 Not a clipless pedal in sight, just people living in the moment.
  • 1 0
 There's a reason fire-road races moved to trails.
  • 1 0
 Use some god danm FATBIKES!!!
  • 1 0
 this looks so stupid
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