Which is faster: Snowbike or skate skis?

 

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Up in Alaska, they run a winter race called the Litte Su. It’s not nearly as ambitious as, say, the Iditarod. But the 31K backcountry trek is unique in that you can race it apparently any way you please — with dog sleds, skis, snowshoes, bikes. Or maybe any combination thereof.

And according to this article, cyclists on snowbikes routinely beat skate skiers. That should come as little surprise, since skate skis are designed for groomed trails, not deep powder. Which (a) makes me think the reporter doesn’t precisely understand this fact; (b) makes me wonder which would actually be faster, on a groomed skate-skiing trail.

I have to guess that the skis would have the advantage, at least on a hilly course, minus the weight penalty of your typical 35-50 pound Pugsley. What do you think? Should we arrange a time trial? A head-to-head mountain cross?

 

Photo of Pugsley (cc) http://flickr.com/photos/delorenzo/

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