I started out with the Blackborow DS in "high" range, which was okay at first. However; when I had to break my own trail. I was shown that the low range would probably save my heart rate from going sky high. I figured it was about time to practice my "sub-zero gear change" anyway. What better time than the present? I dismounted and all went rather well until my rear brake caliper kept fouling on the rotor. An extra minute or so there sorting that out, but otherwise a successful change and even with heavy mittens on! Now on to a long stretch of snow covered bike trail.
The Blackborow DS with the big, wide tires and rims is a completely different experience than the Mukluks I have had are. Where the Mukluks seemed to be a chore to keep the front wheel underneath you and tracking straight, the Blackie just meanders a bit maybe, but mostly tracks true and the front tire sticks better as well. I have to really foul up in a turn or with body "english" to have the front tire wash out.
|Big ATV pogies look like floppy elephant ears!|
The final thing that impressed me was the way the Blackborow DS went up, over, and through snow piles. Urban snow hi-jinx will be much more fun on the Blackborow. That short wheel base allows for an easily popped up front, and it also lets you make subtle weight shifts which needed to be much more dramatic on the Mukluks. The end result is that along with the front end, traction, and stability, this bike is a big advancement on what I was running before. I will say that I haven't been beaten yet by the limited gearing, unless you count the water tower hill climb, but that could rear its ugly head at some point. Maybe the big tires with their flotation and the Lou's massive traction will get me out of trouble that way. Hard to tell at this point. I do know that if things tilt upward for too long I'm going to feel the limitations of the stock "low range" gear set up. Then again- maybe I should just "sack up" and get stronger! There is that to consider as well.
Another plus on the sheet for the Blackborow DS. I'll be putting this through more snow rides, hopefully, and after that I will write up my final verdict on this bike.