AluBOOyah Backcountry Bike With Tech Toe Ski Carrier


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 30, 2015      
AluBOOYAH, go human powered all the way.

AluBOOYAH, go human powered all the way. Click all images to enlarge.

In the search of human powered everything and largely because of the immense amount of snowmobile exhaust I inhaled over the past few weeks running back and forth from Irwin to Crested Butte (Colorado), I was stoked when I regained consciousness to find a big monster at my front door. Franken Bike could be one name of it but AluBOOYAH is its real moniker. Bamboo/aluminum construction, ice axe carrier, 4.5″ wide tires, and an innovative tech style binding A-frame ski carrier: this is the backcountry bike of my dreams.

I’m not a stranger to “big bikes” or what I thought were big bikes. Full disclosure: I like riding chairlifts or pickup trucks up mountains in the summer just to bomb down them. My downhill race machine tops the scales at 37lbs with 8 inches of suspension front and rear with over 220mm 4 piston disc brakes. Even so, the Alubooyah is a totally new behemoth. “Welcome to the world of fat bikes, Joe. We’re a bit different from the rest,” screamed the aluminum and bamboo machine.

Make no mistake. I’ve tried a bunch of bike/ski-carry combinations in the past: backpack style, PVC pipe on a rear rack, attached perpendicular to the down tube with snowboard ratchet straps, a bike trailer modified to hold skis, and even the stupid: one arm holding your skis while trying to steer, avoid pedestrians, ice, and rabid dogs all while on a single speed bike with studded tires. I’ve lost count of the amazingly awesome spills I’ve taken but the contusions on my right hip remind me of my stupidity.

With instructions to air down to 6 psi!! in addition to how to attach skis with tech style bindings to their custom CNC built A-frame ski carrier cleverly integrated to the rear bike pannier rack, aka AluBOO, I began to storm up the limitless potential of my new steed. Without the means of a snowmobile fund or simply when my Landcruiser meets the snowbank where chains no longer make forward progress possible, I knew this beast could make it–n packed or semi-packed trails or roads that is.

Backpack fits nicely on rear pannier rack.

Backpack fits nicely on rear pannier rack.

Best part with my skis on the rack and 100% human power, I was stealth! No emissions, no fuel to worry about (except my gels and whiskey), and best of all no noise!

Skis are held on to the rack by engaging your toe pieces to the “SKI” or “Touring” position fully locking them on the arms. The skis swing to the side to make attaching easier which also acts as a jury-rigged kickstand on snow. FYI: Dynafit binding equipped skis with a toe-guides (Radicals & Beasts) will require you to run the ski upside down due to machining tolerances.

Tech toe ski attachment.

Tech toe makes a secure ski attachment.

Beautiful custom CNC construction.

Beautiful custom CNC construction.

Once ready to ride, pull out a trusty Voile, strap attach the upper portions of the ski together, wrap the supplied short tied inner tube around the binding heels to eliminate a scene from the Griswald’s Christmas Vacation, and FAT on!

With a bike this size and perceived monstrous weight (which it is not! Under 30lbs!) I expected the worst or norm. To crash within a pedal stroke or two. Nope. Using flat pedals and ski boots I was able to “fat” around with no problem at all.

It made quick work/fun of Snodgrass so I could join a group and even was a breeze uphilling on the ski resort. Only problem was if I wanted to ski I had to skin up to retrieve the bike.

Foremost though I was impressed with the simpleness and sturdiness of BOO Bikes ski carrier. I took a few graceful spills with some DPS skis and Dyanfit PDG’s but the super bike made it out unharmed!

Pre-order an Alubooyah bicycle ski mount here. If they get 20 orders, production will start. MSRP $135.



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Comments

41 Responses to “AluBOOyah Backcountry Bike With Tech Toe Ski Carrier”

  1. Lame January 30th, 2015 1:09 pm

    Looks perfect for Colorado…specially Boulder. Way to make something uncomplicated, complicated.

  2. Lisa Dawson January 30th, 2015 1:33 pm

    Looks pretty cool to me. These fat tire bikes are the rage in our Colorado mountain town. Besides being able to bike around town on snowy streets, they provide backcountry access on roads that are closed in the winter, like Independence Pass and Maroon Bells. I wouldn’t mind adding Alubooyah to my bike quiver!

  3. Jacob January 30th, 2015 2:04 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it! This setup was inspired by trips such as Holy Cross Couloir or Torreys Peak. The idea being that the bike gets you the bulk of the way into the woods, to the base of the gnar, or the front door of the hut. Skins take you from there, leaving only an awesome powder line back down to the bike. Or it can be used to commute in your local ski town. Whatever gets you outside more often!

  4. Lou Dawson 2 January 30th, 2015 3:09 pm

    ’bout time we had a bike post! Good job Joe. Lou

  5. Agree with Lame January 30th, 2015 3:48 pm

    I agree with Lame. No thanks on the gimmicky bike materials. I’d rather you did a post on what people are really doing with their biking and the kluged up set-ups they have, rather than some $2,500 solution to a problem I didn’t know I had.

    I like posts about “ski-country engineering” (much like African engineering, but a different local and different techniques). Love posts about the DIY mobile backcountry ski hut, but it seems like your site is constantly trying to market me something in the blog posts.

    I come here less and less, which is a shame, because you do have some really unique content (even for this telemarker) – it’s just becoming more burdensome to dig through the chaff.

  6. Coyoda January 30th, 2015 4:21 pm

    I really don’t see why some commenters have their capilene in a bunch about this post. I won’t be rushing to order myself one, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless, and a creative solution even if it may not be “a problem I didn’t know I had”.

  7. Joe John January 30th, 2015 4:34 pm

    It is an interesting and amusing read! Thank you and keep them coming.

  8. whatever January 30th, 2015 4:41 pm

    More complaining about snowmobiles on kebler pass. If you don’t like sleds why don’t you ski in the woods?

  9. Kyle January 30th, 2015 6:07 pm

    Don’t want to sound negative, just a few questions as I don’t fully understand the potential of fat bikes for human powered skiing.
    Is this for biking up maintained roads and skiing down off highway access lines? In BC, I’m tryin to imagine where this setup would be useful, besides maybe getting you to the trail head if you don’t live too far away. I haven’t used a fatbike, so these aren’t questions to put down the article at all, seems like a really nice setup.
    Surely you can’t bike up a snowed in logging road with more efficiency than touring up? And where do you stash a bike, that from what I have seen, costs thousands of dollars. Possibly as much or more than a small used snowmobile.

  10. biggb January 30th, 2015 7:25 pm

    So … living here in Idaho, where our best ski mountaineering is very far from roads … but with packed snowmobile paths going everywhere. If you live a human powered life, a bike is the way to cut the approach time exponentially while saving energy. Even a wall mart-fat bike is better than nothing.

  11. biggb January 30th, 2015 7:27 pm

    to kyle : mechanical leverage / gearing and a combination lock – to answer 2 of your questiowns.

  12. Jacob January 30th, 2015 7:29 pm

    Kyle, in Colorado, there are TONS of minimally maintained forest roads. These roads often lead to the base of awesome peaks and bowls. They are also covered in 3 to 6 feet of snow from December to May. Often with snow mobile or snow shoe tracks to pack them down. Perfect conditions for a fat bike. Trust me, ditching a bike at the top of these roads to go ski or climb is no problem. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and the only people out there are similar skiers and climbers that know the “karma codes” of the woods. Sure, one could skin or motor up most these roads in the Winter, but, in my humble opinion, it is more fun with the bike. Also, in the Spring, these roads are often mixed, with 100 meters of dirt for every 6 foot snow drift. For these conditions, the bike is absolutely the fastest mode of travel to get to the higher altitude Spring skiing and snow climbs. Anyway, it’s just a different way to travel through the woods. Nothing wrong with snow mobiles. Whatever get’s more people out respecting our natural places, more often. I just personally prefer human powered travel when possible, which is why I designed the ski mounts.

  13. Joe Risi January 30th, 2015 7:30 pm

    @Lame & @Agree My reason for reviewing this bike was specifically to take a look at the rack system. Boobikes has no patent or limitations on you creating your own, so have at it! This is Wildsnow mod away!

    I don’t own the bike and it’s no longer in my possession but I do carry a old cross country bike around with me on the back of my truck to navigate mountain towns. I’ll be the idiot in ski boots with skis attached to his bike in 2 feet of snow pedaling past you while you shovel your car out.

    I am always on the lookout to use my truck less and this seems like a nice alternative.

    I personally I wouldn’t buy a fat bike for the costs but I would buy solid rack that keeps my $1000+ ski setup from becoming a yard sale off of my winter dedicated mountain bike.

  14. Jacob January 30th, 2015 7:38 pm

    Oh yeah, good point, Joe. In fact, I’m happy to send the CAD drawings to anyone who asks for them.Email jacob@boobicycles.com. If you get them machined as a one-off, it’ll cost you around $300 just for the mounts. I was simply trying to get the costs down with a collection of rad folks that enjoy similar things. They work on any bike with a rear rack that meets certain specs. If we can get 20 orders, it would cut peoples costs in half. Machining and raw materials are economies of scale my backcountry friends.

  15. Mitch R. January 30th, 2015 8:03 pm

    Great post!

    I have two fatbikes, a quiver of skis, and have played around with carrying skis on them.

    I have always viewed a fat bike as a poor man’s ATV.

    However, you don’t need to spend that kind of coin to get the job done. Just buy or fabricate the ski holder and place it on any fat bike. Decent fatbikes cane be had for $700 and up.

  16. Thom Mackris January 30th, 2015 8:04 pm

    Thanks Joe/Jacob. While I don’t even own a mountain bike (MON DIEU! and I live in Colorado ??), I appreciate posts with solutions to problems that some (not all) people may have. Heck! I may just get a cheepie mountain bike for this Spring’s touring.

    The diversity of readers here is great. There will always be a grump or two (who may well be a sweetie pie), but who has been sniffing too much fluorocarbon wax 🙂

    Cheers,
    Thom

  17. Rick January 31st, 2015 1:10 am

    I like my fat bikes but am pretty certain I’ll stick to my M8 for way off the road system ski approaches ..

    👿

  18. Gary Kean January 31st, 2015 6:23 am

    Cool bike and ski carry…wish I had a Fat bike and lived in place where I could bike to BC skiing.

  19. Mike January 31st, 2015 8:11 am

    I like the concept. Don’t understand the haters, but I guess they infiltrate every corner of the net. You don’t like it, don’t use it.

    How about small blocks like this installed on the sides of your pack? Not that straps are that complicated, but could be a secure, lightweight way to clip skis to stuff other than a bike.

  20. Lisa Dawson January 31st, 2015 8:38 am

    Jacob, thanks for chiming in. It’s good to hear from the industry insider. Best of luck getting the 20 orders for the ski carry system. Keep us posted on how it goes.

  21. Sedgesprite January 31st, 2015 9:03 am

    Bike access is near and dear to the Dawn Patroller’s heart. When time is essential and or the access-egress require hiking, the bike is your best friend for getting the goods and getting to work on time. The uninitiated are still walking down the trail while we roll by. Brilliant solution to ski attachment.

  22. Matt Kinney January 31st, 2015 9:07 am

    I use a mid-fat for ski approached as they are lighter and work fine on packed roads and hardened sled trails. Only ski/biked a handful of times as conditions have to be more or less perfect to use any bike.

    Saw a $600 Fat tire at Walmart. Bike stores…$1000’s

    All you need now is a tech fitting adapter on your peddles so you can click in with your AT boots. (Sound like a lou project.)

    I use toe straps to hold my ski boots to the peddle for more efficiency, but may replace it with a cleated, over sized flat peddle which are popular up here on longer efforts.

  23. slcpunk January 31st, 2015 9:36 am

    Curious about the mount and how it worked – the bottoms of the skis look really close to the snow/ground. They didn’t bottom out when going around a corner and/or leaning the bike.

    would be nervous about breaking something in any type of tip-over. am i not picturing it correctly?

  24. Jacob January 31st, 2015 10:03 am

    slcpunk, the mounts are designed to fit up to 188 cm skis. (Coincidentally, that’s what my La Sportiva Hang 5s are :D) This also obviously depends on how forward or aft your bindings are mounted on your skis, and you can always potentially turn them upside down for more clearance.

  25. Poach Ninja January 31st, 2015 11:34 am

    Cool bike item.
    I see the ski rack being great for around town on your cruiser, but not so much as a viable backcountry access tool, but whatever…

    The big question is this: How about incorporating pin binding toe pieces on the pedals?! Like clipless for your ski boots. I’ve crashed my bike more than once from my ski boots suddenly flying off of my pedals.

  26. Kyle January 31st, 2015 12:13 pm

    Cool thanks for the replies. I have been looking at fat bikes lately. I guess I will try and ride one and see how they feel. I just have a hard time imagining them riding up a forest service road packed with snow, but seems people do it. I wish my area had approaches like that close to town.

  27. Matt Kinney January 31st, 2015 12:24 pm

    One other thing is the narrow racing seat. I got a fatter seat for winter riding and it is much more comfortable considering the added weight.

  28. OMR January 31st, 2015 1:47 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve found success strapping skis to the bike frame, just under the seat and to the stem. It takes some experimenting to get it just right but it works great and requires only a couple of Voile straps.

    Best pics of the setup are buried in my Farmington Cyn (3-30-13) and Grandview Peak (4-12-13) posts.

    http://wasatchsolo.blogspot.com/2013_04_01_archive.html?m=0

  29. Max January 31st, 2015 1:52 pm

    In my day (not tooo long ago) bumming around a ski town in the summer, it was the bomb to have a $500 car with a $3000 bike on top. Glad to see things haven’t changed much.

  30. See January 31st, 2015 7:33 pm

    I’ve never ridden a bike like the one featured here, but my very limited snow/ice biking experience leads me to believe that studded tires are the way to go. Are most people that ride these on snow and ice really going with studless tires like on the tester?

  31. Thomas January 31st, 2015 8:12 pm

    Haters gonna hate. Super cool stuff constantly shows up on this site. I know folks that are going to love this when I show it to them. Peddling in to a yurt, skiing for a few days then peddling on out just went on the list of things to do. Thanks

  32. KevinP February 1st, 2015 1:27 pm

    Joe/Jacob, with your skis and pack on the rear rack, where did you attach your poles?

  33. Jim Pace February 1st, 2015 4:57 pm

    Up here in Idaho we are way ahead of you with fat bikes, maybe. Valley County snowmobiles trails (about 500 miles worth) are open to fat bikes, as long as one buys a pass, just like the ‘bilers. There is a lot simpler way to cary skis, too. How do I post a picture on this list? Here is a link.

    http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-p7SmycGOwSE/VJ8hMCSTnaI/AAAAAAAARiw/C2UCu7-lYp0/w1568-h1176-no/IMG_2322.JPG

  34. See February 1st, 2015 7:07 pm

    Jim, I can’t figure how you get enough heel clearance to pedal that rig.

  35. Joe Risi February 1st, 2015 9:04 pm

    Poles were usually stashed next to my pack.

    The bike rack had great clearance didn’t you know walk mode really means walk/pedal/run! In that regard I had no problems what so ever with pedal clearance.

    Thomas, I know of several people fatbiking to and fro from huts in Colorado on a daily basis. It’s happening. Although skiing down is way better then ice-white knuckling!

  36. wyomingowen February 1st, 2015 10:31 pm

    I’ve been tinkering for 8 years, with all degrees of success or lack there of….

    OMR is on it, besides parading skis around town, I feel the vertical mount is deficient for 2 reasons, the weight is at the back and if you ever need to dismount in a hurry good luck swinging your leg over. I’ll gladly share my design for CNC…
    turns out there are only a few places/conditions I find it definitively advantageous (granted the bikes have come a long way in a short time), so now it’s a very successful hunting mechanized means of travel. Photo link below…

    http://s993.photobucket.com/user/wyomingowen/library/Pugsley

    1 strap holds skis and poles, plenty of room pedaling and weight is distributed on the main triangle not out behind you.

    As for the haters, I find myself going to forums more than blogs these days, much freer space, no point hating decide with your “hits”

  37. Mark Worley February 2nd, 2015 7:05 am

    Price seems reasonable. I talked with one of the designers for Boo and was impressed. The bikes are pretty nice as well.

  38. Mark Worley February 2nd, 2015 7:07 am

    Studded tires for such a beast work, but they’re insanely heavy, have massive rolling resistance.

  39. See February 2nd, 2015 9:33 am

    So for “packed or semi-packed trails or roads” a fat bike beats a regular bike with studded tires? Aside from riding on the beach, what’s the point of the super fat bike? It’s not that I’m hating on it, I’m just trying to understand it.

  40. Jacob February 2nd, 2015 10:03 am

    I personally wouldn’t do studded tires unless I plan on riding a frozen river or lake. For hard packed and semi loose snow, non-studded tires are fine.

    @ See, the best way to understand a fat bike is to spend time with one. Just a couple years ago, fat bikes were seen as just some new thing that wouldn’t catch on. Ask anyone that has spent time on one though, and you’ll understand why it’s the fastest growing Winter sport in America. Whether you’re riding to the bar on snowy streets, making laps around your local nordic center, or shredding up and down a remote snow shoe trail, the fat bike gives you way more flotation, control, and confidence than even a typical MTB tire. If you also invest in a nice one, they can be remarkably nimble and playful on Summer single track as well.

    Furthermore, these are extremely economical bikes. Picture the average XTR equipped hard tail mountain bike, on a nice frame, which would retail for $8-10k. Instead, for $5k, you can have an XTR equipped fat bike that will shred all Winter. Then, simply purchase a nice tubeless 29+ wheel and tire set, maybe throw on a nice suspension fork, and you have a really solid summer trail bike as well. Basically, a year round, race worthy bike, for as much or less than the Summer specific mountain bike.

  41. Ian Dee September 28th, 2015 2:59 am

    I’d like to see this converted to electric to help take the load up hill. Any chance wildsnow is going to test an electric bike?

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