The Importance of Suspension for Serious Snowmobile Riders

Snowmobile

By Cole Bangert

Suspension is a crucial part of the setup for more aggressive and advanced snowmobile riders. It changes the entire feel of the machine. Over the past several years, I’ve been spoiled by Fox Racing Shocks and have learned why great suspension makes a world of difference.

Correct suspension settings allow a rider to approach any terrain far more aggressively. With proper suspension, the sled becomes more predictable. This affects the proper ride height, weight distribution, and rebound and compression rates.

Stock suspension on most snowmobiles tends to be soft. Soft suspension creates an unsettled feeling in the sled. It can feel somewhat unstable at high speeds and unpredictable in changing snow densities. When encountering unforeseen obstacles or firm snow layers, a rider will “slap” the bottom of the suspension. This is an awful feeling. It’s a resounding slapping noise that can be heard over the motor. The result is not good. It hurts your wrists, ankles, sled, and confidence.

Aftermarket suspension, especially Fox, will not increase the amount of suspension travel you get on a snowmobile, but is infinitely more tunable. You can set it up correctly for your particular ride weight, style and terrain.

The “spring rate” is what holds you and the sled off the ground. Traditional springs are steel or titanium. Most vehicles on the road have same thing, steel springs holding the weight of the car. Most Fox Shocks for snowmobiles have an air spring. There is a pressurized air chamber holding the weight up. This offers a different feel from steel and is also highly adjustable. With nothing more than a pocket size pump, changes can easily be made on the fly.

The next point of consideration is damping. To understand damping, picture a pogo stick. When compressed, it rebounds and flings you right back up in the air. Not something you want to happen in suspension. Damping is what slows the compression and rebound so the reaction of the shock is manageable.

Damping is also adjustable. It can be as easy as using a clicker knob on the outside of the shock. There are typically high and low speed adjusters for compression and rebound. This is often confusing for riders, so here is a simple way to decipher high speed versus low speed damping:

Low speed damping is your body weight. This includes anything you are doing to the shock by pushing down with your body weight, like compressions on the face of a jump. The speed of your shock compressing and rebounding is quite slow on these.

High-speed damping comes from the ground up. This might be a square edge bump that you hit at a fast rate of speed. Your shock compression and rebound speed are very fast and abrupt. You need faster rebound on this type of obstacle because there may be multiple obstacles right after one another. If your rebound is too slow, your shock will not recover to full length before the next hit. This causes the suspension to “pack up” and operate on the bottom of the stroke, which is not a good feeling.

Good suspension is a must for any semi serious to serious snowmobile rider. It changes the game, changes how and where you will ride. It’s a major confidence booster, and confidence is everything in a rider.

For more information on snowmobile rides and the other adventures we offer near Vail, Colorado, please explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or call us at 970-476-3700.

Take Your Valentine On a Scenic Snowmobile Ride

Date Ideas

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and this is your friendly reminder to plan something memorable for your loved one! Whether you buy into the commercial hype or not, everyone likes to be thought of. And what better way to let your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or fiancé know that you’re thinking of them, than to plan a scenic, mountain snowmobile ride?

The snow conditions are incredible here on our private mountain ranch near Vail, Colorado. Skip the lift likes and sweep your valentine away into the beauty of the backcountry. Enjoy 6,000 acres of private mountain terrain, hundreds of miles of trails and comfortable, quiet new snowmobiles. Our tours provide an idyllic mountain experience with some of the best views overlooking the entire Vail Valley, across Avon, Beaver Creek and Eagle.

Not to add any pressure, but last month we witnessed one of our guests proposing to his girlfriend atop a picturesque lookout. No pressure, guys!

But in all seriousness, we do work our best to make these rides a very memorable and impactful experience not just for couples, but also for families and groups of friends. Nestled in a beautiful spot on one of the largest and most historic ranches in the valley, we are very proud to offer such a unique mountain experience.

We offer free hotel pickup and in less than 30 minutes you’ll be at our base of operations on the ranch, with a cozy check-in cabin, equipment room and a 5,000 square foot deck.

For more information on our snowmobile tours, please explore our Snowmobiling Page. To book your trip or to inquire about availability, please call us at 970-476-3700. We look forward to seeing you here on the ranch!

A Mountaintop Proposal

Mountain Top

One of the things we love most about our jobs here at Sage Outdoor Adventures is being a part of our customers’ experience in the mountains and some very memorable moments.

Not all of those moments are this exceptional, but we recently had the opportunity to witness one of our customers proposing to his now fiancé on a snowmobile tour. Check out the video below.

Congratulations! We’re glad we could be a part of such a special memory.

Whether you’re on a family vacation or just looking for a new mountain experience, there’s nothing quite like connecting with your family or friends on a backcountry snowmobile adventure on one of the most historic and scenic private ranches in the Vail Valley!

For information on our snowmobile tours, give us a call at 970-476-3700 or check out our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com.

The Perks of Private Ranch Snowmobiling

Having a base of operations on a beautiful private ranch near Vail, Colorado allows us to offer a snowmobiling experience that’s unrivaled. It’s one of our greatest points of pride here at Sage Outdoor Adventures. It’s a big part of what makes us different.

A snowmobile tour with us means having access to 6,000 rideable acres. What does that mean for our guests? To put it in perspective, that’s bigger than the Vail ski area. And it’s entirely private. The only people you’ll see on the entire ranch are other Sage guests. Tour companies that rely on Forest Service or BLM permits are forced to deal with public conditions and are restricted to specific trails and small play areas. Our riders explore the entire ranch with over 100 miles of trails and large play meadows.

Trail quality is another major point of pride. Our crew sets the standard for excellent trails and grooming. We operate three Snowcats for grooming plus five drag groomers that are pulled by snowmobiles. Trail maintenance takes a lot of effort and our team is the best in the business. On a snowmobile ride with us, you won’t be worrying about washboard sections or nasty dips. You’ll be free to enjoy the incredible scenery and an experience like nowhere else!

Finally, the private ranch experience is ultimately comfortable thanks to wonderful facilities. We’re proud to welcome guests to our cozy cabin here at the ranch. No outhouses or temporary check-in trailers at this operation! Our base is nestled in a scenic valley with incredible views. The cabin is a great place for customers to relax, with wood burning stoves, fully equipped restrooms and a 5,000 square-foot deck overlooking the valley.

The best ranch and the greatest facilities wouldn’t mean what they do without our incredible team. Our people are still what make a Sage experience truly special. But having the opportunity to operate in such an incredible location sure doesn’t hurt!

For more information on snowmobile tours with Sage Outdoor Adventures, give us a call at 770-476-3700 or send us a message. You can also read more about our snowmobiling adventures on our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com.

The New Era of Snowmobiles and the Mountain Experience

mountain experience

Today’s snowmobiles offer an experience that surprises many of our guests. Gone are the days of loud engines and the smell of exhaust. Ever since the pressure on snowmobile manufacturers to clean up emissions in places like Yellowstone National Park, the industry has responded with some incredible new technology. In addition to being cleaner, the new era of snowmobiles create the opportunity for wilderness experiences like never before.

Here at Sage Outdoor Adventures, we use all Ski-Doo snowmobiles. Most of our sleds are the Ski-Doo Grand Touring Sport, an incredibly fuel-efficient four-stroke machine. They are so quiet that you’re more likely to hear the tracks turning on the snow than the engine itself. With extremely low emissions and no odor, there’s little else to distract from the beautiful mountain experience. In fact, the number one reason among guests to go snowmobiling is the wilderness experience.

Today’s snowmobiles are much lighter with more horsepower than ever before. Improvements in clutching, throttle control and suspensions offer an effortless riding experience, even in deep powder. What all that technology really means is that it’s an incredibly fun ride while maintaining a wonderful outdoor experience.

We’re proud to be a Ski-Doo direct dealer, which means we receive sleds and parts directly from the factory and we have factory-trained mechanics. Our snowmobiles are on a two-year rotation, keeping our guests on the best snowmobiles available. In addition to the two-person sleds, we also have some single-rider Ski-Doo Renegades. And for advanced rides, we use the Summit SP, an extremely advanced two-stroke engine that offers incredible horsepower and a chasse with unmatched agility on the snow.

We have certainly benefitted from the improvements in snowmobile technology over the past 15 years. These radical changes are shaping the sport in exciting new ways and we enjoy being a part of the sport as it explodes in popularity.

For more information on our tours, check out the Snowmobiling Page on our website or give us a call at 970-476-3700.