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!

Snowpack Rising and Perfect Powder Conditions

winter playground

Storms have continued to bring more snow to the north-central mountains of Colorado and our 6,000-acre private ranch in the Vail Valley has transformed into an endless winter playground! Our snowmobile riders have powder conditions! We’ve received nearly two feet of snow in the past week and with another winter storm warning in effect, we could easily have a couple more feet before the week is out.

The Colorado snowpack has exceeded 130% of normal and these above-average snow levels mean “WAHOO!” conditions for snowmobiling here on the ranch. Cornices have formed and hill-climbs are in. The land has naturally transformed into an incredible snowmobile playground. Think of it like a giant skate park on steroids, as far as the eye can see.

What’s the best part? Endless powder turns without ever riding a ski lift. With no lift lines and incredible powder conditions, our two-hour snowmobile tours give you as much time on the snow as a day of skiing. Experience the thrill of a snowmobile ride on one of the most beautiful ranches in the Vail Valley with incredible views. The hardest part might be wiping the giant grin off your face.

We are on track to have one of our best winters in the past few years. Snow conditions are perfect and it’s time to experience it! For more information, check out the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or give us a call at 970-476-3700. We would love to host you for an incredible snowmobiling experience.

Winter’s A Blast – Sporting Clays and Lessons for Groups

Sporting Clays

Winter activities here at Sage Outdoor Adventures don’t end with snowmobiling. In addition to tours on the snow, this 6,000-acre ranch is home to one the finest sporting clays facilities in the Vail Valley and anywhere in Colorado for that matter. Colorado’s sunny winter days are a great time for groups to enjoy our sporting clays with a five-stand lesson.

When the sun is shining like it is this week, groups are having a blast! Winter shooting is open for groups of 10 or more. Our five-stand lesson will cover the fundamentals of sporting clays and of course, gun safety. “Five-Stand” is an exciting type of shotgun shooting that has clay targets coming from multiple directions. It’s a great time for family groups, corporate groups or bachelor/bachelorette parties.

Here are a few photos from earlier this week:

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Whether you’re an experienced shooter or a total novice, our excellent instructors will make everyone feel welcome. The five-stand lesson usually ends with a friendly group competition! We use a combination of 12, 20 and 28 gauge shotguns to fit anyone’s experience level and size.

Just like our snowmobile tours, the winter sporting clays here at Sage Outdoor Adventures include complimentary transportation from your hotel. We provide shotguns, ammo, targets, a shooting vest, and ear and eye protection.

To learn more about the experience, please see our Winter Shooting Page. To book your group or to ask any questions, please call us at 970-476-3700. We look forward to seeing you here at the ranch soon for some winter sporting clays!

Kick Your Holiday Plans Up A Notch with A Snowmobile Tour

Snowmobile Tour

What better way to celebrate the Holidays than with a snowmobile tour on a spectacular 6,000-acre private ranch near Vail, Colorado? Seriously. Kick your Christmas plans up a notch and join us for a memorable experience on the snow!

img_1306Our private mountain is home to more than 100 miles of trails and stunning views that overlook the Vail Valley. Feel the wind in your face as you gain speed through the open flats of sage and mountain mahogany. Soak in the Rocky Mountain backcountry while winding your way through old-growth stands of aspen and spruce. The snowmobiling experience here is unforgettable.

We offer two-hour guided tours with three start times each day. And pickup is free from your hotel. That leaves plenty of time for your other Holiday commitments. It makes a perfect group event and our experienced guides will make sure that everyone has a great time. Don’t forget to ask for our 10% group discount when you book 10 or more snowmobiles.

For details and to book your Colorado snowmobile adventure, check out our Snowmobile Trips Page or call us at 970-476-3700. See you on the mountain!