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.

3 Essentials for 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! And it gave us a few ideas about what is needed for the perfect mountaintop proposal.

Beautiful Mountain Views

A proposal will be memorable no matter what, but why not make those memories as stunning as the moment? If you’re planning on popping the question on a mountaintop, be sure to do some preemptive research on the views and the weather for the special day. Here at Sage, our lucky couple had multiple snowcapped mountain ranges surrounding them, all filled with Colorado’s jaw-dropping natural beauty.

Study the Trail Map

Sage employs a group of knowledgeable guides to escort you across our 6000 acres private mountain, who can show you all the best adventures and views. So this couple could sit back and enjoy the moment without having to navigate back home. However, if you are planning on a private proposal on a mountain of your choosing, be sure to study the trail map! You don’t want your proposal to be sidelined by getting lost on your way back home to celebrate.

A Group of Close Friends (or Not)

Adventuring through the wilds of Colorado is always fun, and is often an occasion for shared memories for a family or friend group – and a proposal is certainly memorable! Depending on what you and your partner prefer, inviting friends and family along for the ride can make the proposal even more special. Or, if you want a more intimate affair, opt for a private adventure to the peak. Just be sure to capture the moment for your loved ones!

Whether you’re vacationing with friends or family or just looking for a beautiful mountain experience, there’s nothing quite like 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 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 creates the opportunity for wilderness experiences like never before.

Our Ski-Doo Snowmobiles

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.

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!

Holiday Snowmobile tours

Why Spend your Holidays Snowmobiling with Sage

Our 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, even if you’ve never driven a snowmobile before. 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!

Little kids with BIG toys

Greetings from the Sage Outdoor Adventures toy shop. It is here where the hopes and dreams of big kids are filled. In our workshop, our favorite elf’s name is Wesley. He’s our in-house mechanic who puts every snowmobile together— his reindeer is a yellow lab named Charlie.

What did you wish for when you were a little boy or girl? I wished for a pony and a motorcycle (I grew up with three older brothers so being a girly girl was never in the cards). My parents got me 15 My Little Ponies and a remote control car. I now work for a company that has real ponies and really fun ATVs & snowmobiles. I think my dreams came true…

Ride Horses in Colorado's BackcountryEvery single person who works for the company is really just a big kid who found a job that made their dreams come true. We are lucky enough that we get to play with really amazing “grown-up toys” everyday. We get brand new snowmobiles and ATVs every year. The day the Ski-Doo semi pulls into our driveway, our hearts skip a beat and it’s Christmas morning all over again.

A Big Toy: Sage's SnowmobileWaking up to fresh powder on the ranch—Christmas day. I didn’t know it was possible to have Christmas so many times throughout the year. BOY AM I LUCKY. If you’re looking to feel like a little kid again, join us this holiday season for some fun on our big-kid toys.

Happy Holidays!!

Love,

Kelly